JPHiP Forum

AKB48 Fanfics => 46GROUPS Fanfics => Topic started by: Shinoki on October 12, 2017, 12:48:40 AM

Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [TEMP HIATUS (possibly until Nov. 1?)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 12, 2017, 12:48:40 AM
ECCENTRIC
~a Keyakizaka46 fanfiction~

PROLOGUE

Darkness. She could only see darkness as hands grappled at her wrists. The air was stuffy; there was something over her head, but there was only darkness.

She heard a clicking sound and cold metal around her wrist. Those people, who she couldn’t see, took her by the arms, dragging her along even as she struggled weakly against them.

Even though she couldn’t see, she knew that no one was watching and no one was stepping out to stop this.

The girl reached out, as if calling for her brother.

—Choosing is important. He always said.
—It’s stranger if everyone is the same. He had reassured her.

However, he wasn’t here anymore. In her memories of him, there was darkness. The warmth in her heart had already been extinguished because he was no longer by her side as the kind older brother of her childhood.

Click. Click. Click.

—I didn’t choose this! She wanted to scream.

Clang. Clang. Clang.

Her ears were filled with the disorienting sound of metals clashing. Pushed along, stumbling along, she could vaguely make out the sound of a door slamming open and closed.

She didn’t know how long it had been since she had been thrown into this chaotic darkness, but it hurt.

Finally, the darkness ended. Her capturers removed the sack from the girl’s head, letting go of her arms that were already starting to bruise, and pushed her through the open door in front of her before leaving.

The girl stumbled, and the door closed behind her.

She was in a classroom. The board was state of the art technology, and from first sight, the teacher’s podium was loaded with tools. The lockers in the back of the room looked to be brand new as did the 21 desks in the room.

Her vision was still tumbling, but she could see 16 girls already in the classroom. Each of them seemed to have a bracelet on their wrist.

She lifted her left arm and touched the ring around her wrist.


“Welcome to the Keyaki class.”




It's been a long time since I've written fanfiction. In fact, let's not talk about the old fanfiction I used to write for AKB48. I'm slightly embarrassed of my middle school self. But, since I've gotten into Keyakizaka46 recently, I've found that Keyakizaka doesn't have much fanfiction and that's kind of a shame. That's why, I'm going to write this.

Eccentric. That's the title of this story.

In the near future, a group of 21 girls are gathered for a special project called the Keyaki class. Each given a bracelet on their wrists, they form a special class at a prestigious private academy.
Each one of the girls is in the Keyaki class for a different reason, and their lives, which wouldn’t have crossed paths before, cross as if fated.
An eccentric class. An unsmiling class. A class whose smile is brighter than anything else in the world.

Although I'm inexperienced in writing, or rather I can't say I'm a great writer, please take care of me from now on. I'm open to advice on how the members should act and what ships there should be (although there are two that have already been decided for this fic). I hope this story can be an enjoyable read for everyone.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405589#msg1405589)
Title: Re: Eccentric (Keyakizaka46 fanfic) [Checkpoint 1]
Post by: Shinoki on October 12, 2017, 01:47:49 AM
Checkpoint 1

The Keyaki class. A special class in Sakamichi Private Academy for Girls. That was what they said. No teacher had entered the classroom, but a teacher-like person appeared on the board in the front of the classroom to explain the class through a video call.

By the time the video call properly began, 20 girls had gathered and were situated into their seats. The last seat, in the front of the room, was empty, but it seemed as if that last girl wasn’t coming.

Hirate Yurina, a short haired girl, ran her fingers over her mysterious wristband as she sat in her seat. Her bangs slightly covered her eyes as she looked down at her desk.

She had come in after over two-thirds of the other girls had entered, so she was stuck in a seat near the front of the room, just behind the empty seat.

Although she was listening half-heartedly, she suddenly perked up when the figure on the screen said, “I’m sure you’re wondering what the bracelets around your wrists are for.”

Murmurs sounded in the back of the room. There were all sorts of voices, even two girls who let out a few words in Kansai-ben.
The figure on the screen waited for the girls to calm down before continuing his explanation.

“These bracelets are your special identification tools. They work as your student id as well as a credit card. By attaining achievements, you can gain points, which you can then translate into goods, commodities, and even money.”

“The specifics will be included in your student handbook, which will be distributed to you later.

“Please do not remove the bracelets because there will be consequences. Also, do not attempt to exit the school campus without permission either. Everything will be available here, so please enjoy your time in the Keyaki class.”

Again, the classroom began to be filled with murmurs as the girls took a closer look at their wristbands.

“As you may have concluded by your lack of homeroom teacher, there will not be teachers coming to teach in the Keyaki classroom. Instead, there will be guest lecturers who will be shown on this board.”

The figure on the board began to explain the academic curriculum of the Keyaki class, and Hirate couldn’t help but let his words enter one ear and exit the other.

Before long, the explanations began to finish. Some of the girls stopped paying attention though they were still strangers, so they hadn’t starting chatting much while the figure spoke.

“As a start, everyone please give a self-introduction to the rest of the class. This assignment will earn you each 100 points.” The figure on the board smiled mysteriously, “Enjoy your school life this year. That will be all.”

The screen turned blank, ending the video call.

Silence filled the classroom. No one seemed to be willing to start the self-introductions. It was just a room with a class filled with girls wearing blazer uniforms and silence that could make crickets sound loud.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

In reality, the electric clock in the front of the room made no sound. However, no one spoke at all, so it seemed as if the silent clock was noisy.

A girl whose hair slightly curled at the ends finally stood up. “I’m Sato Shiori. I’m interested in doing art in the future. Nice to meet everyone in the Keyaki class.”

“I’m Suzumoto Miyu. I like chestnuts.”

“Hi, I’m Oda Nana!”

“Shida Manaka.”

“Watanabe Risa.”

“...ah… I’m Watanabe Rika…”

“It’s a pleasure to meet everyone. I’m Sugai Yuuka.”

Before long, the girls began to introduce themselves one by one. As each finished, their wristbands gave a small light that read ‘+100.’

“I’m Ozeki Rika…” This girl started sniffling about wanting to be a big sister to her younger classmates because they were going to live in the dorms.

“I’m Koike Minami.”

“I’m Nagasawa Nanako.”

The introductions continued until there was only one girl left who hadn’t introduced herself. All eyes turned to Hirate Yurina at that moment.

“I’m Hirate Yurina from Aichi-ken. Nice to meet you.” She gave the class a weak smile.

Ding. The ‘+100’ appeared on her bracelet. The self-introductions were finished.


—The murmurs of the general students.
“Keyaki class?” “I wonder what types of geniuses we have?” “She looks so cool!”
—What do they know about me?

The 20 girls gathered in the dorm, located on campus. This dorm building was apparently for the Keyaki class only, and it had a gym, dance studio, as well as a cafeteria built in.

“Wow! This is amazing!” A couple of the girls exclaimed.

A pair with short hair stood to the side and coolly nodded, “Impressive.”

They entered a lounge area at the entrance of the building, and there was an announcement posted on the bulletin board. It listed the room numbers the girls were assigned and said that their luggage had already been delivered.

Although all the rooms were assigned, when Hirate looked at the list, she was surprised to see that she was rooming alone. In fact, although all the other rooms were double rooms, there was one with three people and one with only her on the list.

The girl who had introduced herself with chestnuts popped up next to Yurina, “Hirate-chan, you’re alone in room 46?”

“It looks like it, Suzumoto-san.” Yurina replied. Looking at the board again, she noticed that Suzumoto was in the three person room with a girl named Oda Nana and Kobayashi Yui.

“I guess they didn’t group us by prefectures. I’m from Aichi too.” Suzumoto pondered. “But, if you ever feel lonely, let’s hang out.”

“That sounds good.”

The girls chatted for a while, getting to know their roommates and their new classmates.

Grumble. Grumble. It was getting late, and the normal time for dinner had arrived. Yurina felt hunger, but she didn’t say a thing, letting her bangs cover her eyes as she watched the rest of her classmates.

One of the girls, Nagasawa, said quietly as her new roommate, one of the Watanabes, nodded in agreement, “I’m hungry. Let’s go to the cafeteria.”

“Let’s eat.” The other Watanabe said as well.

Everyone was getting hungry, so they quietly spoke in agreement.

As Yurina went with Suzumoto, Oda, and Kobayashi, she heard Suzumoto mumble to herself, “I wonder if they have chestnuts in the cafeteria.”



Watanabe Risa entered the cafeteria while talking with her roommate, Shida Manaka. She felt lucky that it looked like they were getting along quite well.

Although Risa had her own reasons for applying for the Keyaki class, she had been a bit apprehensive about whether or not it was a good idea. At least for now, she knew that she wouldn’t be stuck with a troublesome roommate.

Risa looked ahead. The cafeteria seemed to use a ticket system where the students had to get a ticket from a machine and then obtain their meal order.

Suddenly, she heard a sound of surprise, “Eh? 10 points for one meal?”

The cool Watanabe lifted her left wrist to look at the metal bracelet and looked ahead again toward the ticket machine. It was true that there appeared to be a place to scan someone’s hand, and in fact, there were small numbers under each meal option like prices.

Risa frowned.

The line moved ahead. Eventually Risa and Manaka got their food and settled down at a table near their other classmates.

‘-10: =90’ flashed on Risa’s bracelet. She shook her head and looked away from her bracelet, saying a quiet “itadakimasu” as she began to eat her dinner.



Dinner proceeded. Yurina ate the warm food on her tray gratefully and listened in on the conversation, chiming in once in awhile at her new friends’ urgings.

Halfway through the meal, Suzumoto turned to Yurina and asked, “Want to exchange LINE addresses?”

Yurina replied, “You have your phone with you?”

“Yea. Hirate-chan, do you not have your phone on you?”

Pausing for a moment, Yurina said awkwardly, “I dropped it in a puddle and broke it before I came here.”

“Ah, that sucks. I wonder if you can get a new one on campus.” Suzumoto gave Yurina a pat on the shoulder and turned to Risa, “Hey, Watanabe-san, want to exchange LINE addresses?”

““Huh?”” Two Watanabes responded.

Yurina gave Suzumoto a pat on the shoulder.

Shida Manaka lazily drawled, “Watanabe Rika, right? We can just call you Berika and Risa can be Berisa.”

“Weird nickname.” Risa scoffed without much anger.

“If we’re talking about having the same name, there are two Yuis in our class too.” Another girl, Imaizumi Yui, chimed in, “You can call me Zuumin or Zumiko instead.”

Somehow, various nicknames were made along with a LINE group for the class for the girls who had LINE accounts.



Amidst the youthful commotion, Yurina said to herself...
“Probably, if we don’t have points, then we can’t eat.”

—Question: Approval. Is it that important?




My writing is still clumsy, so I hope this chapter wasn't boring. I really respect the people who can write stories with a lot of characters since I have trouble doing that.
The main character of this story is Techi along with Risa's group. The other members will get their screen time in their own separate arcs or receive story interludes about their times together as roommates or friends in the Keyaki class. Of course... this isn't going to be a fluffy, happy story, so what will happen in those story arcs or interludes is a thing to wonder about.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405637#msg1405637)
Title: Re: Eccentric (Keyakizaka46 fanfic) [Checkpoint 2 (Oct. 12, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 12, 2017, 10:45:03 PM
Checkpoint 2

It was raining. Uncomfortably, as she stood in the rain, she couldn’t move from her spot as she looked at her bruised reflection in the puddles on the ground.

The world was laughing as it rained. Those were mocking tears.

Hirate Yurina woke up from her nap in class. Without meaning to, she had fallen asleep during the lecturer’s explanation on determining the derivative of a curve.

In other words, when a small exit card quiz appeared on the special screen built into the students’ desks, she utterly failed it.
After the lesson, she laid her head down on the desk and wondered to herself why she was even in the Keyaki class.

It had been three weeks since the start of the Keyaki class, and everyone had gotten somewhat acclimated to the system. Although unsteady at first, everyone was getting a decent amount of points.

‘+0’ appeared on Yurina’s bracelet from her performance on the quiz.

“Techi, how did you do?” Suzumoto came over during break time after the end of the class.

Yurina gave a sheepish smile, “Not very well.”

“Me too.” The chestnut loving girl sighed, “I don’t get it at all.”

“We have history and then gym class, so there’s no more math for a while.”

“I’m looking forward to gym class.”



Break time was a long time, so Yurina made her way out of the classroom for a breath of fresh air.

The school grounds were eerily quiet to the point that it made her shiver. The quiet was to be expected though as aside from the Keyaki class, all the other students were in class at the moment.

She passed by the track field where some of the normal students were having gym class, not noticing the looks of curiosity she received.

Before she knew it, Yurina was in front of the school campus gates. The school building was close to the gates, and the dorms and other places, which made up a town by themselves, were more to the inner parts.

A flock of birds flew by through the blue sky.

The short haired girl looked up for a moment, shielding her eyes from the sun.

Yurina looked through the bars of the school gates. The world outside didn’t seem any different than it did a few weeks ago, but somehow, it looked brighter nonetheless.

She didn’t know what to think, so she didn’t ponder on it.

“Meowww…”

Yurina noticed a cat by the gates. It had a collar around its neck, but it had escaped its owner to this school. The cat stared at Yurina as if asking to be pet.

The girl reached her hands out through the gates when—

Pain. There was a sharp pain in her body. Yurina recoiled, falling on her bottom. She blinked away tears from the sudden sensation of pain, and when she looked for the cat, it wasn’t there.

Her bracelet vibrated.

When the short haired girl looked, she noticed a glaring red ‘-50,’ a deduction from her point values even when she hadn’t bought anything.

“...Is this a punishment?”

Yurina took another look at the school gates. Then, she shook her head and turned back to hurry back to class.



History class finished.

In the back corner of the classroom near the window, a group was chatting. Asking Saitou Fuyuka, Shida Manaka, and Watanabe Risa, Moriya Akane brought up the question, “Why did you decide to join the Keyaki class?”

“It was by chance.” Manaka offered.

Risa replied in the same vein, “I didn’t think I would get in.”

“I’m not sure. Maybe it’s that I thought it would be nice to get paid for going to a prestigious school like Sakamichi.” Fuyuka pondered aloud.

“With me,” Akane glanced away from her group at her long haired roommate, “I guess I don’t really know either.”

They spent a moment not talking, thinking.

Fuyuka interrupted the very brief silence, “Let’s play a game.”

“Huh?” Risa asked.

“Like the mozzarella cheese game.”

Akane chuckled, “I don’t think we can play that in the classroom.”

“The aishiteru game?”

Manaka responded, “Strange games are dangerous.”

“It’s not strange at all. Come on. Let’s do something.” Fuyuka smiled, “Mona and Risa, how about it?”

“Fine.” Risa huffed. “I love you, Manaka.”

“I love you.” Manaka replied smugly.

“I love you.”

Without a warning, Manaka swooped in and landed a teasing kiss on Risa’s cheek, “I love you.”

“Ah, Risa blushed.” Fuyuka laughed along with Akane.

“Geez…” Risa made an angry face toward the laughing two. “You two do it too then. Come on, aishiteru game.”

“Uh.” Akane stared at Risa as if Risa made an unreasonable request.

“Okay then. I love you, Akanen.” Fuyuka started.

“I love you.”

“I love you.”

“I love you.”

“I— Oh, geez. What’s with that look?”

Manaka laughed at Fuyuka’s indignance of being ignored by Akane.

Akane shrugged, sending a quick glance back to her roommate again, and smiled victoriously. “You blushed.”


—The murmurs of the general students.
“I want to have gym class with the Keyaki class.” “They’re so athletic!”
—What meaning is there to that?


Changing into gym clothes was a quick process for Risa. Some people took longer to change, like Hirate who always seemed to disappear when changing, but Risa and Manaka changed quickly.

The gym clothes were a simple t-shirt and jersey in red with the school’s logo on the sleeves.

Risa felt her heart rate increase a little as she looked at Manaka in the jersey, remembering the playful kiss on the cheek received in the game she played earlier in the day.

The cool Watanabe shook her head and looked at the clock. Their gym class was scheduled for in a few minutes, and it looked like most of the girls were done changing.

Just as the class was about to leave for gym class, the door slammed open.


“Who are you?”
—Who should we trust in this world?
—Isn’t it lonely fine being alone after all?

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405645#msg1405645)
Title: Re: Eccentric (Keyakizaka46 fanfic) [Checkpoint 2 (Oct. 12, 2017)]
Post by: BelieberJ on October 13, 2017, 12:19:23 AM
Hoho I can see the beginning of MonaRisa here interesting
Title: Re: Eccentric (Keyakizaka46 fanfic) [Interlude 1 (Oct. 12, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 13, 2017, 02:02:29 AM
Interlude 1

On the first day, when Moriya Akane looked at the room announcement sheet, she noticed the name Sugai Yuuka as her roommate. On the first day, when Moriya Akane heard Suzumoto asking about LINE, she ended up exchanging LINEs with Sugai Yuuka as well as joining the group chat.

The thing that Moriya Akane thought the most when she met Sugai Yuuka was that ‘this person is an interesting person.’ Akane wasn’t sure whether or not to be surprised by the horse icon that her new roommate had as her LINE profile.

As Akane lounged about on her bed in the dorm room, she noticed Yuuka reading the student handbook that had been distributed to the rooms.

Yuuka was wearing glasses, and Akane couldn’t help but look toward her roommate, thinking that Yuuka looked reliable when reading. Although Akane’s hands were idly tapping on her phone, chatting in the class LINE group about cosmetics, her attention was on her roommate.

“Moriya-san, I’m going to take a shower now.”

Akane was jolted out of her thoughts by Yuuka’s voice.

“Go ahead, Sugai-san.” Akane responded, trying to keep a calm face since she couldn’t tell if her roommate had noticed her staring, “I’m going to take one in the morning.”

Yuuka smiled and went into the bathroom with her change of clothes.

Akane returned the smile before rolling over on her bed and scrolling through the chat to see what she had spaced out for. It looked like some of the girls were already going to sleep, so the group chat was getting inactive.

She set her phone aside and stretched before standing up from her bed.

“Hm?” Akane noticed the student handbook still open on Yuuka’s desk. The page it was open to had a cute horse sticky note attached to it.

Akane started reading the page.

‘Points can be exchanged for monetary gains. For example, 1 point can be exchanged for 1 yen. As more points are gained, more money can be gained. The exchange rate is non-linear, meaning that while 1 point is worth only 1 yen, 1000 points is worth 2000 yen, and so on. The conversion table is detailed below.’

The girl lifted her left wrist and looked at the bracelet. She pressed a small button on the metal band and ‘=90’ flashed on the bracelet. That was barely 100 yen if she were to exchange it for money, not even enough to buy a yakisoba bread from the convenience store.

Giving a complicated look, she shook her head and decided to think about that later. She looked back at the student handbook and noted that Yuuka was already half-way through the booklet.

“Wow, she’s diligent.” Akane thought aloud, a grin of respect appearing on her face. “I’m not going to lose either.”

She stepped away from the desk and changed into her pajamas. Akane made sure to set her alarm for the morning and made a mental note to check out the tennis club some time soon.

Before long, Yuuka finished her shower and stepped into the bedroom in pajamas. The horse loving girl’s hair was dried via blowdryer, unexpectedly disappointing Akane.

It was soon time to turn in for bed.

“I’ll turn off the lights now, Moriya-san” Yuuka said to Akane.

“Thanks.” Akane smiled. Then she added hurriedly, “By the way, you can call me Akanen. That’s what my friends call me. Moriya-san is a bit stiff between roommates.”

“Oh. Then you can call me Yuuka.”

“Yea, let’s get along from now on.”

“Yes.” Yuuka smiled, switching off the lights. “Good night.”




@BelieberJ:
You are correct~ One of the main two ships in this fanfic is MonaRisa. The other one is yet to be seen, but this interlude shows the focus of one of the future arcs. Since Akanen is part of the same group as MonaRisa, her story with Yuuka will probably be one of the earlier arcs.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405677#msg1405677)
Title: Re: Eccentric (Keyakizaka46 fanfic) [Checkpoint 3 (Oct. 13, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 14, 2017, 01:27:10 AM
Checkpoint 3

Dribble. Dribble. The basketball bounced up and down on the floor between her hands as the short haired girl weaved between her classmates.

Sweat wetted her black bangs, but she didn’t pay them any mind. Stopping for just a moment, with the ball in her hands, she jumped and threw the basketball.

And, the ball—


—21 seats. 20 students. That’s wrong, isn’t it?
—There are so many things we don’t know about this class.

The door slammed open to the classroom. Even though they had finished changing, the girls still recoiled in surprise, letting out girlish screams that perhaps a pervert had gotten in.

Hirate Yurina slowly moved her hands away from her eyes, resetting her bangs that had been messed up in her sudden move to hide from whatever caused that slamming noise.

“There’s no one there.” She said slowly, looking toward the door apprehensively.

The short haired, cool Watanabe also returned to a relaxed pose, crossing her arms, and drawled out, “So, a ghost?”

“Eek!” Someone yelped.

“Eh? Probably not.” The other half to Watanabe Risa, Shida Manaka, shrugged.

The class was silent for a moment. Then, everyone started chatting, letting out sighs of relief, and laughing about how their friends made such funny faces at the sudden sound.

Slam! Something from outside of the classroom crashed into something else.

““Eek!!”” The class let out a noise of surprise again.

Acting cool, Watanabe Risa crossed her arms again, “Doing it twice is a little repetitive, don’t you think?”

“Risa, you say that, but you screamed too.” Fuyuka sighed.

Although some of the girls were able to engage in friendly banter, they still stood stiffly, looking toward the door. They held a long breath, wondering what would come next after that loud slam.

Yurina stepped forward again, pointing toward the open door, “We should check it out.” After a pause, she specified. “That sound.”

“Hirate-chan, that sounds kind of dangerous.” Suzumoto made a face.

Yurina tilted her head, “This is a school. I don’t think it should be that dangerous.” Although she said that, inside, she was also somewhat unconvinced of her own words.

“Hirate’s right about that.” Risa spoke up.

Yurina nodded, “Let’s check it out then.”

With those words, Yurina started walking toward the door. For each step she took, she felt that her classmates weren’t exactly following very closely behind. Nonetheless, she continued toward the open door.

Crash!!!


“Oh, no! Hirate-chan!”
“What the heck? Isn’t this kind of bad?”
“Kyaa! W-what?”
“Wait… isn’t that just…”
“Oh, it’s just a student. What’s she doing here?”
“No, wait, she has a bracelet. Look at her left wrist.”


Hirate Yurina braced herself a little too late as she fell onto the classroom floor, suddenly impacted by someone who had suddenly been flung into the room through the door.

“Ow…” She cried out.

“I’m so sorry!”

“...?”

Yurina opened her eyes, which she had squeezed shut in fear from being crashed into. Right there, mere centimeters away from her face, was a girl’s face, a pretty girl with long black hair.

The short haired girl couldn’t help but mumble, “...pretty...”

The long haired girl quickly apologized, “I’m so sorry for crashing into you. Um, what did you just say?”

“It was nothing.”

“...Um. Well, I’m really sorry—”

“You don’t need to apologize. It was just an accident that we collided.”

Yurina started getting up. Her cheeks felt a bit warm, and she hoped that she wasn’t blushing because she got a close up of the new girl. The short haired girl reached a hand out toward the new girl to help the latter up.

“Thank you.”

“It’s nothing.”

The long haired girl held onto Yurina’s hand for a second longer after getting up.

Then the two were interrupted by Watanabe Risa’s voice.


“Who are you?”


Watanabe Risa looked at the girl who had suddenly crashed into the room suspiciously. Tapping her foot, crossing her arms, Risa couldn’t help but be irritated that she didn’t know what was going on.

Manaka put a hand on Risa’s arm reassuringly and gave her roommate a nod.

Risa repeated her question, “So, who are you?”

The long haired girl replied, “My name is Nagahama Neru.”

“Nagahama-san, why did you come crashing into our classroom like that?” Manaka piped up curiously.

Neru laughed awkwardly, nervously clenching her hands as she tried not to be intimidated by the class, “Ahaha, that’s a good question.”

“So, Nagahama-san, what are you here for?” Oda Nana added in as well.

Neru stepped back unsure what to say. To her surprise, she found a gentle hand of encouragement behind her.

Yurina stepped forward, a little in front of Neru. She offered her hand to Neru, and when Neru took Yurina’s hand, Yurina looked at her classmates calmly to explain her hypothesis.

“Nagahama-san is probably the person who that empty seat belongs to.” With her free hand, Yurina pointed to the desk in front of her desk. Then she elaborated by directing the class’s eyes toward Neru’s left wrist. “She has a metal bracelet like we do.”

There was silence. At serious moments, the class couldn’t help but be excessively silent as everyone took a moment to come to their conclusions.

Risa relented after a few moments, “That’s true.”

“Yes, you are correct.” The board in the front of the class flickered on to show the figure from the first day of the Keyaki class.

“Nagahama Neru is the 21st member of the Keyaki class. Her enrollment had been decided beforehand, but she couldn’t attend class until today. I’m sure the class will be able to take care of her and treat her as a classmate from now on.

“She will be rooming with Hirate Yurina-san, so Hirate-san, apologies, but you will have to share a room from now on.

“I will make further announcements later. However, right now, it is time for you to head to gym class. You are not late as I have informed Tsuchida-sensei about your new classmate, but class will start soon.

“It appears that it is basketball today. Hirate-san’s specialty, if I am correct.

“Enjoy yourselves, Keyaki class. Show your abilities and earn points. That will be all for now.”


—Murmur, murmur. In the end, life continues.
“Ah, I’m Hirate Yurina.” “Thank you for helping me.” “No, it was nothing.”
—Gym uniforms. Rushing to class. Is this so interesting to you?


Yurina stood on the basketball court in the gym with the ball in her hand. The figure on the board had been right about the lesson being a basketball game in gym class, and since he called her own, she had been chosen to throw the jump ball to start the game.

The class had been split up into two teams, Team Serious and Team Relatively Peaceful, named by the girls. Neru was off on the side, spectating, because she didn’t have her gym clothes yet.

Yurina was on Team Serious, led by a certain Moriya Akane. Team Relatively Peaceful was led by Akane’s roommate, Sugai Yuuka. The roommates appeared to get along, but as far as the short haired girl could see, they still wanted to win against each other.

Akane said seriously as she stood, ready to hit the jump ball for her team, “Tecchan, we’re going to win this.”

“Hirate-chan, throw this fairly.” Yuuka jokingly retorted at Akane.

Yurina nodded to both of them. She thought to herself that it would have been better for Tsuchida-sensei, the gym teacher, to throw the ball, but he was more interested in soccer and thought that having Yurina throw it would add a bit of fun to the game.
The whistle blew.

The ball went into the air.

Yurina joined the game, a smile unknowingly gracing her face.


—There’s nothing wrong with doing what you like, right?


The game sped by. At one moment, Yurina was in possession of the ball. In the next, the ball had already entered the hoop in a magnificent jump shot, scoring the last points of the game in the last minutes of gym class. And then there was clapping and cheering as well as good-hearted laughter.

She wiped away the sweat on her forehead, letting out a breath.

“That was awesome, Techi!” Suzumoto gave Yurina a jump-hug from the back. “I didn’t know you could do that.”

“Thanks.” Yurina smiled. “Techi?”

“Yea. Hirate-chan is a bit long to say, right? So, I think I’ll call you Techi from now on. Is that okay?”

“Techi. Techi is fine.”

Akane came jogging over as well, exchanging high-fives with the team, “Good job, Tecchan. We did it!”

“It was a good game.” Yuuka smiled. “We did our best even if we couldn’t earn any points...”

“Good game.” Akane agreed to Yuuka’s words.

Yurina echoed the same opinion, “It was a good game.”

The short haired girl walked around the court being congratulated by her teammates. The team received 75 points for winning. She lifted her wrist to look at the metal band around it and noted that it read ‘+100.’ Whoever distributed points decided that her performance was worth that much.

She gave no one in particular a wry smile. Yurina wondered to herself how long it had been since the last time she could play basketball like this.


—Isn’t it uncomfortable to be judged on things you like though?

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405765#msg1405765)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 4 (Oct. 15, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 15, 2017, 10:16:35 PM
Checkpoint 4

It was lunch time. The girls had moved their desks together into their own groups within the class, and they were eating. Some of them bought bread from the school store. Others made their own lunches, ingredients from the on-campus grocery store near the dorms. Hirate Yurina was eating a pre-made bento bought from the bento store also near the dorms.

In the group of desks she was with, there were also Kobayashi Yui, Oda Nana, Suzumoto Miyu, and the new Keyaki class student, Nagahama Neru.

Neru said to Yurina, “You were really cool.”

“Cool?” Yurina asked, not understanding why Neru would suddenly praise her like that.

“During gym class.”

Yurina paused before saying a quiet “Thank you” to Neru.

The two girls exchange smiles. Yurina continued eating her lunch, moving her chopsticks to pick up rice and side dishes. She was happy to be able to eat decent food like this, but she kept glancing over to Neru.

The long haired girl didn’t have any food on her desk.

Suzumoto noticed too as she asked Neru, after finishing a chestnut snack, “Are you not going to eat lunch?”

Oda Nana nodded and chimed in, “Nagahama-san, are you dieting?”

“Oda Nana, don’t be rude.” Kobayashi Yui frowned.

“I was asking because she’s cute. What type of diet would she be doing?” Oda pouted. “Ah, but not as cute as you, Yui-pon.”

“Dani...” Suzumoto mumbled under her breath, looking at her two roommates jealously. “Hey, what about me?”

“Ehhh, Suzumoto is…” Oda started.

Yurina looked at the triple room trio and looked at Neru again. Neru looked a bit confused since she wasn’t used to their antics, so Yurina just gave Neru a shrug of ‘that’s normal.’

“Not hungry?” Yurina asked.

Neru shook her head, “No, actually, I just don’t have any food with me right now. I don’t have any points or my wallet, so I’m just going to tough it out for now.”

“Being hungry is…” The short haired girl trailed off, shaking her head to rid herself of negative thoughts, and instead, she picked up a small omelette with her chopsticks to give to Neru, “Here. You can have some.”

“It’s okay.”

Yurina insisted, “You should eat. Open wide.” The omelette was still in the chopsticks, ready to be eaten.

Neru finally relented, “Thank you then.”

Without any hesitation, Yurina fed Neru the omelette. Neru blushed a little, but it looked as if the short haired girl didn’t understand why it would be embarrassing to be fed by someone else.

The chopsticks kept moving. Yurina gave Neru some rice.

Suzumoto gave Yurina a thumbs-up, “Wow. Techi, you’re good.”

Oda Nana offered, “Nagahama-san, do you want some of my vegetables?”

Suzumoto did the same, “You can have some of this.”

Yui-pon sighed, shaking her head at her two roommates, “Aren’t you just giving her food you don’t like?”

“Eh? Yui-pon, you don’t like those foods either, right?” Oda pouted.


—Noisy, noisy. This seems like normal life, doesn’t it?


Watanabe Risa’s group looked on at Neru and the rest somewhat amused. Risa was eating her lunch without really paying attention, ignoring Akane’s happy aura from the gym class victory.

“They’re being pretty rowdy.” Fuyuka grinned as she held her lunch, yakisoba bread, in her hand, “It looks like fun to exchange food like that.”

“Maybe.” Manaka nodded.

Risa shrugged, “None of us can cook though.” She wouldn’t have minded exchanging bento with Manaka, but somehow, she had the feeling that exchanging home-made food with any of her group mates would end up with strange food.

“Hey, maybe we could all try to make a bento some day and exchange side dishes.” Fuyuka suggested. “I don’t think it would turn out that badly.”

Risa looked at Fuyuka blandly. Akane looked at Fuyuka with a weird look. Manaka looked at Fuyuka and then looked away, laughing.  With nothing to say, Fuyuka took a bite from her yakisoba bread and chewed silently, shaking her head as if she should have expected it.

After a while, Fuyuka said, “Yea, it would probably turn out badly.”

They changed the topic. Akane brought up clubs. “By the way, when I was talking with some of the tennis club girls, they said that Risa and Manaka were doing something for the photography club. I thought you didn’t want to do clubs, Risa.”

Risa responded, “I don’t.”

“It was more like a favor to the photography club. Modelling?” Manaka elaborated. “We got some points for doing it.” She raised her left wrist as if to emphasize the point earning.

Fuyuka sighed wistfully, “Modelling? That sounds amazing. Sakamichi sure is a prestigious school.”

Akane laughed, giving Fuyuka a pat on the back, “Fuu-chan, we’re the Keyaki class.”

“Even if we’re the Keyaki class, I don’t really feel any special except for having this bracelet.” Fuyuka raised her left wrist and looked at the metal band. “It’d be nice to be popular like in manga where a special class with superpowers has fangirls all across campus.”

“No, you’re popular.” Manaka interjected.

Fuyuka joked in response, “When did that happen?”

Without missing a beat, Manaka responded, “The photography club has a secret blog for the Keyaki class.” She took out her smartphone and opened up an internet browser to get the page up.

“Wait, what?” Risa stopped her chopsticks and sharply turned to look at her roommate.

Manaka pressed her fingers on the phone screen, looking through the secret blog and showed it to her friends, “It doesn’t have Nagahama yet.”

“No, wait, Manaka.” Risa narrowed her eyes.

“Hm?”

“Ah, never mind.”

Akane said, “You should share that on the class LINE.”

“I want to see this blog. Eh, that’s so weird.” Fuyuka muttered as she finished up her yakisoba bread. She gave her friends a disbelieving look, wondering if they were all in a prank together.

“Done.” Manaka said after a few clicks on the smartphone.

After taking a few looks at the blog, they changed the topic again. While finishing up her store-bought bento, Risa lazily said, “So, Nagahama. What do you think about her?”

“She’s cute.” Fuyuka replied.

Akane looked over to Yurina’s group, “Tecchan seems to get along with her already. She seems like a good girl right now.”

“Really late for school.” Manaka offered.

“Yea.” Risa narrowed her eyes. “...it’s a little suspicious though. Keyaki class. Why would she be so late? And what was with those violent noises?”

“Well, maybe—”

Flicker-flicker. Click. Fuyuka’s next words were interrupted by the board in the front of the room turning on. With a shuffling sound, everyone turned to look at the figure from the first day who was once again displayed in a video call to the Keyaki class.



Hirate Yurina looked at the figure on the board. Somehow, she couldn’t help that the man looked somewhat familiar. She shook her head; she had seen this person so many times on the screen before but hadn’t had that feeling before. The short haired girl wondered if it was the feelings from playing basketball that had brought on this strange sense of deja vu.

“It’s good to see that you’re getting along with your new classmate.” The figure started with a smile he covered up with his hands crossed in front of his face. “I have an announcement to make about an update to the points system.”

Yurina glanced over at Neru, noticing her new classmate sitting oddly stiffly.

“I’m sure that many of you have read your student handbooks and looked over the sections about the points system. For example, the section about future updates. Of those updates, the points sharing system has now been implemented. That data has been transmitted to your bracelets through a wireless device, and from now on, it is possible to give or receive points from your classmates.

“As this information is not in the student handbook, I will not explain how to exchange points. Listen carefully as this will not be repeated. Put your bracelets together so that the portion that displays the point values is touching between bracelets. Then, the button on both devices must be pressed simultaneously for three seconds. A holographic screen will appear. That screen is the interface for your device and will be updated in the future. On the screen, under the ‘Social’ tab, you can find the point sharing program. Afterwards, you may decide how many points to exchange.

“This can only be done between two people. In the future, the holographic screen will be implemented for other uses as well, but for now, it is only for point sharing.

“Enjoy yourselves, Keyaki class. I must remind you that stealing is bad. That is all for now.” With those words, the figure cut off the video message, and the board returned to its default state.

—Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.
—The end of lunch and a wonder if those words really needed to be said.
—Isn’t it sad to not be able to trust anyone?

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405831#msg1405831)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 2 (Oct. 16, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 17, 2017, 01:35:23 AM
Interlude 2

The train chugged along the tracks. A girl with somewhat short hair was heading toward Tokyo from Ibaraki. She looked out the window, sitting down in a train seat, with nothing to do as her phone’s battery had died.

The school year was starting soon, and she had been accepted into a special program that she applied to on a whim. Apparently, she was supposed to meet an escort in the city who would take her to the school campus.

Whoosh. Click. More people got on the train.

Seeing an old lady unable to find a seat, the girl stood up and offered her seat to the old lady. The old lady thanked the girl, and the girl replied that this type of action was only to be expected of young people.

The train continued as the girl stood, holding onto a handle for standing passengers. The scenery went by. Ibaraki was a little far from Tokyo, but in her heart, she was still a little excited. However, she maintained a cool face, uninterested.

Whoosh. Click. More people got off. More people got on.

Among the people who got on, there was a girl wearing blue headphones. The girl from Ibaraki couldn’t help but think that the headphone wearing girl was rather pretty.

The girl from Ibaraki glanced at the headphone girl once but continued to look out the train window after that. She was in for a long ride, and likely, the headphone girl wasn’t going to the same destination.

Whoosh. Click. Another stop and another set of ons and offs.

The headphone girl was still on the train. What she was listening to was a mystery, but she seemed rather happy with her music. The girl from Ibaraki didn’t notice the headphone girl take a glance in her direction.

Whoosh. Click. Whoosh. Click. After a number of stops, the girl from Ibaraki finally arrived in Tokyo. She had to change stations to go to her destination and to her surprise, the headphone girl was also boarding the same train.

The girl from Ibaraki stood on the new train. It was crowded, filled with more people than she’d seen before in her hometown. Even though she wasn’t from the middle of nowhere, the capital of Japan was definitely a different world. There were people bumping into others as they tried to find their positions and make their stops.

A salaryman bumped into the girl from Ibaraki. It was crowded, so she just frowned and thought that perhaps he had been pushed.

The train started moving.

Flinch! The girl felt a hand on her skirt. She wondered if she had imagined that, but she looked and saw the same salaryman. Scowling, she was shocked to find a pervert on the train, but even as she wanted to say something, she found that she couldn’t. Unexpectedly, she was scared.

The man continued to touch her butt, getting bolder and bolder. Suddenly, his hand was torn away and he was tripped to the side, stumbling and nearly falling on the crowded train.

The girl from Ibaraki turned to see what happened, and she saw the headphone girl with the headphones around the girl’s neck. The headphone girl frowned at the man and said, louder than a normal talking voice, “Hey. Are molesters common in Tokyo or something?”

Everyone in that area of the train sent a disdainful look toward the man who had fallen. Seeing those looks, he scrambled to his feet and started running away.

“Thanks.” The girl from Ibaraki said to the headphone girl shakily.

“Don’t mind.”

“No, really. Thanks. What’s your name?”

“Shida Manaka. You?”

“Watanabe Risa. Nice to meet you.”


—That was the first time Watanabe Risa and Shida Manaka met.
“It was unexpected that we would be going to the same place, but…
honestly, I didn’t mind that very much.”


Risa folded her arms and sighed as she watched her classmate, Harada Aoi, scurry off unhappily with the last word of “Risa, you’re a meanie!” That girl was really childish and would bug Risa now and then, but the cool Watanabe saw her as an annoying little sister who appeared out of nowhere after the first week of school. She wasn’t sure where she picked up that annoying little sister either.

Nonetheless, she didn’t bother going after Aoi.

It was after school, and the class was dispersing. Some of her classmates were going off to clubs and others were just hanging out on campus. Risa was bored, going through the hallways at a slow pace as she wondered what she should do and where her roommate was.

“Risa!” Risa heard a voice and found her eyes covered by hands.

The cool Watanabe calmly replied to her assailant, “Manaka.”

“What are you doing?”

“No clue.”

“Want to walk?”

“Sure.”

“Music?”

“That’s fine. Do you still have those blue headphones?”

“I don’t have them on me right now.”

Manaka dug out a pair of earbuds from her bag and offered one to Risa. Risa took one. Manaka then pulled out her smartphone to choose a selection of music, scrolling through her folders when Risa pointed out a song.

“How about that one?” Risa asked.

“That’s good.” Manaka selected the song.

The two of them walked through the hallways together, listening to music. Since they were sharing a pair of earbuds, they had to walk quite close to each other, their arms bumping against each other.

That was when Risa heard a snap. She turned and found a student, not from the Keyaki class, with a camera, recoiling in horror, awe, and all types of emotions.

“Oh, no! I got caught. By Watanabe Risa-sama too. Ahhh, I knew I shouldn’t have done this. But, it’s the Cool! Senpai is going to kill me…” The student cried out, saying inexplicable things. “The photography club’s honor is on the line…”

“What’s your name?” Risa sighed and asked.

“K-Kanemura.” The student replied, gripping her camera in fear.

“And what were you doing?”

“Taking your picture. I’m so sorry!”

“Stalkers.” Manaka noted.

Kanemura cried out, “I’m so sorry. I-I-I’ll commit seppuku!”

Risa sighed again, “In the first place, that’s going way too far. If you really wanted to take a picture, you should have just asked. Aren’t you the photography club?”

“R-Risa-sama!”

“...-sama?”

“I mean, Watanabe-sama!”

“What?”

“Please model for the photography club! Just this once. And Shida-san too.”

“Huh? Why am I the only one called -sama…?”


—One way or another, ‘+100’ points.
—Strange things happen. Isn’t it more interesting to be weird?
—It would have been nice for the fun days to continue forever.




To everyone who left a 'thank you,' thank you very much. Seeing that kind of thing is very encouraging. I'll continue doing my best writing this fic. Even if it seems to be somewhat listless and random at times, I hope you'll continue reading.
I wonder if the interludes are a little out of place sometimes. The next interlude is planned to be after the end of the current arc, but in general, the interludes aren't in the same chronological order that the main story is in, so I hope that isn't confusing.

Again, thank you for reading. I'll update soon.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405868#msg1405868)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 5 (Oct. 17, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 18, 2017, 12:59:46 AM
Before you read this chapter, I have to warn you that it gets a little dark in the middle. If speaking of death and violence triggers you, it may be good to skip over the part after the first scene break. On this chapter, the highlights are the subtle actions that Neru takes. While what is set up in this chapter will take a long time to come to light, I hope you can look out for them. Enjoy!




Checkpoint 5

Hirate Yurina looked at her new roommate, Nagahama Neru, as Neru got settled into their shared dorm room. Class had ended a few hours ago. Yurina was sitting on the edge of her bed while Neru was getting set up. Like Yurina, Neru didn’t have many belongings with her as she moved into the room.

“Are you okay?” The short haired girl asked, elaborating, her fingers running over the metal band around her wrist, “With your points.”

Neru looked over to her roommate and smiled, “I’m okay. Thank you for asking, Hirate-san.”

“You don’t have to call me Hirate-san, Nagahama-san.”

“But, you’re calling me formally too.”

“Then… Neru.”

“Yurina-chan.”

Yurina froze, part of her felt cold hearing those words from Neru’s mouth but her heart started pounding. She didn’t expect to be flustered by being called by her first name. The short haired girl just couldn’t remember what she was suddenly reminded of when Neru spoke.

“What’s wrong?” Neru asked worriedly at Yurina’s silence.

The short haired girl shook her head hurriedly, “It’s nothing. No one has called me that for a long time, so I just felt a little weird. It’s not a bad thing though.”

“Yurina is very pretty name.”

“Neru is pretty too.”

“Thank you.”

“Anyways, if you’re ever in trouble with your points, I’m willing to help. I don’t use my points very often.” Making sure to say this as a whisper, Yurina muttered to herself, looking away from Neru, “Since it isn’t like I have anything much to look forward to.”

Neru paused for a moment, not hearing Yurina’s mumbles, and she said again, “Thank you.” The long haired girl looked at her left wrist and then at Yurina again and thought to herself, ‘thank you. Really. I’m sorry.

Before long, the sun fully set. It was nighttime, and everyone had long finished dinner. Neru completed her unpacking, and Yurina offered the shower to her. When the long haired girl finished showering, she found that the short haired girl had already fallen asleep and hadn’t even covered herself up with a blanket.

Neru saw Yurina’s sleeping face and murmured to herself, “Yurina-chan is like a cute little otter.”

She stopped herself from reaching out to the short haired girl. Shaking her head, Neru simply adjusted Yurina’s blankets so that the other girl would be covered as to not catch a cold. Then, she went to bed herself, turning off the lights.



—Isn’t life tiring? But don’t you want to live?
“I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry.”
—Everyone is fickle. So, it’s fine to be alone, but isn’t it cold that way?



Click. The lights turned on dimly. It was in a gym. From nowhere, a basketball bounced from behind her, making a loud sound on the ground. It rolled after losing momentum. Hirate Yurina’s tired eyes followed the ball, and she walked to pick it up.

As she bent down, she felt a heavy force hit her from behind, forcing her down to her knees. Click. A spotlight focused on her, and she couldn’t help but squint her eyes in pain from the light. As she tried to get up to soothe her knees that had hit the ground harshly, she felt another hit to her body and saw the ball roll away into darkness.

When she looked up, she saw a very familiar face who spat and kicked her, “What do you think you are?”

Yurina didn’t cry out in pain. She just looked away. However, before she knew it, she was surrounded by people who she recognized.

“It’s all your fault.” A slap, a hand grabbing her by the hair roughly.

A stomp, a foot crushing down on her dominant hand and grinding it into the ground. “Don’t ever touch that ball again.”

The short haired girl didn’t make a sound. It was because she was already used to it. That was a truth. However, it was because she knew that this was just a perpetual nightmare that she wouldn’t wake up from with her own power.

“Disgusting.” Painful words.

“Go die.” Painful hits.

“You’re worse than trash.” Yurina tried to ignore them.

She breathed heavily as she heard them say, “Everything is because of you.”

“Why were you ever born?”

“It would be better if you were to just disappear.”

“It’s your fault. All your fault. Take responsibility for this.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You’re the worst.”

“Do you think you’re so amazing?”

“Trash. You should just stay where you belong in the trash.”

“Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die instead.”

The short haired girl looked down, panting. Even if it hurt, she wouldn’t say anything back. The tears in her eyes didn’t matter. The cold sweat that had beaded up on her skin didn’t matter. She was just waiting for her hell to end even if she knew that it would continue every night.

Finding that the attacks had temporarily ceased, Yurina looked up.

Her eyes widened.

From her lips, a single name escaped, “——————?”

And she saw a smile, a cruel smile.

“Yurina-chan, why did you have to be born?”



—Say no. Even if you’re hit, stand up for your own justice.
—If you say nothing, they’ll take it as agreement.
—Isn’t that wrong?


She screamed. She couldn’t hold back that scream. Jerking up, Hirate Yurina screamed, her heart racing in horror and her eyes tearing up. Then, she quickly slapped her hands over her mouth, looking around to see that she was still in her dorm room. The clock read 3:00 AM.

The short haired girl took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down.

“Yurina-chan, are you okay?”

Yurina flinched at the sudden voice. When she looked at Neru’s bed, she was surprised to see Neru up already at such an early hour. Class didn’t start until past 7 and the cafeteria didn’t open until 6.

Neru gave Yurina a worried look. “Yurina-chan?”

“I-I’m okay.” Yurina’s words came out less steady than she wanted them to. “I’m going to take a shower.” Thus, she made a strategic retreat, getting to her feet in such a hurry that she nearly tripped and went for the bathroom.

Before she entered the bathroom, she made sure to hurriedly add, “I’m sorry for waking you up.”

“No, you didn’t wake me up.” Neru replied, but Yurina was already in the bathroom and the shower soon turned on.



Under the hot water of the shower, Yurina closed her eyes, letting her bangs cover her eyelids. She made a weak smile and mumbled to herself, “Neru definitely won’t like someone like me.”

That thought made her sadder than she expected.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1405947#msg1405947)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 6 (Oct. 18, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 18, 2017, 11:11:08 PM
Checkpoint 6

Hirate Yurina sighed, laying her head on her desk. The class had finished a big test regarding all the subjects that they had learned so far, and her head was throbbing from that as well as bad sleep.

The board in the front of the class displayed the class rankings based on their scores on the test. She wasn’t surprised to see herself in the lower half of the class though it turned out that her roommate, Neru, was a genius because Neru had tied for first place with another girl called Yonetani Nanami.

“Hey, Techi, are you okay?” Suzumoto called out to Yurina. “Um, getting a bad grade isn’t a big deal. I did pretty badly too. It’s not that many points anyways. Right?”

Yurina moved her left wrist so she could see the metal bracelet. Since she failed this test, she received demerits to her points. Everyone below a certain score received a point loss, but despite complaints, the class had accepted it as a way that the school was making sure they kept their grades up.

“Techi?” Suzumoto repeated.

“Oh. Um, sorry. I’m okay.” Yurina sighed, “I hate school.”

“Yea. Studying is hard.”

Yurina widened her eyes in surprise at Suzumoto’s words. Then, the short haired girl realized that she said her words of ‘I hate school’ out loud. She didn’t mean to do so, but luckily, Suzumoto didn’t notice her internal conflict.

Suzumoto nodded. “Let’s do our best together. Maybe Nagahama-san can help us out. Actually, maybe I can get Dani to tutor me…” She gave a scheming laugh.

“Yea. Let’s do our best.” Yurina smiled weakly in reply.


—Sometimes, you don’t realize where you are until you’re too late.


Watanabe Risa grumbled to herself as she glanced at the board in front of the class. Although she knew she wasn’t the best academically, it was embarrassing to have the numbers displayed like that without any warning of an exam. Her roommate Manaka was also on the lower part of the board.

“That was bad. That was really bad.” Fuyuka held her head in her hands as she looked away from the front of the room.

Akane made a face like she ate something bitter as well. She glanced toward her roommate and the board again though, conceding that at least Yuuka did well, so the exam wasn’t a total flop. Of course, Yuuka’s whole friend group did decently.

Manaka sighed, flopping over and leaning on Risa, “Yea, that was bad.”

“How did Nagahama even get first ranking?” Risa muttered loudly to her group, “She wasn’t even in class for these lessons.”

“Did she cheat? She doesn’t look like the type to cheat.” Fuyuka wondered.

“Probably not. Not to be rude to Techi or Suzumon, but Nagahama’s not in a seat that’s easy to cheat from.” Manaka pointed to Neru’s seat near Hirate and Suzumoto, using nicknames without a care in the world.

“I hope Tecchan isn’t feeling too down from flunking the test.” Akane looked to where Manaka was pointing, “It looks like Nagahama isn’t with Tecchan right now.”

Risa’s eyes followed as well. She frowned as she spotted the new girl in another corner of the room, “She’s talking with Yone? Nagahama’s suspicious. Like a tanuki.”

Fuyuka asked, “Risa, are you sure? That might be going a little too far.”

“This is my gut feeling.” Risa replied coolly.

Akane redirected the conversation back to Neru-watching, “Oh, Nagahama is going over to talk to Tecchan now.”


—Suspicious. Resistance. This place is not without what?
—That conversation really wasn’t that interesting in the end.


It was raining. When it had started raining was a question, but Hirate Yurina couldn’t quite remember. It was probably sometime during lunchtime. The bell dismissing all of the students from their afternoon classes had just rung, but the short haired girl was only paying attention to the rain.

Neru approached Yurina, “Yurina-chan, do you want to go to the dorms together? I bought an umbrella this morning.”

“Are you sure though? You’ll get wet if we try to share the umbrella.” Yurina asked.

“It’s okay. We can stand closer together so we both stay dry.”

Neru extend a hand out toward Yurina. After a moment of hesitation, Yurina took Neru’s hand. They walked out of the school building together, holding hands, Yurina being led by Neru.

With surprising dexterity, Neru flicked open her red umbrella and held it over their heads. They stepped into the open, their shoes still somewhat splashing on the ground.

Pitter. Patter. Pitter. Patter. There was only the sound of rain.

They continued walking, and Yurina noticed that Neru was having trouble holding the umbrella over Yurina’s head because Yurina was a few centimeters taller. There was also an awkward gap between them, leaving Neru’s shoulder to get wet because the long haired girl seemed intent to keep Yurina dry.

“Neru, let me hold the umbrella. I’m taller.” Yurina offered.

“Thank you.” Neru smiled and handed the umbrella over. “Sorry to trouble you.”

“No, it’s nothing.”

The rain continued, and their lightly splashing footsteps continued as well. Yurina let go of Neru’s hand when she took the umbrella and made sure that Neru was kept dry from the rain.

“Yurina-chan, your shoulder is getting wet.” Neru gave Yurina a wry smile.

“It’s not a big deal.”

“That ruins the point of having an umbrella, right? You can stand closer to me.”

“Then… thank you.”

Pitter. Patter. Pitter. Patter. Yurina still heard the sound of the rain, but she could also hear the sound of her own heart as she walked with Neru, arms extremely close. It wasn’t a bad feeling to share an umbrella with someone so warm.

Even though they weren’t talking, Yurina could hear Neru softly humming to herself over the sound of the rain. That humming was a little off-key, but the short haired girl could still tell that it was a song that Neru liked.

Unknowingly, Yurina smiled.


—This feeling welling up in your heart must be an illness.
—Because, —————— isn’t allowed to feel this way.


Watanabe Risa looked at the cafeteria food ticket machine and frowned as she put her wrist into the scanner and pressed her meal ticket choice. The price had gone up to 30 points, gradually but surely. It would be better to cook than to eat at the cafeteria eventually, and she had noticed the price rising pattern in other places too.

After Risa got her tray with food and sat down at a table with Fuyuka and Akane, Manaka appeared, sitting down next to the cool Watanabe, “Risa, what did you get?”

“Udon.” Risa replied, opening up the supplied disposable chopsticks.

Manaka nodded, “I got omurice.”

As the group of friends said “itadakimasu” in tandem, Manaka reached for the ketchup on the table and started to draw on her omurice in ketchup. Risa sent Manaka a questioning look, seeing the demented hearts on the dish.

“I wanted to see if ketchup actually goes well with omurice.” Manaka joked, “Do you want me to draw hearts for you too?”

“Not in udon.” Risa retorted.

“Maybe it would taste good.”

“Not in udon.”

“Nagahama’s putting ketchup in stuff too. Wait, is that yogurt…?”

“What?”

“That’s bad.”

“You’re serious…”

Fuyuka took a look at the disgusted faces that appeared on her cool, short-haired friends and tried to offer, “Maybe it tastes good.”

“No, it doesn’t look like it tastes good. Tecchan, don’t… eat it.” Akane sighed as she looked at Yurina and some of the other girls try Neru’s concoction.

The conversation eventually turned to strange food combinations and weird foods that actually tasted good together. Risa and the group were having fun talking, but Risa still felt a nagging doubt of suspicion toward the new Keyaki class girl and it wasn’t because of her questionable taste buds.

She ate her udon and pondered to herself.


—I don’t trust her.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406036#msg1406036)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 7 (Oct. 19, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 20, 2017, 03:41:35 AM
Checkpoint 7

Over a week had passed since Nagahama Neru joined the Keyaki class. Although the normal students at Sakamichi had already discovered her and set up a section for her in their fan-page, Watanabe Risa was still cold to Neru. That coldness was so steady that Neru hadn’t been invited into the class LINE chat yet.

Contrary to Risa, Hirate Yurina was getting along extremely well with her new roommate. Although the short haired girl was too reserved to go for sitting in Neru’s lap like Suzumoto would often do to Oda Nana, Yurina would often hold hands with Neru when Neru offered a hand.

The class was currently heading toward the home economics classroom. Similar to gym, home ecs was one of the few classes where the girls had a physical teacher rather than a person on a screen. It was only taught every two weeks.

They entered the classroom, and the teacher split the girls up into groups of 5 with one group of 6.

To Risa’s chagrin, Fuyuka, Akane, and Manaka were all in the same group with the two Yuis in the class while Risa herself was stuck with the other Watanabe, Yurina, Nagasawa, and most importantly, Neru.

Today’s lesson was how to make a simple hamburger steak. The teacher gave a quick demonstrations and wrote out the instructions on a movable whiteboard that she placed in the front of the room.

Although Risa hadn’t made hamburger steak before, she saw that the Watanabe-Nagasawa pair looked like they knew what they were doing.

“Naako, this…” Berika said quietly to Nagasawa.

In a similarly mild manner, Nagasawa replied, “I’ve made hamburger steak before. Pe-chan, what type of hamburger do you like the best?”

Risa shook her head. Perhaps only Nagasawa knew what she was doing. The cool Watanabe didn’t particularly see the soft Watanabe knowing how to cook. Risa was relieved that at least one person knew how to cook in the group although she frowned when she eyed Neru.

“Do we split up the tasks?” Yurina asked, “Nagasawa-san, what do you suggest?”

Nagasawa thought for a moment before assigning the tasks, “Hirate-chan can make the rice. Berisa-san and Nagahama-san can help cut things and make the sauce. I’ll cook the hamburger steak. Pe-chan can help out random things and set out the dishes.”

The group chorused out a “Okay” with varying rates of enthusiasm. Then, they all got to work.

Risa and Neru stood side by side. Neru felt that the cool Watanabe was excessively cold toward her, but she couldn’t really understand why. Nonetheless, she had an uneasy feeling being with Risa even though she wanted to get along with Risa.

Neru asked her partner, “We cut the onions first, right?”

“Yes.” Risa replied curtly.

After retrieving two onions from the supplies they were given for home economics class, Neru showed the onions to Risa, “Do you think these look good?”

“They’re fine.”

Without another word, Risa and Neru cut the onions. Chop, chop, chop, chop. Although Risa was doing it a bit clumsily and Neru was doing normally, they worked without talking. When they finished, they handed the onions over to Nagasawa and started working on the sauce after washing their hands.

As they went to start the sauce, both Risa and Neru reached out for the ketchup. It was almost as if a zap of electricity went between the two as their fingers touched because Risa quickly pulled away.

“Um…” Neru started.

Risa replied crisply, “What?”


—Trust might be something that’s hard to earn.
—Who are you supposed to trust in this world of dog-eat-dog?


Yurina finished washing the rice and starting the rice cooker. She finished her part rather quickly, but when she looked toward Neru and Risa, the short haired girl felt a strange pressure coming from that area.

She noticed her groupmate, Berika, daydreaming.

Then, Yurina looked toward the other groups, some of which seemed to be rather troubled. Unconsciously, she rubbed her left wrist where the metal wristband had been for weeks.

“Hirate-chan,” Berika called out to Yurina, “what are you thinking about?”

“Nothing in particular.” Yurina answered before asking, “How do you feel about the Keyaki class? Being here?”

“Hm… I guess, it’s fun.”

“Yea, it’s nice.”

“I didn’t think I could have so many friends. Even if I’m not close with everyone, I have a lot of fun everyday here.”

“Really?”

“I’m glad I decided to join.”

Yurina nodded, “Yea.”

After another few minutes, the hamburger steak and rice started to finish cooking. Nagasawa called Berika to help set up the plates, and Yurina followed after, offering to help.

When the short haired girl and her group finally sat down to eat their creations, Yurina couldn’t help but feel grateful that she could eat delicious, warm food.

“This is delicious.” Berika said softly with a smile.

Nagasawa replied as she ate, “I’m happy.”

Yurina ate quietly, sitting between Neru and Risa like a wall. “Yea, it’s delicious.” She said like a whisper as she took another bite of the warm hamburger steak.


—Warm, handmade cooking is like the taste of home.
—What is home defined as?


After school, Yurina went to the library by herself. Although she had thought to study a little, she ended up in the manga section, browsing through volumes. Her fingers brushed against the spines of the books as she wondered to herself what to read.

“Ah…” She let out a small noise as she reached a series that her brother used to read.

She hesitated to slip the book out of its place, but she took it off the shelf anyways. Flipping through it, she gave the manga a sad look and put it back onto the shelf. That series was as lame as she remembered it to be.

Yurina went down the aisle, eventually picking out a short shoujo manga series.

She read it, flipping through the pages. At some moments, she blushed. At others, she wondered if the actions were really romantic as she had done things like share an umbrella with Neru.

Before the short haired girl knew it, an hour had passed. She put the books back and looked up at the clock. Yurina decided to return to the dorms.

A voice called out to the short haired girl, “Um, excuse me, Hirate-san.”

“Yes?” Yurina responded, not recognizing the girl who called her. It was someone from the normal classes at Sakamichi.

“Can I shake your hand?” The unknown person asked.

“Um…”

“I’m sorry. It’s just that I think you’re really cool. Out of everyone in the Keyaki class, I think you’re the coolest.”

“Thank you?”

The atmosphere of the conversation got awkward. However, the Hirate-fan managed to squeeze out the words, “If you’re not in any clubs, please join the basketball club.”

That was when another student came up from behind the fan and grabbed the fan’s hand, dragging her away, “Hey, stop bothering Hirate-san.”

Yurina watched as the two left. Her apparent fan waved goodbye to the short haired girl, so Yurina gave a weak wave back. Her only thought about that was that it was a strange occurrence.

She headed back to the dorms.


—Not being the LINE group.
—The screen of that phone had cracked a long time ago.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406097#msg1406097)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 7 (Oct. 19, 2017)]
Post by: nevxist on October 20, 2017, 12:30:02 PM
I'm a silent reader of this fic. It's really good  :twothumbs Thanks for the update anyway  :)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 7 (Oct. 19, 2017)]
Post by: Sakamichi on October 20, 2017, 01:47:40 PM
I wonder if this is going to be a TechiNeruRisa triangle love? ^_^
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 8 (Oct. 20, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 21, 2017, 02:55:11 AM
@nevxist: Aahhhh, thank you! I'm glad you like this fic enough to comment. Hehe, I'm smiling a lot right now.
@Sakamichi: Thanks for commenting! If we're talking about a TechiNeruRisa love triangle, that isn't in the plans right now. But that does put some ideas into my mind. (Mona would be sad if her Risa was taken away though, haha.)

@everyone who reads this fic: Thank you for reading this fic all this time. I'll continue doing my best. Your support is very encouraging, but for now, please enjoy this next chapter.




Checkpoint 8

It was early morning. Although Hirate Yurina had a small nightmare, she still had to go to school. Walking side by side with her roommate, Neru, Yurina entered the school building and opened the door to her classroom.

Everything was normal. Everyone who had already arrived was in their seats, chatting with their friends. Like always, the teacher podium was utterly empty, and the board in the front of the room had yet to turn on.

Yurina and Neru took their seats and said their “good morning”s to their classmates.

Time moved on. Like always, the digital clock in the front of the room was silent. What normally counted as homeroom was about to start, but that was usually just an overview of what the day was going to be about.

Just as the morning bell was about to ring, Suzumoto, Oda Nana, and Kobayashi Yui ran into the room. With that, everyone had gathered. The three roommates sank down into their seats with a sigh of relief.

“What happened?” Neru asked lightheartedly.

Oda Nana answered, “All three of our alarm clocks didn’t ring.”

“I was having such a nice dream about chestnuts…” Suzumoto groaned as she buried her face into her head, feeling that school started way too early.

“I woke up thinking that it was strange…” Yui-pon sighed.

Neru said, “That sounds terrible.”

“Yea, it was.” Oda Nana added jokingly, “But when we ran past the staff room on the way here, I heard some commotion. I guess it’s not just us who have trouble in the morning.”

They chatted a little more, giving Techi a pat on the head because she too was tired. Then, the morning bell rang. However, the board in the front of the room didn’t turn on.


—Out of the norm. That’s not acceptable.
“Huh, is it broken?” “Eh, no way.” “Maybe the overview uploading guy overslept.”
—What a terrible feeling.


Watanabe Risa scrolled through LINE as she waited for the board in the front of the room to turn on. She was chatting with Manaka through the phone even though her roommate was sitting closeby.

“Risa.” Manaka wrote. Then her icon was beside a set of ellipses for a few moments before the ellipses disappeared, Manaka not having written anything more.

Risa replied on LINE, “What is it?”

There were more ellipses. Risa peered over to her roommate, wondering what exactly she was typing but not sending. Then, she received Manaka’s message, “Just wanted to say Risa.”

As the short haired Watanabe was about to reply, the door to the classroom opened with more force than needed.

A man in a suit stepped into the classroom. Rather than just being a man in a suit, he was a teacher at Sakamichi, but the Keyaki class had never had him before, and it had never been planned for them to have him teach their class ever.

He gave the girls a mean look before stepping up the teacher’s podium.

Clearing his throat, he said, “You girls are the Keyaki class?” As he saw a few of them nod and murmur yes, he continued, slamming his palm down on the podium with a smack, “Put your phones away!”

The girls flinched. Some of them hurriedly stuffed their smartphones into their bags while others, like Risa, put their phones into their desks, ready to message each other under the cover of their desks. Risa especially frowned at his command.

“Do you think you’re special? That the Keyaki class is something special?” The man asked the girls.

No one knew what to say in response to him. He looked angry.

“Well, do you think your class is special?” He repeated, stepping towards the girls, walking through the aisles and stopping at a random girl.

Ishimori Nijika who had been randomly singled out could only squeak out a “Yes?” in confusion. She didn’t know if it was the right answer, but after hearing that single word, the teacher walked back up to the podium.

“Yes, you girls must all think that you’re so special. That you can do as you please just because you’re the Keyaki class.” He frowned.

Risa sent him a dour look from her seat in the back of the class. She peeked down at her phone, seeing the messages in the class group LINE from the girls who hadn’t put their phones away.

“What’s he talking about?”

“Did someone do something?”

“Eh…”

“Who is this old guy?”

“A lit. teacher?”

“What’s he doing here?”

“Revolution!”

“Keyaki revolution?”

“Berika, not the time for jokes.”

Then, she looked back to the teacher who was continuing his rant. No administrator from the Keyaki class was stopping this man, and none of the girls knew what to do.

“Do you think you can steal from a teacher? Do you think that you’re really that special?” The man asked. “You Keyaki girls are the same students as everyone else, so don’t assume that you can do things that aren’t allowed.”

A ripple of nervous mumbles went through the girls. That was cut off by another slam of the palm onto the podium.

“Who did it?” The teacher began to walk through the aisles again, stopping at random girls to ask. “Who did it?” They shrank away from him, but he continued. “Who stole the gradebook from the staff room?”

“Was it you?” He asked a girl. “Was it you?” He asked another. Everyone of the girls he asked had long hair, and eventually he walked up to Neru.

“Was it y—” The teacher began to interrogate Neru.

Then the sound of a chair being pushed aside interrupted his question. A short haired girl stood up, Risa found it to be Yurina and widened her eyes in surprise. With a steady voice, Hirate Yurina started, “Please wait a moment.”


—You must beat me down because I won’t let go of my justice.
“...Tecchan…” “Techi…” “Hirate-chan…”
—What meaning is there in standing up?


“Do you have any evidence that one of us stole from the staff room? We rarely interact with the teachers in the staff room.” Yurina elaborated.

From the back, Akane stood up as well, “Yea, that’s right. We don’t even know what you’re accusing us of.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to agree.” Yuuka hesitantly stood up as well. “We have no idea what you are talking about.”

The teacher gave Yurina an annoyed look before walking back up to the podium, yelling at the girls to “Sit down!” He frowned when he saw that the short haired girl hadn’t sat down and was returning an apathetic look.

“One of you Keyaki girls stole a gradebook from my desk in the staffroom. All I need is for the culprit to step forward now.” The man explained.

Yurina repeated, “Like I said, how do you know that it was one of us?”

“I have video proof from the security cameras.”


—Suspicion. Suspicion. That terrible feeling welling up inside.
—Will we play the blame game too?


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406172#msg1406172)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 8 (Oct. 20, 2017)]
Post by: Sakamichi on October 21, 2017, 10:10:20 AM
Kuritaro and her daisuki chestnuts  :lol: waiting for next update   :thumbup
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 9 (Oct. 21, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 22, 2017, 12:56:19 AM
@Sakamichi: Yea, Kuritaro's love for chestnuts is too strong. Will Oda Nana be able to date Kuritaro, or will the power of chestnut dreams and Yui-pon overwhelm them? Dun dun dun. Just kidding. There will be an arc featuring Dani, Mon, and Pon in the future though. Thank you for commenting~ Enjoy this chapter.




Checkpoint 9

A video was put up onto the board in the front of the class. It was slightly fuzzy and the color quality was bad, but the time stamp showed yesterday afternoon. It was the security camera’s video, and the area being recording was the hallway the staff room was in.

Then, a figure walked onto the screen. The person was wearing the Keyaki class version of the school uniform and appeared to have long black hair. She opened the door to the staff room and entered.

Within a few moments, the figure exited the staff room, holding a binder that was likely the gradebook in her hand. She noticed the camera and scurried away. The face was too blurry to make out, but Yurina felt that she saw piercings on the ears of the figure. That was a fleeting thought though as the figure turned away quickly, and the video quality was too poor to make out facial features, much less piercings.

The video ended, and the screen went blank again. The room was filled with murmurs, and Yurina took a seat, unsure of what to make of the video.

“The question now is who stole the gradebook.” The teacher cleared his throat and looked at the class with an ugly glare. “Step forward now, and your punishment will be lightened.”

No one stepped forward. It was only natural because it had already been stated that a punishment would be doled out.

The tense air was finally broken when the bell signalling the end of what should have been homeroom rang.

The teacher in the suit scowled, but he relented. “Come to the staff room and confess to your crimes. I have to go teach first period now, but that does not mean that we will accept you stealing from teachers just because you’re the Keyaki class. If no one confesses after the next week, then this matter will have to be seriously investigated.” He finally left after those words.


—A collective gasp of relief.
“Who was that?” “There are a lot of people with long hair.” “No way…”
—Even though we didn’t commit a crime, isn’t it so tempting to be blamed?


First period for the Keyaki class started quickly. The lecturer on the board was teaching about science, the structure of nucleic acids as well as three-prime to five-prime strands of DNA. Some girls were studiously taking notes, but others were on their phones, chatting about the theft incident they had just been informed of.

Watanabe Risa was not among those too distracted to listen to scientific explanations. She had her phone on her lap and was in the group LINE.

Akane asked in the chat, “Who did it?”

“Long hair.” Manaka typed.

One of the two Kansai girls in the class, Koike Minami, wrote, “Habu-chan?” She tacked on a crying penguin emoticon that said that she didn’t want that.

“Too tall.” Fuyuka replied.

The tall girl, Habu Mizuho, typed into the LINE chat, “I wouldn’t do such a thing in the first place…” She added a sad face emoticon at the end.

“Who in the class has long hair?” Ozeki asked.

“Granny Rina, Berika, Yukka, Aoi?” Manaka typed.

Fuyuka wrote, “Hm.”

Berika inserted a sticker. “Revolution!”

“Berika was with me yesterday afternoon though.” Nagasawa joined the conversation as well.

“Alibis.” Manaka noted.

Risa looked through the chat log again, frowning to herself. Then, she typed out one name, “Nagahama Neru.” That was her suspicion, the idea that Nagahama Neru was the culprit.

The cool Watanabe looked toward the front of the room where Neru was diligently taking notes. Even though there wasn’t anything visibly off with the long haired girl, Risa still couldn’t shrug off the feeling that there was something wrong with Nagahama Neru.

“She’s suspicious.” Risa couldn’t help but mutter.

She looked back down to her phone, noticing that Manaka sent her a LINE message in their private chat. The message read, “Really paying attention to Nagahama?”

“Nagahama’s suspicious.” Risa messaged back.

“Culprit?”

“Possibly. She has long black hair too.”

“Doesn’t really add up.”

“We’ll see.”

Risa returned to the class LINE group that had been chatting the whole time. The other girls stated their alibis for yesterday afternoon and were chatting curiously about the crime, not really caring yet also not wanting to be dragged up into something that reflected so badly on the class.

Rather than paying attention to class, they were looking forward to the next break time. The cool Watanabe looked up at the clock. There was still a while before class was over.


—Those who are silent aren’t agreeing.
—Speaking up and trust.


With the bell, it was break time. Hirate Yurina put her biology notebook away, having realized that she understood very little of what was being taught. As the girls got up to chat, Yurina looked around the room and wondered which of her classmates wore earrings.

Suddenly, murmuring broke out in the classroom. Everyone seemed to be looking at the board in surprise, so the short haired girl turned as well.

A message was on the board. ‘Find the culprit of the gradebook theft from the staff room. Failure will receive a demerit of 1000 points from each student. Completion will give 1000 points to each student.’

1000 points was a large amount of points, and the apprehension in the room rose due to that. The people who hadn’t care much of the crime suddenly felt displeased with the thief.

“1000 points is a lot. Who did it?” Oda Nana sighed as she looked at the board.

Yurina wracked her head and frowned to herself.

From the back of the room, Risa spoke loudly enough that the rest of the class could hear, “Who do you think did it?”

Everyone turned their heads toward the cool Watanabe.

“1000 points is a lot of points. Altogether, if whoever did it got away, we would be losing 21000 points total.” Risa started, crossing her arms. “We know that the culprit has long, black hair, correct? That narrows it down to a few people. For example, Nagahama Neru.” Risa pointed her index finger to Neru.

Neru widened her eyes in surprise, “Eh?”

“Where were you yesterday afternoon? Do you have an alibi?”

“I was in my dorm room, reading.”

“Techi?” Suzumoto whispered to Yurina, wondering if she knew anything as Neru’s roommate.

“Hirate, were you there with her at that time?” Risa asked.

“No. I was in the library, but Neru was reading in our room when I entered the dorm room.” Yurina shook her head, frowning that Neru was being accused.

“No alibi then.” Akane said, sitting on her desk.

Suspicious murmurs travelled through the class. The girls gave Neru suspecting looks, and even Suzumoto’s group seemed a little uneasy and distrusting of Neru. Neru looked down at her feet.

Fuyuka said, “If you did it, you should just confess.”

“But, I didn’t do it…” replied Neru.

“We won’t blame you if you own up to it.” Another member of the class, Sato Shiori, added on.

“I didn’t do it.” Neru repeated her innocence.

Risa drawled out, “How do we know that? Isn’t it better if you just own up it?”


—People hate being punished for the crimes of others.
—One simple accusation and a jump in logic to a judgment of crime.

A clear voice interrupted the accusations, “Wait a moment.”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406304#msg1406304)
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 10 (Oct. 23, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 23, 2017, 10:45:06 PM
Checkpoint 10

Hirate Yurina frowned as the mood in the classroom soured, making the girls more and more suspicious of each other. It was weird how quickly people started doubting Neru, but at the same time, it was normal how people wanted to find someone to blame.

The short haired girl couldn’t stand listening to her classmates anymore and stood up from her seat, pushing the chair aside. With a clear voice, she said “Wait a moment.”

Her words broke the class’s murmurs apart, creating a tense moment of silence.

“Neru didn’t steal the gradebook.” Yurina explained, punching a hole into the accusation. “What motives does she have to do that?”

“What motives do any of us have to steal something from the staff room? That doesn’t clear up anything.” Risa retorted. “The person in the video was wearing our uniform, so she’s one of us.”

“Neru doesn’t have piercings.”

“Piercings?”

“The person in the video had ear piercings.”

“Aren’t you just making that up? There’s no way you can see that in such a blurry video, and we can’t check it either.”

“Maybe so, but can you prove that the person in the video was Neru?”

“She doesn’t have an alibi.”

“Does everyone else have an alibi? They could be lying. There could be accomplices that help the actual thief create an alibi.”

“What motives do they have to do that?”

“We don’t know. They could be trying to undermine Neru or some other long haired girl in our class. The thief might even be trying to make trouble for the Keyaki class in general.”

“And how do we know Nagahama isn’t trying to make trouble?”

Yurina and Risa came to a standstill. Neither was willing to budge from their stance. While neither had anything against the other personally, they were extremely split on Neru’s innocence.

Finally, Sato Shiori interrupted the standoff, “Let’s not fight!”

For a long moment, silence filled the classroom. Then Risa and Yurina both sat down in their seats, standing down from the argument for the time being.


—Is it better to fight or agree?


Literature class went the same way as biology did. The girls were vaguely paying attention but at the same time, they were preoccupied with the drama going on with the crime, so they couldn’t help but check LINE.

Risa was looking at her phone under the cover of the book they were supposed to be reading and analyzing in class.

Nagasawa asked in the LINE chat, “So who’s the culprit?”

“Tecchan made some good points.” Akane noted.

Suzumoto joined in the conversation, posting a chestnut sticker with her words, “I don’t want to think it’s Neru.”

“Nagahama has no alibi.” Risa typed.

Habu wrote, “Accomplices?”

Ishimori Nijika dropped in with a thinking ostrich sticker, “Maybe Berisa since she doesn’t like Neru.”

“Risa wouldn’t do that.” Manaka retorted quickly.

Fuyuka added. “Neru is kind of sketchy.”

“But she’s nice.” Suzumoto posted another chestnut sticker, a worried chestnut this time.

“Tanuki-like?” Manaka joked.

Akane asked, referring to the site that Manaka had found a while ago from the photography club, “Ah, from the Sakamichi Keyaki class fan site?” Some normal students who were members of the Keyaki fanclub and had accounts on the strange fan site had described Neru as tanuki-like.

“Maybe the normal students are seeing something we’re not. Though didn’t Risa say that before?” Fuyuka wrote.

Suzumoto typed again, “Neru culprit theory.”

“Berisa culprit theory.” Nagasawa noted.

Berika joined in, “I want to take in the culprit.”

“Berika murderer theory?” Manaka said.

“Madagascar!” Berika inserted another Gorgeous joke sticker.

Nijika questioned, “Are you talking about that fanfiction on the fan site? Toku something?”

Fuyuka joked, “Risa-loving Nijika culprit theory?”

“Ehhh??” Nijika posted, not being particularly close or far from Risa as a friend.

“RisaNeru accomplice theory.” Suzumoto added, referencing the relationship Risa and Neru apparently had in the Tokuyama Daigoro story that someone had posted on the Keyaki class fan site.

Manaka refused, “Risa is mine.”

Risa looked up from her phone for a moment and shook her head, wondering if she was feeling too happy at Manaka’s words.
However, her mood was still sour from her suspicion of Neru who she had a bad feeling about from the start.

“Anyways, 1000 points is bad.” Nagasawa wrote with the feeling of a sigh.

Fuyuka nodded in her seat as she typed, “I hope everything ends well.”


—Tempting fate. It would be good to end well.


The rest of the day was spent with an awkward mood in the class, but no big debates over who the culprit was happened again. The next day started, the message of points still large on the board, but with no progress in finding the thief, the girls gradually returned to normally paying attention to class.

Lunchtime arrived. As it looked as if everyone in Yurina’s lunch group had forgotten to bring a drink, they played rock paper scissors to decide who would go buy drinks from a vending machine. In the end Neru lost.

The short haired girl couldn’t help but see that her friends were uneasy handing over their points to Neru.

Yurina thought to herself that they definitely suspected Neru was the thief. Even if they weren’t making a big deal out of it, Yurina could tell that there was a sense of mistrust in the air.

She hurt, wondering if friendships were so weak as to be burdened by senseless accusations. She knew the answer by experience, but she didn’t want to think of that kind of conclusion to her new friendships in the Keyaki class.

“I’ll buy it.” Yurina stood up from her seat, listing out her friends’ typical drink choices with a weak smile, “Water, orange juice, soda, and oolong tea, right? My treat this time.”

Suzumoto said, “Thanks, Techi.” Oda Nana and Kobayashi Yui nodded along in thanks as well.

“Thank you.” Neru gave Yurina a grateful look.

The short haired girl acknowledged that thanks, and then she went off to find a vending machine where she could buy those things.

Going through the hallways, there were other students going about their normal lives, the broadcasting club broadcasting, and even people practicing for clubs. Although Yurina saw a few people looking at her strangely, whispering excitedly, she tried to ignore them.

Aren’t I the one running away from things?’ Yurina thought to herself as she walked. ‘It’s not Neru, right?

When she went to the usual vending machine, she found that it was out of order. When she went to another, it was also missing just the four items that she wanted.

In the end, Yurina found herself in front of a vending machine in the back of the school. It was outdoors, in a grassy area that no one seemed to use for eating lunch, and there was a small section of bushes near the vending machine.

Luckily, the vending machine had the place where the Keyaki class students could scan their points in. Yurina bought the four drinks plus a water for herself, looking at the continuous ‘-12’ points on her bracelet for only a moment.

As the short haired girl held the cool drinks in her hand, ready to hurry back to the classroom, she stopped in her tracks.

In the bushes, she spotted a hint of a black rectangular shape. Using her feet to part the leaves, she narrowed her eyes at what she saw. However, with her hands full, she decided that she would figure that out later, first hurrying back to the classroom.


—The item of the theft.
—Is that evidence for or against your precious person?

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406355#msg1406355)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 10 (Oct. 23, 2017)]
Post by: dragon522 on October 24, 2017, 10:36:12 PM
Lol the regular students wrote fanfiction. I was just thinking that this arc had Tokuyama Daigoro vibes. Thank you for the interesting story. I look forward to what you come up with next!
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 10 (Oct. 23, 2017)]
Post by: nevxist on October 25, 2017, 01:19:49 AM
Uwaaah~ I wonder who really did it :? Looking forward to the next checkpoint  :D Thanks for the update  :D
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 10.5 (Oct. 24, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 25, 2017, 02:35:02 AM
@dragon522: I'm glad you think the story is interesting. Sometimes I worry if it feels a little too aimless or paced badly, but I'm happy to hear you enjoy it. This arc definitely does have some TokuDare vibes, but stay tuned to find out the true culprit~
@nevxist: Thank you for reading! Who did it? This pseudo-checkpoint will drop some hints, but I wonder if I'm too blatant about it. But, the mystery will be resolved in the next 2-3 checkpoints. (so within the next 2-4 days if my update schedule keeps up) Look forward to it~

@everyone: Thank you for reading up to this point. It's super encouraging to see people enjoy my writing. It's nowhere near done yet, so I'll do my best to make this an interesting ride! I hope you'll keep reading too~




Checkpoint 10.5

After school, Moriya Akane and Sugai Yuuka were walking through the hallways together, talking as they headed back toward the dorms. Akane’s tennis club meeting had been cancelled for some reason, and Yuuka hadn’t joined any clubs as there was no horseback riding club.

Yuuka sighed to her roommate, “I think whoever committed the theft should confess to it.” She rubbed her left wrist uncomfortably.

“Who do you think did it?” Akane asked.

“I don’t know.” Yuuka replied, “I don’t really think that Nagahama-san would, but…” She trailed off, not knowing what to say.

The two girls continued walking through the hallway. Suddenly, another student who wasn’t watching where she was going bumped into Yuuka’s shoulder, pushing her to the side a bit harshly.

“Ow.” Yuuka cried out softly.

“Ah, I’m sorr—” She started to apologize. Then her eyes widened as she got a better look at the pair’s uniforms, but rather than finish her apology, she shot the two girls a glare and spat out, “Watch where you’re going.”

The unknown student had short, dyed hair and piercings, appearing like a delinquent. Then, she stomped away before the Keyaki class pair could react.

Akane called after the delinquent, “Hey, you should watch where you’re going.” However, the response she got was a pair of middle fingers in her direction.

“The nerve of some people. So rude…” Akane grumbled. She turned to Yuuka and asked, “Are you okay?”

“Ah, I’m okay. Thank you.” Yuuka replied.


—In the end, it’s about hatred.


Night had fallen. Watanabe Risa and Shida Manaka were in their dorm rooms, both having showered and were on Risa’s bed, playing on their phones.

Manaka’s hair was still slightly damp, having only used a towel to dry her hair, and Risa could smell her roommate’s shampoo. It was a fragrant smell, vanilla if Risa smelled it correctly, and it was distracting.

“Hm?” Manaka looked up from her phone.

Risa caught herself and replied quickly, “Your shampoo smells nice.”

“Thanks,” Manaka smiled. “It’s a new scent that my usual brand released recently.”

Risa nodded. She felt her heart speed up a little at Manaka’s smile, and she wondered what was wrong with her. The short haired Watanabe put on a cool smile, feigning calmness.

The two spent the next few minutes quietly tapping on their smartphones.

Manaka rolled over on Risa’s bed after putting her phone to the side, getting closer to her roommate on the small bed, and she broke the silence by asking quietly, “Why are you so caught up with thinking that Nagahama is the culprit?”

“She’s suspicious.” Risa replied.

“...she’s suspicious…” Manaka repeated, looking away.

“It’s okay.” Risa said, “I’ll definitely protect you if Nagahama does something.”

Despite Risa’s words, Manaka didn’t look particularly pleased, “Thank you.”

The two spent a little more time lounging around on Risa’s bed. Manaka, who seemed bored, wrapped her arms around Risa and laid her head down on the bed. What she didn’t know was that Risa’s heart was beating nervously from the sudden contact.

A quiet time continued for a little longer. Risa’s alarm clock already read around 11 ’o'clock, so it was time to go to sleep. However, as Risa was about to say something about going to sleep, she noticed that Manaka had fallen asleep hugging Risa.

“Manaka, are you asleep?” Risa asked, but she received only breathing sounds as reply.

Although she could have, Risa didn’t push Manaka away to wake her roommate up. It would have been somewhat difficult as Manaka was hugging rather strongly, so in the end, after a few moments of trying to gently pry Manaka off, Risa gave up.

Risa turned off the lights, her bed being near the light switch, and whispered, “Good night,” turning in for the night.


—What is crime? What is accusation?


Suzumoto Miyu yawned as she shut off her alarm clock. The sun was already rather bright outside, but it was early morning and she was just getting up. When she looked around her dorm room, she saw that her roommate Oda Nana was waking up as well and her other roommate, Kobayashi Yui, was in the bathroom, showering if Suzumoto heard the water correctly.

The chestnut loving girl yawned. She looked at her alarm clock and around the room again. Then, she plopped back down onto her bed.

“Hey, don’t fall asleep again.” Oda Nana called out, repeating when she saw Suzumoto about to fall asleep again, “Suzumoto, don’t fall asleep again.”

“Dani, I’m sleepy.” Suzumoto groused.

Oda Nana replied, “Yea, yea. We have to get to class in an hour.”

Suzumoto nodded, getting off of her bed. Instead of getting ready for the day, she decided to walk over to Dani’s bed and take a seat on Dani’s lap. Then, she said, “I still want to sleep.”

Before Oda Nana could retort, Kobayashi Yui or Yui-pon walked out of the bathroom, hair still damp from her morning shower. She spotted her two roommates and sent them an odd look.

“Get off, Suzumoto.” Oda Nana got her roommate off her lap.

The three girls got ready for school, going to the bathroom, brushing their teeth, washing their face, and changing into their school uniforms. Of the three, Yui-pon finished the earliest, having woken up the earliest.

As they went through their morning routine, the three chatted.

Brushing her hair, Suzumoto made a squished face of displeasure, thinking about meeting with her classmates again today. “We still haven’t found the culprit.”

“Isn’t it Neru?” Oda Nana asked.

“Urgh, I don’t know.” Suzumoto replied. “But, she’s our friend, so I don’t want to think about if she actually did do it.”

Oda Nana nodded, “I don’t really want her to be the thief, but… She’s the only one without an alibi, right?”

The members of the class had mostly put down their alibis into the LINE group chat. Berika and Nagasawa had been together that afternoon. Akane had been with the tennis club, and Yuuka had been helping Aoi study. Although not all the alibis could be confirmed, they were there in the chat.

“Not the only one.” Yui-pon interjected, “She’s just the most suspicious one since she has long hair and she hasn’t been part of the class as long as everyone else.”

Suzumoto made a strange noise, “Ahhh, this is too much. Friends doubting friends is too much for me.”

“Hm.” Oda Nana hummed as she thought to herself. “Is it even someone in the class at all?”

“A normal student? That’s so many people…” Suzumoto sighed.

Yui-pon was done with her morning preparations, so she looked to her roommates and said, “The case will probably work itself out. We don’t know who stole the gradebook, and we don’t know if Neru is guilty at all, so we should just put these thoughts aside.”

After saying those words, Yui-pon’s great words as Oda Nana would put it, Kobayashi Yui walked out of the bathroom. The conversation about the theft ended there.

The new school day was beginning. Without much else in the drowsy morning, the spring sun of almost summer in the sky, the three roommates headed to breakfast and then to class.


—What disappears when you don’t see it?


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406452#msg1406452)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 10.5 (Oct. 24, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on October 25, 2017, 12:42:26 PM
I have a feeling the person who bumped into Sugai-sama was the one who did it. If she pulled the finger at Nen, then there must be something they're hiding.
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 10.5 (Oct. 24, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on October 26, 2017, 12:13:02 AM
yeah theres a possibility that the girl is the one who did it, and techi saw something in the bushes i wonder what is it.... 
waiting for update  :thumbup :banghead:
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 11 (Oct. 26, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 27, 2017, 02:22:22 AM
Checkpoint 11

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Hirate Yurina looked at the soundless clock in the front of the classroom with sullen eyes. The lights seemed dimmer than usual, and the blinds were over the windows as well.

She heard the whispers of her classmates as they talked about crime and punishments. They talked about theft. They talked about Neru. Yurina let her bangs cover her eyes as she tried to ignore the voices.

They were whispering so loudly that it sounded like someone was screaming, that she couldn’t tell whose voice it was. Whispers. Whispers. Whispers. Whisper—

She couldn’t stand it. When she looked behind her to look at the class, she heard more whispers, louder whispers. Yurina couldn’t tell if they were screams, whose screams they were, or if she was just pretending that she couldn’t hear the voice.

“Who did it?” Someone asked.

Another person asked again, “Who did it?”

Yurina shook her head.

“Who killed him?”

The short haired girl shook her head again with more force. The crime wasn’t a murder. It was a theft. She told herself. She tried to ignore the voices, blocking out the sound even as the words of “who killed him” turned into “you killed him” in her ears.

Then, she saw a familiar face ask, “Was it Yurina-chan?”


—It was a nightmare, just a nightmare.


Hirate Yurina had woken up early in the morning. She couldn’t sleep, so she decided to head to the school building early. Luckily, her roommate Neru was still asleep, so the short haired girl left a note in the dorm and exited.

The only people up and coming to school at this hour were members of competitive sports clubs doing their morning practices. Even then, there weren’t many people at school yet.

After dropping off her bag in the classroom, Yurina walked to the back of the school where the out of place vending machine she had went to before was.

She rustled through the bush that she had looked at before, and there she found the object she had seen last time was still there. Making sure that no one was around, Yurina picked up the black rectangle.

It was a black binder, and underneath, there was something that she hadn’t seen the first time. There was a bag with a familiar looking uniform inside.

First, she took a closer look at the black binder. It didn’t take long for her to figure out what it was; the binder was the stolen grade book.

Putting the grade book aside, she then reached for the bag with the uniform. For some reason, there was a copy of the Keyaki class uniform stashed away in such an obscure corner of the school.

Yurina thought to herself, ‘Was this stolen? Who does this belong to?

Opening the bag, she noticed another two things inside with the uniform. One was a long, black wig. The other was a card. Her suspicions of these items belonging to the thief were evident by the thinking look on her face.

She took out the card and read it aloud, “Fashion club outfit borrowing rules…” The card was from the fashion club. “Keyaki class uniform.” The uniform was a replica borrowed from said club, and it was due back by the end of today. “Borrower…” There was a name at the bottom of the card, the name of the person who borrowed the uniform and that person’s classroom.

Although Yurina didn’t recognize the name, she could at least conclude that the person who stole the grade book was a normal student, not one of her classmates.

The short haired girl thought to herself for a few minutes. Even though she found the thief, she needed a way to take the thief in. If she just gave the items to the teacher, she wasn’t sure if the teacher would believe her. That was why she needed a plan.

“Ah…” She let out a small voice. Yurina smiled.


—Let’s take in the culprit.


The afternoon bell rang. The school day was over, and Hirate Yurina got up from her seat. She walked up to Neru and gestured. They were going to catch the thief, and Yurina had told Neru about the plan beforehand.

Together, the roommates walked through the school hallways to an empty classroom that no one had classes in.

Yurina went to a desk in the corner of the room and took out the bag with the uniform and wig as well as the grade book. Making sure she had what she needed in her pocket, she looked at the clock and waited. There were seven more minutes until the culprit was scheduled to show up.

Neru asked, “Yurina-chan, will this be okay? This is the grade book, right?”

“Hopefully, the plan will work out.” Yurina replied.

“Okay. I trust in you, so let’s catch the culprit.”

The door to the classroom opened and closed. Yurina’s eyes widened just a tiny bit with surprise. Watanabe Risa and Shida Manaka had entered the classroom.


—Interruption.
“Hey, are you two the culprits?”


When class ended, Shida Manaka eyed her roommate, Risa who was glancing in the direction of Nagahama Neru. Manaka and Risa’s friend group plus Nijika who had recently been hanging out with Fuyuka were staying in the classroom after school for a while to chat and play cards.

Manaka felt unease in her heart as she looked at her roommate. When she saw that Risa saw Neru and Yurina get up to leave, Manaka noticed Risa get up from her seat as well.

The cool Watanabe casually said, “I’m going to the bathroom.”

“Bye.” Fuyuka replied.

“Come back quickly,” Akane added, “I have club practice after this.”

The friends easily accepted that Risa was going to the bathroom even though Manaka felt that those words were a blatant lie. Without thinking, Manaka stood up from her seat as well.

Hurrying after Risa, Manaka blurted out, “I’m going to the bathroom too.” Even if that looked uncool, she couldn’t be bothered with that at the moment.

She went out into the hallway where Risa was and quickly went to Risa’s side. Risa gave Manaka an odd look but shrugged, continuing what she was doing without trying to pretend or shoo her roommate away.

The pair was tailing Yurina and Neru.

Manaka thought about reaching out to hold Risa’s hand, but when she looked at Risa, she saw that Risa was only looking in Neru’s direction. Thus, Manaka didn’t hold Risa’s hand.

They stopped in front of the classroom that Yurina and Neru had entered. The cool pair peeked at what their classmates were doing in the empty classroom. To their surprise, they found that Yurina had a black binder, something that looked like the gradebook.
Risa narrowed her eyes in suspicion, still watching.

“Did they steal it?” Manaka muttered.

Risa replied, “Let’s find that out.”

Without much thought, the cool Watanabe took Manaka’s hand and opened the door to the classroom. She entered the classroom and closed the door behind her, giving Yurina and Neru a suspicious look.

“Hey, are you two the culprits?” Risa drawled.


—Accusations.
—Sometimes things don’t go according to plan.




This chapter took longer to write than expected. Sorry for the delay. I wrote one version but decided to rewrite it to this instead. Although the culprit was going to be revealed in this chapter, it looks like you'll have to wait one more chapter. Since tomorrow is Friday, I should be able to get the next checkpoint out then. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed!

@MaYukiIsLife: I wonder if I should reveal the culprit now? That would be spoilers though. Thanks for commenting!
@RyoZakiji: Sorry for the delay. I'm glad you're curious about the mystery. Techi has found the grade book and a disguise in the bushes, and she's made a plan. What that plan is? That will be revealed soon enough.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406495#msg1406495)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 11 (Oct. 26, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on October 27, 2017, 10:24:10 AM
ara~ the Zakuuru appear and make the plan failed lol,, i think i get what the plan really is 
Well waiting for update   :twothumbs
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 11 (Oct. 26, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on October 27, 2017, 11:12:49 AM
I also have a faint feeling of what the plan could be, but I also have a feeling someone else in the Keyaki class will ruin it...
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 12 (Oct. 27, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 28, 2017, 04:47:45 AM
@RyoZakiji: What did you think the plan was? I'm curious~ Thank you for commenting! The next checkpoint should explain some of the intricacies of the plan, but let's see what happens first in this chapter.
@MaYukiIsLife: Thank you for commenting~ Will the plan work out to your predictions? You'll have to read to find out. I hope you enjoy this chapter!




Checkpoint 12

Hirate Yurina frowned as she saw her two classmates enter the empty classroom. “We didn’t steal anything.” She put her hand on the grade book and said, “We’re going to catch the culprit.”

Risa raised an eyebrow sarcastically, “And that binder isn’t suspicious?”

“It’s bait.”

“Bait. That’s the excuse?”

Manaka interjected bitterly, “Risa, let’s just see how their plan works out, okay?” She gripped Risa’s hand tightly before drawing her hand away from her roommate.

Risa paused for a moment before replying, “Fine.”

There was silence in the room for a moment. Yurina looked up at the clock in the unused classroom and made sure again she had what she needed in her pocket. The culprit was supposed to come soon.

She glanced over to the cool pair and back to the clock. Their interruption could possibly throw off her plan.

Click. Then, she heard a hand on the classroom door from the hallway. The thief was here.

The door opened, and an unruly looking normal student with short hair and piercings walked into the room. She looked a bit taken aback at seeing four Keyaki class members in the room, but she recovered a sense of bravado and sent the girls a mean glare, closing the door behind her.

Yurina spoke the girl’s name and asked, “Aren’t you looking for something, A-san?”

“Y-Yea, give it back.” The student scowled, walking toward Yurina. She started hesitantly, but seeing the other three girls not saying anything, the normal student regained her confidence.

“What do you want? The grade book you took from the staff room? Yurina picked up a black binder to show the student.

“What do you want?”

“Did you steal this?”

“Tch.” The student growled, “What proof do you have?”

Yurina set the binder down on a nearby desk and picked up the card, “For example, this card from the fashion club with your name on it. And the clothes you borrowed, a Keyaki class uniform replica and a wig.”

“That! Give it back!”

“So, you stole it after all.”

“Ah…” The unruly student stepped back, realizing that she had given herself away. She grinded her teeth upset. “Tch.” After a moment of quiet, with her hands balled in frustration, she spat, “Yea, yea. I stole it.”

“I see.”

“Yea, I stole the stupid book! I hate you Keyaki class girls, thinking you’re so great or something!” The student burst out in anger. She pushed Yurina, tearing the card with her name out of Yurina’s hand and grabbing the black binder off the desk.

Yurina stumbled back a little, caught by Watanabe Risa.

Yurina got to her feet and calmly asked again, “So, you stole it.”

“Yea, I stole it.” The normal student smirked despite being caught. “But you don’t have any proof anymore. I have the card and the grade book, so f**k the Keyaki class.”

“Yes, but they’re fakes.”

“What…?”

“The card is just a random paper of the same color I had in my pocket, and the grade book? I took the contents out of the binder and replaced it with white paper.”

The thief flipped through the binder, eyes wide as she realized what Yurina said was true. “D*mmit!” She cursed, throwing the binder and the fake card to the ground.

“Can I ask why you stole it?”

“‘Cause I hate you stuck-up girls! Just because you’re in an elite class in an elite school doesn’t make you anything special! Fan club? What a joke! What makes you better than me!? Especially that Moriya and her group!”

Yurina nodded, wondering what exactly Akane had done to offend the culprit.

“B-but, you still can’t pin this on me just because I happened to borrow something!” The thief desperately yelled.

“Actually, I can.” Yurina said, voice steady and calm as it had been for the whole conversation. She reached into her pocket and retrieve a small recording device. “You confessed, A-san.”

The blood drained from the thief’s face. She was visibly shaking. “F**k.” She cursed, stepping back weakly.

“It would be simplest if you just went to the teacher and owned up to your theft. He said he would be more lenient if you confessed.”

“A-as if I could do that! You’re such a goody-two shoes!”

Yurina didn’t say anything to that accusation although she disagreed vehemently in her heart.

“I-I… There’s no way I’m going to let this happen…” The culprit muttered to herself, fumbling around in her pockets for something.

The next thing the four Keyaki girls knew, the thief had a pocket knife in her hand and was charging at the nearest person to her in a last ditch attempt to get some sort of victory. That nearest person was Shida Manaka.


—A knife. Who killed him?
“Manaka!”
—A loss dragging down a loss into a hell of losses.


Stab. The culprit shakily dropped her knees, hands letting go of the knife as she realized what she did. She glanced up at the girl she stabbed, and she realized, she had lost.


“Neru!”


Watanabe Risa’s eyes widened in shock as she saw the thief come toward Manaka with a knife, yet she couldn’t reach Manaka in time. The thief was too close, and Risa realized that she was somehow too far away.

She wanted to squeeze shut her eyes. She couldn’t bear to see her roommate hurt.

Before Risa realized what was going on, Neru ran in front of Manaka, grabbing the thief’s knife in her hand. Risa needed a moment to comprehend that Neru had protected Risa when Risa couldn’t do it.

Even though the thief had fallen to the ground, giving up, Risa was stuck in her realization that Neru wasn’t a villain. In fact, Neru was a good person, a complete oddball who would take a knife for a classmate. Risa thought to herself, ‘Nagahama is strange, but… I was wrong about her.

Yurina ran over to Neru and began to fuss over the wound. She made a conflicted face and then said, “I’m getting the teacher.” She exited the classroom, disregarding the thief.

Risa walked over to Manaka and asked, “Are you okay?”

“I’m okay.” Manaka replied.

Then, Risa turned to Neru who was standing awkwardly, trying to ignore the pain in her stabbed hand. “Sorry for doubting you. I was wrong.”

“Ah, it’s okay.” Neru replied, not knowing what to say.

“No, really, I’m sorry.” Risa pursed her lips. “You’re a good person, Nagahama. Thank you for protecting Manaka.”

“...Then, let’s become friends from now on.”

“That’s fine. Friends.”


—What makes up human relationships?


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406637#msg1406637)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 12 (Oct. 27, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on October 28, 2017, 05:51:18 AM
"—A knife. Who killed him?
          “Manaka!”
—A loss dragging down a loss into a hell of losses."

I thought Techi will be the one who will be stab, i'm wrong lol..

And A-san i'm the culprint same description but she's like techi in Zankoku always saying F*ck  :lol:

About the plan i though Techi will use camera to capture the culprint but nahhh... I'm wrong again  :(  :lol:

Anyway, Waiting for the next upadate  :twothumbs:
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 12 (Oct. 27, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on October 28, 2017, 04:17:35 PM
The outsider does a good deed to someone who initially doubted her....  :nervous but that scene with the knife instantly made me think of that one scene in Tokuyama Daigoro wo Koroshita ka, where Risa did the same thing for Neru.

I'm happy Risa apologised to Neru. Even though Neru came in different circumstances to everyone else, she should at least be treated the same as everyone else. And I'm happy this is the start of change... right?
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 13 (Oct. 30, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on October 30, 2017, 10:32:21 PM
Checkpoint 13

It was late afternoon, and even the students who stayed after school for club practice were heading home or to their dorms. Hirate Yurina walked beside her roommate, glancing at Neru’s bandaged hand.

After the short haired girl retrieved a teacher, the thief was taken away along with the evidence. Although the case of the theft was quickly solved with so much laid out in front of the staff, the four Keyaki girls were scolded for not telling a responsible adult and instead taking the matter into their own hands. Just like that, in a whirlwind, the grade book theft case was resolved.

The ‘+1000’ points on the bracelet was just further proof of the resolution.

Yet, Yurina felt that she had messed up badly. Originally, having found the items in the bush, she decided to leave a note for the culprit to meet her in an unused classroom. There had been a chance that the culprit wouldn’t come, but Yurina had bet on the chance that the culprit would discover the note and come to the classroom given that the fashion club outfit was supposed to be returned today.

During the confrontation with the culprit, Yurina was supposed to get Neru to run off and call a teacher so that the culprit would be caught confessing, but in the actual event, that didn’t happen. Instead, Neru got stabbed.

Neru spoke, bringing the short haired girl out of her thoughts, “Yurina-chan?”

“Neru?” Yurina replied.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, but… I got you hurt. Sorry.”

“It’s okay. You couldn’t have predicted that the thief would have a knife.”

Yurina nodded. She looked at Neru who held out her unbandaged hand, her non-dominant left hand.

“Let’s hold hands.”

“Sure.”

The short haired girl took her roommate’s hand. She noticed that Neru’s hand was slightly trembling. It was warm, and Yurina protectively held that hand.

“...it was a bit scary. But I’m glad we managed to catch her.”

“Yea.” Yurina nodded. “Next time, I’ll protect you.”

“It’s okay. Hopefully, there isn’t a next time.”

Holding hands the whole way, Neru and Yurina returned to their dorms.


—I am unable to take on your pain.


The class LINE group was bustling, many of the girls joining in, asking about what had happened to make them suddenly receive 1000 points. Watanabe Risa looked at her phone, briefly typing an explanation.

“Hirate caught the culprit. It was a normal Sakamichi student. Manaka and I were there.” Risa posted.

Manaka added, “Neru got stabbed. She protected me.”

Then, a huge influx of questions appeared.

“Details, details!”

“There was a knife?”

“I knew it wasn’t Neru.”

“You okay?”

“Neru okay?”

“Why?”

“A normal student?”

“Techi!”

“Why doesn’t Techi have a phone?”

“Neru’s not in the group either.”

“Risa?”

“Mona?”

“Explanation, please.”

Risa put her phone down on her desk. She looked over to her roommate Manaka who had also set her phone down. The two of them were in their dorm room, still a bit of time left before they usually ate dinner with their friends.

The cool Watanabe saw that her roommate looked a little down, but she couldn’t tell why.

Then, Manaka met Risa’s eye, looking away after a short glance. She bit her lower lip, feeling that she shouldn't ask, but in the end, she opened her mouth and asked Risa, “Do you like Nagahama?”

“I don’t dislike her now.” Risa replied, “She’s good.”

“I see.” Manaka looked down at her lap. “Yea, Nagahama is a nice girl.”

The two were silent for a moment. Risa looked toward Manaka who was looking away. The cool Watanabe pondered on what exactly was going through her roommate’s head, wondering if Manaka was mad at her for being mean to Neru for such a long time.

Seeing Manaka stand up, Risa called out, “Manaka?”

“It’s nothing.” Manaka shook her head.

“Manaka.”

“I’m going to go outside for a little bit.” Manaka gave Risa a weak smile.

Risa stood up and reached for Manaka’s hand, “Manaka, you’re acting strange.”

“Risa…” Manaka’s shoulder was trembling and she faced away from Risa. She pulled her hand away before her roommate could take it. “It’s okay if you like Nagahama. You’ve been looking toward her the whole time.”

Risa’s eyes widened in surprise and she said, “I don’t like Nagahama like that.”

“Really?” Manaka replied dully.

Risa called out for Manaka again. “Manaka.” The cool Watanabe made a pained expression as if her heart was about to burst. She didn’t think that Manaka of all people would think that she liked Neru.

“It’s just that… recently, I’ve felt that you have no love for me anymore.”

“Manaka, you’re completely wrong.”

“How? You’ve been looking at her the whole time.” Manaka twisted around to face Risa. Tears welled up in Manaka’s eyes.

Risa retorted, taking Manaka’s hands. “I’m always looking at you.”

The cool Watanabe felt that her words were the truth. Even if she had always glanced at Neru suspiciously, she had always thought that Manaka was beautiful and fun to be with, to the point that Risa’s heart would flutter.

“Liar.” Manaka mumbled tearily.

Risa said, “I love you.”

“What?” Manaka looked away, not believing her roommate’s words. “Are we playing a game?” They had exchanged those words before when playing games with Fuyuka and Akane.

Risa repeated, dreading being rejected by the girl she realized that she had fallen in love with, “I love you.”

“Risa, you’re cruel.”

“I love you. I’m not joking around.” Risa shook her head. She looked down at her hands, afraid to see Manaka’s expression. “I love you. It’s just that you probably won’t return my feelings because we’re friends.”

“Stupid Risa…” Manaka put her head on Risa’s shoulder, using Risa to wipe away her tears.

Risa asked quietly, “Manaka?”

“I love you, Risa.” Manaka said. “I love you.”

Risa felt the butterflies in her stomach flutter even more than before. She was speechless with happiness.

“Risa, are you crying?”

“I-I’m not crying. I’m really happy.” Risa noticed the tears rolling down her cheeks, but she hastily denied them.

Manaka cried too, “I’m h-happy too.”

“Manaka, I love you.”

“Risaaaa…” Manaka threw her arms around her roommate in a hug.

The roommates stumbled as Manaka tried hugging Risa, and they fumbled around, ending up on the floor with Manaka pushing Risa down. They stared at each other awkwardly for a moment before Manaka gave Risa a light kiss on the lips.

Manaka blushed and she tried to avert her gaze, wondering if it was okay for her to have kissed Risa.

Then, Risa wrapped her arms around her roommate’s waist, pulling Manaka down to her and returning Manaka’s kiss.

They stared into each other’s eyes shyly for a moment. They shared another kiss, a longer kiss. It was still too short for Risa though as the cool Watanabe couldn’t help but savor the softness of her roommate’s lips. She thought to herself, 'Manaka is really beautiful. I love her.'

As Manaka moved to get off of Risa, the two roommates got tangled with each other. Floundering around for a moment, they eventually rolled over to their sides on the floor so that they were facing each other.

Risa and Manaka started lightly laughing. Holding hands while relaxing on the floor, they felt a huge weight off their chests, and they could feel that an incident had been resolved—both the theft and a misunderstanding of love.

“Risa.” Manaka spoke up again.

Risa responded, “What is it?”

“I have to thank Nagahama.”

“For this afternoon?”

“No, for making it so I could tell you my feelings.”

“Yea. Me too.”


—A happy resolution exists too, right?
—Thank you, Neru.


<NERU I> fin
To be continued...




That's the end of the first arc <NERU I>. Yay~ Sorry for the delay in updating, but this chapter was somewhat difficult to write (what is romance? I don't know how to write romance.) and I was translating some Keyakizaka46 stuff over the weekend. Nonetheless, I hope you've enjoyed this chapter.

@RyoZakiji Ahh, Zankoku Techi? Yea, Zankoku Techi said f*ck a lot. (But she was also a cute glutton, haha). The camera plan theory is a good theory.
@MaYukiIsLife The knife scene was indeed like the knife scene in TokuDare. As I wrote it, I thought that maybe it was too similar, but I needed a catalyst for Risa to start trusting Neru. From now on, Neru will be a closer part of the class. As they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? (That might be the wrong proverb, but since the class's bonds with Neru weren't broken, they've become stronger.) Look forward to the next chapter~

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406791#msg1406791)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 13 (Oct. 30, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on October 30, 2017, 11:09:54 PM
Ahhhhhhh~ TechiNeru! Also 'The Cool' duo finally together?

I'm hoping Neru doesn't go do anything stupid anymore. :|

I hope so, or I'll kill you! XD Also I need more SugaiAkanen moments :P

That reminds me, I need to finish a TechiNeru oneshot :P and a conspiracy theory I had in my head for a while :|
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 13 (Oct. 30, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on November 01, 2017, 01:29:14 AM
yeah the 'cool' are finally together.. i wonder when techineru will be together too..

yea the techi in Zankoku is always hungry its so cute  :inlove:

and @MaYukiIsLife your writing techineru fanfict too?

Waiting for the next update  :twothumbs
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 3 (Nov. 2, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on November 03, 2017, 12:23:52 AM
Sorry, everyone for the delay. It's been a busy week for me in real life, and I've been a little stuck on the next checkpoint, so I've written this interlude instead. It's a bit premature (could probably be written a little later in the story since the other details will be filled in later), but enjoy~

@RyoZakiji Yea, MonaRisa are finally together~ TechiNeru. They're the main main ship of the story, so they'll probably have a slow burn romance.
@MaYukiIsLife Indeed. Hopefully Neru doesn't do any more stupid things. (...I'm sorry, Neru. Actually you might do more things that get you hurt... I am an evil author.) I wonder if you're psychic because the next arc is the YuukaNen arc. Look forward the next chapter~ Also, if you do write a TechiNeru oneshot, I'd love to read it.




Interlude 3

When Kobayashi Yui first came to the Keyaki class, she found that she was the only person from Saitama in the class. There were a lot of people from different parts of Japan. Although she sat alone at first, she found that she quite enjoyed their company.

It had been only a week since the school term had started. Class had ended a while ago, and it was raining outside. She and her roommates, Suzumoto Miyu and Oda Nana, had been given cleaning duty, and they finished rather quickly given that there wasn’t really a blackboard to clean or anything.

Thinking about the rain, Yui realized that she hadn’t brought an umbrella.

Oda Nana hollered from across the room, “Yui-pon, I’m going back to the dorms now.” She was planning to finish reading a Murakami novel that she had started.

Kobayashi Yui sighed internally, wondering why she had offered to help distinguish herself, using the nickname Yui-pon, from the other Yui who went by Zuumin and Zumiko. It was a strange nickname; both Zuumin and Yui-pon were strange names.

“Are you coming?” Suzumoto asked.

Yui-pon shook her head and replied, “No, I’m staying at school a little longer.”

The roommates said goodbye and left the classroom. Kobayashi Yui was then alone in the Keyaki classroom. Looking outside at the rain for a moment, enjoying the pitter-patter sound of water droplets, Yui-pon started humming to herself.

She decided to explore the school building.

Walking around, humming lightly to herself, she looked out the hallway windows to see that the athletic clubs weren’t practicing in the rain. Some of the cultural clubs had yet to start for the new school year.

Yui-pon didn’t know if she wanted to join a club or not. She loved playing guitar and singing, but she didn’t think she wanted to join the light music club.

As she entered an empty hallway in the music section of the school, she heard the sound of piano and a singing voice. She didn’t recognize the song or the voice, but in her heart, she couldn’t help but find that voice wonderful.

Yui-pon went up to the classroom with the singer and peered in through the open door.

Imaizumi Yui was playing piano and singing amidst the sound of the rain. Even though she seemed like a silly person at first, to Yui-pon at the moment, Imaizumi was really entrancing. Her song seemed filled with emotion.

Then, she played a key wrong on the piano.

Yui-pon stumbled out of her stupor. Imaizumi Yui’s eyes met with Kobayashi Yui’s eyes. They shared a moment of awkward silence with only the peaceful sound of spring rain in the background.

That was the first time the two Yuis truly met each other.


—The world works in strange ways.
“Yuichanz.”
—People who perhaps would have never met before meeting.


It was break time, two days after the thief who stole the grade book had been caught. Kobayashi Yui was sitting with Imaizumi Yui near the former’s usual group of Oda Nana, Suzumoto, Hirate, and Neru.

The two Yuis had paper and pencil out, scribbling out lyrics and guitar chords. Despite all the drama that had existed in the classroom, they were writing a song.

Imaizumi sung, “Do you know the Shibuya River?” Then, she asked Yui-pon, “Does that sound right?”

“It sounds good. Maybe the next line could be ‘You may have heard the name.’” Yui-pon replied, pondering to herself. It was the first time she had written an original song before, and she hadn’t sung many duets before either.

“What type of song should this be?” Imaizumi thought aloud.

Yui-pon nodded, “Good question.” She wasn’t quite sure either.

They looked at the classroom to try to find ideas. No one seemed to be acting any different than usual. Yui-pon looked toward the back of the room and noticed Watanabe Risa and Shida Manaka approaching Neru.

The cool duo was holding hands, and they seemed closer than before.

Risa asked Neru, “Do you have a LINE? You should join the class LINE group.”

It was a simple conversation where Neru finally joined the class LINE group. Yui-pon looked at the interaction, feeling glad for Neru that Neru was finally accepted by the class. Then, she turned back to Imaizumi.

“Maybe a song about trust?” Yui-pon suggested.

“That sounds like a great idea.” Imaizumi beamed. “Trust is important in love and friendship and really, everything, huh?”

Yui-pon smiled, nodding. Then, she had an epiphany. “Ah, ‘the stream continues to murmur’ might be a good line too.”


My love for you
Will continue forever.

—Shibuya River.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1406976#msg1406976)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 3 (Nov. 2, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on November 03, 2017, 08:18:05 AM
@MaYukiIsLife Indeed. Hopefully Neru doesn't do any more stupid things. (...I'm sorry, Neru. Actually you might do more things that get you hurt... I am an evil author.) I wonder if you're psychic because the next arc is the YuukaNen arc. Look forward the next chapter~ Also, if you do write a TechiNeru oneshot, I'd love to read it.

Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. My top 3 is Nen, Sugaisama and Neru this is why I'm being very picky about what you do to them XD I think I'll be able to get me oneshot done by Sunday. Spoiler: I can admit that I'm a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to Neru in fanfics XD
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 3 (Nov. 2, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on November 04, 2017, 12:31:42 AM
so its yuiyui? eh goodluck in your next update i hope you can think of your next scene

waiting for your next update  :twothumbs
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 14 (Nov. 6, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on November 07, 2017, 12:31:49 AM
It's finally here!! Ah, hopefully, the next checkpoint won't take so long. Sorry for the wait. This is the start of the new arc, <Yuuka>.

@RyoZakiji: YuiYui. I wonder if the Yuichanz will be the ship in this story for the two Yuis. I don't actually know if it'll be romantic but the fourth arc focuses on them. Feel free to drop suggestions for what ships you want in the story since not everything is set into stone.
@MaYukiIsLife: I hope you won't kill me for any suffering I put Akanen, Yukka, and Neru through in this story. Haha. I look forward to your one-shot~




Checkpoint 14

The warm breeze and hot sun of summer entered the Keyaki classroom through the open window. It was already late June. Before the girls knew it, summer vacation was looming a month away.

Sugai Yuuka looked at her phone with a sigh. She had notifications from her various applications and some new messages from LINE group chats, but she had yet to receive a single note from her family since the start of the school term.

The bell had just rung for lunch. Everyone was moving their desks together to eat.

Yuuka’s roommate, Moriya Akane, moved her desk toward Yuuka. Akane wasn’t sitting with Watanabe Risa’s group today. “Hey, Yuuka.”

Koike Minami moved her desk over, “It’s finally lunch.”

“Math was hard.” The tallest girl in the class, Habu Mizuho, came over with Koike. “I don’t understand a single thing.”

Harada Aoi nodded to Habu’s words as she finished the lunch desk gathering, “I’m glad class is over.”

Engaging in small talk about their latest math quiz on the screen of their high-tech desks, the girls started eating their lunch. Their topics jumped around, but it was a lunch break like any other.

After Aoi took a bite out of her bread, she asked, “By the way, how many points do you have?”

Koike pressed the button on her bracelet to check and replied, “I have like 2,000.” She picked up a tamagoyaki from her bento, feeding Habu who sat next to her.

“How about Yukka?” Aoi turned to Yuuka.

Thinking for a moment, Yuuka replied, “Around 10,000.”

“That’s a lot!” Aoi exclaimed.

Habu questioned curiously, “Are you saving for something?”

“Well…” Yuuka smiled awkwardly.

Akane interjected to save her roommate from answering, “The conversion rate from points to yen is amazing. That’s… 120,000 yen.”

“Eh? That’s a lot!” Koike’s eyes widened.

Aoi smiled, “Sounds nice.”

“It’s kind of exponential or something.” Koike wondered aloud as she thought back to when she read the student handbook so long ago, “What’s it called?”

Habu held her hands over her ears once she noticed her friend from Kansai start talking about math, “Mii-chan, no more math…”

“Do your best, Habu-chan.” Koike gave the tall girl a pat on the shoulder.

The group laughed, and they continued chatting about the random things that happened in their lives recently.


—Secrets, secrets, secrets.


Lunch ended, and another class period started again. Sugai Yuuka was diligently taking notes on the lesson, drawing small horses in the margins of her notes to make them more interactive and aesthetically appealing.

Then, a small piece of folded paper landed on her desk. Yuuka looked around to see who threw the paper and noticed her roommate Akane give her a small wave. The horse loving Yuuka smiled in response.

Yuuka opened the note, and it read, ‘Yuuka, are you free this afternoon?’

The horse loving girl turned the paper around and replied, ‘I’m free.’ She tossed it back to her roommate.

However, the toss was a little haphazard, and Akane barely caught it. Yuuka sheepishly smiled and gestured apologetically, to which Akane replied with a gesture of ‘it’s okay.’ They were still in class, and Yuuka didn’t want to starting using her phone in class, so in the end, they were passing notes instead.

Akane’s next note read, ‘I have a tennis match this afternoon. Come watch.’ There was a cute drawing of a smiley face with a tennis ball.

‘I’ll cheer you on.’ Yuuka replied on another piece of small paper.

Akane wrote back, ‘I’ll definitely win!’

They continued exchanging notes for a while, but eventually, the roommates returned to paying attention to the lesson.

Watanabe Risa looked at her friend, Akane, who looked very happy after exchanging notes with Yuuka. Risa sighed, thinking that Akane was being too happy. Then, she noticed a note on her own desk.

‘I love you.’ It was in Manaka’s handwriting.

Risa flushed red and buried her head in her notebook to hide her embarrassed face. Then, she threw a note saying the same thing back to Manaka.

When the cool Watanabe peeked toward her roommate to see Manaka’s reaction, she couldn’t help but feel her heart race as she saw Manaka’s joyful smile upon seeing the words on the note.

In the front, Hirate Yurina had her bangs over her eyes as she trudged through taking notes in class. She wanted class to  be over, even if this class wasn’t the worst of the classes they had to take. The short haired girl completely didn’t notice the note-passing behind her.

Neru looked over her shoulder at the class, giving a mysterious smile towards Yurina.

The short haired girl gave her roommate a confused looked, not sure what Neru seemed to be amused by in the classroom. Even when Yurina glanced back for a moment, she didn’t notice anything off, having not looked back when the other girls were passing notes.

Neru smiled again, gesturing that it wasn’t anything that important. She turned back to the lesson and thought to herself that her classmates really weren’t as subtle as they thought they were and that it seemed nice to be in love.

For a moment, that smile dropped. She thought to herself again, ‘Love?


—What does a person deserve in this world?


Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong. The bell dismissing the last class of the day finally rang. Moriya Akane was filled with fighting spirit as she thought about how she wanted to win the tennis club’s tournament for today. They were doing a casual ranking tournament to encourage the club members to work hard.

Noticing Akane’s excitement, Fuyuka asked, “Akanen, tennis club?”

“Yea.” Akane replied.

Manaka lazily gave the competitive girl a thumbs up of encouragement, “Win it, okay? Fuu-chan will treat you to sweets if you do.”

“I’ll definitely win!” Akane laughed.

“Huh, when did I say that?” Fuyuka huffed but relented, “I’ll treat you to ice cream if you win. I’ve been wanting to try out the new ice cream flavor anyways.”

Akane cheered. As she waved goodbye to her normal friend group, she passed by her roommate and said, “Yuuka, I’m going on ahead. Come watch me, okay?”

“Okay. Ganbariki!” Yuuka made a cheering gesture.

Akane gave Yuuka a wordless look.

Yuuka mumbled awkwardly, pretending that she didn’t do such an embarrassing gesture, “Sorry.”

“No, that was great.” Akane shook her head and blurted out. “I’m going to do my best!” Akane hurried out of the classroom.

When she arrived at the tennis club’s changing room and changed into her tennis uniform, a clubmate mentioned that Akane’s cheeks were a little pink, joking that Akane was a bit too excited and ran over too quickly.

As the tennis club gathered at the school’s tennis courts, a summer breeze blew by again.


—To what extent…


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1407260#msg1407260)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 14 (Nov. 6, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on November 07, 2017, 04:44:16 AM
so its Sugai-sama and Akane-sama i wonder how their relationship will develop..  :?

and for the shipping request.. i want to see nagasawa-kun and Rika-sama to be together  :inlove:

anyway waiting for the next update  :twothumbs
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 14 (Nov. 6, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on November 07, 2017, 07:27:55 AM
so its Sugai-sama and Akane-sama i wonder how their relationship will develop..  :?

and for the shipping request.. i want to see nagasawa-kun and Rika-sama to be together  :inlove:

I think Akanen's that type of person who's desperate for Sugai-sama's attention/love but the latter's too blunt to see it. I also do want Naako and Berika together, as Sugai-captain said on that Relationship Chart part of that one ep of Keyakitte Kakenai they're the dream couple.

@MaYukiIsLife: I hope you won't kill me for any suffering I put Akanen, Yukka, and Neru through in this story. Haha. I look forward to your one-shot~

Genuinely no promises there, if I'm tempted I will kill you. Also I'm nearly done with the oneshot, I've got a few bits and pieces to finish but I'm stuck for the ending...


Lunch ended, and another class period started again. Sugai Yuuka was diligently taking notes on the lesson, drawing small horses in the margins of her notes to make them more interactive and aesthetically appealing.

Then, a small piece of folded paper landed on her desk. Yuuka looked around to see who threw the paper and noticed her roommate Akane give her a small wave. The horse loving Yuuka smiled in response.

Yuuka opened the note, and it read, ‘Yuuka, are you free this afternoon?’

The horse loving girl turned the paper around and replied, ‘I’m free.’ She tossed it back to her roommate.

However, the toss was a little haphazard, and Akane barely caught it. Yuuka sheepishly smiled and gestured apologetically, to which Akane replied with a gesture of ‘it’s okay.’ They were still in class, and Yuuka didn’t want to starting using her phone in class, so in the end, they were passing notes instead.

Akane’s next note read, ‘I have a tennis match this afternoon. Come watch.’ There was a cute drawing of a smiley face with a tennis ball.

This scene is really, really cute man! It'll give me diabetes if I re-read it again and again.

In the front, Hirate Yurina had her bangs over her eyes as she trudged through taking notes in class. She wanted class to  be over, even if this class wasn’t the worst of the classes they had to take. The short haired girl completely didn’t notice the note-passing behind her.

Neru looked over her shoulder at the class, giving a mysterious smile towards Yurina.

The short haired girl gave her roommate a confused looked, not sure what Neru seemed to be amused by in the classroom. Even when Yurina glanced back for a moment, she didn’t notice anything off, having not looked back when the other girls were passing notes.

Neru smiled again, gesturing that it wasn’t anything that important. She turned back to the lesson and thought to herself that her classmates really weren’t as subtle as they thought they were and that it seemed nice to be in love.

For a moment, that smile dropped. She thought to herself again, ‘Love?

Techi either being too blunt to see Akanen and Yuuka as well as Mona and Berisa's note passing or she doesn't really care. Neru on the other hand... I think is going to do something to get Akanen and Yuuka together, maybe play a little matchmaker for the rest of the Arc lol Please tell me later if Neru gains feelings for Techi I wanna know!
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 15 (Nov. 11, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on November 12, 2017, 04:27:45 AM
I'm sorry for taking so long with this chapter. Well, it wasn't as if I had a schedule, but weekly updates of around 1000 words... This fanfic will never end that way. Hopefully, the rest of the this arc will go more smoothly than this chapter.

@MaYukiIsLife: Wah! Thank you for the comment! I'm glad you found that scene cute. Matchmaker Neru? That's an interesting idea~ TechiNeru will happen but they're going to take a while.
@RyoZakiji: Pe-chan and Naako-chan! Sounds like a good ship. Pe-chan's arc is arc six, but maybe the dream couple will be able to get some development earlier than that.




Checkpoint 15


The tennis ball hit the racket with a thud, flying across the net like a sparrow, landing, bouncing, and scoring the final point. The afternoon sun was bright, and Moriya Akane wiped the sweat that had gathered on her brow and smiled, hearing her name declared victor for the match, moving her along the bracket for the club’s mini-tournament.

Her opponent stepped up toward Akane amicably, “Moriya-san, it was a pleasure to play with you.”

“Good game, Kato-san.” Akane reciprocated the sportsmanship.

It had been a tough game that had lasted longer than the other matches in the tournament. Akane’s opponent was a girl who didn’t look athletic but was extremely athletic, but Akane managed to win with the sheer force of will and a burst of spirit that came when she saw Yuuka cheering her on.

From the viewing area, a normal student yelled, “Moriya-san is so cool!”

“Kyaa!” Her friend jumped up and down, making a commotion with some more girls. There was a lot of excited screaming.

Akane walked over to her roommate Yuuka, “Yuuka, how was it?”

“Akanen, you played so well.” Yuuka gave Akane a bottle of cool water, “Have some water.” Their fingers touched for a moment.

Akane smiled, taking the water and drinking it, “Thanks.”

The crowd shrieked, “Sugai-sama and Moriya-san!”

“Too photogenic!” Someone nearly fell over.

There was more girlish commotion, “Kyaa!”

Someone from the photography club came over with a camera and asked, “Moriya-san, Sugai-sama, can you pose for a picture?”

Akane exchanged looks with Yuuka. Seeing that Yuuka seemed okay with the request, Akane put an arm over Yuuka’s shoulder and made a V sign with her fingers. Yuuka smiled for the camera as well.

Snap. The photography club member took a photo.

“Thank you!” Look at the photo on the camera, the club member beamed and ran off after bowing in thanks to the two Keyaki class girls.

Yuuka smiled wryly, “Akanen, they’re really excited.”

“Yea, they are.” Akane laughed, thinking that it was good that the normal students and the Keyaki class often had different break times between classes.

The roommates spent a bit standing around and talking, but the referee for the tennis matches quickly called for Akane again, starting the next match in the tournament.


—Drifting away for just another moment.


Sugai Yuuka watched as her roommate Akane played. Although the horse loving girl’s eyes had trouble following the tennis ball at some points, Yuuka felt that Akane was really amazing. The focus in Akane’s eyes was so intense that Yuuka felt drawn in.

The ball hit the ground and the opponent missed. The referee called the points. The match continued.

As Yuuka watched, she suddenly felt her phone vibrate in her pocket.

She took her phone out to check what notification she received, thinking that she would properly check it later. Yet when she saw the notice on the screen, her eyes widened in shock and her hand shook a little.

It was a LINE notification.

It was from her family.

Yuuka opened up the LINE family group chat only to see a simple message from her older sibling saying, “I’m sorry, Yuuka.”

Following that, there was text saying that her mother, father, and sibling had left the group chat. Yuuka was speechless, the sound of the tennis match and cheering audience seemed to not reach her ears as she stared at the screen.

Even though it wasn’t as if there was no other way to contact her family, Yuuka didn’t know what to feel about them leaving the LINE group. She didn’t understand why either.

Then, she jerked back into reality when she heard the ball hit the ground and the referee call points. To her surprise, Akane had missed a swing. Yuuka noticed her roommate send her a slightly upset look.

Yuuka took a deep breath and put her phone back into her pocket.

“I’ll… I’ll figure it out somehow.” She said to herself. It didn’t sound convincing.

The tennis match restarted. The ball was served, and another intense volley of the tennis ball began. Over and over the net, the ball flew. Akane hit the tennis ball, yet the angle was off, so she nearly hit the ball out.

Akane felt the pressure on her grow. She wanted to win, but she was slipping. She wondered what Yuuka was worried about.

Yuuka saw the pained look on Akane’s face, and she yelled with all her might, “Akanen, you can do it!”

Thunk! The ball was hit by the racket again.


—Pushing down your own worries.
—Painful, painful. Even when they look at you like that?


Hirate Yurina walked hand in hand with Neru, heading back to their dorms after spending the afternoon in the library as Neru looked for reference books and Yurina started out studying a bit and ended up reading manga.

Remembering that their classmate, Moriya Akane, was doing a tennis tournament today, the pair decided to drop pass the tennis courts.

Yurina halted in her steps as she noticed a pair of normal students talking near the tennis courts away from the commotion of the tournament, which appeared to have ended. Neru looked in the direction of the talking pair.

One of the girls grumbled aloud, “What does Sugai think she is being so close to Moriya-san?”

Her friend looked at her as if she had grown another head, “Huh?”

“I mean, she’s from the Sugai family, and they’ve been doing pretty terrible recently. Compared to us, she’s nothing.” The grumbly girl fumed.

The friend laughed awkwardly, “Hey, hey. Don’t be so jealous. Didn’t their company end up getting merged into another company?”

The grumbly girl crossed her arms, “Exactly. The high really fall.”

“Geez, don’t be like that. Jealousy looks ugly on you.”

“I-I’m not jealous.”

“Hm?”

“Okay, fine. I’m jealous. I mean, Sugai-sama is…”

The two unknown students chatted a little bit, and then they walked off. They didn’t notice that two members of the Keyaki class had accidentally listened in on their conversation.

Yurina frowned to herself before walking forward while holding onto Neru’s hand.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1407547#msg1407547)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 15 (Nov. 11, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on November 12, 2017, 08:47:18 AM
Ooh commotion! ¬¬ I love it. But I feel bad for Yuuka...
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 15 (Nov. 11, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on November 12, 2017, 05:33:50 PM
This chapter really hit me in the heart :cry:

Yukka~!! (ToT)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 15 (Nov. 11, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on November 13, 2017, 02:46:57 AM
Sugai-sama!! whats going on?
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 16 (Nov. 18, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on November 18, 2017, 06:10:31 PM
@RyoZakiji, @Kairi65, @MaYukiIsLife: Everyone is worrying so much about Yuuka. I feel bad, but Yuuka's going to be troubled for most of this arc. Akanen will do her best to regain Yuuka's smile once Yuuka gets sadder and sadder.




Checkpoint 16

Moriya Akane felt nice and refreshed. She won the tennis tournament, ate a nice dinner with her roommate, and took a shower. She wasn’t sure at what point her friends decided to invade her room to celebrate.

Risa, Manaka, and Fuyuka made themselves comfortable on the floor using extra pillows as cushions to sit on. Yuuka was at her desk, writing something down in her diary, which she called a journal.

Risa said to Akane, pulling a confetti popper in the competitive girl’s direction, “Congratulations on winning!”

“Congratulations.” Manaka made more confetti go into the air.

“Does that mean that I have to treat you to ice cream now?” Fuyuka laughed, “Haha, congrats.” She also let loose a confetti popper.

“Hey, hey, you guys are making a mess on the ground.” Akane scolded her friends lightly. She wasn’t looking forward to cleaning the scraps up.

Manaka ignored Akane’s complaints, “Anyways, congratulations on winning.”

“Thanks.” Akane sighed.

They were throwing an impromptu party that celebrate Akane’s winning. Fuyuka even brought a small basket of random sweets and party favors. When Akane asked why they seemed so prepared, she received an answer from Risa.

Risa said, “It’s because if you lost, we would have thrown you a pity party.”

“Harsh!” Akane complained. “It’s not like I want to win that badly. I...”

“Want to win?”

“Yea, I want to win.” Akane relented.

The group continued chatting. Manaka had her head on Risa’s shoulder and was casually interjecting into the conversation, teasing her roommate. They talked about random things like how Fuyuka and Neru had been getting along recently or how there’d been some strange things on the Keyaki class fan site.

“Let’s play a game.” Manaka said.

Fuyuka offered, “How about the mozzarella cheese game?”

“That might get a bit loud.” Risa replied.

“Werewolf game?” Akane thought aloud before shaking her head, realizing that four people was just a bit too few for the werewolf game.

Fuyuka opened a pack of pocky, offering some to Manaka and Risa before turning to Akane, “Akanen, do you want some pocky?”

“It’s kind of late. I don’t want to get fat.” Akane replied.

“Terrible words, terrible words.” Fuyuka looked away, making a face that said she was ignoring the idea of gaining weight. “I also brought some playing cards.”

While the four talked some more, Manaka fed pocky to Risa. Akane kept glancing toward Yuuka. Fuyuka thought to herself that there must have been something in the water that made her friends go all mushy.

“We’re playing the aishiteru game then?” Fuyuka clapped her hands once as she announced what they seemed to have decided to play for the small party.

At the mention of the game, Yuuka turned her head toward Akane’s group. She then awkwardly turned back to her journal. Yuuka flushed and made a face of embarrassed agony that she would get so flustered by the idea of her roommate saying ‘I love you.’

Then, she felt a weight in her stomach as her eyes noticed again her phone sitting on her desk.



Knock, knock. There was a knock at the door. Akane got up to answer it, and when she opened the door, she saw Neru and Yurina holding a box.

“Oda Nana asked us to help deliver these to you.” Neru explained, looking at the label on the cardboard box, “Mikkabi mikan from her hometown.”

Neru and Yurina handed the box over to Akane who stumbled for a moment at the weight of the box. “Thanks. I have to thank Oda Nana for this later. Haha, how many mikan are in here to make it this heavy?”

“How many, that’s a good question.” Neru smiled.

Yurina nodded. She looked at Akane and added, “Congratulations on winning your tennis tournament.”

“Tecchan, thanks!” Akane beamed.

Fuyuka called out, “Akanen, who was it?”

Akane replied, “Tecchan and Neru brought mikan from Oda Nana.”

Manaka said aloud, leaning her head on Risa’s lap as she nibbled on a pocky stick, “Oda Nana. Dani. Camel. Why mikan? Is it even mikan season?”

“No idea.” Risa shrugged, both pleased and embarrassed that Manaka was using her lap as a pillow.

“Do you want to come in?” Akane offered to Yurina and Neru, “We’re playing some games, but it’s more fun with more people.”

In the end, the other pair of roommates got dragged into the small impromptu party, Manaka casually spraying them with the leftover confetti poppers.



Sugai Yuuka tried to shake away her worries as she joined in on the celebration party. She didn’t want to sour her roommate’s happiness by being visibly troubled in the corner as she liked seeing Akane’s smile.

The girls were sitting on the ground in a circle. Yurina was next to Neru. Manaka was next to Risa. Akane was next to Yuuka. Fuyuka somehow felt like she was surrounded.

After making 7 clean popsicle sticks with labels, Fuyuka announced, “Let’s play the King’s Game.”

Everyone drew out a popsicle stick and took a look at their labels to check who was the King in the game. Manaka grinned and turned her stick to show the group, “I’m the King.”

Manaka peeked over to see what Risa’s number was and nodded to herself. Akane playfully flicked Manaka, scolding her because the King wasn’t supposed to know who had what number.

“Okay, number 2 kiss number 6.” Manaka commanded.

If Fuyuka had been drinking water, then she would have spit it out in surprise. She should have expected the Cool duo’s one half to go for a curveball like that.

“I’m number 2.” Akane showed her stick.

Yuuka said with surprise, “I have number 6.”

As Fuyuka was about to say something to retort to the task, she felt a rather hard tap on the shoulder. She noticed Neru playfully making a sign to not say anything and let it play out.

Yuuka and Akane blushed. Yuuka closed her eyes, and Akane flushed even more. Thinking of kissing her roommate made her really nervous, and she realized that she wanted to do it.

Akane leaned in, heart beating. She moved Yuuka’s bangs aside and gave the horse loving girl a peck on the forehead.

Akane blushed and moved her head away from Yuuka’s, “Okay, I did it.”

Yuuka felt her cheeks flush, and she was afraid to open her mouth because she knew she would stumble over her words. She wondered why she closed her eyes like that as if expecting a kiss on the lips, and added to that, she noticed that her roommate smelled nice like always.

The game continued.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1407761#msg1407761)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 16 (Nov. 18, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on November 18, 2017, 10:01:40 PM
NO! YOU CAN'T LET THE CHAPTER END LIKE THAT

AND WHY ARE MAKING OUR OJOUSAMA SAD?!

TechiNeru being dragged into the impromptu party lol

Adding onto my Oneshot pile: YuukaNen is next after TechiNeru or first depending on which I write faster lol

Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 16 (Nov. 18, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on November 19, 2017, 11:41:45 AM
That's it??! NO~  :panic:

I don't know which emotion is a priority anymore...yuuka's sadness  :( or being kissed by akanen  :cathappy:

Of course, mona will protect her queen from anyone lol. And nice piece of monalisa love there :wub:
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 16 (Nov. 18, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on November 20, 2017, 12:55:14 AM
NO! YOU CAN'T LET THE CHAPTER END LIKE THAT

Yeah you cant do that ahhhhhh!!!!

i really thought they will kiss  :inlove: but the ahhhh  :bleed eyes:

Waiting for the next update  :twothumbs
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 16 (Nov. 18, 2017)]
Post by: mooza on November 20, 2017, 02:11:26 PM
New reader here! First of all, I want to tell you that I'm really enjoying the story so far. Can't wait for more!

I'm really intrigued by Yurina's character. What happened in the past? Did she really get bullied like in her dream? Who was that girl? Does she actually know who the man in the screen is? All these questions and i'm dying to know more >.< Also, Neru is really mysterious too. Just like in the second Keya drama.Who is she and whose side is she on? I'm looking forward to TechiNeru interactions.

Poor Sugai-sama. I wonder whats going on with her family. Them leaving the chat is so cold.
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 17 (Nov. 23, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on November 23, 2017, 06:05:05 PM
@mooza: Thank you for reading! I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I'm glad you have so many questions, but those questions will take a while to be answered. Techi's backstory will be pretty painful too. (Ahh, I had been thinking that perhaps I wasn't blatant enough about my "Neru is mysterious" and "Techi is sad" set-up)
@RyoZakiji: They'll kiss one day. But I don't think I answer any more questions here.
@Kairi65: MonaRisa love! (speaking of MonaRisa, it was Manaka's birthday, and... ngh, there was some cute MonaRisa stuff she posted in her mobame about Risa sending her a birthday message and pretty literally: "As expected, I like Risa.")
@MaYukiIsLife: Yuuka's going to get sadder soon. Somehow, right after I wrote the previous chapter, I thought to myself: "How do I make Yuuka's life more painful..." But, I'll fix it too, so don't kill me. Haha. Enjoy this chapter~




Checkpoint 17

In the end, Hirate Yurina and Nagahama Neru decided not to continue intruding in Akane’s room and started heading back to their own room.

Neru casually asked, “Yurina-chan, if you had to kiss me, would you kiss me?”

“Eh?” Yurina nearly stopped in her steps as she looked at Neru in confusion.

“Like if you had been asked in the King’s Game to kiss me.”

“Kissing is something that people in love do right?” The short haired girl smiled wryly, “I don’t want to do something you don’t want.”

Neru replied, “I wouldn’t really mind.”

“It’s okay. There’s no need to say that.”

“Yurina-chan, I wouldn’t mind. Would you not want me to kiss you?”

“Neru.” Yurina started her reply calmly.

The short haired girl walked on ahead. Neru couldn’t help but feel the distance in the hallway between herself and Yurina seemed wide. They weren’t holding hands at this moment and Neru wanted to take Yurina’s hand, but she knew that if there was anyone to do that, Neru wasn’t someone who deserved to after what had been done.

Yurina said, “Don’t say that to me.”

“Oh.” Neru mumbled as she followed after her roommate. Yurina looked exhausted, and somehow, that was nothing out of the ordinary but just something that Yurina didn’t let people see very often.

“A kiss is for someone you love, so you don’t need to waste it on someone who won’t be loved.”

“Yurin—”

“Let’s head back to our dorm room.”

Neru put her hand on her head in exasperation. She thought wryly to herself that she had messed up. Then, she went after Yurina and the two returned to the dorm room together.


—Because —————— can’t have love.


Moriya Akane flopped onto her bed, her friends having left and luckily cleaned up their mess after themselves. They left with a final congratulations for her tennis victory and gave her the remaining party favors and snacks. Akanen had put those snacks and the mikan she got from Oda Nana through Yurina and Neru into the kitchen, a small one attached to the dorm room that was a bit bigger than the bathroom.

“Sorry if we were too rowdy, Yuuka.” Akane said to Yuuka who was preparing to go to sleep.

Yuuka smiled and shook her head, “No, it’s okay. It was fun playing those games with everyone.”

“That’s good.” Akane heaved a sigh of relief and extended a metaphorical hand out toward her roommate, “If there’s anything bothering you, you can feel free to tell me.”

“Akanen, I…”

Akane looked toward Yuuka. The former didn’t interrupt the latter but instead waited for Yuuka to continue.

“I guess I’ve been a little homesick recently.”

“You’re from Tokyo right?”

“Yes. It’s a little weird being homesick when home is so close by, but I miss my parents.” Yuuka fumbled over her words when she reached the topic of her parents but quickly deflected to Akane, “How about you?”

“This is probably the first time I’ve been away from home for so long.” Akane replied, “But, I kind of expected that I would be a little homesick because Miyagi could be closer to Tokyo.”

“Do you keep in touch a lot with your family?”

“Just the normal amount, I think.” Akane thought to herself for a moment. “My dad doesn’t text me like Mii-chan’s dad does.”

“It seems nice how Mii-chan’s dad sends so much.” Yuuka sighed.

“Penguin big service.” Akane jokingly said, referring to Koike Minami’s dad who always sent weird good morning messages with penguin emoticons that Koike would complain about.

They chatted for a bit more before turning in for bed.



The sun was barely just up when the sports clubs started morning practice. Like always, Moriya Akane attended morning practice with the tennis club. She had just finished jogging when another member of the tennis club came up to her.

The member requested, “Moriya-san, can I ask you a question?”

“Okay.” Akane shrugged, not seeing why not.

The clubmate thought for a moment, trying to find a good way to phrase the question, and then asked, “Sugai-sama, is she related to the Sugai Company?”

Akane raised her eyebrows in surprise. She didn’t know the answer to that question, so she could only respond, “I can’t answer that.”

“Sorry for bothering you then.” The club member sheepishly bowed and ran off again.

Akane stood for a moment, letting a frown grace her face. She had heard of the Sugai Company before somewhere, but she had never thought to connect it to her roommate.

She stood quietly, trying to pull up where exactly she had heard of the Sugai Company before. Not remembering, Akane pulled out her phone to search up the Sugai Company.

The main news articles she found on the business were nearly a year old, and they all talked about how the technology company had a merger with another company and many people from the Sugai Company were laid off. There were some rumours about why the merger happened such as internal strife or the CEO being sabotaged.

Clicking around in sites, she found an article on the Sugai family who ran the Sugai Company. Strangely enough, the rival company that the merger happened with was also owned by a branch of the Sugai family.

“Eh?” Akane let out a noise of surprise as she saw Yuuka’s name.

Unexpectedly, Yuuka was a part of high society. Akane pondered to herself for a moment about a story where a princess was cast away from her position down to the ground but eventually she would be swept away by a prince back to that golden royalty.

Then, Akane shook her head. In the first place, that imagery didn’t suit Yuuka. Rags to riches or riches to rags, Yuuka seemed like a normal person and even though Akane didn’t know much about company mergers, she was pretty sure that people didn’t plummet into poverty from a merger but rather had back-ups or could find new jobs.

“A prince…” Akane huffed, feeling a little irked at the thought of Yuuka’s possible future boyfriend. “I don’t like that.”

Akane put her phone away, and she continued her morning practice with the club, jogging some more.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1408134#msg1408134)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 17 (Nov. 23, 2017)]
Post by: nevxist on November 24, 2017, 01:28:23 PM
Woah! I really wonder what happened to techi's past  :? Thanks for the update. I'll be waiting for the next one  :twothumbs
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 17 (Nov. 23, 2017)]
Post by: mooza on November 24, 2017, 07:40:37 PM
lol rip techineru

jk.

will be looking forward to techi's backstory cuz i have a lovehate relationship with angst
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 17 (Nov. 23, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on November 25, 2017, 04:29:34 AM
yeah i really want to know what happen on techi's past  :?

waiting for the next update  :twothumbs
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 17 (Nov. 23, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on November 25, 2017, 11:02:18 AM
I wanna know more!
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 17 (Nov. 23, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on November 25, 2017, 06:48:18 PM
I don't know but i get the feeling that techi is afraid of love. Like, she was betrayed or the other person and her relation gone horrible bcoz of what she feels.

Btw, thanks for the info about the mobame. I rarely read those so i just found out lol
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 4 (Dec. 3, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on December 03, 2017, 06:12:39 AM
@everyone: Sorry for the delay. Ahhhhhh, truly, thank you all for commenting. In complete honesty, I've had a half finished chapter on my doc since my last update. Yet... somehow, I didn't finish it. What is this productivity rate? It's pretty bad. But for now before I make myself finish the next chapter tomorrow, have a Techi-lude. (interlude)

@Kairi65: Techi being afraid of love. I'll keep you hanging on that question, but if it's on the spectrum of yes to no, it's definitely on the yes side.
@MaYukiIsLife: Glad to hear!
@RyoZakiji: Some insight onto Techi's past in this interlude, but not a in-depth look yet.
@mooza: Huhuhu, a love-hate relationship with angst? I don't know if I'm any good at writing angst, but the story as a whole is supposed to be pretty painful.
@nevxist: Thank for reading!



Interlude 4

Peering out the black tinted window of the car, sitting on the leather seats while the heating warmed the insides to protect against the chill of late winter, a long haired girl held a file with papers in her hand.

She was in Aichi at the moment, the car steadily driving through the prefecture. It was a long way from home, which was located in Kyushu. Yet, she couldn’t fully enjoy the taste of this different place.

The girl turned away from the outside. She peered down at the file in her hands. She had yet to read them through in the truest sense, having only glimpsed lightly at the papers inside.

Letting a sigh out of her mouth, the girl made up her mind and opened the file.

“Hirate Yurina.” She tasted the name, whispering it aloud.

The file was focused on a girl named Hirate Yurina. That much she already knew. When she opened up the file, she noticed a few pictures of Hirate clipped onto the first page.

One picture looked a bit older, Hirate with a childish short haircut. Hirate was smiling rather awkwardly as if being teased by someone good-heartedly. She was wearing the first year uniform of a local junior high school.

In the next picture, the junior high student had moved up a grade, her hair a little longer. In this picture, her smile looked a little exhausted, as if she was pushing herself to be someone she couldn’t be.

The girl in the car peered at the last picture, the most current one. Hirate looked pained. The girl in the car paused for a moment, squinting her eyes to scrutinize the picture. Rather than just pained, Hirate looked exhausted and even injured. However, the picture wasn’t very clear, and it was just a picture, so in the end, the girl in the car couldn’t put the whole story together.

Frowning, the girl in the car moved on with the file.

Name, birthday, and many other details were listed. For family, the Hirate family including the subject of the file also had an older son, a mother, and a father. There was a note of trivia of them having a dog. However, the older son was listed as deceased.

On further relations, it seemed that Hirate Yurina was rather popular with both the female and male populations of her school. She was the basketball team ace. Yet, something had completely cut those things off just over a year ago.

The girl in the car continued through the file, feeling more than just a little intrusive.

She entered the section of essays and notes written by the subject herself. There were segments of journals and school assignments including drawings and short scribbles. In addition, there were more pictures.

Surprisingly, the short haired subject of the file was smiling in those pictures. Beside her in a good half of them was a slightly older male, her brother. Another chunk of the pictures were with a female friend. The girl in the car wondered to herself why there were no pictures of Hirate Yurina with her parents except for those with her brother as well.

Then, the girl in the car started reading a short essay on family that was dated to about two years back. “Hirate Yukiteru.” The topic was the brother. “Beloved older brother.”

It was a cute essay, a bit clumsy in how it was written, but the girl in the car couldn’t help but feel that siblings were nice to have. The essay was mostly about the brother though.

Next, there were a few words about Hirate Yurina from other people, listed in chronological order. Firstly, the parents had said from years ago that their daughter was average compared to their son. A variety of others praised the girl while some more said she was normal or a bit darker than her brother.

Skimming through the comments, the girl in the car jolted in surprise at a sudden turn in negativity toward the subject.

Rereading a comment aloud, she couldn’t believe that the subject’s best friend would say such a thing, “The absolute worst…?”

The girl in the car turned her eyes away from the file for a moment, staring outside the window. Even though her employer hadn’t put all of the details in, she could put together the pieces of this Hirate Yurina’s existence from the file, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue.

She took a deep breath and resumed looking through the file.

She wasn’t doing a good deed from the start.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1408213#msg1408213)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 4 (Dec. 3, 2017)]
Post by: four4four on December 03, 2017, 09:20:26 AM
Ehhhhhhhhh?! I really want to know more about Techi's past.
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 4 (Dec. 3, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on December 03, 2017, 11:48:24 AM
Ehhhhhhhhh?! I really want to know more about Techi's past.

Agreed
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 4 (Dec. 3, 2017)]
Post by: RyoZakiji on December 04, 2017, 01:54:02 AM

Rereading a comment aloud, she couldn’t believe that the subject’s best friend would say such a thing, “The absolute worst…?”


i feel like techi's best friend is the same girl that the one she always say. and same girl in her dreams
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 4 (Dec. 3, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on December 04, 2017, 05:44:23 AM
Now this is a mystery. I wonder who's the girl skimming through the file
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Interlude 4 (Dec. 3, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on December 04, 2017, 10:34:02 PM
Now this is a mystery. I wonder who's the girl skimming through the file

Predicting it's Neru.

It was a long way from home, which was located in Kyushu.

This kinda gave me an indication, because Neru's now the only Kanji from Kyushu (as you all know she's from Nagasaki)
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 18 (Dec. 4, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on December 05, 2017, 12:40:11 AM
The truth is, when I said "tomorrow" I actually meant "tomorrow" as in yesterday, but... ah, I wrote it. I need to get Yuuka's arc more organized or else it'll be an incomprehensible mess.

@everyone: Thank you for reading! I'm glad you're curious about Techi's past. I'll move up some of the development I had planned to earlier in the story so you can see more of Techi. I would reply individually to everyone, but... ah, I don't want to give spoilers. I don't know if there's a way to spoiler tag on this site, so I'll just refrain from that now.





Checkpoint 18

Light clouds were looming in the sky, hinting at rain to come. The bell rang, signalling break time. Hirate Yurina looked up at the board. Today, the scores on the latest quiz were up on the board and points were distributed again.

The short haired girl sighed and laid her head down on the table. She felt the hardness of the metal band around her left wrist as she tried to put her hands under her head. She hadn’t done well on the English quiz, which wasn’t too unexpected.

“Yurina-chan.” Neru came up to Yurina.

Yurina greeted her roommate with a mumble, “Neru.”

Looking at the board and back at Yurina, Neru offered, “We can study English together next time.”

Yurina paused for a moment, about to refuse but then she thought again. “Thank you.” She did need help with studying.

The roommates looked back at the quiz ranking on the board again. It was like normal, some classmates getting better, some not. Neru noticed that Yuuka had dropped almost ten places from her usual place as a member of the class who studied and got good grades.

Suddenly, the board flickered away from the grades. Instead, the usual man who made announcements was there again.

Neru flinched as the screen abruptly changed. Yurina looked toward the figure on the screen with a frown as well.

“I see everyone appears to be doing well.” He started with a fake smile. “Summer break will be coming up in a matter of weeks, and exams will commence before the break. These exams can be either taken as a boon or a bane. If they are failed, you will receive huge demerits. If you do well, then you will receive many points. I hope you will take advantage of this situation.”

“If you have read through your student handbooks, then you may have noticed that having a set number of points is a requirement for graduation. Do not forget to maintain your points so that you can graduate.

“An overview of the exams will be displayed on this board during your next break.

“This will be all for now.”

The figure on the screen disappeared, and the rankings from the quiz reappeared. However, no one was looking at those quiz rankings anymore.



Moriya Akane sighed as she heard about the upcoming exams. Even though the Keyaki class had a looser structure of learning with lectures on the board, she felt that she should have expected exams.

However, when she looked around the room, it looked like not everyone shared her opinion. Manaka had her face down on the desk in denial of exams. Suzumoto’s face was contorted in shock. Imaizumi looked half passed out. Yonetani, one of the smart girls in the class, was going along life as if she had expected exams being announced.

Harada Aoi was hanging by Yuuka’s desk, incessantly poking the horse-loving girl, “Hey, hey, hey. Yukka. Hey, hey?”

Risa came over to Akane and joked, “Ah, Aoi is being annoying to Sugai.” Then, the cool girl shrugged, “Better her than me, I guess.”

Akane raised an eyebrow and picked up a small eraser on her desk. The tennis girl tossed the eraser at Aoi’s head, “Hey, primary schooler.”

“Who are you calling a primary schooler!?” Aoi pouted and took Yuuka’s arm to complain, “Geez, Yukka, Akanen is bullying me.”

“Huh?” Yuuka looked up toward Aoi and back at Akane, “Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.” She quickly put her phone away.

“Was the announcement of the exams that shocking?” Aoi wondered aloud.

“Exams? Um…” Yuuka fumbled over her words.

Aoi frowned, “Did you not pay attention?”

There was a silence. Then, another eraser came flying at Aoi’s head, and there was a small snicker of ‘bullseye’ from the area of Akane’s friend group.

“Hey!” Aoi pouted, sharply twisting toward the perpetrator.

Yuuka wryly smiled, “Akanen, don’t bully Aoi, okay?”

“Okay, okay.” Akane relented. “I’ll have Fuu-chan treat her to ice cream next time we go for some.”

“Akanen, don’t say that.” Fuyuka sighed, hitting Akane lightly in the forehead with an eraser.

“Never mind them, I guess.” Aoi grumbled before turning back to what she was originally going to say, “But, anyways, Yukka, Yukka, Yukka, listen to this.”

“What is it?”

Sugai Yuuka listened to Aoi’s ramblings half-heartedly. As Akane watched her roommate, she couldn’t help but let out another sigh. The clouds outside darkened more, and it started raining.



It was still raining into the next class period. The droplets didn’t cease but rather increased like the worries in Sugai Yuuka’s heart. As she couldn’t pay attention to class, the horse loving girl’s mind gradually drifted off to another rainy day.

She had just finished an activity with her friends in the horseback riding club when it started to pour. The mud of the horse area quickly stained her boots, and everyone retreated inside to wait for their parents to pick them up.

The long haired girl chatted happily with her friends. However, she felt that it was strange that her parents hadn’t come to pick her up yet. It was rather embarrassing because they always came early, gushed over their daughter for a while, and then headed home.

Pitter. Patter. At that time, Yuuka didn’t know how fitting the rain was after her happy time on the back of the horse.

Waiting, many of her friends had already been picked up by butlers or their parents. Yuuka hadn’t received any phone calls from her parents, and no servant from their household had appeared yet. She felt an itch of worry in her heart.

Yuuka’s friend noticed and asked, “Hey, Sugai-chan, no one has come to pick you up yet?” The friend’s butler had arrived.

“It doesn’t look like it.” Yuuka shook her head.

The friend inquired, “Do you want us to send you home?”

“Thank you, but maybe the traffic is bad today due to the rain.” Yuuka politely refused, “I can wait for them myself here. Don’t let me hinder you.”

Letting out a huff of exasperation at Yuuka’s politeness, the friend nodded firmly, “I’ll wait here with you then.”

They waited. The rain grew heavier, and the sky was dark. Even though it was early summer at this time as well, the rain made the air colder and wetter than normal, chilling Yuuka’s heart.

Finally, another car pulled up. Yuuka’s male distantly related cousin stepped out of the car with an umbrella and greeted her.

Yuuka’s friend unconsciously grabbed Yuuka’s hand when she saw the cousin’s sharp look behind his glasses.

“Cousin, what are you doing here?” Yuuka asked.

He replied, “Your parents had something come up, so I’ve come to pick you up.”

“That’s strange.”

“Do you not trust me? We can call aunt to check again if you’d like.”

“No, it’s okay.” Yuuka shook her head, “It’s just somewhat rare for cousin to come out here since you don’t like horsebacking riding much.”

“It was a bit of an emergency.” His eyes were mirthful.

Yuuka bid friend farewell, and Yuuka and her cousin stepped into the car. In the car, they could still hear the sound of the rain and for some reason, the air conditioning was lightly blowing in the car.

“What happened?”

“Do you not know?”

Yuuka was silent. She clenched her hands tightly in her lap but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything and affirmed her older male cousin’s words.

“Uncle is in the hospital right now. It seems that he overworked himself especially now that they are discussing a merger of the Sugai Company with mine.”

“Father is…”

“No one told you? Your parents love you a lot, so they likely didn’t want to worry you.” He smiled, and Yuuka thought that it was a terrible smile, “You’re a beautiful young lady, Yuuka.”

The horse-loving girl didn’t know what to respond. She wasn’t sure why her cousin would add on such a praise for her, but in her heart, she felt that it was worse to be loved and not told anything by her parents. She didn’t want to have that kind of love.

Sugai Yuuka didn’t know when but some tears had gathered in her eyes.

Sitting up in her seat in the Keyaki class, Yuuka noticed that she had fallen asleep. Quickly wiping away her budding tears, she looked up at the board to at least try to pay attention to class.

It was still raining.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1408549#msg1408549)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 18 (Dec. 4, 2017)]
Post by: four4four on December 05, 2017, 04:23:55 AM
Yuuka~~~~~~ What is happening?

I don't trust the cousin.   :angry:
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 18 (Dec. 4, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on December 05, 2017, 06:19:12 AM
Please say akanen saw her tears  :cry:

And yes, i don't trust nor like this cousin of hers
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 19 (Dec. 13, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on December 14, 2017, 03:35:32 AM
I don't understand how it took me this long to write this checkpoint. I'm really really sorry if it's lackluster. Thank you for reading. Yuuka's arc is supposed to really escalate in Checkpoint 21. (Maybe I'm just not good at pacing...)





Checkpoint 19


Three days had passed since the announcement of the exams. Habu Mizuho peered out from behind a bookshelf toward her classmates who were sitting in the library, reading books. In her hands, she had a copy of a manga about titans and she was both reading it and pretending to read it as she watched.

“Habu-chan, Habu-chan, what are they doing?” A sweet voice whispered to the tall girl.

Habu replied, “They look like they’re just studying.”

The owner of the sweet voice nodded. She had in her hand a manga with a penguin idol group. This girl, Koike Minami, stuck her head out as well to take a peek at her classmates at the table.

Together, Habu and Koike stared at their classmates, Sugai Yuuka and Moriya Akane. For some reason, Akane and Yuuka had an
awkward gap in the form of a seat between them.

“...They’re really just studying.” Koike sighed as she looked at Akane and Yuuka, letting out a bit of her Kansai dialect as she asked, “What is this…?”

“I don’t know.” Habu replied with a whisper.

“Are they fighting? Yuuka’s been looking down recently.”

“A lover’s quarrel?”

“Habu-chan, you’ve been reading too much yuri manga recently, I think.” Koike giggled, “Hehehe.” Then, she made a face to herself and thought, “But…”

“Maybe it’s not a lover’s quarrel. But, what is it?”

Instead of answering her tall friend’s question, the penguin girl suddenly asked as she squinted, noticing, “Is Yuuka reading that book upside-down?”

As the pair whispered behind the bookshelf, Akane put down her book for a moment and looked behind her toward the bookshelves. She didn’t see anything strange as Koike and Habu had pulled their head backs just in time.

The tennis club girl turned back to her book. She glanced over to her roommate and noticed that Yuuka’s book was upside down, Yuuka furrowing her brows while not reading in the slightest.

Akane pointed out, “Yuuka, you’re reading the book upside down.”

“O-oh, oops.” Yuuka sheepishly smiled and turned her book right-side up. “Thank you, Akanen.”

“What’s on your mind?”

“...It’s… nothing much.”

The two of them went back to reading after an awkward moment. Akane didn’t push further this time, and the two watching from the back felt a little frustrated.

Habu and Koike peered out from behind the bookshelves again.

Habu whispered, “Are you sure that it’s not a lover’s quarrel?”

Koike nodded, “Maybe it’s a lover’s quarrel.”

Habu and Koike once again retreated behind the bookshelf to get a plan down. The two put away their manga and thought to themselves for a moment. The penguin girl hugged the tall girl as she pondered.

“Operation Find out What’s Making Yuuka sad!” Habu pumped her fist into the air lightly.

Koike nodded, “Let’s observe more to try to figure it out.”

As the two conversed, Aoi passed by their bookshelf.

“What are you two doing?” Aoi asked.



Sugai Yuuka checked her phone as she sat in the library. No matter how much she refreshed LINE, her family didn’t send anything. She couldn’t bring her fingers to press the button to call them either.

She looked toward Akane who was properly studying.

Yuuka respected her friend whose long eyelashes fluttered every blink while reading a book. Comparatively, Yuuka couldn’t focus at all. She rubbed her wrist with the wristband from the Keyaki class, and looked down at her book.

Her attention drifted off again.

At the time when the rain seemed like it would never stop, she didn’t know anything about what happened with her father that made him overwork so much that he ended up in the hospital.

Yuuka had gone into her father’s hospital room as quickly as she could.

“Yuuka!” Yuuka’s older sister called out to Yuuka.

Yuuka wrung her hands in worry, asking, “Is father okay?”

“He’s…” Her sister started, noticing their cousin standing at the door and not knowing if she should say the whole truth.

Yuuka’s father called out, pushing himself up as if to reassure her, “I’m okay.” However, his voice sounded weak and even sitting up looked strenuous.

Yuuka looked at her father. He had IV drips slowly feeding him nutrients, lots of machinery around him. Her mother was holding his hand tightly. He looked pale, his black hair greying and his face filled with stress lines. He tried to push away his condition with his smile, but Yuuka could only see that he was weak.

The horse loving girl wondered why it was that she hadn’t noticed her father’s health deteriorating.

“It’s okay, Yuuka.” Yuuka’s father said, “I will be better in no time. We can go horseback riding together next time.”

Yuuka nodded. She felt a weight in her stomach, as if despite her father’s words, he was somehow pushing her away. She wondered why he had to pretend to be strong in front of her.

The horse loving girl looked down at her feet.

Then, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked toward the owner of the hand and saw her cousin, eyes coldly smiling despite his neutral expression. A chill ran up her back, and she quickly turned away.

The cousin greeted Yuuka’s father and politely said, “Uncle, please make sure to take care of your health.”

“Ah, yes, Seiichirou-kun.” Yuuka’s father acknowledged that the cousin was there with a pause.

Yuuka noticed her older sibling strangely shooting their cousin a venomous look.

The two men in the room began to talk about business and the upcoming business merger. There was a tense mood as the cousin, Seiichirou, spoke confidently as if he had already won something

Yuuka thought to herself, ‘They don’t tell me anything.’ She realized that she knew very little about her family members’ lives.



Rain started falling from the sky again. Pitter. Patter. Inside the library, Koike Minami, Habu Mizuho, and Harada Aoi all sat down on the floor, trying to figure out what was occupying their friend Yuuka.

Aoi sighed as if she was saying the obvious, “Shouldn’t we just ask Yukka what’s wrong?”

Koike frowned. “Can you ask? I don’t know if I’m reliable enough. I think she’d just worry more if I asked.” She knew that communicating was the most straightforward way to find out, but she didn’t have any confidence.

“Mii-chan…” Habu murmured.

“None of us are really that reliable, huh.” Aoi nodded, hugging her knees closer to her body, “Ah, this sucks.”

Koike quickly stood up and proclaimed, “If we’re always like this, nothing’s going to change. That’s why...”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1408922#msg1408922)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 19 (Dec. 13, 2017)]
Post by: four4four on December 14, 2017, 05:39:37 AM
I still don't trust the cousin.

Yuuka what is happening with you? You didn't even notice the book was upside down.  :cry:  You should open up to Akanen about your troubles.  :)

What was Koike going to say? Are they going to help Yuuka?
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 19 (Dec. 13, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on December 14, 2017, 07:29:02 AM
"That's why...." what? Wanna know the continuation already xD
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20 (Dec. 21, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on December 22, 2017, 04:18:11 AM
@Kairi65: Hopefully this continuation doesn't disappoint! Thank you for reading!
@four4four: Thank you for reading! The moral of this arc might be that sometimes, you just have to talk it out, but... for now, it seems that the girls will be fumbling their way through.

Really... somehow? This chapter took longer than expected. I'm sorry. Luckily, my winter break starts tomorrow. Thus, I'll check over the chapter and be able to write more. I didn't manage to put in everything I wanted to put into here, so I'll be sure to keep writing.



Checkpoint 20


A few light thumps echoed through the library. The sun was starting to set. Sugai Yuuka and Moriya Akane put away their books and pushed in their seats as they got up. The roommates exited the library together, feeling the air conditioned air of the library dissipate as they stepped into the hallways, where the windows were open, letting in a breeze.
Yuuka looked down as she walked. There was a gap between her and Akane.

Akane called out to Yuuka, “Hey, Yuuka.”

“What is it?” Yuuka responded.

The warm summer breeze rolled through the open window, blowing Yuuka’s hair a little, causing the horse loving girl move her hand to stop it. Akane’s cheeks flushed, not just from the warmth of the weather, but also from how pretty Yuuka looked. However, the smile that spread joy from one girl to another wasn’t properly present, so Akane couldn’t truly feel happy.

Akane pulled up her courage, her endless well of spirit that seemed to be unable to penetrate Yuuka’s wall of silence, and tried to breach the topic of Yuuka’s worries,“Recently, you’ve be—”

She was suddenly interrupted by a childish sounding voice, “Yuuka!”

When the roommates turned, they noticed Koike Minami coming along. Akane looked toward Yuuka again, but Yuuka had averted her gaze away from Akane.

Yuuka asked in confusion, “Eh? Mii-chan?” However, there was a hint of relief in her voice.

“Let’s head back together.”  The penguin loving girl mumbled, feeling nervousness come into her heart. She lightly grasped Yuuka’s sleeve and looked up, “I… I have something I want to talk to you about.”

“Okay.” Yuuka turned back toward Akane after nodding to Mii-chan almost instinctively. “Akanen, I…”

Suddenly, Habu and Aoi crept up from behind Akane. They each grabbed one side of Akane. The two flinched as they noticed Akane’s dark look, feeling Akane stiffen up as if ready to throw them off. They let out a light sight of relief as they noticed Akane relax.

The two, Aoi and Habu, blurted out, “Akanen, come with us! Yuuka, we’re stealing her for a moment!”

“Fine, but Yuuka—” Akane sighed.

Yuuka gently cut off her roommate, “I’ll tell you when everything is finished, okay?” The horse loving girl smiled weakly and gave a light wave.

Akane didn’t say anymore. She just nodded and waved back, dragging Aoi’s hands up with her arm.




As Akane watched Yuuka go on ahead, she removed Habu and Aoi’s hands from her arms. Crossing her arms, Akane sent a sharp look toward the two girls and waited for them to say whatever it was that they grabbed her for.

Aoi awkwardly asked, “... are you mad?”

Akane replied, “I’m mad.” She flicked Aoi on the forehead.

“Ouch!” Aoi yelped.

Habu stealthily covered her own forehead and looked toward Akane. “We wanted to ask you something.”

“What is it?” Akane questioned.

“Yuuka.” Habu quickly replied, “Did you do something to Yuuka? She’s been acting strange.”

Akane retorted, “Huh? I want to ask that to you.”

Aoi butted in, “Well, you two are like an old married couple having a fight, so there’s no way there’s nothing happening.”

“What are you talking about?” Akane sighed.

“I’m doing the interrogating here!” Aoi pouted.

Akane flicked Aoi’s forehead again, “Stupid.”

“Hey!” Aoi yelled, “Really, really, really. Yuuka’s been looking depressed recently. What happened? Did you break up? Were you flirting with Fuu-chan too much?”

“Aoi-chan…” Habu tried to hold Aoi back.

Akane responded heatedly, “What are you talking about!?”

“Akanen did you do something to make Yuuka sad? Hey, hey.” Aoi continued prodding, ignoring Habu, “Did you two break up or something?”

“We’re not going out!” Akane finally burst, “In the first place, Yuuka hasn’t been telling me anything either, okay!?”

The tennis girl grabbed Aoi by the collar angrily and glared into Aoi’s eyes. Akane’s hands shook with anger, but at the same time, her eyes glistened with frustration. She tightened her grip on Aoi’s collar, nearly picking the smaller girl off the ground.

“What do you think I feel!?” Akane shouted.

“H-how am I supposed to know?” Aoi replied, feeling regret that she asked too much. “Akanen, you’re scaring me!”

Habu flustered in the background, trying to coax both of her classmates to calm down.

Akane let out her feelings without meaning to, “Even though I love her, she won’t tell me anything no matter how much I ask!”

Aoi was speechless.

Finally, Akane let out a trembling sigh. She turned her head away and wiped her hand over her eyes for a moment, acting as if there hadn’t been tears. She shook her head and sent another look toward the pair.

“I’m not going to apologize, but…” Akane scowled.

Clenching her fists, she ran off.

Aoi and Habu looked at Akane’s retreating back. The shorter girl looked down at the ground and sniffled. She held her arms guiltily and glanced toward Habu who was similarly looking down.

“...I think I did something bad.” Aoi mumbled.



Feeling a chill despite the warmth of summer, Yuuka looked up at the sky. The moon had already come up even if the sky was still darkening, but it was covered by the clouds. She and Koike walked together, the penguin loving girl clinging onto Yuuka’s sleeve.

Yuuka asked, “Mii-chan, what did you want to talk about?”

Koike blurted out, “Yuuka, has something been worrying you recently?”

“Ah…” Yuuka’s expression froze for a moment. She didn’t want to reply.

The penguin loving girl apologized, “Sorry.”

“No, it’s okay. It’s just a little something. Don’t worry.”

“Yuuka…”

The two continued walking back to the dorms. Yuuka looked toward Koike who was still cutely clinging onto her sleeve. The horse loving girl felt warm inside knowing that she was blessed with such good friends, but she couldn’t bring herself to tell them her worries.

“Yuuka likes Akanen, right?” Koike inquired, hypothesizing what could be worrying her friend.

Yuuka paused again, “Eh?” This time, it was from surprise, not from a hesitation to answer the question.

“If you’re worried about it, I’ll be supporting you.” Koike fumbled her way through her supporting statement, clenching Yuuka’s sleeve as if to show her conviction. “Even if you’re going out with Akanen, we’ll still be friends.”

Yuuka smiled wryly, “We’re not going out.”

Thinking of going out with her roommate, Yuuka’s heart beat a little faster than usual. However, for her, the truth of the matter was that they were not dating and likely wouldn’t.

Koike followed up shyly, “Then, you just like her?”

“I…” Yuuka stopped. She realized to herself with a dejected smile that she hid away from Koike, “Yes, I probably like Akanen.”

The penguin loving girl perked up, “I’ll support you!”

“I don’t think we can be together like that though.” Yuuka whispered.


—That would be nice if it could come true.



NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1409033#msg1409033)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20 (Dec. 21, 2017)]
Post by: four4four on December 22, 2017, 07:12:03 AM
Akanen, hang in there! You will get your Yuuka soon!  :cry:

What do you mean, Yuuka? Why can't you and Akanen be together?   :?
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20 (Dec. 21, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on December 22, 2017, 01:48:50 PM
Well, good news is that both aoi, habu and miichan will know yukkanen liked each other when they met up. But yukka...so much sadness.. :cry:
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20.5 (Dec. 24, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on December 25, 2017, 12:49:14 AM
Checkpoint 20.5


“Yurina-chan, do you get along with your family?”
“Just normally.”
“Liar. That really is a lie. Because you—”


“Yurina-chan.”


Hirate Yurina was startled out of her thoughts by her roommate’s voice. The short haired girl’s chopsticks had stopped moving for a while, and despite the sound of her classmates talking in the dorm cafeteria, she had gone into her own little world. It was nighttime, and they were eating dinner.

Neru sat next to Yurina. Imaizumi Yui sat on Yurina’s other side. On the other side of the table, the three roommates, Oda Nana, Kobayashi Yui, and Suzumoto Miyu were also eating. Some of their other classmates were also in the cafeteria, but not everyone ate at the same time.

The short haired girl replied, pretending that she hadn’t zoned out, “What is it, Neru?”

“How many siblings do you have?”Neru asked with a smile.

Yurina paused for a moment. Just thinking about it made her chest hurt a little bit, but she mumbled out her answer, “I… had a big brother.” She thought to herself that Neru didn’t know, and that she didn’t want to tell Neru either.

Not noticing Yurina’s hesitation, Suzumoto grinned as she gently pushed Oda Nana, “See, Dani, Techi’s a younger sibling.”

“Okay, I lose. I lose.” Oda Nana relented, having predicted that Yurina didn’t have an older sibling. As Suzumoto gave her a clingy hug, she retorted half-heartedly, “Get off me, Suzumoto.”

“Eh~ but I love you so much, Dani!” Suzumoto laughed.

Oda Nana turned away toward Yui-pon, “Pon, save me!”

Oda and Suzumoto’s roommate followed to turn away and pretend that her roommates weren’t being weird like always, “What are you two even doing…?”

Imaizumi said in reply to Yui-pon’s helpless look, “It looks fun.”

After taking another bite of her food, Neru looked toward Imaizumi, “Zuumin, how many siblings do you have?”

“Four older brothers.” Imaizumi answered. “They’re a bit noisy, but I kind of want to go home and see them soon.”

Oda Nana turned the question to Neru, “How about Neru?”

“I have a big brother and sister.” Neru answered.

“Dani?” Suzumoto asked.

Dani replied, “I have a little sister.” She smiled, “She grows up so fast though.”

“Ehh, I’m jealous. Of your little sister. I want to be your little sister.” Suzumoto whined, still clinging to Oda Nana.

“Eh, what’s with that?”

Watching the roommates and their third roommate who was trying to ignore them, Neru giggled, “Miyu-chan can become an Oda without being blood-related to Oda Nana.”

Suzumoto made a strange face of shock before blushing profusely, burying her face into Oda Nana’s shoulder. Oda Nana took a moment to stare at Neru before sputtering incoherently in retort, blushing as well.

All the while, Yurina continued eating the food that had started getting cold.

Imaizumi got up at some point and changed the channel on the television in the cafeteria. She smiled to the other Yui and hummed along to Nishino Kana who was performing on the Music Station channel.

“Yurina-chan, what type of family name would you like to have?” Neru asked.

“Anything but Hirate.” Yurina replied. “How about Neru?”

“Nagahama is good, I think. Yurina-chan can join the Nagahama family and become one of us.”


—Stop.
—----- doesn’t deserve this happiness.


The Keyaki dorms were far too vast for just 21 people, yet there they stood. Oda Nana walked through the building, feeling like trying out the gym. Suzumoto went toward the dance studio, eager to continue improving her dance that she studied since she was young, and her other roommate was with Imaizumi, the two of them headed toward the music studio that Oda Nana hadn’t realized existed.

Entering the gym, Oda Nana heard the sound of someone already inside, punching and panting.

She walked in, and to her surprise, she saw Moriya Akane in casual clothes, punching a punching bag in the corner as if the bag had murdered her family and her pet dog. The sweat on Akane’s forehead nearly made Oda Nana not notice the glistening in the tennis girl’s eyes.

Oda Nana headed toward a treadmill near the punching bag. She set down the two water bottles she grabbed beforehand and starting lightly jogging on the treadmill.

Vrmm. Vrm. Bang! Aside from the buzzing of the treadmill, the light blowing of air conditioning, and Akane’s mutilation of the punching bag, the gym was quiet.

Minutes passed. Akane’s breathing got heavier, and her face seemed flushed. Oda Nana didn’t know how long her classmate had been in the gym, but she noticed that Akane forgot to bring water.

Oda Nana slowed down on the treadmill and stopped her jogging. Reaching down to grab one of her bottles of water, she called out, “Akanen.”

Akane turned to look at Oda Nana, nearly getting hit in the face by the recoil of the punching bag that she had been hitting, “Dani?”

“Water, for you.” Oda Nana threw Akane the bottle of water.

Akane opened the bottle and took a drink, “Thanks.”

“It’s nothing.” Oda Nana shook her head, picking up the other bottle to take a sip. “Is there someone you want to punch right now?”

Akane nearly choked on her water with a laugh. “Yea. Just a bit. Myself mostly for being so useless.”

“You’ve already beaten your hands up enough.”

“This was dumb in hindsight.” Akane looked down at her knuckles, which were starting to bleed a little. “I don’t want to worry Yuuka more than she already is worried.”

“Akanen really loves Yuuka, huh.”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“No way!” Oda Nana rejected the notion. “I won’t tell anyone if you are. It’s your secret to keep, but I don’t think you should keep it bottled up. It’s better being rejected than not knowing the rejection.”

“Are you talking about you and Yui-pon?”

“Ahaha, I won’t give up on my love.” Oda Nana’s shoulders slumped a little. “One day, she’ll see my dedication.”

“Dani, don’t be gross.”

“It’s love!”

“I’m jealous of how straightforward you are.”

“Akanen?”

Moriya Akane cried quietly.




Merry Christmas! 
Somehow, eh... isn't this x.5 checkpoint a little dark? Just a little. I feel really bad doing this Akanen. Please don't kill me.

@Kairi65: Thank you for reading. I wonder if HabuMiiAoi will be able to help with YuukaNen. Somehow, Yuuka's issues have been driving the two roommates apart.
@four4four: Thank you for reading! As for why Yuuka believes that they can't be together... that should be answered later in the arc.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1409146#msg1409146)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20.5 (Dec. 24, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on December 25, 2017, 01:44:12 AM
Its been a few chapters since I commented, Merry Christmas btw... but DUDE WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO AKANEN?!?!
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20.5 (Dec. 24, 2017)]
Post by: four4four on December 25, 2017, 02:45:58 AM
Techi joining the Nagahama family.  :drool:

Akanen~~~  :cry:
Im rooting for you!  :inlove:
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 20.5 (Dec. 24, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on December 26, 2017, 03:54:41 AM
Lol, didn't expect mon to blush after what neru said.
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 21 + 21.5 (Dec. 26, 2017)]
Post by: Shinoki on December 26, 2017, 10:56:50 PM
Checkpoint 21


The sun was bright and hot despite it being early morning. The Keyaki class girls filtered in and out of the air conditioned cafeteria for breakfast, some not even bothering with breakfast at all, just there to head out with their friends.

The television in the cafeteria flickered through channels before stopping on the news. There wasn’t much of interest on at the moment, so the girls let the news act as white noise behind their chatter.

A week had passed since Habu and Aoi confronted Akane, and they were still on unsteady terms.

Watanabe Risa looked toward Akane worriedly. Although the cool Watanabe didn’t let her worry show on her face, she was getting a little sick of Akane’s moping and spoke up, “Hey, Akanen, are you okay?”

For some reason, two people twitched at Risa’s voice, Akane and Aoi.

Risa stared at the two blankly, noticing a spark of animosity come between the two. She sighed internally, and Fuyuka, who was by her side, let out a similarly troubled smile.

“I’m fine.” Akane replied.

“You’re not fine at all.” Risa snorted.

Akane grumbled irritatedly, “I know. I know. I know.” She glanced over at Yuuka longingly, and she quickly looked away, stuffing a chopstick full of natto into her mouth.

“No.”

“I’m going to make it fine.”

Risa relented. “Good.” She went back to her breakfast as well, carefully cutting up some French toast that had already been lathered with syrup.

Manaka called out from the other side of the table, “Risa, give me a bite.”

Not even waiting for Risa’s fork to come over to her, Manaka leaned across the table and ate the piece of French toast that Risa had cut. She grinned as if she had accomplished some great deed.

“Geez, impatient.”

“It’s delicious.”

“You have some syrup on your lips.” Risa reached out toward her roommate with a napkin.

Yet, before Risa reached Manaka, Manaka licked her own lips, giving Risa a wink.

Watching at the side, Fuyuka gave both of them a friendly bonk on the head, and said, “Go flirt somewhere else.” On the inside, she was glad that the roommates were getting along. There was somehow a heavy feeling in this area of the cafeteria.



Sugai Yuuka ate quietly. She hadn’t realized when, but a large gap had been created between her roommate and herself. She glanced toward Akane, but she couldn’t keep looking.

She thought back to a time when she had felt alone.

At that time, she had come to the hospital after school in order to visit her father who was sick. They had all thought that he would be getting better soon, and the Sugai family would be back to being a healthy, happy family.

Yuuka, still in her school uniform, was outside her father’s door when she heard her mother talking to him through the door.

She stopped. Even though she knew that she could go in, she felt as if she couldn’t. It was because they always stopped talking when she came. It was because they tried to hide everything from her ears. It wasn’t soothing in the slightest, as much as she knew her parents may have just wanted to protect their daughter.

“Dear, are you sure that we shouldn’t?” She heard her mother’s voice.

Her father’s voice replied, “I know, but we can’t worry Yuuka like that.”

“I know that.”

“What do you think of Seiichirou-kun?”

“Father, I don’t approve.” Even her sister was in the room. “He doesn’t deserve her.”

“I don’t have much time left. The doctor says that I may not make another two years.” Her father said with a cough.

Yuuka stepped back in shock. She put her hands over her mouth to stop herself from making another noise. She couldn’t help but shake at the idea that her father would die, that it wasn’t just a small illness.

A nagging voice said in her mind that she should have expected it.

As Yuuka moved back, she suddenly felt a pair of hands on her shoulders. She flinched, twisting back and instinctively going to jab the man in order to get him to move away.

“Cousin.” Then she heard his voice.

Her cousin removed his hands and adjusted his glasses. He put on a disarming smile, but like always, the smile didn’t seem to reach his eyes.

Yuuka’s shoulders slumped, relaxing, and she let out a noise of acknowledgment, “Ah..”

“Don’t worry. Uncle will be fine. I’ll take care of you.”

“Thank you.”

Yuuka moved away from her cousin, but he gently reached for her hand instead.

“There’s no need to thank me. Only...”

His smile chilled her heart.


“—Sugai—”


Yuuka was suddenly jolted out her thoughts when she heard her family name said in a familiar yet unfamiliar voice. It wasn’t any of her classmates. Then, she looked toward the cafeteria television, which was broadcasting something about her family.

She smiled wryly to herself that she had fallen to news stories and other people to find out about her family.

The horse loving girl looked toward the screen. Most of her classmates didn’t pay the news any heed, but she noticed that Akane and her friends were.

Her cousin Seiichirou was on the screen, being interviewed on the current activities of his companies. Meanwhile, the newscasters commented on his status as a very well sought after bachelor.

Yuuka thought to herself of a phone call that she had received a week earlier from him. He had said that her father was in worsening conditions, and the treatments were very expensive and were becoming difficult to pay for. Seiichirou offered a way for him to help, but he had a condition.

Yuuka shook her head. She didn’t want to think of it.

She glanced toward Akane and steeled her heart.

“We’ve suddenly received an urgent report.”


“The former CEO of the Sugai Company is currently in critical condition—”


She didn’t comprehend her own feelings at that moment.

She didn’t realize the loud sound of her standing up, and the silence that followed.

And she didn’t notice that she was crying when she ran out.

Except, Akane did.




Checkpoint 21.5


The sky was dark, but still, it seemed that the world was sparkling with the light of the stars under the lights of the towering buildings in Tokyo. The girl let out a small puff of white as she breathed out into the winter air. Snow had yet to fall this year.

The girl with long black hair was walking aimlessly through the city. She wore the uniform of a affluent private school under her jacket, yet she wasn’t enjoy the festivities that came with the winter season like many of her other classmates.

Instead, her eyes were a red from crying.

No one paid the girl any heed. She was outside by herself because she didn’t want the people who would have paid attention to pay attention and worry about her.

She rubbed her hands together and breathed on them. The tips of her fingers were red. She had forgotten her gloves. The hospital was just two blocks away, but she didn’t want to head back to retrieve the gloves.

People were walking all around, chatting and laughing and playing music.

She sat down at a bench near a tree and wondered about her future. She didn’t want to be a burden on her family, but she knew that she was one. She wondered what type of job she would have in the future, if she could continue onto college, and all those other things.

The future seemed dark compared to the city lights.

Once upon a time, it had seemed endless, and even if she fell, no one would be hurt. She could just start again. However, now, her heart was filled with doubt.

At some point, the girl had starting looking down at her feet, losing her attention on her surroundings.

Fwaph. Then, a flyer suddenly flew into her face.

The girl fumbled to remove the flyer, but the wind seemed to be against her. When she finally got the flyer, her hair was a mess. She sighed, clumsily fixing her hair.

She took a look at the unlucky flyer, eyes widening in surprise at what was said on the paper.

She just didn’t realize that she had made her decision in that split moment.


“I want to be financially independent.”
“I don’t want to be a burden.”

She said very simply as she showed her family her acceptance letter to the Keyaki class.


The sky was light. Walking through campus in spring, the girl saw flowers starting to bloom and sakura floating through the light breeze. She wore a different uniform than she wore a year ago, and now there was a metal bracelet on her wrist.

She noticed her new classmates enjoying themselves across campus. The school clubs were recruiting at the moment. One of her classmates was even talking excitedly about micro-organisms with the science club. She looked around, politely declining the offers of the clubs.

The girl noticed her roommate, Moriya Akane, with her hair up in a ponytail, talking with the tennis club. The girl, Sugai Yuuka, felt that Akane looked very nice with her hair up.

As Yuuka was about to continue strolling along, Akane finished her chat with the tennis club and turned around, noticing Yuuka.

“S-Yuuka.” The ponytailed girl quickly called out to her roommate, correcting herself in how she called Yuuka. She jogged over.

Yuuka greeted her roommate, tasting the nickname as it rolled off her tongue, “Hello, Akanen.”

“Have you joined a club?”

“No, not yet. I wonder if there’s a horseback riding club.”

“I haven’t seen one yet, but let’s go look for it together.”

Yuuka took the hand that Akane extended toward her. It was warm.



Before she knew it, her heart latched on and didn’t want to let go.






Thank you very much for reading! This update came quick, but really, it turns out that the boom I thought would happen in Checkpoint 21 might not have actually been that big of a boom. (perhaps, I don't know what I'm doing) Nonetheless, it's a pseudo-double update.

Although the titling of the chapters range from Checkpoints to Checkpoint x.5s to Interludes, there is a bit of a system. Checkpoints are main story. x.5 means that it's within the bounds of the current arc but slightly not main story. Interludes are exposition scenes or little peeks into other parts of the story before or after an event happens. Though... ah, this system is really loose.

Really, thank you for reading!

@Kairi65: Oda Nana x Suzumoto or Oda Nana x Yui-pon. Suzumoto is smitten with our resident camel.
@four4four: I'm rooting for Akanen too. (seriously, Akanen should go beat up that Seiichirou dude)
@MaYukiIsLife: Merry Christmas~ (belated) Suffering is the start of happiness? It's okay, I'll make sure our beloved girls are happy!


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1409371#msg1409371)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 21 + 21.5 (Dec. 26, 2017)]
Post by: four4four on December 27, 2017, 01:01:55 AM
Akanen, go after Yuuka! :cry:

I agree, Akanen should go beat up Seiichirou. :angry:
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 21 + 21.5 (Dec. 26, 2017)]
Post by: Kairi65 on December 27, 2017, 06:01:22 AM
Akanen, go after Yuuka! :cry:

I agree, Akanen should go beat up Seiichirou. :angry:

I agree! Can't wait to see akanen beat him up!
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 21 + 21.5 (Dec. 26, 2017)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on December 27, 2017, 12:37:52 PM
omg...  :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: YUUKA!!! :'(
Title: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22 (Jan. 01, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on January 01, 2018, 06:14:34 AM
Happy New Year! 2018! Let this be a good year for Keyaki! Seeing as it's basically midnight here in the east coast of the USA, ah... perhaps there are some errors in the writing of this checkpoint. And I might say some weird things. But, happy new year!

Haha, thank you all for reading this fic. I started it in like October, so it's been a little less than 3 months. Of course, it'll keep going for quite a bit. Thus, thank you for reading, and I hope that everyone who reads continues to enjoy this fic even if there are a lot of ups and downs along the way.

@MaYukiIsLife: Thank you for reading! Ah... Yuuka. Um... I'll do my best not to make her cry anymore after this arc is done!
@Kairi65: Thanks for reading!
@four4four: Akanen chases, but will she truly be able to catch Yuuka? Dun dun dun. It's that type of question. (I think?)

@everyone: Thank you for reading! I say this a lot, but these are my true feelings. Knowing people enjoy this fic is a really happy feeling. To the people who only lurk and read, I hope you're enjoying the fic. To the people who only leave thank yous, thank you for showing that you enjoy this fic. To the people who have told me that they enjoy this fic through other mediums (ie. PM, other forum posts), thank you very much! Uwah, I'm so happy. Of course, to the people who comment, thank you for reading. I hope you'll keep reading in this new year! (Also, I've been yabbering on for a while, so enjoy the checkpoint~)




Checkpoint 22


Akane dropped her chopsticks, not minding that they clattered to the ground. She got out of her seat so quickly that she nearly tripped. When she saw Yuuka ran out, her mind had frozen for a moment, but she was still screaming at herself to chase after her roommate, to ask what was wrong even if Yuuka wouldn’t tell her.

—Even if Yuuka wouldn’t tell her.

A cold thought crossed her mind. Suddenly, she felt a slap on the back from Manaka of all people.

“Go.” Manaka said.

“I don’t need you to tell me that.” Akane nodded. “But, thanks.”

With that one second interaction done, Akane went after Yuuka. Using the muscles that she developed in morning trainings for the tennis club, Akane sprinted out the door. For a moment, Akane almost couldn’t spot her roommate.

She ran.

Even though Akane knew that she was faster than Yuuka from those times that their gym teacher had the whole class run during class, Akane felt as if she couldn’t catch up to Yuuka. She pushed her legs to go faster.

“Yuuka!” Akane called out, ignoring her need to breathe while running.

They had exited the dorm building a while ago. Rather than heading along the paths toward school, Yuuka headed through the foliage near one of the school gardens.

The two girls entered the garden, still running. Although the light filtering through the flowers and trees made for a beautiful image, all they could focus on was the movement of their feet and that sound.

Yuuka’s shoulders shook with her hiccups from crying as she ran. She didn’t know where she wanted to go, but hearing Akane behind her, she didn’t want to face her friend or anyone.

Akane reached out her hand toward Yuuka and grabbed onto Yuuka’s hand without thinking. The two came to a halt in the middle of the garden.

They didn’t exchange any words. Yuuka’s hand simply slipped from Akane’s grip. The horse loving girl’s back was facing Akane, but Akane could still see that Yuuka was crying, Yuuka’s hands moving to wipe away tears that kept coming out. Akane’s heart was pounding from running, and she was breathing hard.

“Hey, Yuuka…” Akane quietly called

Yuuka shook her head and replied, sobbing, “Akanen… hic… go away.”

Akane hesitated for a moment. She looked at Yuuka’s back, the shaking shoulders. Akane didn’t want to see her roommate crying like this, and a part of her told herself to run away. Then, a mental bucket of cold water splashed her, slapping her for even thinking of leaving Yuuka.

Akane firmly replied, “I’m sorry, Yuuka, but I won’t go away.”

Yuuka shook her head again. Turning to look at her roommate for a moment, the horse loving girl wiped her tears again and again until her eyes were puffy red. She moved to run away.

Without thinking, again Akane grabbed Yuuka’s hand.

“Let go…” Yuuka whispered.

“I won’t let go.” Akane shook her head.

“My father is dying… and I… hic… can’t even do anything. J-just leave me alone.”

The tennis playing girl brought Yuuka closer into a hug, “I won’t leave you alone.”

Yuuka didn’t reply.

“Tell me what I can do. Tell me what’s troubling you.” Akane said strongly, “What happened to your dad isn’t your fault!”

“I-It is! Because I’m the worst kind of daughter…” Yuuka cried.

The horse loving girl smothered her face into Akane’s chest as she let out her tears, wailing incoherently. Akane held Yuuka, and she wished that she could just send Yuuka’s sadness away. Akane ignored the wetness from Yuuka’s tears that was staining her uniform.

Hiccuping a last few times, Yuuka took a deep and unsteady breath as her tears finally stopped for a moment.

“I’m sorry. I got your clothes dirty.” Yuuka mumbled, not looking up.

Akane still shook her head, “It’s okay.”

After calming down, Yuuka began to explain her troubles. She was hesitant to say, but once the dam was opened, the words spilled out along with her painful emotions.

Her family, the Sugai family, was rich and her father was the CEO of the Sugai Company. However, a few years earlier, her father fell very ill. The company went through many restructurings, ending with a merger that led it to fall into the hands of a cousin.

Her family, while not thrown into complete debt, was left in a harsh situation, with her father’s medical bills growing and their former rich lifestyle becoming more difficult.

Even despite their struggles, Yuuka’s family continued to pamper their youngest daughter, as if trying to protect her from the outside world. However, that pampering was like the harshest form of torture because Yuuka couldn’t help but feel a lack of trust toward herself.

She ran away. She told herself that she would separate from them, stop burdening them. She came to the Keyaki class.

Yet, when they stopped contacting her, she couldn’t help but worry. That her father was in deathly condition showed her just how foolish she had been, acting as if everything was okay in coming to the Keyaki class.

Yuuka finished spilling out her feelings.

Seeing Akane’s silence, Yuuka quietly pried herself away from Akane’s hug and gave her roommate a sad smile, “I’ve already come to my conclusion.”

“What do you mean?” Akane asked, her heart dropping.

Suddenly, Yuuka’s phone buzzed loudly in her pocket. She slipped it out and checked who the caller was. Her expression fell a little when she saw that it wasn’t her parents or sister, but she had made up her mind before he even sent a message.

“I’m quitting school.” Yuuka said.

“What do you… mean?”

“I’m… m-” Yuuka couldn’t get the words out of her mouth.

“Yuuka…”

“A deal.” With the devil she didn’t name. “In order to help my parents.”

“You don’t need to make such a deal.”

“Akanen, I’ve already told you everything! There’s nothing that I can do! And there’s nothing that you can do!”

“Even so… I can’t accept that!” Akane retorted, hurting at the idea of losing Yuuka.

“There’s nothing else!”

“Yuuka, I love you!”

There was a deep silence.

Yuuka broke the silence with a small voice. “I’m sorry.”

Yuuka couldn’t bear to look at the expression on Akane’s face. She quickly averted her eyes and ran away. This time, she couldn’t hear Akane’s feet chasing after her, but Yuuka cried.

Akane watched as Yuuka left.

She brushed her hand against the stems of the roses growing in the garden. Suddenly, Akane felt a sharp pain in her finger, but that pain was far eclipsed by her own heart. She looked at the finger, at the droplet of blood welling up from a prick from the thorns of the roses.

“Is that it?” Akane whispered to herself.

She clenched her fists tightly and shook her head. She wouldn’t give up.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1409548#msg1409548)
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22 (Jan. 01, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on January 01, 2018, 09:07:10 AM
Happy new years!

I really hope it will be a good year for Keyaki.
After what happened at Kouhaku, I hope they get a well deserved break, so they can start the year even stronger.

I guess Akanen was able to catch Yuuka. :P
But... Noooooooo, Yuuka! :cry:
Must have hurt for Akanen when Yuuka ran after she confessed to her. :(
I'm expecting that Akanen will do something drastic to help Yuuka break free of the deal with the devil.
Title: Re: Eccentric (MonaRisa, TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22 (Jan. 01, 2018)]
Post by: ametakarano on January 04, 2018, 09:07:59 AM
Just came across this fic recently and I guess this is pretty interesting.  :thumbsup

It reminds me of the anime "Classroom of the Elite".

Anyways, I'm looking forward for the next update.  :heart: :heart: :heart:
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22.5 + 23 + OS (Jan. 05, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on January 06, 2018, 04:07:21 AM
@ametakarano: Thank you for reading! Huhu, I'm glad you like it. I've never watched that anime before, but I won't deny that there are parts of the story that have been inspired by other things I've read/watched.
@four4four: Thank you for reading! Akane's going to be able to turn the tide soon. Just not this checkpoint. (Actually, this wait for happy YuukaNen flirting is killing me too, but... ah, somehow the pacing of this story...)




Checkpoint 22.5


A day before the television in the cafeteria showed the news about Sugai Yuuka’s father, Saitou Fuyuka wouldn’t have expected the way her friend Akane’s relationship with Yuuka would develop.

It was a hotter day than usual, and as the bell rang, signalling one of the long class breaks, Fuyuka quickly went over to Akane. She was sick of seeing her friend brooding, and she felt like they needed a change of pace.

Fuyuka smiled, “Hey, Akanen. Want to go out for ice cream now?”

Akane nodded, “Sure.”

“Want to bring Aoi along?” Thinking back, Fuyuka joked about a request Akane made when Yuuka scolded Akane for bullying Aoi.

“No.” Akane scowled. “Don’t treat Aoi to ice cream.”

Fuyuka smiled wryly, “Okay, okay.” She had expected such an answer since she wasn’t blind enough to ignore the tension between Aoi and Akane that had gone beyond teasing recently.

The two girls got up to leave for the ice cream place on campus.

“Hey, we’re going to get ice cream. See you later.” Fuyuka called out to her friends who had migrated over to Yurina and Neru’s area this break period.

Manaka waved casually, leaning on Yurina, “Bye bye.”

“Bring me something.” Risa held up her wristband, signalling that she would pay later. She was sitting next to Neru.

After saying a few words, Fuyuka and Akane left the classroom. Soon enough, they were outside with the hot sun beating down on them.

“Geez, it’s hot!” Fuyuka complained.

Akane bantered in reply, “That’s why we’re getting ice cream.”

“Yea.” Fuyuka laughed. “Risa’s ice cream is going to be all melted when we come back.”

“She wanted a Haagen-Dazs, right?”

“Expensive ice cream for Risa-sama. As expected of King Mona’s Queen.”

“Pfft. What is that? The normal students write weird stuff on that site.”

“You’re also called Moriya-sama by some of your fangirls.”

“Not that much.”

“Risa has been getting annoyed with the -sama thing recently though.”

“Yuuka doesn’t really like the being called Sugai-sama either.”

The conversation trickled down. Fuyuka noticed the look that always appeared on Akane’s face when she talked about Yuuka. It was a worried face.

“Ah, we’re here already.” Fuyuka was glad when they reached the ice cream place. “What do you want?”



Fuyuka and Akane got their ice cream and sat down, allowing themselves to enjoy the cold sweets despite the weather. Fuyuka got a new flavor of ice cream sundae that had come out while Akane got herself a frozen yogurt.

“So, is it good?” Akane asked Fuyuka, looking apprehensively at the green parts of the ice cream sundae.

Fuyuka took a spoonful of the sundae and tasted it. “It’s surprisingly good. The green stuff is mint chocolate chip.”

They chatted for a while about mundane things like ice cream and whether or not dieting was effective.

Then, Fuyuka inquired, “You’ve been kind of annoyed with Aoi recently. What’s with that?”

“She kept prodding me on a topic that I didn’t want to talk about.” Akane sighed.

“Oh.”

“Yea.”

“I won’t ask then.”

“No, it’s okay.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

A silence fell over the two girls. They continued eating their ice cream. Fuyuka was willing to drop the topic if Akane didn’t want to say anything.

“Actually, I’m worried about Yuuka.” Akane started.

Fuyuka nodded.

“I don’t really know why, but she’s been really out of it recently. I wish she would talk to me about it. Every time I say that she can rely on me, it’s like she tries to run away.”

“Akanen…”

“Yea.”

Fuyuka listened to Akane’s problems without judging. She offered a few suggestions like simply talking it out, but she felt that Akane probably tried that already. Nonetheless, Fuyuka encouraged Akane not to give up because she didn’t want to see her friend’s friendship fail.

Before long, they had finished their ice cream.

The two looked at the clock in the ice cream place, and they found that it was time to head back to the classroom lest they have to run all the way back.

As Akane pushed in her chair, she grinned at Fuyuka, “Thanks, Fuu-chan.”

“No problem. I didn’t do anything but listen.” Fuyuka shook her head with a smile. She looked forward to when Akane’s problems with Yuuka would be solved.

They headed back to the Keyaki class together.



In the classroom, Watanabe Risa took a look at her phone, noticing a LINE message from Fuyuka. Manaka had come over and placed her head on Risa’s shoulder, and Neru looked from the side, encouraging Manaka and sending Risa teasing looks about Manaka’s actions.

Manaka read the message with a snicker, “Queen Risa, the ice cream’s going to melt, so let’s go get some later instead.”

“Yea, yea.” Risa snorted, ignoring the nickname.

“I’ll be your king then. Right, Risa?”

“That…” The cool Watanabe was at a loss for words for a second, feeling her heart race from Manaka’s casual proclamation, but found herself retorting, “I’m the king. You’re the queen.”

“Yurina-chan, you should cover your eyes.” Neru covered Yurina’s eyes to protect her roommate’s innocence.

Risa scowled without much heat behind her expression, “Is there a need to do that?”

“Is there a need?” Yurina wondered as well, removing Neru’s hands from her head. She wasn’t really all that averse to Neru’s gentle touch.

“It’s okay.” Neru replied mysteriously.

The four continued talking for a while before Risa stood up from her seat and said, “I’m going to the bathroom.”

“I’ll go with you.” Manaka said.

Just like that, the cool duo left the classroom. Walking through the hallways, they didn’t say much but enjoyed the quiet side by side. Risa took Manaka’s hand, and they continued forward.

The bathroom closest to the Keyaki class was for some reason out of service.

Risa frowned as it was fine in the morning, but she couldn’t pick out a reason why there would be some hidden motive for someone to make the bathroom suddenly out of order and saw it as just bad luck.

As the pair strolled through the hallways to the next bathroom, they noticed a young man chatting with another person.

Looking at the other person gave Risa a sudden jolt of phantom pain, but she felt that the other person seemed familiar. She and Manaka turned their eyes toward the young man who they had never seen before in the school.

Sakamichi was a girls’ school, so there weren’t any male students, and most of the male faculty was older. The young man wore a suit and a sharp pair of glasses. When he spotted the cool Keyaki pair, he turned to ask the other person about the two.

Not liking the aura that the glasses man gave, Manaka took Risa and turned around to find another bathroom somewhere else.



Checkpoint 23


Sugai Yuuka’s tears streamed down her cheeks. She had run away again to some secluded place on campus, and she wondered if Akane followed. The horse loving girl didn’t see her roommate anywhere, so even if Akane had chased, Yuuka had escaped. However, she didn’t feel like she had escaped.

Looking around, there was only foliage.

Yuuka dropped down the ground, taking a seat. She knew that she looked like a mess, and she couldn’t be bothered to care about getting her uniform dirty.

She took her phone into her hand. All her troubles seemed to stem from the small device. In a spur of the moment, she threw it down to the ground, but it didn’t break.

Her family hadn’t contacted her. Yuuka should have called, but she didn’t.

The horse loving girl just sat there for a while. She stayed until it was even time for class to start. Although her metal bracelet buzzed with a demerit of points, she didn’t even glance at it.

Her cell phone on the ground shook with the sound of notifications.

Yuuka looked over to it without picking it up. Her friends were sending her worried LINE messages, yet she didn’t know what to respond and could only watch the words as they flitted by with the notifications.

Akane’s icon didn’t show up at all.

Just as a single sliver of disappointment showed up in Yuuka’s heart, she suddenly heard footsteps. Yuuka grabbed her phone and turned it to silent so she wouldn’t be noticed.

“Yuuka…?” Akane called out for Yuuka, searching.

Akane was searching and calling out for Yuuka, but from her dejected and somewhat sore-sounding voice, Yuuka could tell that Akane had been going on for a while. Yuuka stayed silent and waited for Akane to pass.

Yuuka berated herself for her actions.

She swiped the screen of her phone, unlocking it. She read through her classmates messages, but even she was aware that a message of ‘I’m okay’ meant nothing if she was clearly not okay. Thus, she didn’t send one at the moment.

Yuuka went to the chat she had with Akane. It hadn’t been touched much in the recent days, but just from the history, she could see the silly things they’d said through the past months together.

Yuuka flicked upward through the history and glimpsed over Akane’s words, ‘My special skill is saying food in a sexy way.’

She had responded at that time with, ‘Eh? What’s with that?’

Yuuka started drafting a message to Akane. The length grew from something one would send in a messaging app to something more like a letter. As she wrote, she let her fingers pour out everything else that she had held back when she spoke to Akane previously.

The words she wrote were her own cowardly feelings and hopes that perhaps Akane would be able to give her courage. Yuuka stopped for a moment, looking as the draft of her words automatically saved. She hadn’t had courage to talk to her parents, but her finger started toward the send button to Akane.

Then, the phone rang.


—Because you had already completed the deed.
—Can there be any hope anymore?


Yuuka picked up the call. The number that had appeared made her heart fall, but she picked up the phone nonetheless.

“Hello.” She greeted.

A male voice sounded out from the phone, “Hello, cousin. Although, I suppose I can call you Yuuka.” It was Seiichirou.

“Hello, cousin.” Yuuka greeted him again, not using his name. “What are you calling for?”

“You know what it is.” Seiichirou humored Yuuka. “Our engagement.”

“I see.”

“I’ve liked you for a long time, Yuuka. I’m glad that we can come together like this. Do you not agree?”

Yuuka could only mutely nod, forcing out some noise of agreement.

“There’s no need to worry about uncle. I will take care of you and his health. I won’t go back on our deal. I will make sure to dedicate resources to bring him back to health. The hospital payments won’t be an issue.”

“Thank you.”

“Anything for you, Yuuka.”

Yuuka replied softly. Through the phone, he sounded kind, yet she knew the chill in his eyes and how he had a hand in the fall of the Sugai Company. She couldn’t love him in the slightest, and there was someone else already in her heart.

“I’ve visited your school recently.” Seiichirou spoke.

“Eh?”

“If I remember correctly, you are in the Keyaki class? It’s quite interesting, a class named after the zelkova tree.”

“Yes.”

“It’s a new system as far as I’ve heard, but the class is held in positive regard by some of my acquaintances. Yet, I feel mixed about it.” He laughed. “All of the girls wear a metal bracelet around their wrist? That seems a bit barbaric. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. Yuuka, you won’t have to wear such a thing anymore.

“I will come to pick you up soon. I will arrive in Tokyo from a business trip tonight, so I will come tomorrow. The man in charge of your class offered for us to stay a few days longer, so if you would like, we can delay leaving the campus.”

“Thank you. I would like that.”

“Of course. You will be leaving that place soon, so one or two extra days won’t matter.”

Yuuka looked at the metal bracelet on her wrist. If she were asked about it, she wouldn’t have said she liked it. However, she didn’t hate it either, and parting with it now seemed like a symbolic parting with the bonds she had made in the Keyaki class.

Seiichirou’s words were like everything had already been decided. It had.

He suddenly asked, “When do you want to get married?”

“...I don’t know.”

“I suppose that was a sudden question. We can get married any time. Next year in June would be fine, and you could be June bride if you’d like. This winter or fall would also be fine. It will be extravagant. We can talk about the future heirs later.”

Yuuka’s words were stuck in her throat.

“My apologies. Our conversation will have to continue later. I have a meeting soon. We can talk much more later.”

“Yes. Good bye.”


—Future. What future?
—The person who was supposed to have the future was...




NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1411640#msg1411640)



The Eccentric update goes up to here. I've got a Wattpad account now! And I'm uploading Eccentric there too, but... ah, it's kind of a pain to format, so Eccentric will update here first as usual. However, I also have some one shots (well, just one right now). The one shots will probably be uploaded there first, and they'll be bundled with the Eccentric updates on jphip.

Just a note, the one shots aren't in the same universe as Eccentric.



An Afternoon and Bread


The cool afternoon sun of early winter shined down on the earth without a cloud in sight. There wasn’t much wind, but the students heading home were still coated up with their winter wear, eager to get out of the cold and into their homes where they could relax after a day of hard work studying.

Watanabe Rika was walking home by herself, her friends staying after school due to student council work or clubs. Her long hair was down as always, and she had a red scarf wrapped around her neck. She didn’t have any gloves on, but she was holding her bag in her hands, having not forgotten it this time.

As she was gazing off into space, strolling along mindlessly, she felt a hard hand on her shoulder.

Turning around, she saw a group of flashy girls grinning at her. They had always liked pushing her around, but they hadn’t troubled her ever since she made her first friends at school. However, Rika’s friends weren’t here with her.

“Hey, Watanabe Rika.” The leader of the gang grinned, calling out to Rika.

Rika edged back, “W-what is it?”

The leader grabbed Rika’s wrist and said, “Come with us for a bit. We found a place just for you.”

Rika was frightened, and she tried to wrestle her wrist away from the leader to no avail. Even though she was a bit forgetful and airheaded, she felt that she hadn’t done anything worth their ire. Yet, the group of bullies didn’t let up.

In response to Rika’s struggling, the leader girl scowled, “Quit it, you weakling!” The leader raised a hand to slap Rika across the face.

However, she was stopped by one of her underlings. “Wait. If Moriya or Sugai see a bruise, we’re going to be screwed!”

“Tch.” The leader clicked her tongue back at her underlings. However, she dropped the hand that was about to slap. Then, she turned back to Rika and spat out, “Don’t think you’re so great just because you have little miss rich girl and tennis freak godzilla behind you!”

Rika flinched, wrist starting to hurt from the grip.

She looked at the bullies with tears in her eyes. No one around them was stepping in to help her. However, Rika couldn’t stand her friends being insulted like that, so she retorted as she could, “Don’t say that about them!”

“Shut up!” The girl gang’s leader kicked Rika’s leg.

Without waiting and bantering any further, the group dragged Rika along despite the girl’s unwillingness. They kept going until they reached an abandoned building.

Throwing open the creaky door, they stepped into the building. There was a hole in the roof, letting sunlight into the building. There was a lot of dust around, and the furniture was all broken down. In the middle of the floor, there was another hole, leading down to a floor with only a dirty mattress on the ground and nothing else.

The bullies let out a few complaints about how gross the place was, but they said nothing to Rika.
Rika glanced around nervously, not knowing was they were planning.

Then, they stepped in front of the hole.

With a smirk, the leader girl and the others pushed Rika down through the hole. “Down you go. Into the trash where you belong.”

Exiting, one of the lackeys whispered to the leader, “Isn’t this going a little far?”

However, Rika was left all alone in the hole with no one else.

She landed on the mattress with a puff of dust coming off the dirty mattress. As she tried to stand up, Rika found that she had sprained her ankle. Seeing as she couldn’t get out of the hole, no doors or stairs in site on the floor, Rika could only make herself somewhat comfortable on the mattress, sitting and hugging her legs.

Rika looked up toward the sky sadly. She wanted to cry. She wanted to eat delicious bread and chocolate. She wanted her friends. She wanted her plushies, Aoko and Karaage.

The long haired girl didn’t know how long she was there, but she ended up crying quietly.

Then, suddenly, a voice called out to her, “Who’s down there?”

Sniffling, finishing up her tears, Rika let out a reply of, “Um…”

A girl on the floor above peeked into the hole, noticing Rika. The girl was wearing a different high school’s uniform than Rika, and along with her school bag, the girl was carrying a convenience store bag stuffed full with food.

“Are you okay?” The girl awkwardly asked Rika.

Rika shook her head, wiping away the last of the tears on her face.

The girl with the food made a series of faces as if wondering what to do. As luck would have it, she somehow fumbled over her own two feet and tripped, also falling onto the mattress, right beside where Rika sat.

The girl let out a wince of pain followed by a cry of shock, realizing that she squished some of her food.

“Oh no…” She sighed.

Rika asked quietly, “Um, are you okay?”

The girl replied quietly as well, “Yes.”

They spent a few moments silently staring each other. Then, they looked up at the sky. Neither knew how to get out of the hole.

“What do we do?” The girl murmured nervously.

Rika shook her head. “I don’t know.”

There was more silence between the two girls until the girl with food spoke up again, “If we’re going to be stuck down here… I’m Nagasawa Nanako.”

“...Watanabe Rika.”

“Do you want some food?” Nanako reached for her bag of smashed food. She sighed looking at the shape of her beloved snacks, but she knew that they were still delicious.

Rika nodded.

Nanako asked, “What types of food do you like?”

“Bread!” Rika suddenly perked up.

Nanako opened the bag and offered Rika a bread. She took one for herself as well.

The two girls happily munched on their food, almost managing to forget that they were stuck in the hole.

“Thank you, Naako-san.” Rika said, her voice muffled by the bread she held up to her mouth.

Nanako questioned, “Naako?”

“Sorry.”

“You can call me Naako if you want.”

“Thank you.”

They continued quietly eating. Chatting on little things, they found that they had similar hobbies and personalities. The sun was slowly beginning to set, and the two were very worried that they would be stuck in the hole forever. However, Rika felt somehow a little safer with someone friendly nearby.

Enjoying the food, they found that there was only one glazed donut in the bag.

“You can have it.” Naako said, giving Rika the glazed donut. On the inside, she wanted to eat it, but she also enjoyed seeing Rika’s joyful expressions more than she expected.

Rika took the donut.

She bit into the donut, letting out a smile of bliss. “Delicious!” She noticed Naako’s gaze. Then, she held out the donut to Naako and said, “Naako should eat it too.”

Naako looked at Rika for a moment to check if she heard correctly. Then, she took a bite from the donut as well.

The two of them shared the donut, enjoying the sugary sweet.

Before they knew it, they had spent the whole afternoon eating with breaks in between for drinks and breathing. It was a feast, but by the time the sun set, the bag of food had run out, and it was getting cold.

The moon was up, and a wind blew a cloud over half of the moon. It was dark.

Rika shook from the cold. Naako moved closer to Rika on the dirty old mattress in order to share her warmth. They didn’t know what to do now.

Just as the two girls were about to cry from the situation, a sparkling ringing sound came from Rika’s bag.

The forgetful girl’s head was blank for a moment before she realized that it was her phone. Fumbling around with her cold hands, she dug out her phone and found that her mother was calling her.

Naako’s phone rang as well, and Naako picked up the call as well.

Rika picked up her mother’s call, one hand holding the phone, the other holding Naako’s hand for warmth.

“Mom?” Rika asked to make sure the caller.

Her mother replied, “Rika, where are you?”

“I-I fell down a hole, and I don’t know how to get out...”

“Where are you?”

“Um, near the Hori Bakery.”

“Have you called the police?”

Rika and her mother talked. Rika realized how foolish she had been, forgetting her phone. Had she called the police right away, then she wouldn’t have been stuck in a hole for hours.

Naako came to the same conclusion from her own phone call.

The two girls stuck in the hole sighed, laughing at their own foolishness. Then, they called the police. Within minutes, people would come to pick them up and finally send them home.

“We’re finally getting out.” Naako said.

Rika nodded, “I’m glad to go home.”

Both girls started at the same time, ““But-””

They exchanged looks and giggled. Rika finished her sentence, “I’m glad I met you.”

“Me too.”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1411640#msg1411640)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22.5 + 23 + OS (Jan. 05, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on January 06, 2018, 03:37:45 PM
Fuyuka showing why she's the most popular among the members. :lol:

What was Yuuka about to send Akanen? I get the feeling it was her true feelings and what kind of deal she made with the devil. :cry:
Gaaah!  :angry: This cousin needs to stop. He's in the way of YuukaNen! I foretell something ruining his life like what he did to Yuuka's family.

Of course Berika would forget that she could have called for help. XD
It was cute that Naako joined her. There should be a sequel. :P
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22.5 + 23 + OS (Jan. 05, 2018)]
Post by: ametakarano on January 06, 2018, 05:23:53 PM
That's the Mote Onna Fuuchan doing her job! :D

Akanen, don't let Yuuka marry the man! Smash him hard with a tennis racket!

-----

The OS was so fluffy. I liked it~ <3
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22.5 + 23 + OS (Jan. 05, 2018)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on January 06, 2018, 05:59:38 PM
AKANEN YOU CAN'T LET YUUKA MARRY HER JERK OF A COUSIN! PLEASE GO OUT THERE AND CONFESS YOUR GODDAMN LOVE TO HER!

(I also read your OS on Wattpad btw)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 22.5 + 23 + OS (Jan. 05, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on January 08, 2018, 03:04:45 AM
I just read it whole.
I'm loving this fic.
Poor Yuuka ... to be forced to marry in order to pay for her father's medical treatment.
I am looking forward to reading more about the evolution of Neru and Techi in history.
As well as Techi's past.
And Neru's past.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 24 (Jan. 15, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on January 16, 2018, 12:11:48 AM
Checkpoint 24

‘I love you.’

Her hands were trembling. She wondered how much she had cried these past weeks, but her heart still hurt. She gripped her cellphone in her hand harder and wiped those budding tears away.



Sugai Yuuka sat in her seat, trying hard not to glance at Akane. This was it. Today was the beginning of the end, and she didn’t want to face it. She had come into the classroom as late as she could as if trying to delay the inevitable.

Homeroom started, and an overview of the day played up on the board.

The day appeared like a normal day. The horse loving girl wondered if that was going to be how it ended.

Suddenly, the board flickered. Had she paid attention, Yuuka would have seen Yurina flinch and Neru deflate. However, she was too caught up in the feeling of apprehension that had settled in her gut.

The figure on the screen appeared like always.

He began speaking, “I am sad to announce this to the class, but a member will be leaving us prematurely.” He didn’t sound sad in the slightest.

Murmurs sounded through the classroom as girls started questioning their friends on who it was. Despite some of the clueless members of the class, some had a clue who it was.

Yuuka could feel Akane’s worried eyes boring into her back. The horse loving girl held her head down, but when she lifted it up, she noticed Neru looking at her as well.

The figure on the screen waited for the murmuring to quiet down a little before he continued, “I’m sure you are all curious as to who it is.” He paused. “Sugai Yuuka-san.”

Silence filled the room. The soundless digital clock seemed to tick by the seconds.

Then, sound exploded in the room.

Aoi burst up from her seat, mouth flapping open like a goldfish, but she didn’t know what to say. Her head swivelled back and forth between Akane and Yuuka until she grew dizzy.

“Eh? Wait, Yuuka?” Habu shook her head, asking Yuuka if she had heard correctly.

Yuuka was glad she had turned off her phone’s notifications as she knew the class LINE chat had to be going crazy. She looked away from her worried classmates, trying to block them out.

“Yuuka!” Akane called out.

Yuuka didn’t turn toward her roommate, “Akane…”

Just as they were about to have another confrontation, the figure on the board coughed into his fist to regain the class’s attention.
“As you may have inferred, unfortunately, your classmate Sugai Yuuka-san will be leaving us soon.

“Today will be her last day of classes. However, she will be staying for a few more days to get ready to leave. As such, we have made the decision for classes to be optional to attend for the next two days.

“Sugai-san’s fiance will come to the classroom pick her up shortly. That will be all for today. Ah, do not forget about your exams.”

The screen then flickered off.


—The world is filled with ⌧⌧⌧
—Nothing?

“Are you serious?”


Shida Manaka rose from her seat. The cool girl’s expression was irritated, and she started walking toward Yuuka. At Manaka’s sudden actions, Fuyuka stood up as well as if going to stop her, but Risa made Fuyuka halt.

Manaka stopped in front of Yuuka and repeated her words, “Are you serious?”

The long haired girl was quiet, not able to look Manaka in the eyes.

“Are you serious?” Manaka glared, grabbing Yuuka by the collar. “Is this how you’re going to deal with whatever you’re doing? What do you think Akanen feels!? You’re just r-”

Aoi hurried over and yelled, “Stop it! It’s not Yukka’s fault!”

“Shut up.” Risa coldly cut in.

Habu defended Aoi and Yuuka, “Hey! Who do you think you are?”

Manaka accused Yuuka, shaking the other girl, “Akanen’s been worrying for who knows how long, and this is what you do? A fiancee? Are you thinking about anyone but yourself?”

“I…” Yuuka didn’t know what to say.

“Yuuka, don’t worry.” Koike also joined in the fray, sending a frown toward her cool classmate, “Manaka, what’s wrong with you? Yuuka’s been worrying too!”

Seeing the mood get worse and worse, the classmates all starting to stand up out of their seats and choosing their sides, Fuyuka tried to interject, “Maybe we should just calm down a little…”

Sato Shiori agreed with Fuyuka, but their opinions were covered up by the agitation filling the room.

Oda Nana commented, “I kind of have to feel bad for Akanen.”

“But that doesn’t mean it’s Yuuka’s fault.” Imaizumi spoke. “I don’t know what they’re fighting over though.”

“Manaka’s right. I have to ask, who do you think Akanen is? She’s our friend.” Risa made her stance clear.

“Yuuka’s our friend too!” Aoi retorted, “Akanen, Akanen, Akanen! Yuuka has feelings too!”

Risa sneered, “Huh?”

Over the whole argument, Manaka had yet to let go of Yuuka. “Hmph.” She felt a little conflicted, but the displeasure from the way she saw Yuuka seemed to be making Akane sad override that inner conflict. “What are you even doing?”

Aoi said, “Just let go of Yukka already!”

Habu went over to the epicenter of the stress in the classroom and tried to get in between Manaka and Yuuka to get Manaka to let go. However, as the tall girl reached out, Risa slapped Habu’s hand away.

“I…” Yuuka mumbled to herself, unsure of what to say still.

Feeling that the tension wasn’t even close to going away, Fuyuka interjected again loudly, “Mona, Risa, we should calm down. Akanen hasn’t said anything.”

“Fuu-chan, be quiet.” Risa shook her head.

Manaka nodded along to Risa, “Yea, Fuu-chan, I want an explanation. Fiance, what? Is she serious?”

“Hey-!” Aoi butted in again but was suddenly cut off.

“Let’s stop.” Akane finally said.

The classroom door opened smoothly. Everyone stopped in their tracks, and a man wearing sharp glasses and a professional suit walked into the room. He looked at the girls strangely, questioning why they were standing up, and saw Manaka’s hands release from Yuuka’s collar.

His eyes appraised the class. Giving a cold smile, he then addressed the one he was searching for, “Yuuka, good morning. I’ve come for you. Have you said your farewells yet?”

Yuuka nodded to his greeting, “Good morning… cousin.”

“There’s no need to be so distant. Seiichirou is fine.” Seiichirou said. Seeing that he received no response, he continued, “I’ve come to pick you up. Perhaps it is a bit early, but would you mind coming with me? Our lodgings for the next few days have been prepared. We can move your belongings over there.”

His words came in a gentle question form, but there was no question in them.

He took Yuuka’s hand, lightly acknowledging the others in the Keyaki class, and made way to leave with her.

“I do apologize for interrupting. We will be going now.” He smiled, sending a chill down Manaka’s spine.

As Yuuka followed Seiichirou, heading out of the classroom, Akane’s voice cut through the classroom, speaking before Manaka or Risa, both having opened their mouths. “Yuuka.”

The horse loving girl stopped in her tracks. Seiichirou glanced at Akane uncaringly and allowed Yuuka to hear what he saw as her friend’s last farewell.

“I love you.” Akane proclaimed.

Seiichirou’s uncaring look changed minutely, his mouth curving down to a frown.

Yuuka paused. Then, she replied, “I’m sorry.”




This update took longer than I expected. At the same time, I didn't get as far as I expected. The part at the beginning of the checkpoint? It has yet to occur, but I thought I would get to it by the end of this checkpoint. Nonetheless, thank you for reading and I hope you can bear with me as I write this story.

@Minami-chan: I'm glad you like the story! Once Yuuka's arc is done, I'll be re-focusing on Techi and Neru. In the future arcs, instead of hyper-focusing on one pair (like YuukaNen), I'm thinking of running two sub-plots at once.
@MaYukiIsLife: I'll do my best to destroy Seiichirou soon.
@ametakarano: I'm glad you enjoyed the one-shot~
@four4four: PeNaako really are ponkotsu. Haha. While I have no plans to make a continuation of the one-shot, I'll definitely write more PeNaako in the future. Also, there's a PeNaako arc planned in Eccentric, so... one day. One day, I'll get there.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1412084#msg1412084)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 24 (Jan. 15, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on January 16, 2018, 12:54:44 PM
Noooooooo, Yuuka! :cry:

Manaka should have just ended him right there. :angry:
He was out numbered. No chance they wouldn't win.
Akanen, now it's your chance to finish him while he's asleep. 8)

PeNaako arc? Would love to see the plot of that. :lol:
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Jan. 21, 2018)] <Eccentric update soon>
Post by: Shinoki on January 22, 2018, 12:03:27 AM
The Eccentric chapter likely won't be finished today, so I'm uploading some one-shots I wrote. A slightly dramatic yet sweet Yuichanzu and a parody teaser for a TechiNeru story that will never be. (Though I'd be happy to read it if someone wanted to write something based off of it.)

@four4four: Uwah! You make a good point. If they had just all ganged up on Seiichirou in that classroom, that would've been great.



Waiting


“...can I have a kiss?”

The world had ended. She still couldn’t wrap her head around how it had happened. Imaizumi Yui looked down at her flickering hands and the scenery around her. It hadn’t changed since she woke up; everything was just a wasteland, and she couldn’t leave her place.

The girl wondered what the meaning to her life was.

She couldn’t remember her past. She thought to herself that she didn’t have a past in the first place. Imaizumi Yui as she knew herself was an artificial intelligence entity centered around one system in the ruins of Tokyo. Although she could project herself as a hologram to a small surrounding area, she couldn’t touch anything at all with her own body.

Yet, she thought that she remembered. She thought that she could remember a number of older brothers who pampered her, one of them liking to scream weirdly, a cute little dog that her family liked to dress up, and something like a life. She thought that she could, but when she tried, she couldn’t grasp those strands of hope.

Imaizumi Yui waited, singing a song to herself.

The world had ended. There were very few people left in the world. Even though there had been some people that stopped by, they all eventually left. She still aided them to the extent that she could.

A short haired girl accompanied by a strong girl with long hair had expressed a desire for Imaizumi to come with them, but the hologram girl could not.

A pair of cool girls had passed by before. They joked that they had been dubbed The Cool by someone in the past. The hologram girl helped them out, and they went on their way after asking if she could come with them.

No matter the kind offers of the human travelers, Imaizumi knew that she couldn’t go.

She looked down at her flickering hands and sighed, “This is lonely.”

Her systems were beginning to break down. It had been three years since she awoke in this desolate world, but they needed maintenance nonetheless. She had a manual for maintenance, but she couldn’t quite look through it and had no way to fix the systems herself.

Imaizumi Yui looked around, seeing no one.

Dejected, she started singing to herself. Her voice carried in the wind, but there was no one to hear the girl who could have become a star if the world hadn’t ended.

Then, she heard the sound of crunching, the sound of footsteps on the gritty ground. Imaizumi looked at saw a girl, and her first thought was that the girl was very cute. She stopped singing at the appearance of a human being.

The human girl said. “That was a really good song.”

“Thank you.” The hologram girl blushed.

Imaizumi Yui’s body flickered. She felt self-conscious showing her system failures to a stranger, but at the same time, a memory seemed to flicker through her mind of a girl. Imaizumi couldn’t remember the girl’s face.

When the hologram girl took a look at the human girl, she found that the human girl seemed a little sad.

“I’m sorry that I made you wait.” The human girl said.

Imaizumi was confused. “Eh?”

When the human girl reached out a hand to Imaizumi’s hand, the hologram girl expected not to feel anything. Her hopes had already disappeared in the last three years, but it was warm. The human girl’s hand was warm on Imaizumi’s hand like an illusion.

A memory passed by again of warm lips and a warm smile.

“The system malfunctioned…” The human girl whispered to herself. “It’s okay. I’ll fix it so you can properly live from now on.”

The hologram girl would have questioned what the human girl had said, but in her shock, she had fallen into a cracked mirror of memories. The only part of the outside world that still met her was the human girl’s sad smile, which she wanted to turn back into a happy one even though she should have only just met the human girl.

“—”

What was her name?

Why was that girl so familiar.

Imaizumi Yui’s head began to hurt. At the same time, her heart also hurt.

“—”

She silently tried to mouth out the human girl’s name. It seemed as if her voice was stuck in her throat trying to dig up memories that shouldn’t have existed in a hard drive that had only booted up three years ago.

Then, she froze.

“Yui...”

At that time, when the world had ended, she had almost died. The hologram girl realized that she should have died. Her flesh had been pierced by something, and her hands had been covered in blood. Her breathing shallow and her eyesight darkening, she wondered why she hadn’t died.

By her side, there had been a voice.

The person by her side was the girl that she liked, her partner in singing. Both of them had claimed that the other was their ideal person, but Imaizumi felt in her heart that her partner was really the best.

She had never confessed.

Even though she loved her partner’s smiles, the awkward ones and the happy ones all alike, she had never had the courage to confess. Imaizumi smiled a lot, but her partner had always been able to see through the fake smiles she put on when worried.

No, she had confessed. Rather, her partner had confessed.

When she should have died, her partner—Kobayashi Yui—confessed, “I love you, Zuumin! So… d-don’t die!” She had broken out of her default aloof demeanor and had been crying.

Imaizumi had felt that she should have been happy. Yet, she also felt like she was going to die, her heart torn out that she wouldn’t be able to reciprocate Kobayashi’s love. That her heart was slowly stopping didn’t help.

She, at that time when the world had ended, put on a smile to try to comfort her partner.

She, at that time when she wished that the world wasn’t going to end, responded with all her feelings while coughing up blood, “I love you…”

She, at that time when she should have died, selfishly asked, “...can I have a kiss?”

It had been warm. Then, darkness overtook her world.

Imaizumi Yui opened her eyes again. The world had indeed ended. For the first time in years, Imaizumi Yui’s real body felt human warmth. She saw Kobayashi Yui smiling sadly at her, holding her hand.

Just as Kobayashi Yui was about to close the lid of the part of the system that held Imaizumi’s body, Imaizumi weakly called out for Kobayashi, making a ripple in the healing liquid that had held her body in stasis for so long.

“Yui...pon…”

“Zuumin… Don’t move. I’ve found a way to heal you now, so...”

“I love you.”

“Eh…?” Kobayashi Yui was caught off guard, but she replied with a teary smile, “I love you too.”

Imaizumi Yui felt her eyelids begin to close. The liquid surrounding her still somewhat injured body was causing her to sleep, but she noticed just slightly that it had been changed. Perhaps that liquid would heal her.

“I don’t want to go to sleep…” Imaizumi said quietly.

Kobayashi replied, “It’s okay. You’ll wake up soon, and you’ll be healthy again, so…”

“Yuipon, ...stay with me?”

“Of course.”

“...can I have a kiss?”

It was warm.

Because Imaizumi Yui was alive.
And they were in love.




Chinese Cultivation Parody


Nagahama Neru looked at her desolate courtyard and the complete lack of servants around. She didn’t seem like the second miss of a high noble family in the Zaka kingdom, which treasured the cultivation of spiritual and martial power. Her clothes were plain, though she looked cute nonetheless, and her area of the household was not glowing with prestige.

It all started with her tenth birthday where it was tested that she was a cultivation waste.

Her older sister was already on the fifth level of spiritual cultivation while her younger brother was on his fourth. Only Neru in General Nagahama’s family was still at zero.

It was only her late mother’s friendship with the empress and emperor, Watanabe Risa and Shida Manaka, that saved Neru from being kicked out of the Nagahama family altogether. Neru’s other siblings were from other mothers.

Neru was walking around the household, enjoying the fresh air and gazing upon the fish in the koi pond, when she suddenly felt a push at her back.

Splash!

Neru fell into the pond. As she sputtered, completely soaked, she saw who pushed her. It was her younger sister from a concubine mother, a precocious girl who had achieved a spiritual cultivation to the second level.

Just as the younger sister was about to ridicule Neru, the two half-sisters noticed their father, the General Nagahama, walking by with a handsome guest.

The two of them heard a maid whisper loudly to another maid in the corner, “It’s the Fifth Prince! So handsome!”

Neru’s younger sister straightened up as she saw the handsome youth. She put on a white lotus style smile as she noticed her father and the guest heading toward Neru and her, pretending that she hadn’t been trying to bully her sister.

“Greetings to Father and the honored Fifth Prince.” The younger sister greeted.

The Fifth Prince, a short haired youth, responded with a wordless nod.

General Nagahama smiled at his younger daughter and frowned at Neru before asking, “What happened here?”

The younger sister cut off Neru’s attempt to explain and said, “Big sister was clumsy and trying to mess around, so she fell into the pond. I was going to help her just now.”

General Nagahama bought that excuse while the prince’s eyes narrowed. The younger sister made motions, coming closer to Neru to ‘help’ her, but in truth, she was aiming to humiliate her useless sister even more.

That was when a pale, beautiful hand reached out to Neru.

Everyone looked in surprise. The prince had reached for Neru, lifting Neru out of the pond, uncaring whether or not his rich robes were dirtied. Neru looked closely at her helper’s face for a moment, noticing that the prince’s eyes were very deep despite the coldness that seemed to emanate from them. They were pretty eyes, eyelashes too long to be a man’s.

“Your Highness!” General Nagahama sputtered, unsure of what to say.

The younger sister blurted out. “Please, don’t dirty yourself with her.”

To those words, the prince sent Neru’s family members a sharp look that was just short of a glare. The prince still hadn’t let go of Neru, holding the cultivation-zero girl close. The prince then replied, “There is nothing dirty about this girl. Unless you find your Nagahama family’s blood too filthy for my presence.”

General Nagahama quickly said, “Of course not, your Highness.”

The younger sister wasn’t as smart and said again, “Big sister Neru is a waste! She can’t cultivate any spiritual energy, so your Highness should stay away from her!” She received another sharp look, reducing herself to her knees.

An awkward air then filled the courtyard that they were in.

Neru wondered what she was doing in this handsome prince’s embrace. She never thought that she would ever get close to this particular member of the royal family, but she was grateful for the Fifth Prince’s help.

There were five princes in the Zaka kingdom. Although the Fifth Prince was the youngest one, the Fifth was the one most favored. The First Prince, Akane, was the Crown Prince but had already thrown his support behind the Fifth. The other princes, Rika, Nana, and Miyu, had also thrown their lots behind the Fifth Prince.

The Fifth Prince was fabled to be a high level cultivator already at the ninth level, something that was usually only attained after decades of hard work, cultivation becoming exponentially harder as levels were reached.

In addition, the Fifth Prince rarely made any public appearances.

All those reasons came together in Neru’s logic that meeting and being helped by the Fifth Prince was really too rare of an occurrence.

“Your name is Nagahama Neru?” The Fifth Prince asked.

Neru nodded, wondering if she should ask the Fifth Prince’s name as the prince was nearly never referred to by name.

“I’m Yurina.” The prince seemed to shine. “You can just call me that.”


—At that time, Neru didn’t know…

—That she would unlock her cultivation, becoming the first elemental cultivator in a century. That she would be targeted by assassins. That the prince was actually a girl. That they would get married.

—However…
—TBC.

—Actually, not really.



Mona: Our youngest son is growing up…

Risa: Techi’s not even our son.

Mona: She is.

Risa: Okay, fine.

Mona: She has the good looks from you and me.

Risa: She’s a bit of a flirt like you, Manaka.

Mona: Risa, I love you!

Risa: G-geh! ...hmph. I love you too.

Mona: Unexpectedly, she’s going after Neru-chan. Ah, that person’s daughter has grown up well. I thought that it would be a TechiMemi ending, but it’s actually a TechiNeru world?

Risa: What are you even talking about?

Mona: Hm?

Risa: Hm.

Mona: Hm.

Risa: Techi marrying Memi would have been good since Memi is the princess of the neighboring country, Gana kingdom, but they’re just friends.

Mona: Memi’s not becoming a love rival, right?

Risa: She has a relationship with a noble youth from her kingdom. What was that person’s name… Mana?
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Jan. 21, 2018)] <Eccentric update soon>
Post by: four4four on January 22, 2018, 06:26:29 AM
Imaizumi almost died? :cry:
So Yuipon was able to save her by putting her body in stasis and letting her interact with the world through a hologram program?
Then Yuipon left to find a way to heal Imaizumi's body and only came back after finding a cure?
That is an adorable love story between Yuichanzu.
I am happy that Imaizumi still remembered Yuipon in the end. :)
It would have been sad if she had completely forgotten her. :cry:

The TechiNeru teaser seems to have a good premise.
Would love to see you make a full on story out of it. 8)
It has a good basis to have multi arcs involving different groups that are for and against Neru and Techi being together.
Of course there is also the fact that Neru seems to be blessed by a rare ability.
There are an endless number of possibilities of how this would affect her relationship with Techi.
Anyways, I would love to read a story that is based on this teaser as well.
The dialogue between MonaRisa at the end felt like a 4th wall break for some reason. :lol:

Looking forward to more OSs.

But of course I especially look forward to the next checkpoint of Eccentric.
I am expecting something bad to happen to Seiichirou. :angry:
Please make it happen. :twisted:
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Jan. 21, 2018)] <Eccentric update soon>
Post by: Minami-chan on January 23, 2018, 12:53:08 AM
Thank you very much for continuing the fan fic.
I really read what happened in the classroom, see how all the girls are suffering for Akane, it made me feel very bad for her. But Yuuka is not to blame for anything.

Focusing on several plots at once can be a good idea. But if you decide to do it as before, it's fine too.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 25 (Jan. 28, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on January 29, 2018, 01:31:32 AM
Checkpoint 25


Yuuka sat on the edge of a luxurious bed in the guest room prepared for her and Seiichirou. Rather than calling it a guest room, it was already an apartment. There were two bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen.

The horse loving girl was glad that Seiichirou respected her enough for them to be staying in separate bedrooms. She felt the soft fabric on the bed sheets and looked at the silk canopy of the bed. It was nostalgic and should have been comforting but it was not comforting in the slightest.

Seiichirou was in the room with her, sitting in a comfortable sofa chair. There was a distance between the two very distantly related people.

The glasses wearing man smiled, “Yuuka, how are you finding these temporary lodgings so far?”

“They’re good, cousin.” Yuuka nodded politely.

“Call me Seiichirou. We are engaged, so you shouldn’t be so distant.”

“...” Yuuka didn’t reply, looking away from his eyes.

Seiichirou sighed. His eyes turning ice cold, he started, “Unless you’re already in a relationship with that girl? Then, we should just call off the engagement. I will have to apologize to uncle if that’s th-”

Yuuka interjected, “No!”

A small silence filled the room. Yuuka’s heart was in pain from anxiety. If she didn’t go with Seiichirou, she didn’t know what would happen to her father. It was like Seiichirou was holding her father’s health over her head to control her.

His lips curled up in amusement, “Show me.”

“Seiichirou, I don’t love her.” Yuuka choked out his name. Seeing that he still wasn’t satisfied, she forced out, “Seiichirou-sama…” Her throat felt like it was constricting with disgust, and she didn’t know at what point she had started feeling this way toward him.

“I see. If that’s the case, then you should be happy that we can be together. Perhaps you don’t love me like a lover yet, but time will strengthen our relationship, don’t you agree?”

“Yes…” She looked down at her lap, clenching her hands.

“You should smile, Yuuka.”

“Yes…” She looked toward him with a strained smile.

Seiichirou looked at the smile and returned something of a smile, but his eyes were still chilly. He rose from his seat and approached Yuuka. Then, he stopped. A ringing sound came from his pocket. He sighed, adjusting his glasses, and took his phone out. Looking at the number, he frowned.

He said to Yuuka, “Apologies. It seems I have a call I need to make.”

Finally, he left the room.

Sugai Yuuka let out a deep sigh and flopped down onto the bed, curling up. This bed seemed too large. She was used to seeing Akane nearby when she went to sleep. There had even been a few times when her other friends in the Keyaki class had slept over and invaded her bed.

The horse loving girl took out her phone.

She looked at the message that she had written but hadn’t sent. With a trembling finger, she pressed the send button, sending the message to Akane.

Yuuka whispered, hugging her phone closer to herself, “Actually, I do love you, Akane.”


“I love you.”
—Liar.


Moriya Akane’s lunch was untouched. She held her chopsticks in her hand, and the bento box was open. Her friends were around her, and the clock was still working. The world went on around her, but Akane didn’t have an appetite.

Akane’s group and Yuuka’s usual group were sitting close to each other, but it seemed like without Yuuka here, there was an unending chasm between them. Of course, there were other reasons.

“Akanen.” Risa sighed, unsure of how to console her competitive friend.

Fuyuka looked at Akane’s unmoving chopsticks and tried to convince her to eat, “If you don’t eat, then you can’t do anything.”

Akane nodded, “Thanks. I can’t do anything.”

“I don’t mean it like that.” Fuyuka shook her head.

“I know.” Akane said.

Manaka looked at Akane worriedly. Even though the short haired girl acted cool, she was actually very soft for her friends. She felt bad about blowing up at Yuuka earlier in the day, but unexpectedly, Akane forgave her.

Risa stuffed a piece of bread into Akane’s mouth, “Akanen, eat.”

Not able to spit it out, Akane chewed the piece of bread. It was actually pretty delicious, but she couldn’t put her spirit into enjoying her food.

Suddenly, her phone buzzed.

Akane checked her phone to see what it was. She pressed the notification, opening LINE, and read the message while trying not to shake. Her eyes reread the words multiple times to make sure that she hadn’t misread them.


“I love you.”
—I love you too much.


Brring. Brring. The sound of a phone ringing repeated. The first call hadn’t been picked up. The second to the same phone received the same lack of response. The phone had been turned off.

The third call hadn’t been picked up. Despite recalling the next phone a number of times, no calls had been picked up. That phone had accidentally been dropped and was yet to be replaced.

It was likely the eleventh call on the third number. It was yet another phone call that hadn’t been picked up. These calls all came from the same phone. The person calling all those numbers wasn’t giving up.

The amount of time that passed wasn’t a matter to her, but there was still some sort of time limit. Even if she had to call one thousand times, if she could reach the person that she wished to reach, then it would have been a worthy waste of time.

Brring. Brring. She didn’t know what number call it was.

Brring. Brring. The phone in a Tokyo hospital was ringing. Brring. Brring. It stopped and started once again. The nurse who had left for one moment to grab her slightly late lunch came back and found the phone ringing.

Brr-

The nurse picked up the phone. She felt a little exasperated as she was just about to consume her lunch after spending long hours working, but she acknowledged that there were people who needed a nurse to answer calls more than she needed to eat at the exact moment.

“Hello? This is Shin-Tokyo General Hospital. How may I help you?” The nurse greeted the caller.

“May I contact the Sugai-san on Floor 6, Room 607?” A high school girl’s voice came through the phone, “I’m a classmate of his daughter, and something has come up related to her, but I haven’t been able to contact him through his cell phone or family’s numbers.”

The nurse was a little surprised. However, she heard the girl’s voice shaking and couldn’t help but feel for the girl, “Yes, I’ll put you through.”

“Thank you so much...” The girl seemed to have let go of a heavy weight.


—The words go through.





I'm not sure I even know what the meaning of 'soon' is when I write this story. Soon, soon, soon, YuukaNen's pain will be over. I'm going to make myself write the next checkpoint tonight. I'm looking forward to beating Seiichirou up.

@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading!
@four4four: You're spot on about the Yuichanzu one shot! Hoho, I might make some other one shots continuing the TechiNeru teaser. As for Seiichirou, his end is near. The story outline I have written says that he's out of Yuuka's life by the next checkpoint.

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1412214#msg1412214)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 25 (Jan. 28, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on January 29, 2018, 03:37:44 AM
Yuuka~~~~~~
You've finally confessed your feelings for Akanen! :wub:

What exactly did Yuuka say to Akanen in that message? :?
I am guessing that was Akanen trying to contact Yuuka's father.
There must be something critical in the message then.
Does it lead to Seiichirou end? :twisted:

Can't wait to see how Seiichirou "disappears" from Yuuka's life. :P
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 26 + 27 (Feb. 3, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on February 04, 2018, 12:21:02 AM
Thank you for reading! Jphip was down for a while, but it's finally back up. And this arc is finally coming to a close. (Only the exams left.) I hope this isn't too lackluster a closing. Again, thank you for reading!

@four4four: Hohoho, YuukaNen is a blessing.




Checkpoint 26


Akane looked at her phone in her hand. She had been able to call Yuuka’s family, and she found out that they had thought that not contacting Yuuka would be able to cut Yuuka off from worrying about them. She also found out that the Sugai patriarch was recovering from his illness.

She sighed. “Please, let this work.”


Neru was on the phone in the hallway during break. She nodded while saying ‘Yes’ to the person on the other side of the call. At one moment, she stopped to think.
Then, she said, “If you can, then please break him apart.”


Yuuka had just received a message from Akane when her phone rang. She looked at the number in surprise, but she picked up the phone call. “Father?”



Seiichirou finished his phone call. He looked at the time on his wristwatch and adjusted his glasses again. A small issue had come up within his company, and that caused him to be on the phone for two hours.

As he was about to return to speak with Yuuka, he suddenly heard a knock on the door.

The man headed toward the door that led to the hallway, and he opened to door. To Seiichirou’s surprise, there was a pair of tough looking men dressed in black suits, wearing sunglasses.

“What is it?” Seiichirou asked apprehensively. He felt that he had seen this pair before when talking with a supervisor of the Keyaki class recently, but he hadn’t spoke with the imposing duo.

One of the men in black said, “You are to leave the premises of this campus immediately.”

Seiichirou furrowed his eyebrows and started to ask indignantly, “What are you talking ab-”

The other man in black grabbed Seiichirou by the tie and dragged him out of the doorway, into the hallway, “Are you disobeying?”

“Unhand me this instant. I’ll have you know who I am-” A little flustered, Seiichirou tried to use his authority and money to threaten the pair.

What he received in return was a harsh blow to the side, making him choke in pain. Seiichirou wanted to fall to the ground in agony, but he was still being held by the tie, his neck restricted, almost choking him.

He looked at the two men in black, but they didn’t say anything.

“Who sent you?” Seiichirou spat out.

“Someone who has an interest in seeing you gone.” The man in black not holding Seiichirou spoke. Hearing a buzz in the communication device hidden in his ear, he repeated the words of his superior to Seiichirou. “Your existence has already been rejected.” He gestured to his partner.

At that gesture, the other man in black threw Seiichirou to the ground and began to pummel Seiichirou.

“Wh- AGHH!!” Seiichirou could barely grab a breathe to scream, but he couldn’t hold back the searing pain that was running through his body.

One man spoke, “Silence him.”

Seiichirou’s eyes were filled with fear. His glasses had been broken, discarded to the side, and his face was already a red mess. Even so, he didn’t want to die. Luckily, what he received was a piece of cloth stuffed into his mouth, preventing him from speaking, stretching his jaw painfully.

By the time they were done with him, he would have wanted to die instead.

The pair dragged Seiichirou away, throwing a bag over his head, to a place he couldn’t recognize. Then, he went through an hour of torture and interrogation. His fingers, arms, legs, and ribs were broken already, and it was like the person behind all of this didn’t care about the consequences of killing someone like Seiichirou.

Looking at the broken man on the ground, one man in black spoke to his partner, “Didn’t she say to do something?”

“Yes.” The other man in black replied curtly before giving a heavy stomp to Seiichirou’s pelvis, making a cracking sound of bone and an uncomfortable squish of an organ being crushed.

Seiichirou could not scream anymore, but his body still spasmed in pain. His dark pants were stained, but it was hard to tell if it was blood or some other liquid.

The man in black’s communication device buzzed. He replied, “Yes, sir. We’ll take him away. We’ve obtained all the information.”


—Did it cease to be interesting?


The door was locked. Yuuka had been twisting door knob for a while, having seemingly heard some strange sounds, but the door wouldn’t budge. Then, she heard a small beep that sounded like a remote control lock unlocking, and to her surprise, when she tried to open the door again, it opened.

The horse loving girl looked at the door, but she couldn’t understand how it worked. It didn’t look electronic in the slightest.
She walked out of her room. The place that had been prepared for her and Seiichirou seemed oddly quiet. She soon learned why.

A butler stood in the room and greeted Yuuka, “Yuuka-sama, Seiichirou-sama sends his apologies.”

Yuuka inquired, “What do you mean?”

“He was called away for an emergency business conference and had to leave right away for Hokkaido. If there is anything urgent to discuss with him, you may reach him through the phone.”

“...I see.”

“I will escort you back to your dorms. Your belongings will be moved later.”

She said, confused, “Thank you.”

With the butler escorting her, Yuuka returned to her dorms. The butler quickly left as soon as they reached the Keyaki dorms, so Yuuka mechanically returned to the place where she and Akane had stayed since the beginning of the school year.

Yuuka stopped at the end of the hallway, stalling before moving on. She thought that herself that she ought to tell Seiichirou that she wanted to annul the engagement now.

Finding out that her father was recovering, that her family didn’t want her to marry Seiichirou, that she loved Akane, and all those things made her realize that she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she did marry him.

She called Seiichirou, telling him of her decision. To her surprise, he agreed. His voice sounded a little strange, but he agreed.

That was that.

Then, Yuuka stepped forward. She was heading home.



Checkpoint 27


Moriya Akane woke up, noticing that the sky was already dimming. When all had been done for her, she had returned to the dorm room that belonged to her and Yuuka.

‘I want to walk home with you hand in hand. I want to keep living like that.’ Yuuka had written those words to Akane. That was why Akane decided that she would wait for Yuuka to come home in their place together.

When Akane had returned to the dorms, she took a seat on Yuuka’s bed, feeling that Yuuka’s half of the room appeared very empty. Smelling Yuuka’s comforting smell but missing Yuuka’s presence, Akane had inadvertently fallen into the land of dreams.
Akane got up from Yuuka’s bed.

Then, she heard the sound of the door opening. The tennis playing girl hurried toward the door. Eyes widening in happy surprise, she saw the person at the door.

“I’m home.” Yuuka greeted.

Akane pulled her roommate into a hug, “Welcome back, Yuuka!” She buried her face into Yuuka’s shoulder to hide her crying.
They shared a moment of quiet relief. It looked like everything had worked out fine in the end with Seiichirou. Akane felt Yuuka shaking.

“Are you crying?” Akane asked.

“Akane, you’re the one who’s crying.”

“Because I’m happy.”

“Me too.”

After they finally stopped crying, the pair released each other from their embraces. Akane reached out a hand to Yuuka, and wordlessly, Yuuka took Akane’s hand. The two walked fully into their dorm room.

Akane said again, “Welcome home.”

“I’m home.” Yuuka replied.



Boom! Boom! Boom!

The sky had turned dark, clear of clouds. Brilliant flowers of fire lit up the sky. Even though it wasn’t season yet for summer festivals and fireworks, there they were up on the sky. Through the windows, Yuuka and Akane could catch glimpses of the light show.

They had eaten a quick dinner together, making something in the kitchen in their dorm room.

“Let’s go to the roof and get a better look.” Akane took Yuuka’s hand.

The two headed up toward the rooftop. As they opened the door to the roof, they felt a slight breeze blow past.

The next batch of fireworks shot up into the sky with a whooshing sound as Yuuka and Akane walked across the rooftop, still holding hands, to the fence. Time appeared to stop for a moment as the fireworks flowered into an ephemeral ring of colors in the sky.

What wasn’t fleeting was the feeling of a beloved’s hand in their hands.

Yuuka smiled, “Beautiful…”

Boom! Boom! Boom! The sound of fireworks was overwhelming. Akane said something, but her words were covered up by the explosive sound.

Yuuka replied, but with the fireworks still going, Akane couldn’t hear Yuuka either.

The pair found themselves basically mouthing words with the background noise so loud. It was a little silly, so they started giggling, which turned into full blown laughter for a few moments.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Another set of fireworks went up. There were different patterns, circular ones, flower-like ones, bursts of color that seemed to spread and change in the middle of their movement.

Akane spoke again, trying to be a bit louder, but alas, she wasn’t quite loud enough.

Yuuka giggled, making another response.

Akane nodded, feeling somewhat fired up to get her voice across over the fireworks and hollered into the distance. “I love you, Yuuka!”

It just so happened that at that moment, there was a slight pause in the fireworks. The competitive girl’s words transmitted clearly to her roommate.

“I love you.” Yuuka leaned in closer to Akane.

Akane blushed, shouting to the distance again, “I love you!” Her words were aimed toward Yuuka.

“I love you!” Yuuka did the same.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The fireworks flew up again.

Akane turned over to Yuuka, loudly saying something with a smile. Her words were muffled by the fireworks. Then, she quickly kissed Yuuka on the lips. Akane blushed as she quickly moved her face away.

Yuuka’s brain short circuited for a moment, feeling Akane’s smooth lips. Seeing her roommate up close like this, the horse loving girl felt her heart racing. She wrapped her arms around Akane and pulled her into another kiss.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The two felt like fireworks were exploding inside their heads. Before they knew it, the fireworks show had ended.

“Akane, you beast…” Yuuka complained, setting her head down on Akane’s shoulder, breathing heavily.

Her lips were a swollen from all the kissing that they had done, and her clothes were dishevelled. On Yuuka’s pure skin, there was a trail of marks down her neck where Akane had fiercely attacked.

Akane blushed at the accusation. They hadn’t actually gone past much other than kissing.

They stood quietly for a minute.

When Yuuka and Akane finally parted from their embrace, Yuuka tripped over her own feet from exhaustion from making out, and she pushed Akane onto the fence awkwardly by accident. From an outside point of view, it would have looked like a role reversal where Yuuka was taking the top.

“Ouch!” Akane winced.

Yuuka worriedly asked as she regained her balance, “Are you okay?”

“It’s okay. I’ve had worse.” Akane got off the fence and reassured Yuuka. Akane gave her girlfriend another kiss on the forehead.
At that moment, they heard footsteps on the rooftop coming toward them. Akane took Yuuka into her embrace again due to surprise, and the roommates looked toward the people who were coming.

“Aka- Eh?” That was Manaka’s voice.

Hirate Yurina and Shida Manaka were looking for Akane in worry, and at last, they had found both Akane and Yuuka on the rooftop. The odd pair hurried over, feeling glad that it looked like everything was okay.

As soon as Manaka noticed Yuuka’s state, she quickly put her hands over Yurina’s eyes.

“What is it?” Yurina asked.

Manaka deadpan replied, “This is inappropriate for kids.”

“Hey!” Akane blurted out a retort. She let Yuuka go, and Yuuka straightened out her clothing. The pair was blushing red.

Manaka looked at her friend, “Is everything…?” She inquired if everything was okay, if Yuuka wasn’t leaving, if whatever had been plaguing Akane for the past while was fixed.

“Yea.” Akane nodded.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1412619#msg1412619)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 26 + 27 (Feb. 3, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on February 04, 2018, 01:23:56 AM
FINALLY!!! Seiichirou is gone! :twisted:
Out of the way for the YuukaNen ship to sail. :wub:
But Neru's conversation on the phone is a bit mysterious. :?

I'm so happy to finally see Yukka and Akanen together. :w00t:
I never knew Akanen was such a kissing monster. :shocked
Poor Techi, too young to see YuukaNen in action. :lol:

Can't wait to see the next arc.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 26 + 27 (Feb. 3, 2018)]
Post by: mooza on February 04, 2018, 01:34:09 PM
Finally a happy ending!
Okay firstly, Neru is suspicious as hell. Makes me wonder if she's the one who sent those men.
Secondly, the scene where Shida covered Techi's eyes because it was 'inappropriate for kids' was adorable.
Lastly, good job writing this story. It's really interesting and I can't wait for more~
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 26 + 27 (Feb. 3, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on February 05, 2018, 12:13:34 AM
Very funny Manaka covering Techi's eyes.

Finally ... finally! Akane was having a hard time, no wonder they were looking for her all worried. Akane and Yuuka are together.

Neru's call has been strange.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Feb. 9, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on February 09, 2018, 10:01:50 PM
Before the next update of Eccentric, I'm just going to drop these three one-shots here! If you read my stuff on Wattpad, you might have already read them. But, the system is generally: Eccentric updates here first. One-shots update there first.

I jokingly call these one-shots (in the order that they appear in): that sad MonaRisa one, YuukaNen is really gay, and TechiMemi indulges my chuuni heart.

I'll be sure to update Eccentric sometime over the weekend.

@Minami-chan: Indeed, Neru is a suspicious person.
@mooza: I'm glad you enjoy this fic! It makes me really happy. Tehehe~
@four4four: Look forward to the next arc~ It's Arc III <Aoi> that's coming up after a bit of wrap-up of exams for the girls. Following that is Arc IV <Yui>, focusing on Yuichanzu and also shedding light on Techi's past.




Time Runs Out


“It’s unfair.” Shida Manaka hadn’t realized that she had let her voice slip.

She wondered when the last time she had exited into the real world had been. In her hand was a vial of medicine that she made with her alchemy skills as a mage, but upon finishing the creation, she had zoned out and started staring at the clock on the wall.

The short haired mage girl was currently in a magical space created in order to manipulate the passage of time where time inside the space only took a little while outside of the space. She was in a sweet little cottage, and the ‘outside’ of the cottage was a fresh grassland with a few fruit trees. The sky was nearly always blue, but there were fluctuations in the weather here and there to recreate the real world.

Yet, she knew that it wasn’t the real world.

Her friends, like the adventuring squad called the Yuipon Protection Squad created by Oda Nana who was chasing after Yuipon, which had grown to include Suzumoto Miyu who was chasing Oda Nana, weren’t in this false world.

Manaka herself could easily leave this world behind. Rather, she had the capability to do so. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to do so. Her heart would break.

She muttered aloud again, “It’s unfair.” She wanted to break something.

Then, she heard a small but familiar voice. “Manaka?”

Manaka turned around from where she was standing and saw that her treasured person, Watanabe Risa, had awoken and was weakly sitting up on the bed.

“Risa, did I wake you up?” Manaka made motions to act normal.

Manaka wondered how long had it been since Risa had last woken up. It had been four days. The last time Risa woke up, Risa could only stay awake for thirty minutes. The time Risa had in the living world was slowly but surely shrinking, and Manaka couldn’t accept that.

Risa replied, “It’s fine.”

Risa would eventually fall into an eternal coma where she would never wake up again and could only die. This was a curse, an illness that couldn’t be cured with conventional methods, a cruel instance in the world where time was tied to a girl’s soul by a devil’s power. In other words, it was not fine at all.

Manaka held up the vial she had in her hand, “I made you medicine.” It was a potion that was supposed to slow down Risa’s time temporarily so that Risa could stay awake for longer, but it didn’t make much of a difference. All the things that had been made to try to cure Risa hadn’t worked.

Risa said coolly, “I don’t need it. Manaka, you can… you can just leave.”

“No. I won’t.” Manaka rejected.

“Manaka, leave.”

“No.”

“Manaka.”

“I won’t leave.”

“Manaka!”

“No!”

A moment of quiet fell between the two girls. Risa clutched her chest in pain, wincing while trying not to worry Manaka. However, Manaka’s heart still hurt at her lover’s pain, eyes noticing the magical chains of curse on Risa’s body and the hands of a watch that were only a sliver away from midnight, the end of Risa’s existence.

Manaka cursed her own eyes for being able to see the curse. She had been successful as a mage and alchemist because of her ability to detect magic, but the grotesque thing that was destroying Risa’s body was something that she wished that she couldn’t see.

“I’m sorry.” Risa sighed.

“No, I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”

“I’m just unlucky. I was born with this, a curse.”

“If you hadn’t taken that hit for me, then it wouldn’t have activated like this. You would still be able to live like a normal person.” Manaka adamantly denied Risa’s words.

At that time, which seemed like just a few days ago, a year ago, the pair had gone adventuring together in a dungeon, but they had accidentally stumbled upon a demonic beast in what shouldn’t have been such a dangerous area. The demon had charged up a dark magic attack and send the magic toward Manaka, but Risa had pushed Manaka out of the way and took the hit.

She had nearly died in that instance, but thanks to Manaka’s large stash of potions as an alchemist, Risa’s life hadn’t vanished just there. Yet, that dark magic had activated a curse put on Risa’s body when she was young.

Risa justified her actions, “You wouldn’t be there.”

“Does that matter?” Manaka frowned.

“Yes.”

“We’ve had this conversation so many times.”

“We have.”

“Will you drink the medicine?”

“No.”

“Not even mouth to mouth?”

“No.” Risa rejected the offer. “Just a kiss would be good.”

Manaka set aside the medicine vial. She leaned in to kiss Risa, and their lips softly touched. As the two girls embraced, Manaka couldn’t help but feel that Risa was cold.

Risa joked, “Your kissing is good as always. No wonder I like you.”

“Risa, you’re mean.”

“Manaka, I love you. I love that you’re so kind and bright. I love your smile. I love that you work so hard even if you’re childish sometimes.” Continuing, Risa confessed her love.

“Risa, I love you too.”

“Manaka, that’s why you should give up on me.”

“I won’t.”

“We won’t be able to stay together. We won’t be able to retire together and watch Dani, Mon, and Pon end up marrying in a threesome. We won’t be able to grow old together. That’s why-”

Manaka cut Risa off with another kiss. “I’ll make it so that we will.”

Risa looked down, “Can you?” “How much time do I even have left? This is probably the last time that I’ll be awake ever again.”

“Don’t say that...”

“Isn’t the hand of the clock only one click away from the final place?”

Another short moment of quiet filled the space. When Manaka looked at the curse, it was indeed in its final stages. However, she still retorted, “Even so!”

Risa’s chilly hands reached for Manaka’s hand and reassured Manaka, “I’m already happy enough that you’ve wasted so much of your life staying by my side like this. If you hadn’t been there, I probably would have died a long time ago.”

Manaka averted her gaze, wanting to cry.

“Manaka.”

“Risa, I’m not going to leave.”

“I figured.”

“I’ll stay with you until the end. Let’s be happy together.”

“Thanks.”

They chatted about the past for a while longer while holding hands. Risa’s hands seemed to become slightly warmer. Risa’s life force was gradually getting weaker and weaker, and her eyelids became heavy.

“This is probably the end, Manaka.”

“I-it’s not the end.”

“Thank you.”

“I love you, so don’t go…”

“...it’s cold…” Risa set herself down on the bed, but she wouldn’t let go of Manaka’s hand. “Stay with me until the end… sorry, I’m selfish.” She felt tears in her eyes and noticed Manaka was crying.

“No, no, no. I wouldn’t have left in the first place. I want you to be with me. Risa…”

“Good night.” Risa murmured with the last of her strength.

“Risa…?” Manaka held Risa’s hand until the end even though she could no longer feel Risa’s strength. “It’s unfair. Hey, wake up. Wake up?”

There was no reply.

She looked at the curse surrounding Risa. It had indeed already reached its final form, becoming a pulsing red mass of magic that wasn’t visible to the normal human eye. The curse was eating away at Risa, and soon, Risa would likely die to it.

Manaka hated that thing with all her might. Despite all her efforts, she hadn’t been able to get rid of it.

For a moment, Manaka began to lose hope. However, when she looked at Risa and felt that hand still intertwined with her own, Manaka reaffirmed to herself that she wasn’t able to accept an ending where Risa wasn’t by her side. Those last moments that she tried to savor just weren’t enough.

What she wanted was a lifetime with the girl she loved.

Manaka mumbled out an apology to Risa as she reluctantly untangled her fingers from Risa’s. She didn’t want to let go and wasn’t a fan of what she had in mind, but it was the only option left that she could think of.

It was a magic that was highly likely to fail. It was a magic whose failure would have caused an endless coma for the recipient and the caster alike. In fact, it was a magic that usually killed the caster regardless of success or failure.

However, it was the only thing left.

Manaka summoned a ritual knife to her hand. She winced because it was scarily sharp even though she had seen swords before.

“If this fails, let’s meet again in our next life.” Manaka laughed wryly, trying to keep herself from breaking apart in grief. “I won’t fail though.”

She took the knife and stabbed it into her heart.


“It’s unfair.”





Keyaki Hogwarts


The wind blew furiously, her hair flowing messily with the currents. The crowd was going wild, blue and red banners waving, voices shouting, magic going through the air. Akane was decked out in the Gryffindor colors, eyes narrowing on the Golden Snitch. A Bludger whooshed by, nearly hitting her, but the competitive Gryffindor was too swift to be hit.

A flash of blue entered Akane’s eyes. That was the Ravenclaw Seeker, Sugai Yuuka, top of class and all-round capable person. Yuuka seemed to have spotted the Snitch as well.

Without a moment of hesitation, Akane dove downwards. The angle was so harsh that the Gryffindor Seeker’s move wouldn’t have been allowed by some professional coaches, but there she went, believing in her willpower. As she went down, she saw Yuuka follow.

Akane grinned. This was exhilarating even though she could crash into the ground and hurt herself badly. That was what magic healing was for.

The ground closed in. At the last moment, Akane twisted and went shooting up into the sky just as she was about to hit the ground.

The commentary in the back by the Hufflepuff Ozeki Rika went something like: “It’s a Wronski? Wronski Feint! Akanen! Dangerous! Ahhhhhh!!!” It was an unstable commentary. “Whew, Yuuka is okay too…”

Despite Akane’s risky maneuvers, her rival Seeker had managed to get out of a pinch and was tailing right behind Akane. Akane sped on ahead, forcing her broom to go faster and faster, as fast as she could.

The Snitch was right there. The glint of light off the golden ball entered Akane’s eyes. She reached out her hand. There. Then, she grabbed it.

The game was over.



The Quidditch teams were on the ground now. Ravenclaw looked a little disappointed, but it was a close match. The Gryffindors were already celebrating, and they were prepared to party into the night after dinner.

Yuuka and Akane shook hands. The losing team’s Seeker smiled and said, “Congratulations on winning.”

Akane reciprocated that handshake, “Good game.”

Akane’s teammate gave Akane a hearty shoulder hug, “Whoo! We did it!”

Ozeki also came down to the field and let out a sigh of relief as she complained about Akane’s last stunt. “Ahhhh, that was dangerous.”

“I won though.” As if it was an obvious choice of action, Akane replied to Ozeki.

Yuuka giggled, watching the interactions between her yearmates, “You’re such a Gryffindor.” She herself was quite a Ravenclaw, studying properly all the time, but she wasn’t the definition of Ravenclaw like how Akane seemed to almost embody the guts and courage of Gryffindor sometimes.

Akane noticed that she was still holding onto Yuuka’s hand and reluctantly let go. “Well, I did win.” She shrugged, glad that everyone was a little red after a harsh game since her cheeks were probably blushing.

“You did.” Yuuka relented before responding, “I won’t lose next time. Ganbariki.” She made a little hand gesture of ‘ganbariki’ before getting embarrassed at herself.

“I’ll look forward to our next game then.”

Yuuka waved goodbye to Akane and headed back toward the Ravenclaw group.



Daytime. After class.

Moriya Akane and Shida Manaka floated on their brooms, chatting. Akane was riding the broom in proper posture while the Slytherin Manaka was casually riding it to the side, unafraid of falling off.

Without a second of warning, Manaka said, “So in other words, you love Yuuka.”

Akane choked, “Huh!?” She nearly fell off her broom in surprise.

Manaka shrugged nonchalantly, “What? You want to be with her all the time. You partner with her during Potions all the time. You help her grab books even though you’re the same height. You always want to have a Quidditch match with her.”

“That doesn’t mean I love her.” Akane grumbled at her green-clad friend.

Manaka raised an eyebrow, lifting her bangs a little, “Huh?”

“Fine! I do like her a lot.”

“See, I told you.”

“You sneaky little snake.”

“Akanen, I’m just being your love guru right now.”

“You’re such a playboy that I can’t trust you to be a love guru anyways, Manaka.” Akane gave Manaka a playful push, “Who’s your new girlfriend?”

“I like a bunch of people.” Manaka replied enigmatically. Despite the Slytherin house having a bad reputation from the last war with a Dark Lord, Manaka was somehow very popular with the population at Hogwarts.

Akane let out a sigh, wondering what kind of taste her classmates had, “Huh…”

“Anyways, see you later.” Manaka flew off on her broom.

“Wait! You were the one who wanted to talk to me about somethin- Ah, she’s gone...” Akane slapped her palm on her forehead, “I can’t believe Risa still loves her so much.”

Despite Manaka’s infamy as a player, Manaka still had her one true love, the cool Watanabe Risa who was also in the Slytherin House. It was just that their relationship was often on and off, but from Akane’s point of view, Risa forgave Manaka quite easily.

Finding no point in staying around in the sky, Akane also descended. She pondered to herself that Manaka hadn’t given any actual love advice and felt a chill on her spine as to what her friend would scheme up.



Library. After the end of Quidditch season.

Akane had to write a Transfiguration essay for homework, so she grabbed a book from the shelves and headed toward the tables in the library. As expected, there were many students wearing blue, but she spotted Yuuka among them.

“Hey.” Akane sat down across from Yuuka, setting down her book and parchment so she could get to work.

“Hi.” Yuuka peeked up from her book and greeted Akane.

“So, what are you reading?”

“A book on the creation of the Patronus charm. It’s really interesting. How about you?”

“Transfiguration homework.”

“Oh, that essay. Good luck.”

“Thanks.”

The two Quidditch players exchanged smiles and got to work. Akane got stumped on what to write after a while. Although she didn’t like asking for help, she put aside her pride and asked Yuuka for a bit of help.

Yuuka’s smile while helping Akane made Akane’s heart melt. Soon enough, Akane finished her homework, but she ended up staying in the library for a little longer, reading books with Yuuka.



Daytime. Hallway.

Akane, Yuuka, and Manaka stood in a not often travelled hallway. The two Quidditch players looked toward their mutual Slytherin friend in confusion. Manaka had called them over for some unknown thing. In the past, they had been tasked with weird things such as being lookouts for Manaka’s pranks, but this time, it looked like something different.

The Slytherin girl took out her wand and waved it at the wall. A broom closet door appeared.

“There’s a broom closet right here, and there are two people who are hopelessly in love with each other but haven’t said anything to each other about it.” Manaka smiled, “Now, you know what comes next.”

Without letting Yuuka or Akane retort, Manaka pushed her friends into the broom closet, closing the door.

Manaka told them through the door, “By the way, you’ll be let out in an hour. Have fun. No one will interrupt you two.”

“Wh- Hey, Manaka! What the heck!?” Akane tried to open the door.

Not only did she fail to open the door, but she got no response. It seemed like Manaka had walked off after setting the two up. Akane was definitely going to get revenge on Manaka for this, something like setting Risa on that player Slytherin.

Then, Akane turned to Yuuka. At that moment, the Gryffindor realized that the broom closet was somewhat cramped. The two girls were squished close to each other, and the closet was also dark. Akane blushed, and she couldn’t see Yuuka’s expression.

“So… you like me?” Yuuka asked.

Akane replied flustered, “Yea.”

“...I like you too.”





War in the Future


Dust clouds rose. The distance was a flurry of brown. The sky had greyed. So much of the world was covered in the flames of war, the blood lost from the worst of human activity. What technological advances in the last few years meant nothing in the face of human lives lost. This world was filled with war, and no one could see the end of it even if they could almost see the end of the world past the horizon.

Of the major powers involved in the world war, Japan was one of the most unscathed. The battles had yet to drastically affect the civilian settlements, but already, a number of naval disputes off the coast had caused deaths in civilians.

Military weaponry had developed. Within the Japanese military, there were two special task forces called NG and ZEL comprised of a few dozen elites. Although that small number appeared to be useless at first, after the deployment of the first elite force, NG, Japan’s military endeavors met with less casualties, bringing about the second force, ZEL.

Kakizaki Memi was attending a press conference about ZEL’s latest accomplishments in the everlasting war. The group had taken down the terrorist cell that had run rampant in northern China for the past few years, allowing supplies to be directed to the battlefield and for Japan to win a crucial battle.

The cameras flashed, almost irritatingly. The voices of the reporters appeared to overlap. The wall behind the members of ZEL attending the conference had depictions of zelkova leaves, the symbol of their group. Sugai Yuuka and Moriya Akane, both heiresses to wealthy conglomerates who had set aside their silver spoon and enlisted, were answering the questions that were thrown toward them.

Of the members of ZEL present, only Sugai and Moriya were taking questions. The other two, Shida Manaka and Hirate Yurina, were standing to the side, rejecting questions and answering others with, “Classified.” All four were dressed in black military uniforms striped with silver.

Although Memi had seen the ZEL members before, the elites used in advertising to promote enlistment in the military, this was the first time she had seen them in person. Memi was in the back, not a reporter asking questions, yet she could feel the intensity in Hirate's eyes. That short haired girl had a disinterested look yet her eyes were burning.

Soon enough, the question part of the conference was over. A few pictures more were taken and that was it.

Memi watched as the reporters filtered out of the conference area. She jolted in surprise as she felt a hand on her shoulder, turning to see a big sister-like friend, Nagahama Neru, a secret member of ZEL who worked on home base operations such as home grown terrorist groups. Her cover was that of a freelancer, in what was not specified.

If Neru and Memi hadn’t met the way that they did, perhaps Memi wouldn’t have ever known about Neru’s connection to ZEL.



At that time, it was dark and muffled. Memi still wore her hair in low twintails, and as she was walking home, everything suddenly turned dark. When she awoke, she couldn’t see. A sack was thrown over her head, and her limbs were roughly bound by rope.

Memi now and then was not a super soldier. She couldn’t escape by herself, so she could only wait in terror as to what would happen to her. She didn’t know who kidnapped her, but she could hear Japanese voices as well as foreign voices shouting. She could hear violent thuds and gunshots.

Before she could even process what was going on around her, she found herself roughly picked up by someone’s hands. He barked at her in some language that she couldn’t understand. Then, he shouted in the same unknown language at someone else.

Memi, who at that time was a middle school student, found the sack torn off her head. There was a piece of tape over her mouth. She found the barrel of a gun pressed against her head, and it seemed that she was being taken hostage in some sort of warehouse.

Across from the man who had taken her hostage, Memi saw a girl with long black hair. That was Neru. The hood of her outfit had been blown off, and a broken mask was on the ground. Neru held a gun in her hand, analyzing the situation quietly.

Neru pointed her gun at the man’s head and replied in the foreign language.

Memi squeezed her eyes shut, scared of dying. A gunshot rang out. Memi felt the warm splatter of blood against her face. However, she wasn’t dead. She tumbled to the ground as the man holding her suddenly collapsed with his head blown to pieces.

From nowhere, a figure dressed in the same outfit as Neru, but with the hood and mask still intact, swooped down with a gun in her hand, landing on the dead man’s body callously. This seemed to be the person who sniped the man.

The mysterious figure and Neru, who Memi did not know yet at the time, exchanged messages through a secret sign language. The figure helped Memi up, gently dusting Memi. She gestured toward Neru, but Neru shook her head.

Suddenly, the warehouse began to fill with red colored gas. Neru and the figure shared a look and quickly pressed a button on part of their uniform, putting a gas mask over their faces. However, Memi didn’t have one.

The mysterious masked figure lifted Memi into her arms and removed her gas mask, putting it onto Memi’s face. Neru glanced back at the figure, but didn’t say anything. The two military agents needed to exit the warehouse quickly.

“Try not to breathe too much.” The mysterious figure said to Memi in a low voice, “The mask won’t help that much.”

After that, things went black for Memi. Memi only remembered the deep eyes of the mysterious figure.

The mission was apparently a success for Neru and ZEL. Memi was saved from the kidnappers, and the kidnappers turned out to be a branch of a radical leftist group gone rogue who had wanted to let foreign enemies into Japan.

Memi was debriefed after the kidnapping and signed a number of papers because Neru’s identity was to be a secret. The Japanese government wouldn’t silence their own citizens, but they needed to protect their secret agents as well. It was also at that time that Memi began a deal with the government and started her friendship with Neru.

There was a reason that the radicals had kidnapped the young Kakizaki.



At this time, the last of the reporters were leaving the conference area. Neru removed her hand from Memi’s shoulder once she saw that the younger girl noticed her there. Neru was dressed in a white blouse and skirt, civilian clothing that hid completely her identity as a secret agent.

Neru spoke to Memi with a smile, “Shall we go?”

Memi nodded, “Okay.” She was a little nervous, but she needed to go ahead.

Neru and Memi exited the conference area. They walked through the hallways of the building, looking through the glass window-walls out at the city around them. Usually, they would chat about something, but the tension in Memi’s heart was too high for her to casually chat.

Rather than using the elevators, Neru and Memi started walking down the stairs. Neru had explained that elevators were risky, and if something happened, then it would be near impossible to survive.

The two girls reached the first floor. They went through a hallway, and before long, there was no one around. Neru opened a secret door in the wall, using her eye for identification, and she led Memi through a hallway with a completely different color. This place didn’t exist in the blueprints of the building.

Knock, knock. Neru stopped before a completely white wall and knocked on it.

A voice asked, “Humility.”

“Kindness.” Neru replied.

Then, that wall opened up, revealing a small meeting room and a door to a hidden car parking area. Neru walked into the room with Memi, and the wall closed. To Memi’s surprise, the wall was vaguely transparent, allowing the people in the room to see into the hallway but not the hallway into the room.

In the room, the members of ZEL who had been in the press conference were sitting on the sofa. Sugai and Moriya sat upright, seemingly at ease. Shida was cross legged, cleaning her gun. Only Hirate was standing, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed. The latter two had loosened their military uniforms, which were just that, uniforms for show and not for actual combat.

“Hello, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Sugai Yuuka. You’re the new technician who’s joining us?” Sugai greeted Memi warmly.

Memi quickly replied, “Yes. I’m Kakizaki Memi.”

In turn, the ZEL members introduced themselves. Moriya said, “I’m Moriya Akane.”

Shida gave a curt gesture, “Shida Manaka.”

“...Hirate Yurina.” Hirate spoke last, finishing the introductions.

“I know that you have already signed a deal with the higher ups. However, you may still back out now. We won’t blame you for it, not us here nor the members not present right now.” Sugai said to Memi, “This war is dangerous, and being affiliated with ZEL will put you in danger as well.”

“It’s okay. I’m not backing out now. I already have a target on my back.” Memi replied, “I want to work with ZEL to end the war, and maybe… maybe so that life can return to normal.”

“Then, welcome to ZEL.” Sugai extended a hand to Memi.

They shook hands. Maybe it would have been strange in another world to see girls whose average age was less than two decades shake hands like this to decide matters of military weaponry, but they couldn’t ignore the bloody conflict that was seeping into Japan.

After speaking for a little bit, making small talk, Sugai received a notification. She motioned to her teammates, and the ZEL members stood up. Neru tapped Memi on the shoulder and explained, “We’re heading out now.”

The group entered the hidden car parking area and entered into a black car. Memi sat down between Neru and Hirate, facing the other three girls who were sitting opposite.

Sugai told Memi, “I’m sorry, but we have to blindfold you for this ride to hide where the base is. We don’t want anything to happen.” She handed Neru a black cloth.

Neru blindfolded Memi. Memi vaguely understood the reasoning behind Sugai’s words, and she wondered to herself how the car they were riding in was going to be camouflaged as it headed toward their destination.

Shida clarified blandly, “What she means is torture.”

Memi twitched. Of course that was what Sugai meant. Although the heiress was polite about it, everything came down to security. As Memi wasn’t a trained elite soldier, if she was caught and tortured, she would likely spill the secrets of the location of the base if she was allowed to know.

Hirate stated, “Which we will prevent.” The short haired girl with mesmerizing eyes didn’t sound like she was trying to reassure Memi, but Memi couldn’t see anyone’s expression at the moment.

They drove quietly to the ZEL base.



Kakizaki Memi was good with weapons—to put it extremely simply. It was because of wartime changes in curriculum in schools where certain classes emphasizing military advancements were encouraged in students. It was just Memi’s luck that she would discover something that would put eyes on her that she didn’t need.

Within ZEL, Memi found herself getting along more than she expected. Everyone was eccentric, and they were all able to make a good working relationship. They didn’t put too much pressure on her, but that actually made her want to work harder to improve ZEL’s weaponry.

Before she knew it, ZEL had become something of a second family.

There were two sections within ZEL, the more publicly known one that was making efforts into the war and the secret one led by Neru that dealt with Japanese internal problems.

After joining ZEL as a technician, Memi had spent more time with the secret group than the public group as the public group had been deployed constantly overseas in order to deal with issues. The war just kept getting worse, and casualty rates continued skyrocketing.

ZEL had just returned from a harsh mission in northern Europe. They had managed to blow up an enemy military base and take out the enemy’s general, but the general Japanese military and allies failed to make a decisive victory. Morale was low.

Memi walked into the base’s cafeteria with Neru, discussing the development of a new war technology. “It can cut through time like butter, but the stability is worrying, so the human body might not be able to take it.”

“I see.” Neru took in the information that Memi was talking about. She would eventually read a report on the technology, which would be sent to the higher ups, but it was still good to listen.

With the way Memi spoke, sometimes Neru felt that Memi was too proper and mature. It was the same with the other young member of ZEL, Hirate. However, Neru was at ease because she often saw Memi clinging to people in her free time. Neru just hoped that Hirate would relax a little more too.

When Memi and Neru walked into the cafeteria, they saw three public ZEL members chatting. Watanabe Risa and Shida Manaka were joking around, ruffling Hirate’s hair.

Memi’s gaze naturally went toward Hirate. They were the same age, and for some reason, the technician had always wanted to talk with Hirate but hadn’t had the chance.

After a while, Risa and Shida waved and left Hirate. For that moment, Hirate stood alone.

Neru gave Memi a gentle push on the back, “You should go talk with her. Call her Yurina. She won’t mind.”

Memi was surprised that Neru had seen through her, but at with that motivation, she headed toward the short haired girl. After all, Neru seemed to know Hirate decently well, sometimes even going as backup for the ZEL missions.

“Um, Yurina… -san.” Memi greeted Hirate Yurina.

Yurina replied with a nod, “Memi. Yurina is fine.”

For some reason, Memi found Yurina’s small movement of the head to be endearingly cute like a small otter. She found herself smiling, “Thanks for your hard work.”

“You too.”

“Are you getting dinner right now?”

“Yea.” Yurina responded. “Do you want to get some together?”

“Sure.”

The two girls got dinner together in the cafeteria. Sitting down, they engaged in small talk, finding that their interests overlapped. They didn’t talk about war or work at all. For a moment, Memi and Yurina felt like normal high school girls.

They talked about their favorite characters from media.

Yurina adamantly proclaimed as she ate, “Moomin did nothing wrong. It’s all Futeneko.”

They talked about school and daily life, something that had been interrupted for them a long time ago. There were things like math, history, funny teachers, and favorite seats in classrooms.

Yurina admitted, “I’m not very good at school…”

“Let’s study together.” Memi offered to study together with Yurina.

Before long, their plates had been cleared.

Memi asked, “Yurina has a summer birthday, right? I’m in winter.”

“It’s autumn right now.” The short haired girl nodded, “When’s your birthday? I’ll write it down and remember.”

“Ah, it’s December 2nd.” Memi answered.

She thought back to her birthday two years ago. That was actually the day after she was kidnapped and met Neru, so she hadn’t been able to celebrate it then. Yet, she wondered if meeting Neru was considered lucky or not since she was able to meet ZEL. It had already been such a long time since then.

They finished dinner and left the cafeteria.

Memi waved, “See you later.”

“Later.” Yurina smiled faintly before leaving.



Memi’s heart was racing. She felt the wind beating into her face, her skin cold, face slightly red. It was early December, but the sky was already filled with little white snowflakes falling down to the ground, covering it with white. Aside from the snowfall, the night sky was filled with the light of the stars and an aurora.

This wasn’t Japan. In fact, this wasn’t even in a city. This was the middle of a forest.

She was in a stealth plane that had just landed near the defensive lines of the enemy. ZEL was heading out to take out certain checkpoints so that the main Japanese allied forces could break through those lines. It seemed absurd that just a little under two dozen girls would be a factor to clinch the victory of battle, but their track record spoke volumes.

The ZEL members were dressed in camouflage outfits that defaulted to black. Although the clothes looked thin, they were state of the art technology that would keep the girls warm even in temperatures way below freezing. They were heavily armed.

Aside from the people manning from the plane, Sugai, Neru, and Memi were the only ones who were staying behind. The former two were acting as the command heads, monitoring the situation. ZEL was alone, and they always worked alone without backup.

Sugai said to Moriya, “Succeed in this mission.”

“Of course.” Moriya nodded.

There wasn’t any matter of luck involved. There was only success or death. The stealth plane’s door closed, and the technology hiding it turned on full throttle. Now, Memi could only wait to see how things turned out.

An hour passed. Communication lines were steady.

Another hour passed. Sugai and Neru seemed uneasy.

More time passed. Then, the typically polite Sugai let out a curse in English. She tinkered with her headset to no avail. Neru pushed a few buttons here and there, but she shook her head toward Sugai.

“Communications down.” Neru frowned, “Ozeki and Risa injured.” That was the last information they had received from the team.

Memi stepped up, “Let me try to fix it.”

Sugai shook her head, “This isn’t your expertise.”

“Even so…” Memi was determined.

More time passed. The technician wondered if all the operations were so tense and dangerous or if this had gone south beyond expectations. Memi tinkered around, but it was true that the communications device wasn’t her field of expertise.

Memi’s work was rather niche. They centered around a new form of energy that she had discovered and was about time-space manipulation. Sufficiently advanced science was like magic, but no matter the magic she could work, she couldn’t fix the communication lines.

Time continued. They were still within the expected time for the operation.

“We’ve had worse.” Sugai mumbled to herself, worrying. “Akane…”

Memi didn’t give up. She stayed glued to the communications, trying to find a way through. New information continued streaming to the command head, things like enemy movements, but it had no way of getting to the members out on the field.

Another hour passed. That was when Sugai received information that the operation was a success. However, that information wasn’t from her teammates but rather from other Japanese military forces. They still had no way of confirming whether or not ZEL was safe. Even if the checkpoints were taken out, that didn’t mean that the operation had been properly completed.

Sugai clenched her teeth and dug her fingers into her palms so hard that she started bleeding.

Boom! An explosion rang out. In the distance, smoke could be seen rising and the red of flames seemed to flicker up.

It was at that moment that Memi made a breakthrough with the communications. The lines were filled with static and panic.

Bzzt. “-Shut up!-” Bzzt.

Bzzt. “-Techi!!!-” Bzzt.

Bzzt. “-we have to-” Bzzt. “-injured-” Bzzt. “-retreat, retr-” Bzzt. “-can you move-” Bzzt.

The sounds of gunfire came through the line. Memi could almost imagine the blood spraying from the bullets. She thought she heard the sound of a nano-blade knife cutting through human flesh like butter.

The connection was back. Yurina yelled, “We don’t leave anyone behind!”

“Communications back on.” Sugai spoke through the communications line, “Where are you?”

In the end, the plane picked up all the members of ZEL. Even though some were bleeding profusely and nearly knocked out, everyone was accounted for. Sending a volley of fire down at the pursuers, the plane retreated.

The girls treated their wounds and their comrades’ wounds. The worst things would have to wait, but they had all gotten out with all their limbs intact.

Shida ground out to Memi, “Med kit. Now.” She eyed Risa worriedly, having already stopped Risa’s bleeding with first aid. However, Shida’s partner was currently unconscious and covered in blood, soaking the black outfit blacker.

Memi quickly grabbed a medical kit. She rushed around trying to help out.

When everything that she could do was done, she walked over to Yurina who had bandaged up her own wounds earlier. The short haired girl’s eyes were filled with regret.

“...I should have done better…” Yurina mumbled.

“Yurina?”

The operation finished a success, but it was the worst success that ZEL had yet.



Memi looked at a video from a recent incident that the secret half of ZEL solved. A radical militaristic group that wanted to escalate the war had attempted to take the Diet building hostage. The video was jarring. The use of her time based technology stopped a bullet in mid-air for a split second, allowing the agent to cut the bullet in half in the air.

Even though Memi had made the device, the possibilities of its usage made her nervous. At least, it was an one use device with a limited power source.

She went through the video a few more times, jotting down notes on the field use of the technology. Then, she put her laptop away and closed her eyes for a moment. Memi wondered what Yurina was doing as the short haired girl didn’t seem to take a break.

After the operation gone wrong in winter, the Japanese allied forces broke through the enemy defensive lines. A harsh battle raged, but ZEL’s activities weakened the enemy lines so much that the allied forces were able to take down the enemy.

A temporary ceasefire was signed. Alas, the elite force’s efforts weren’t enough to completely end the war.

“What’s the point of this war…?” Memi sighed aloud. Sometimes, she couldn’t even tell who they were fighting anymore.

Neru, who was passing by, replied, “There is none.”

“Yea.” Memi nodded.

“Techi’s in the K room.” Neru mentioned, “You should be able to catch her if you go now.”

“Thank you, Neru.”

“It’s nothing.”

Memi headed toward the K room. Ever since the ceasefire had been announced, Memi had had more time to talk with Yurina. They had grown closer, and Memi wouldn’t let Yurina fall into those moments of self-loathing where the short haired girl blamed herself for not being able to perform better.

The technician caught the ZEL member as she was exiting the K room. Memi greeted Yurina and made some small talk. They compared schedules.

Then, Memi said, “Let’s go out.”

Yurina faltered in her step due to confusion, “Huh?”

“To the city.” Memi explained, taking Yurina’s hand, “To have crepes and do whatever it is people our age do.”

Yurina nodded. “Sure.”



Two girls walked through the streets hand in hand. One of them wore a cute pink cardigan with a skirt, her hair in low twintails that she hadn’t worn in a while. The other had short hair and was wearing a hoodie. They looked like normal high school girls on a day off although school hadn’t let off yet.

Memi wondered aloud, “It's almost Valentine's, huh?” Seeing the decorations and advertisements on the street, she was informed of the passage of time.

“It's already February? I hadn't noticed.” Yurina was a little surprised as well.

Chatting, they continued walking. Although the temperatures were still chilly, the warmth of each other's hands blocked that thought away.

They window shopped, looking at cute toys, accessories, and chocolates. At one point, Memi dragged Yurina into a clothing store and had the soldier try on a cute dress.

Memi beamed, “Yurina, you're so pretty.”

“…”  Although the short haired girl didn't say anything, her attempt to hide her face showed her embarrassment at the praise.

At some point, they stopped for a snack. There was a variety of places where they could have gotten food, but the two girls decided on soft serve ice cream.

“Delicious.” Memi said.

Yurina’s expression melted into a silly smile as she ate her chocolate ice cream with the small spoon, “It's delicious.”

“Let's share.” Memi took a scoop of her cookie dough vanilla ice cream and held it out to Yurina, “Say 'aahn.’”

“Aahn.”

“How is it?”

“Sweet.”

Yurina also gave Memi a bite of her chocolate ice cream.

Before long, the sun set and the city lights turned on for the night. Looking at the time, the two girls knew that they should probably start heading home. The trip had been so fun for Memi that she wanted to cling onto Yurina and have both of them play a little longer.

“Memi.” The short haired girl gently stopped Memi.

“What is it, Yurina?” Memi turned to Yurina.

Yurina took out a small case from her pocket. “Happy belated birthday. It's over two months late, but I got you this.” She opened up the case, revealing a plain silver ring with the engraving ‘Memi.’

Memi gasped, “It's so pretty! Thank you…”

Yurina took Memi’s hand and smoothly slid the ring onto Memi’s finger. It wasn't Memi’s ring finger, but Memi’s heart was already exploding with emotion.

“I have the matching pair.” Yurina smiled quietly.

Memi cupped her hands over her mouth, “…I'm so happy…”

“I love you.” Yurina smiled, a blush adorning her face.

At that, Memi started crying from happiness, trying to hide her face.

“Why are you crying?”

“I…I love you a lot…”

“Yea, I love you.”



Spring was coming. The trees that had been withered through the winter were beginning to bloom again. Passing by a park, Memi smiled as she saw the cherry blossom trees flower. She and Neru strolled around Tokyo in casual clothes.

“You and Techi seem happier recently.” Neru teasingly commented, “It's cute. Young love.”

“You're not old either.” Memi retorted.

“Maybe.” Neru asked. “Have you two ever talked about what you'll do after the war? Like getting married or something like that.”

“We don't really talk about the war.”

“I see.”

“What are you planning to do?”

“Travel the world. Rebuild Nagasaki. Retire together with Fuu-chan.”

“That sounds nice.” Memi sighed, thinking that it'd be nice if the war would end soon.

At that moment, the war sirens in the city began to blare, a voice coming onto all the broadcast channels telling the citizens to head to a shelter in a calm and orderly manner.



Memi wondered if she should have expected that the ceasefire would end. Enemy stealth technology had found a weak point within the Japanese lines and nearly managed to pass into Tokyo. No one had expected such a bold move of attempting to massacre the civilians, but luckily, no civilians had been killed. Nonetheless, this signalled that the war was back on, and the enemy had to be eradicated.

ZEL returned to work. They were off very often, gone for weeks before coming back home for a few days.

The technician felt that sometimes she saw them more on television than in person at a certain point. In the past, that had been the same as well, but having been able to experience a pseudo-peacetime with Yurina before, Memi was experiencing a loss.

In late June, ZEL returned from a mission in the Middle East.

Seeing ZEL returning from another press conference, Memi went over to greet Yurina in the hallway, “Yurina, happy birthday.”

The short hair girl didn’t respond, so Shida poked Techi’s arm, “Techi.”

“Sorry...” Yurina twitched, nearly attacking on instinct. Memi could see the bags developing under the short haired girl’s eyes. Yet, when Yurina saw Memi, she put on a strong face, “Thank you.”

Shida shook her head, “She’s a bit exhausted since she’s been the centerpiece of a lot of our operations. Forgive her, okay?”

Memi mutely nodded. She waved goodbye to them as the group of ZEL members walked on. They still had outfitting to do and other evaluations. The technician hoped that they would have time to rest, but she couldn’t help but think that such a thing was only a hope that wouldn’t come true.



That night, as Memi was about to turn in to sleep, she heard a knock on the door. She went to her door, opening to find Yurina there. Yurina looked tired, and the time was late, yet she had come over to Memi for some reason.

Yurina looked at Memi’s pajamas, “Were you about to sleep? Sorry, I’ll…”

Memi quickly shook her head, “No, come in.” She saw that Yurina was still in her military uniform so late at night.

“Excuse me for intruding.” Yurina entered Memi’s room.

The two girls made small talk for a bit. Memi offered to make tea, but Yurina shook her head and politely rejected the drink. They walked out to the balcony and looked up at the sky. There weren’t many stars in the sky that night, the clouds covering up the light.

“The sky… is it beautiful?” Yurina questioned.

Memi replied, “I think it is.”

“Do you think the sky will be the same in the future?”

“It will be more beautiful. Let’s go stargazing together once everything is over.”

“Maybe.” Yurina nodded.

“Yurina, are you okay?” Memi asked.

“I’m okay.” The short haired girl replied, stepping back indoors. “You don’t need to worry about me too much, Memi.”

“Of course I’ll worry. There’s only one Yurina out there, and I love you.”

Yurina looked surprised for a moment before she replied, “I love you too.”

The technician had the soldier sit down with her on her bed. They held hands as they talked. Memi noticed that Yurina was wearing the matching ring to the ring that the short haired girl had given Memi in February. The two girls never talked about the future or the war during that short night.

At some point, Yurina had fallen asleep.

The elite ZEL member looked so peaceful asleep. Memi wished that Yurina’s eye bags would just disappear, but she knew that Yurina was busy. That was why she tucked the short haired girl in on the bed carefully, and Memi eventually fell asleep as well.

It was warm.

When Memi awoke, Yurina was gone.



ZEL went on a long term mission as quickly as they came back in late June. This mission would span for months, and no one knew how long the group of 20 odd girls would be gone. Neru had disappeared for a secret operation as well, and Memi was left behind.

Summer passed. Autumn came. As soon as autumn seemed to start, the end of that season also began to end.

Memi continued developing technology, collaborating with some other scientists. The weapons that they managed to make were deployed on the field, and the efficiency as well as uniqueness was praised. However, the true result was just death and more death.

ZEL barely sent any messages back. The communication was controlled. There were messages now and then as Memi created new prototypes and inventions were sent over specifically for the special forces to use.

In mid-November, the war seemed to be lightening. The end seemed to be near with a Japanese and allies victorious. Memi received a small note from Yurina promising to come back and celebrate Memi’s birthday.

Even with the end near, the end didn’t come.

December passed. ZEL didn’t come back. The battlefront still continued raging.

January came. The outdoors began piling up with snow. Fights were still continuing, bloodshed amassing. There were talks of world leaders coming together for a true peace conference, destroying the enemy states, and all that, but ZEL wasn’t home.

On the last day of January, the media announced that the war was over.

That night, ZEL was returning home. As soon as Memi knew that they were coming, she rushed out to meet the group, eyes searching for Yurina. Everyone had a serious expression on their face that turned even more serious as they saw the young technician.

Neru also came back then. She walked toward Memi.

Memi couldn’t see Yurina anywhere. Spotting the injuries littering the group, she felt her heart drop, a terrible premonition overcoming her. The end of the war should have been a happy thing to celebrate. Perhaps Yurina was a little late.

Yet, when Memi asked, her voice came out shaky. “Where’s Yurina?”

“...I’m sorry… She didn’t make it.” Neru spoke, not meeting Memi’s eyes.



Something broke in the technician’s heart. As she fell to the knees in disbelief, eyes filling with tears, Memi’s soul was ripped apart by the loss of the person that she had wanted to spend the future with after the war. In a moment of grief, she even wondered what the meaning of ending the war was if Yurina was gone.

Memi locked herself in her lab, working furiously.

At first, her friends, the secret agent members of ZEL, Neru, and even the public part of ZEL had pounded on her door, asking her to get out. However, she wouldn’t budge in the slightest, ignoring them.

She abandoned her own health, not bothering to go out to eat. She kept working and working, trying to figure out a way to turn back time. Her expertise was time-space technology.

As the war was over, the military was gradually cutting down. ZEL was to be disbanded soon enough, and Memi wouldn’t have the same type of laboratory that she had during wartime. She needed to work fast.

Knowing that Memi was stuck in her ways, Neru took to leaving food at the door for Memi so that the girl would at least eat. It was only a stopgap method.

Two months passed since the end of the war. Memi’s head pounded with pain from the work that she had done, her limbs feeling weak from staying in the laboratory all day. She had finally made a prototype.

Memi pressed the button to test the prototype. The device glowed blue for a moment. She wondered if it would work.

Then, the blue light became to fluctuate, growing bigger and bigger. Memi found the hand that she was using to hold the device freezing up as if stuck in time. Her breath was caught in panic.

Boom! It exploded. It didn’t work. That was it.



The cherry blossoms were in bloom again. The pink-white flowers drifting in the wind outside of the hospital. Memi sat in the hospital bed, bandaged up and recovering from the explosion caused by her own device’s failure. The side effects were unknown, but it was likely that she would never be able to properly move her right arm again.

Neru as well as Shida had come visiting Memi.

Neru explained, “We haven’t given up searching…” The ZEL members were still trying to find their comrade, their youngest member that they tried to dote upon when it had been possible.

“...I see…” Memi nodded, unconvinced.

Neru sighed, “Memi…”

“No, it’s okay.” Memi shook her head, and she mumbled quietly in a moment of darkness, “I guess ZEL is the type of group that leaves people behind.”

As soon as Memi said that Shida roughly grabbed Memi by the shirt and growled, “How dare you say that…” Shida looked as if she wanted to beat the technician up for implying that ZEL didn’t care.

Neru gently pried Shida off of Memi and talked to Shida through a sequence of hand signals that Memi couldn’t read. They had an angry silent conversation before, it was decided that they would leave.

Shida sent Memi a curt look and headed to the door.

Neru followed her teammate out. “I’m sorry, Memi.”

As soon as the ZEL members left, Memi was alone in the room. She looked out at the cherry blossoms again, and somehow, her sight began to blur with water droplets filling up her eyes.

Memi cried quietly, “I’m sorry…” She tried to wipe away her tears with one hand, but she couldn’t.



Spring, summer, and autumn passed. Winter came once again. Memi had been discharged, and since then, she had rarely met with any ZEL members. The world seemed to be back on track.

The enemy states had been harshly fined, and their activities were monitored by Japan and its allies. Governments were installed, and military was forcibly cut down. Japan was back to peacefulness, and the military propaganda that had been all around for years of Memi’s youth were gradually disappearing, being replaced by kinder and softer things.

Snow lightly dusted the ground. Memi walked around the city, looking at shops half-heartedly. She only used her left arm, having learned to use it only now. Her right arm was still lacking in function despite the treatments applied.

Memi stopped in her tracks, not wanting to go to the place where Yurina had first said the words, “I love you.” Memi mouthed those words aloud as she looked at the ring on her hand.

Once again, her birthday had passed without being able to celebrate with the one she loved.

Just as she was about to head home, Memi’s phone rang. She dug it out of her pocket awkwardly and picked it up without looking at the number. Then, her breath halted and she found herself tearing up in disbelief at the voice.

“Happy birthday. I’m sorry that I missed it…” It was an awkward yet familiar voice.

Memi asked, “...Yurina?”

“Memi.”

“...are you really...”

“I’m in the place… the place where I gave you that ring back then.”

Memi immediately started running toward that place. “I love you. You can’t leave me alone like this again, okay?” She cried into her phone.

“I know.” Yurina replied. “I’m sorry for making you cry.”



Memi saw Yurina standing in the place where the soldier had given the technician a ring. Yurina looked different, her hair longer. Yet, her eyes were still so deep, and she wore the matching ring on her finger even though the metal was beat up from all that the girl had gone through.

The two girls’ eyes met.


“I love you.”
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Feb. 9, 2018)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on February 09, 2018, 10:44:00 PM
Time Runs Out:

Quite a bitter end to Risa there, with Manaka trying to the very end to get her lover to live. It's like the type of fic I always write lol.

Keyaki Hogwarts:

Someone really needs to make a Keyaki x Harry Potter fic man. Like an ongoing.

War in the Future:

Again, much like Time Runs Out, it would be something I would write (and maybe am ;) ) but I like how it's a happy ending to such a sad oneshot. Also why is Risa always the one on the verge of death? I realised that as I was reading LOL
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Feb. 9, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on February 11, 2018, 02:09:21 AM
Thanks a lot!
These one short , the story of Keyaki Hogwarts is the most like me.

See you in the next upload!
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [OS (Feb. 9, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on February 12, 2018, 06:41:37 AM
General:
Oooo the planned arcs seem interesting.
Is Aoi's arc going to be a solo one or is she going to be paired with someone?
Can't wait to see it after the girls write their exams. :P

Time Runs Out:
Noooo Risa~~~!!! :cry:
How did she get cursed in the first place?
Manaka tried so hard to save her, but in the end she couldn't do anything. :(
At least they can meet each other in the next life. :)

I don't know why but the ending reminded me of Romeo and Juliet.

Keyaki Hogwarts:
Of course Risa and Manaka would be in Slytherin. They fit right in. :P
Manaka being a playboy? Wouldn't have expected that, but she did admit that she likes a lot of the other members.
At least Risa forgives her. :lol:
Manaka trapping Akanen and Yuuka into the closet together was the best part though. Finally got them to confess to each other. :wub:

You should write 7 books based on this. :P

War in the Future:
Yay a TechiMemi fic. :)
My heart sank when I saw the ZEL's members reaction when they saw Memi as they were returning at the end of the war. :cry:
I felt bad for Memi when she became obsessed with trying to figure out a way to turn back time. It showed how much she truly loved Techi.
I am just happy it was a good ending. I am not really into bad endings. :)

But now my question is: What happened to Techi? :?
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 27.5 (Feb. 12, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on February 13, 2018, 02:38:03 AM
@four4four: Thank you for reading! For Aoi's arc, I don't plan to have Aoi paired with anyone. What Aoi ships are out there, I wonder~ Risa-sama's already taken, huhu. For the oneshots, I'm a big sucker for happy endings. I believe that MonaRisa managed to find a happy ending somehow (in that life or the next). Risa's curse, it was put on her by an evil mage when she was young. (I think.) For what happened to Techi, I didn't really think that out. That's up to your imagination.

@Minami-chan: I'm happy you enjoyed the oneshots! This update is a day late (why did I say I would update over the weekend, I wonder. Haha.) but I hope you enjoy this light-hearted transition chapter.

@MaYukiIsLife: I look forward to reading your story~ Also, I totally need an ongoing Keyaki Harry Potter fic in my life too. If you find one, drop it on me, haha.





Checkpoint 27.5


On the next morning, the Keyaki dorm’s cafeteria was extremely lively. The 21 girls didn’t have to attend class, but through some unspoken consensus through their LINE group chat, they had all come down to eat breakfast at a normal time.

Last night, after a day of worry over Yuuka’s sudden notice of departure, their group LINE exploded as soon as the unexpected fireworks show ended. Yuuka and Akane informed everything that they were okay, and no fiance was going to take Yuuka away.

In the cafeteria, Aoi tackled Yuuka with a hug and apologized profusely to Akane, who accepted the first apology, before she was finally pried away by Risa who couldn’t help but sigh and tell the immature girl that everything was okay.

The Keyaki class grabbed breakfast. Since there were many tables and a long period of time for eating, usually not everyone was in the same area during breakfast. However, today, it seemed as if everyone wanted to cling to Yuuka.

Habu let out a happy sigh, repeating the words she had already said, “Yukka, I’m so glad you’re okay.”

Koike nodded before she glanced between the recently troubled roommates. Something seemed different, and the penguin loving girl had a bit of an idea, even more so when she thought she saw a mark on Yuuka’s neck. “Akane…” Koike asked like a mom questioning the boyfriend of her daughter, “Did you two…?”

“Mii-chan, you don’t need to-” Yuuka laughed shyly, pulling up her collar moreso.

“Yukka.” The penguin loving girl shook her head. All the time, Yuuka took care of her, so she held in her heart a desire to make sure that Yuuka was treated well.

Akane said, not afraid of an angry Kansai penguin, “I love Yuuka.”

“Good.” Koike nodded.

To the side, Yonetani commented, “Minami’s really protective, huh.”

Oda Nana covertly sent Akane a thumbs-up, “Good job!” That gesture caused Suzumoto to smile and Yuipon to give a wry sigh.

“As expected, it’s not right without our Sugai-sama.” Manaka grinned, looking at the unusually rowdy cafeteria. Even the classmates who sometimes acted like they didn’t care were present.

Yurina nodded, “Yes.” She liked the warmth of this class even if it had been unfamiliar at first.

“Like family.” Neru added, placing her hand on Yurina’s hand.

The roommates shared a smile.

Manaka ruffled Yurina’s hair, “Then am I the dad?”

“No, we’re the parents.” Akane interjected, pointing between herself and Yuuka.

“We’re the parents.” Manaka shook her head, linking arms with Risa who was chewing on some fruit.

Yuuka giggled, “We can ask Techi.” They had somehow decided that Yurina was the child of the family.

Yurina twitched, feeling a put off by the thoughts of parents. Yet, when she looked at the people around her, she felt oddly at ease. Neru gave Yurina’s hand a squeeze of support. The short haired girl didn’t give an answer but instead smiled lightly.

“Hey, how abo-” Ozeki suddenly spoke up only to get interrupted.

“Ozeki and Rina are the grandparents.” Risa said nonchalantly, feeding Manaka a piece of fruit, “Aoi is the pet puppy.”

“Hey~” Aoi pouted.

Getting into the mood of the conversation, Koike hugged Habu and jumped in, “Habu-chan and I could be great parents too. Don’t you think so, Techi?”

“This class is strange...” Yonetani held her head and stared at her classmates. She tried to share a gaze with Yurina of ‘we’re the normal people, right?’ but it seemed that the look didn’t go through.

Sato Shiori said, “I think it’s nice.”

Seeing her friend’s statement, Yonetani didn’t disagree. She looked toward Nagasawa Nanako, who shared the ‘Nana’ part of her name with Yonetani, and found Nagasawa and her roommate Berika nodding to Sato’s words while chewing on bread with chocolate.



“Everyone’s really kind.” Watanabe Rika spoke.

Nagasawa Nanako nodded, “Yea.”

“I’m glad I applied to here.” Rika murmured with a smile, hugging her whale plush doll Aoko to her chest, “Friends…”

“Yea.” Nanako offered Rika a chip from her bag. “I’m glad we’re friends.”



The sky was clear, the morning sun beating down not too hot. The Keyaki class resumed, seemingly back on track and normal again. The bell was just about to ring, the digital clock on the wall heading toward the start of homeroom.

Three seats were still empty in the classroom. Aoi, Yurina, and Neru hadn’t come in yet.

Aoi ran desperately through the hallway with a piece of toast in her mouth. She overslept in the morning, and her roommate hadn’t woken her up. That was a lie. In fact, her roommate actually left a sticky note on Aoi’s forehead saying that she gave up on waking Aoi up.

Nonetheless, Aoi rushed toward the classroom. Slamming the door open and collapsing into her seat, she huffed, “I’m not late!”

“Barely.” Risa commented to the side.

Aoi made an incoherent grumble of complaint to Risa’s word. Risa technically wasn’t wrong. As Yuuka rubbed Aoi’s back to comfort the not-a-grade-schooler-girl, the bell rang.

Yuuka wondered aloud, “Where are Techi and Neru?”

Homeroom started. As usual, an overview of the day came up on the board.

It was at that moment that the door to the classroom slammed open once again. Everyone’s eyes went toward the door, including Aoi who was finishing up her breakfast. A silence overcame the girls.

“We’re… not late?” Neru smiled sheepishly.

Neru entered the classroom, holding Yurina in a princess hold with arm strength that didn’t seem to fit the cute girl. The short haired girl being held looked away shyly from her classmates. Her hair was bed hair; she slept too well.

“Neru…” Yurina mumbled, arms still looped around Neru’s neck.

Feeling Yurina’s embarrassment and getting a little self-conscious herself, Neru deflected her classmates’ eyes and made a statement that sounded like a question as she looked at the board up front, “We still have exams next week?”

A different kind of silence filled the room this time.



In the end, everyone scraped past the exams without failing.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1413197#msg1413197)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 27.5 (Feb. 12, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on February 13, 2018, 12:52:38 PM
Hmmm I guess you're right.
I don't see Aoi being shipped with anyone else except for Risa sama.
So I guess Aoi will have a journey of self discovery instead?

Glad to see that everything is back to 'normal'. :)
Feels like the calm before the next storm.
At least Techi got a chance to be held princess style. :lol:

Looking forward to reading the start of Aoi's arc.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 27.5 (Feb. 12, 2018)]
Post by: mooza on February 14, 2018, 01:47:05 AM
techineru moment at the end made me scream HEHE
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Checkpoint 27.5 (Feb. 12, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on February 14, 2018, 11:09:55 PM
It has been a strange entrance of Techi and Neru.
I guess it will make sense later.
Thank you very much for posting!
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Interlude 5 + OS (Feb. 27, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on February 27, 2018, 11:28:46 PM
So, this is the point where I apologize for not updating for the last two weeks or so. Ahhhh! I'm sorry! This is the official (finally) end of Yuuka's arc, meaning I can finally put that label on, and this update will also have some one-shots attached. Really, I'm sorry for the wait. This is a light update too. Ah...


@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading! TechiNeru's strange entrance. Well, the secrets behind that might be covered in a future interlude, but in case I don't cover it. The truth is, they just overslept.
@mooza: Huhu, TechiNeru is great.
@four4four: The journey of Aoi... tomorrow... Tomorrow, it'll start. I tell myself I'll write it now.




Interlude 5


At the first moment that Yonetani Nanami met Nagahama Neru, she felt that she couldn’t be friends with the girl. Even with that awkward and guilty smile that appeared on the late arrival’s face, Yone couldn’t like Neru.

After that first quiz that the class took after Neru’s arrival, Yone felt even more wary about Neru. The organism-loving girl’s first impression of the new girl was just a gut reaction, but after the quiz, a prideful part of her felt upset to have tied with someone on first place.

Yone and Neru talked, introducing themselves to each other, calling each other ‘Yonetani-san’ and ‘Nagahama-san’ somewhat awkwardly.

Yone let the words out of her mouth, “I don’t think I can get along with you.”

“Oh…” Neru deflated.

Even though Yone wanted to convey her feelings directly to not hide away her distrust, she felt a little bad, “Nagahama-san, sorry.”

“No, it’s okay, Yonetani-san.”

When Neru went back toward Yurina, Yone couldn’t help but watch after the new girl. She kept feeling like she had been too harsh. When Neru was accused of theft and antagonized by Risa, Yone couldn’t stand up for her at all.

Yet, in the end, Neru proved herself to be a good person, getting stabbed protecting her new classmates during a confrontation with the real thief.

Yone watched as Risa later talked to Neru and added the girl to the class LINE. The organism-loving girl sighed. She hadn’t talked to Neru since her original declaration of incompatibility, but somehow, even the slightly delinquent-like Watanabe managed to get past her original misgivings.

The softer Watanabe, Berika, noticed Yone’s expression and asked, “Yone, are you okay?”

“Yea.”

“You should talk with her.”

Yone wondered why she was getting this advice from Berika of all people. Yet, she couldn’t deny that the simplest thing to do was to talk with Neru, get to know the other girl better.



The library was quiet. It was about a week after Neru had gotten stabbed. Yone browsed through the reference books, searching for some math books. Although the Keyaki class was very loose on homework assignments, the girls had still been assigned some.

Yone got her math book and walked over to the tables when she noticed Neru sitting and studying as well. Neru still had a bandage over her hand.

“Hey, can I sit here?” Yone spoke.

Neru nodded, a little surprised, “Oh, go ahead, Yonetani-san.”

Together, they worked silently. It was awkward, and Yone kept taking glances at Neru reading. No matter how much time passed, neither one spoke to the other.

Even as Yone realized that she forgot her eraser and Neru lent her own to Yone, they didn’t really talk at all.

Neru was about to say something, “U-”

However, Yone coincidentally started as well, “Na-”

Both girls fumbled over their words, gesturing for the other to speak first. In the end, neither ended up speaking. Quiet reigned their section of the library work space until they had to return to the dorms.

As Yone entered the dorm room, she received a message from Nagasawa Nanako. Reading it, she couldn’t help but let out a sigh.

Then, the organism loving girl had a revelation, “Wait… am I worse at communication than Berika?”



As Yone found herself somehow always skirting around a proper talk with Neru, she didn’t know how to feel when Tsuchida-sensei paired her up with Neru for gym class on a whim. They were doing stretches.

“Nagahama-san… Hi.” Yone greeted Neru.

Neru greeted Yone, “Hi, Yonetani-san.”

Their greetings were so terrible that Risa sent a sharp look of ‘what in the world’ toward them, to which her partner, the other Watanabe, quietly made her stop.

Neru and Yone started doing partner stretches. They were quiet. It was like a repeat of the recent library experience all over again, but it was in gym class instead of a library.

Yone asked, “How’s your hand?”

“It’s getting better.” Neru responded, waving her injured hand a little.

Yone sighed, “...I’m sorry.”

Neru raised her eyebrows in confusion, “You don’t need to apologize for anything? It’s not like you stabbed me.”

“No, no, not for that.” Yone shook her head, “It’s… um… what I said back then.”

“It’s okay. I was the suspicious new girl, so…”

“That doesn’t make what I said okay. You’re really nice, and I judged you before I even knew you. I’m really sorry.”

“I forgive you for it.”

“...but…”

“How about you treat me to something as an apology? Then, everything can be good.”

Yone reluctantly agreed, “Okay.”

They finished up their stretches, still communicating clumsily, but it was a start. Yone hoped that one day, they would be able to become friends.


—Enemies to friends, and friends to enemies.
“Do you want a bite?”
“No, it’s okay.”


Knock, knock. A cool, early summer night found Yonetani Nanami knocking at her friends’ door. From the inside of the dorm room, Neru opened the door and welcomed Yone in.

“Yone-san, thanks for coming.” Neru’s roommate, Yurina, greeted Yone.

Neru asked Yone as she led the organism loving girl to the place in their dorm room where they were ready to spend a night studying, “Do you want some tea? We have snacks prepared already.”

A pile of notebooks, textbooks, and practice problems stood next to some snacks and juice boxes. Yurina was reluctant to sit down, wanting to run away from the evil studying, but with the class’s top scorers next to her, looking at her earnestly, the short haired girl couldn’t do anything else but condemn herself to looking at those incomprehensible equations on paper.

Yone smiled as she saw Yurina’s expression.

“Yurina-chan, let’s do our best.” Neru said.

The short haired girl nodded, “Yea.”

Watching the roommates’ exchange, Yone had a feeling that there was something strange going on. However, she also felt oddly relaxed at the harmony between them.

Yone wondered aloud, “What are we studying tonight?”

Neru responded, “The first test is history, right? We should probably start there.”

They retrieved the history books from the pile and laid them out, ready to study. From there, the three girls spent the night chatting, eating snacks, and studying. By the time Yone left to go back to her own room, Yone felt exhausted from laughing and smiling even though she should felt exhausted from studying instead.



<YUUKA> fin
To be continued...

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1415506#msg1415506)



Perhaps it's weird to end an arc there. However, Yone's interlude really does drop in with the time frame of Yuuka's arc. Don't think too much about it? Tehehe?

One-shots this time include: Really gay MonaRisa, Monta needs to throw chestnuts at Dani, letters from Yuichanzu.




Steal Your Heart


Red lasers showed up in the phantom thief’s eyes, making a web of security around the glass case holding the large diamond. The museum was dark. The footsteps of the security guard were silent, the flashlight wielding person having missed the thief and already moved onto watching over another part of the building.

The thief slinked through the laser web like a cat and reached the case. Taking out a special tool, she stealthily lifted the case, removing the diamond and replacing it with a fake. That would suffice for when the security guard came back.

She tugged the diamond into her pouch and snickered to herself. Yet another success for the Phantom Thief Mona. Tucking her calling card into a corner that would only be searched when morning came and the staff found out about the theft, the thief started to leave.

That was when the lights turned on, white flooding into her eyes.

The detective, Watanabe Risa, ran into the room with a Hirate-Nagahama police pair, “Stop right there, Mona! You’re under arrest!”

“Faster than usual, Risa-sama.” Mona gave the trio a cat-like smirk behind her black masquerade mask.

“You’ve been caught this time. I’ll have you give back everything you’ve stolen.”

“Okay, okay. I surrender.” Mona began raising her black gloved hands in defeat. That was when she suddenly dropped a pair of smoke bombs. “Just kidding.”

Smoke filled the room temporarily. A grappling hook attached to a string went flying up to a ceiling support near a window, and as the smoke cleared, the thief was already on her way up to the window.

Mona crouched near the ledge of the window, casually retrieving a tool from her pouch and broke through the window, exiting onto the roof of the museum. She felt that it was a shame that she couldn’t see the adorable look of frustration that must have appeared on Risa’s face at the thief’s victory, but there were more chances to rile up the detective.

The thief noticed the law enforcement trio hurrying to get up to the rooftop, but she was already on the roof. She sighed, tapping on her headset and looking up to the clear night sky.

In that moment, a helicopter appeared. The ladder unravelled down to Mona, and the thief quickly started up the ladder to get into the helicopter. At the same time, Risa reached the roof, panting, her hair slightly disheveled from her rush.

Mona found the redness on Risa’s cheeks to be rather cute.

“Stop right there!” Risa called out. “Receive your punishment!”

“I’d be willing to be punished by you… in the bedroom, but I guess I’d rather punish you instead.” Mona grinned as she made her getaway on the helicopter. She blew a kiss to the detective, “Adieu, until later. Maybe I’ll steal your heart next.”



Shida Manaka walked on the warm sidewalks, yawning lightly to herself. Last night was a fun time, stealing a diamond and all. No one recognized her in her civilian outfit, but her grand heist last night was plastered all over the news. She reached a small little coffee shop owned by her friend, Kobayashi Yui or Yuipon, who was actually her accomplice and helicopter pilot.

Ring-a-ling. Manaka entered the shop.

To her surprise, at the counter, there was a police pair already there. Yuipon looked a bit troubled, and the accomplice girl shot Manaka a look and mouthed, ‘Help me.’

Manaka casually sauntered over to the counter and took her own seat. The police pair was the detective, Watanabe Risa, and another investigator by the name of Oda Nana who fell in love with Yuipon two weeks ago. The thief was surprised to see her not-really-nemesis, but she knew that as long as she acted natural, Risa wouldn’t realize who she was.

“Yuipon, what’s up.” Manaka greeted Yuipon.

Yuipon shrugged, “Nothing much. What do you want to order?”

“Some black coffee.” The thief replied. She noticed Risa’s curious gaze and wanted more attention from the detective.

Yuipon commented but proceeded to start a pot anyways, “That’s unusual.”

“But anyways, how was it last night? You know… between you and Zuumin.” Manaka winked, laughing innerly, “Neighbors didn’t complain? Zuumin on top? I bet you two went at it for the who-”

Oda Nana deflated and blushed before deflating again at the thief’s words. Half of it was actually a lie since Yuipon was helping with criminal activity the night before, but the other half was something up to the imagination.

“Stop talking about that!” Yuipon sputtered, embarrassed, causing Oda Nana to deflate even more.

Risa gave Manaka’s antics a small smile as she rubbed the half-dead Oda Nana’s back. The detective coolly sipped her coffee and looked at the thief out of disguise, wondering why Manaka seemed so familiar.

“You’re familiar with Kobayashi-san. Maybe you can convince Oda Nana to stop being a stalker.” Risa chatted up Manaka. “What’s your name?”

“Shida Manaka. How about you, detective?” Manaka asked. She felt that it was funny that as a thief and detective, they had known each other for three years now, but this was the first time that they’d introduced themselves outside of a heist situation.

“Watanabe Risa.”

“Hey, coffee’s ready.” Yuipon interrupted the conversation by placing down a cup of black coffee in front of Manaka.

Manaka picked up the cup and started drinking her coffee. Rather, she tried. Firstly, it was hot. Secondly, it was bitter. Taking just one drop of it in her mouth, she stuck her tongue out and grumbled that it was bitter and too hot. Thus, she asked Yuipon for sugar and cream, turning it into a milky drink with some coffee flavoring.

Risa smiled.



In the backroom of a villain’s lair, a certain conversation occurred. It wasn’t as much a lair as a normal condo. It wasn’t a backroom as much as the kitchen. Nonetheless, a conversation was occurring.

“I’m in love.”

“That’s great.”

“No, I’m seriously in love.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Yuipon, don’t treat me like Oda Nana.”

“Why don’t you just kidnap her? You always say things like that when we’re in the middle of escaping.”



The sky was a bit cloudy that night. Phantom Thief Mona hit the art auction auctioning off a highly valuable painting, and as soon as the police got news of that, Watanabe Risa was on the scene. To her surprise, the painting was unmoved, and even with the testing from an expert who had been brought along, it looked like the main item of interest hadn’t been stolen.

Thus, the group that was trying to find Mona headed out on a search and patrol. A small group was left around the painting, and the detective headed off on a patrol as well.

Walking alone in the dark with only a flashlight, Risa felt a chill run up her spine. There was no one around, which made her wonder if the thief was really going to come. She shook her head. It was better for Mona not to come since crime was a bad thing, but Risa had a bit of a soft spot for the thief.

Another cat-like girl also popped up in the detective’s mind as she pondered about her rival. Recently, she had become somewhat close to a girl named Shida Manaka who she met in a coffee shop. Risa didn’t usually stop by there, but she had gone because of her friend Oda Nana’s urgings. Now, she was a bit of a regular, although the main goal wasn’t the coffee.

Suddenly, Risa heard a swoosh behind her.

“Mo-” The detective turned and found Mona.

The thief kissed her index finger and put it on Risa’s lips to silence Risa, “Sorry, Risa-sama, I’m stealing you away this time.”

Before the detective could say anything else, the thief tied Risa up with a funny contraption and tied a soft cloth around Risa’s mouth to make sure that the detective didn’t make any loud sounds. More than anything, Risa was confused. Then, Mona knocked the detective out.


“You’ve really become a criminal this time. When you said you were getting the big prize…”


Watanabe Risa woke up slightly uncomfortable. She wasn’t in a damp, dark cave. Rather, she was in a nice room. However, she was also stuck on a chair, her wrists tied together with cloth that also tied to the chair.

“You’re awake, Risa-sama.” A voice spoke.

Risa noticed the thief, “Mona…? What? Wait, you kidnapped me.”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”

Mona took a seat on Risa’s lap, draping over the detective like a cat, playing with Risa’s short hair. Breathing in the thief’s scent, Risa felt herself get a little embarrassed; she could also feel the thief’s warmth. This was the closest they’d ever gotten.

“Mona?”

“I wanted to have you.”

The detective was wordless.

“I’m a thief. If I want something, then I steal it. Isn’t that how it works?” Mona explained, “I wanted to steal you away, so I did. Isn’t that fine?”

“You do know that stealing is a crime, right? Kidnapping is even worse.” Risa sighed.

“Yea.”

“Geez…”

“You have pretty hair, Risa.”

“I guess I use nice shampoo.” Risa blushed as Mona continued to play with her hair,“You smell nice too.”

At those words, the thief also got a little embarrassed.

Risa asked, “Can you untie my hands?”

Unexpectedly, the thief undid the cloth that was holding Risa’s wrists. Despite acting cool and aloof sometimes, Mona seemed eager to please. She didn’t get off from Risa’s lap and gave Risa a smile.

The thief leaned in for a quick kiss. Risa didn’t reject it, so Mona felt giddy with excitement.

“I like you.” Smiling brightly, the thief asked, “Can I steal your heart away?”

She went for another kiss. Slipping in a bit of tongue into Risa’s mouth, the thief felt her mask brush against Risa’s face. Hearing the detective’s soft moan, Mona’s mind went into overdrive. They only stopped kissing for air.

“Stealing my heart away…” Risa murmured, looking at the thief with mixed feelings.

The thief came in for another kiss, and she began to unbutton Risa’s top. Kissing deeply and barely coming up for breath, Mona’s heart raced. Her kisses began to trail down Risa’s jaw, to the detective’s pure collarbone where the thief decided to nibble, eliciting soft groans.

In a way, the detective would have like to lose herself in a night with the thief, wrapping her arms around Mona. However, she grew more and more aware of the mask covering Mona’s face even as a haze covered her mind.

“Stop.” Risa said.

Mona stopped in her actions, freezing at the look on the detective’s face.

“Take off your mask, and… stop being a thief.” Risa stated.

“...I can’t.” Mona looked away. The cowardly part of her wasn’t ready to give up her secret identity, to make it so that Risa could arrest her for her previous crimes. She realized that they didn’t have enough trust between them.

“Then, I won’t give you my heart.” Risa pushed the thief away. She frowned, “What? Will you steal it away forcibly?”

“No…” Mona shook her head and she got up to leave. “I’ll just leave then. You can leave… whenever you want. The door’s unlocked.”



Kobayashi Yui sighed as she looked at her friend, Manaka, who had her head down on the counter of her coffee shop. Manaka’s eyes were puffy and red from crying. This wasn’t an unexpected outcome for the thief’s antics, but it was probably the first time in a while that Manaka had received a backlash for them.

Ring-a-ling. Someone entered the coffee shop.

Yuipon saw the detective who was always chasing Mona around enter. Risa had light bags under her eyes as if she hadn’t slept well, and she looked rather disoriented.

Risa took a seat next to Manaka at the counter, and she ordered a coffee from Yuipon. When the detective took a seat, the thief out of disguise twitched ever so slightly. However, Risa wasn’t in the condition to really think about that.

“Bad day?” Risa asked Manaka.

“Yea…” Manaka nodded.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“...I… I confessed to the person I like, but… I’m not dedicated enough. I don’t treasure her enough. I didn’t want to give up my bad habits, so…”

“That person… I don’t know about that person, but I think that you’re sweet. She should at least give you a chance.”

“Thanks.” Manaka averted her gaze, knowing that she was about to start crying again. She got up from her seat and ran away, “I-I have to leave now.”

The detective could only watch as the girl left the coffee shop. Risa wasn’t sure what she had done wrong, but she let out another sigh. Her ordered coffee had arrived. Thanking Yuipon for the coffee and paying for it, Risa lost herself in thoughts.

As Risa pondered to herself, from nowhere, a black envelope floated down next to her. The envelope had Phantom Thief Mona’s calling card on it.

Risa quickly opened it to read, and her expression straightened out to a determined one.


“I don’t understand her. Telling me this type of thing...”


Wind blew by on the rooftop. The sky was clear tonight, the moon a half of what it could be but still shining brightly. There were no clouds in sight, and even the stars that usually hid away due to the light pollution of the humans seemed to glitter lightly in the back.

Watanabe Risa walked onto the rooftop, and she spotted a masked figure at the other end. As she approached that figure, the figure, the thief, Mona, starting walking toward the detective as well. They stopped with a little less than two meters between them.

“I love you.” The thief greeted the detective.

Risa nodded, “I know.”

“You didn’t bring anyone else along. To arrest me.”

“This is a personal meeting. Even if we’re detective and thief, I’m putting that aside right now.” Risa boldly declared, “To be honest, I like you too.”

“Eh…?” Somehow, Mona got flustered.

“I like you, Manaka.”

“Risa…”

The detective walked up to the thief. She wrapped her arms around the thief’s neck and leaned in for a kiss. At some point, she removed the thief’s mask. “This time, let me steal your heart.”



Office Life


Lunchtime in the office was a time for everyone to relax. The office workers either went out to grab a bite with their friends or ate their bentos at their cubicles. Suzumoto Miyu finished compiling a folder of important papers for an overseas project proposal and sent an email to her supervisor.

The short haired woman had recently cut her hair, prompting her co-workers to ask if she had a heartbreak occur, but this office lady didn’t have any romance in her life. She wore a normal suit, forgoing the classic office lady pencil skirt for pants. The heels on her shoes added onto her height. Once in a while, she put on glasses when she forgot her contact lenses, but all in all, she didn’t pretty herself up for romance and made herself presentable for her own pleasures only.

Suzumoto took out her homemade bento and said a word before starting to eat.

As Suzumoto’s cooking was always meticulously arranged, her co-workers would often drop by to filch a bite. It was the cutely cute octopus weiner side dish or the tamagoyaki. It could be a bit of soup from her thermos. It could even be the desserts that she would bring once in a while. However, it was never the chestnuts. No one touched the chestnuts.

“Miyu~” The worst offender of food-theft made her appearance, rolling over on her chair.

This was Oda Nana, constant stalker of the CEO Imaizumi’s secretary, Kobayashi Yui. To Suzumoto’s chagrin, Oda Nana was also her neighbor—both in Suzumoto’s apartment complex and in the cubicles of the office.

Oda Nana reached over to grab a piece of tamagoyaki, which was right next to Suzumoto’s beloved chestnuts. Suzumoto sent a sharp look toward Oda Nana for even daring to come near her chestnuts. Oda Nana didn’t notice Suzumoto’s look at all as she chewed the tamagoyaki happily.

“Miyu, you’re a great chef.” Oda Nana praised, “You’d be a great wife.”

Suzumoto replied half-heartedly, “Thanks.”

The two spent a few minutes eating quietly. Halfway through the meal, Suzumoto realized that Oda Nana was completely leeching off of her. She had gotten so used to this glutton next to her that the size of her bento had gradually increased to include a portion for Oda Nana. The increased chestnuts were still Suzumoto’s though.

As they were eating, the manager Ozeki popped in grinning, “We’re going out drinking tonight! Everyone’s free right?”

The people in the office at the moment made varying sounds of commitment. Suzumoto and Oda Nana nodded as well. After work drinking parties were just a part of office life. If someone didn’t go, they could miss out on a promotion. Although, in this company, missing the drinking party wasn’t a big deal.

Ozeki spotted Kobayashi Yui walking by, “How about Yuipon?”

Kobayashi shook her head with a smile, “Ah, sorry. I have plans tonight.”

Shida lazily snickered, sliding out on her office chair, sitting on it backwards, “Haha, probably spending the night with Imaizumi right? Enjoy yourselves.” She made a few suggestive movements with her hands.

“No comment.” Kobayashi replied somewhat flustered with an embarrassed expression on her face.

After Ozeki finished chatting up the office workers, she quickly left. Everyone knew that she was going out to chat with the tiny university student that worked part-time during later lunch hours at a food stand outside. The office workers had covertly promised each other that they would cover for their clumsy manager if she forgot to come back to work.

“Yuipon is so cute.” Oda Nana let out a longing sigh.

Suzumoto huffed at Oda Nana’s melting expression, “Treat me to a few drinks tonight in exchange for eating my food.”

“Okay, sure.” Oda Nana nodded, still looking toward Kobayashi’s direction dreamily.

“I’m holding you to that.”

“Hm, I got it.”

Knowing that she wouldn’t get a better response from the distracted Oda, Suzumoto went back to eating, somewhat annoyed. At least she had her chestnuts.



Work was out. Since the company had recently finished a large project, there wasn’t much of a need to pull all-nighters or extreme overtime hours. The office workers went out to a bar to grab a drink and some dinner, side dishes to go with the alcohol.

The sky became dark soon enough. The place that the workers were in was lit a yellow light, creating a drunk ambience. Everyone ordered their drinks and food and ate. Soon enough, they were just sipping at their alcohol and chatting.

The workers noticed that their manager Ozeki had only taken a sip or two of alcohol the whole night.

Habu asked, “Oze, you’re not drinking tonight?”

The manager’s eyes darted back and forth as she explained suspiciously, “Uhhh, actually, I have plans tonight.”

“You invited us out thou-” Shida who had been drinking suddenly made a realization, “Oh, I get it. A date. Our Oze-manager got a date! And she doesn’t want to be drunk!” Afterward, she started laughing, slapping the person next to her with laughter.

Oda Nana clapped, “Congratulations!”

“H-hey, cut it out.” Ozeki scratched the back of her head in embarrassment.

Shida gave Ozeki a thumbs-up after she finished laughing, “Congrats.”

“Thanks.” Ozeki smiled and returned the thumbs-up in the Ozeki style. “Yey.”

“When do you have to go?” Harada asked curiously.

“Actually… right now!” Ozeki jumped to her feet, nearly spilling over her drink in a panic, as she looked at her watch. She fumbled to put on her jacket and mumbled, “I hope Rina doesn’t get mad at me if I’m late…” Hurriedly, she left, “See you tomorrow!”

“See you.” Suzumoto said.

Everyone waved the manager goodbye. Once Ozeki left, they returned to chatting about random things and drinking.
Shida let out a sigh, ears red, signalling that she was drunk, “Young love. Ozeki’s romance. That’s cute.”

“You’re younger than Ozeki.” Suzumoto asked, sipping some chestnut flavored beer, “What, something wrong?”

“You know that Saitou Kyoko girl? Risa’s been mad at me since I apparently flirt with Saitou a lot.” Shida sighed, taking another gulp of alcohol, “I was just talking about ramen with her, you know? But I can’t go home right now.”

“Huh.” Suzumoto made a noise.

Moriya jabbed Shida and said, “You should just go home and apologize to Risa.”

Shida pouted, eyes becoming teary, “I don’t want to.” She wanted to make up with her wife, but she didn’t want to apologize.

“Hypnosis then?” One of the co-workers suddenly suggested.

“What’s with that?” Suzumoto asked, not believing in hypnosis.

The co-worker shrugged, taking out a coin on a string, “I found a cool thing online. Here, I have it in my pocket. Want me to show you?”

“Try it on Oda Nana.” Shida said offhandedly. “Tell her to kiss Monta.”

“Huh?” Oda Nana turned around in confusion upon hearing her name. She had been talking about the greatness of Kobayashi to Ishimori since Ishimori was too nice to tell her to shut up.

One way or another, Oda Nana ended up sitting watching her co-worker swing a coin in front of her eyes. Nothing seemed to happen. The co-worker laughed wryly and shrugged that the hypnosis item turned out to be a scam. The drinking party continued on.

By the time everyone was ready to head home, Shida was a sobbing drunk mess, clinging to Moriya and whining about wanting to make up with her wife. Oda Nana was half passed out on the table, mumbling something about ‘Yuipon.’ Suzumoto had enjoyed herself modestly.

“I’m going to take Manaka home.” Moriya took Shida and spoke to Suzumoto, “Suzumoto, you live next to Oda Nana, right?”

The chestnut loving office lady nodded, “I’ll take her home.”



With the power of a taxi and the elevator, Suzumoto Miyu somehow dragged Oda Nana home to her apartment. Suzumoto dug out Oda’s key from Oda’s pocket and entered Oda Nana’s apartment.

Dumping Oda Nana on the couch, Suzumoto was ready to leave. Just as she took on step, she found Oda Nana’s hand tugging on her sleeve not to leave.

Suzumoto said, “You’re awake? I left your keys on the table right in front of you.”

To Suzumoto’s surprise, Oda Nana mumbled, not letting go, “Miyu, don’t go.”

“It’s kind of late now. We still have to get up for work tomorrow morning.” Suzumoto shook her head, confused as to why she would stay.

“I like you.”

“Huh? The person you like is Kobayashi.”

“No, I like you.” Oda Nana flipped Suzumoto onto the couch, leaving the two girls in the situation where Oda Nana was pushing Suzumoto down on the couch. “I want to kiss you.”

“...you’re just hypnotized and drunk.” Suzumoto grumbled, pushing Oda Nana’s face away.

In a moment of Suzumoto slipping, Oda Nana gave Suzumoto a light kiss on the lips, “I like you, Miyu.”

Suzumoto was flustered, blushing. The co-worker with the coin on string said that once the hypnosis commanded deed was over, the person would snap out of the hypnosis. She hoped that Oda Nana would snap out of it soon.

Suzumoto said again, “You like Kobayashi.” She felt a small pang of jealousy at those words even though she didn’t like Oda Nana as far as she was concerned.

Oda Nana’s head jerked. A fog seemed to disappear from her eyes. She looked down at Miyu, realizing the situation, and she said, “I just kissed you…”

“Yes.”

“That was the hypnosis…”

“It was. Can you get off?”

“...I don’t want to.” Oda Nana shook her head. “Miyu, I like you.”

“What are you talking about?” Suzumoto’s voice came out robotically.

“You’re nice to me. You can cook. You’re cute. You’re hardworking. You’re a perfect wife.” Oda Nana began listing.

Suzumoto frowned, “But you still like Kobayashi.”

“I do like Yuipon… but…”

“That’s right.” Suzumoto laughed dryly.

“I only like her like I would like an idol.” Oda Nana fumbled through an explanation.

“Good night. See you tomorrow.” Suzumoto shook her head as she managed to slip through Oda Nana’s grasp, which had weakened.



She briskly walked out of Oda’s apartment. The chestnut loving woman felt her eyes tearing up as she stepped into the cool night air. Suzumoto entered her own apartment, closing the door behind her. She leaned on the wall weakly.

Her heart was pounding.

Then, she realized to herself. “I like Oda Nana too.”



"Are you well?"


Are you well?
        I’ve reached the Nogi port up north. The waters at this time of year are beautiful and crisp. The model Nishino was having a photoshoot, and I was lucky enough to be able to look. I got an autographed photo of her for you. She’s very pretty against the snowy backdrop, I think you would fit the scenery even better.
        Wow! It’s white! Even if it’s with just that type of feeling, I think we should come visit here together.


I’m doing well. How are you?
   Right now, it’s still summer in Keyakizaka. The waters are clear here too, but recently, we had a boat race through the water-streets. Otter-team, Techi and Memi, won the race, but The Cool were close behind. I wish you could have seen.


I ate something strange.
   Deserts are weird. I got all fired up by myself listening to Kana-san’s music and ate a weird fruit. I thought I hallucinated a desert camel race, but apparently Dani went on vacation too, and Miyu-chan tagged along.
As expected, I’m weak with deserts. When I come home, let’s ride on the gondolas in the water together.


Are you okay?
        I was wondering why Oda Nana wasn’t around. Akanen received a shipment of mikkabi mikans that were supposed to be for Oda Nana. In the end, Naako-chan ate them all. I took a picture.


I’m well.
        I’m currently in the Toku forests, but I might have gotten myself a little injured. It’s okay! Don’t worry. Reading your letter and seeing the picture heals me. I want to meet with you again soon.
        Your letter smelled like mikans. Yui, did you eat some too?


Please come home safe!
        It’s been over a year since you left. The annual red-white festival has already come around again. It just doesn’t feel right without you here. One day, let’s stand on that stage together as Yuichanzu.
        This year, the stage went down the streets as usual. I’m glad that our streets are actually canals here, but there was actually an incident. Since the stage was a big float rather than the usual boat-thing, it got stuck making a turn.
        Suzumoto almost fell down, but Oda Nana caught her. Afterwards, Oda Nana said something weird.


I’m okay.
        I got some good ideas for lyrics for a song. Let’s make a new song together. Since I haven’t been able to practice guitar for a while, I’m sorry if I’m not good when I come back home.


It’s okay. Are you well?
        I only received your letter yesterday. I wonder if it got caught up in the mail. Don’t worry if you haven’t played guitar in a while. I’m not very good at guitar either, so let’s practice together. I want to sing together with you again soon.
        Recently, Techi finally confessed to Memi. Since they confessed near the streets, they ended up falling into the water. They’re cute.







Um.





I love you.


Are you well?
   I still haven’t received a reply. Has something happened? I’m worried.


Yui?
Zuumin?


Kobayashi Yui looked listlessly at the calendar on the wall. It was the anniversary of when she had met Imaizumi Yui. They had both been riding boats in the streets of Keyakizaka, singing when they met each other. The boats collided lightly, throwing Imaizumi off balance into Kobayashi’s embrace, and the two girls ultimately fell into the water, getting soaked.

Imaizumi, or Zuumin, had gone off on a journey two years ago for a reason she hadn’t explained. Kobayashi, or Yuipon, eventually learned that it was for health reasons, to visit the various famous healers around the world. Even so, the two Yuis didn’t talk about that.

Instead, they exchanged letters about what was happening around them.

Yuipon waited patiently for Zuumin to come home to her. What she wanted the most was a happy, healthy Zuumin. Yet, at some point in the course of their letter exchanges, Zuumin stopped replying. Yuipon worried and worried over what could have happened to Zuumin.

Even if Yuipon put on a cool front, she could help but hope for the best for the girl she loved. She developed bags under her eyes from her anxious awaiting.

As she looked at the calendar on the wall, Yuipon grew tired and set her head down. Before she knew it, she had fallen asleep.

She felt a warm feeling in the darkness. Then, there was a soft feeling on her cheek. Wanting to keep hold of that warmth, Yuipon slowly opened her eyes and grabbed onto whoever was there.

Yuipon’s eyes widened as she saw the familiar girl, her hand still not loosening from its grip on the girl’s shirt.

“Are you well?” Zuumin greeted Yuipon with a smile, “You looked tired. I’m sorry for worrying you.” Zuumin looked healthy and healed.

“Zuumin…” Yuipon’s words were lost on herself as she could only say Zuumin’s name.

“I’m home.”

“Welcome home!”
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Interlude 5 + OS (Feb. 27, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on February 28, 2018, 11:30:02 PM
Interlude 5:
I know you say don't think too much about it but...
Does this mean that there could be a NeruYone Arc in the future? XD

Steal Your Heart:
Ah, the thief and the detective.
One lives the life of evil, while the other lives the life of putting away those who are evil.
I don't know why I found, “Why don’t you just kidnap her? You always say things like that when we’re in the middle of escaping.”, hilarious, but I did. :lol:
What killed me though was, “This time, let me steal your heart.” :wub:
What will detective Risa-sama do now? Will she follow her heart's desire or will she follow her duty? :?

Office Life:
I don't think Monta needs to throw chestnuts at Dani, but throw Tamagoyaki instead. :P
So it turns out the key to figuring out if you like someone is them being hypnotized and being drunk? :huhuh
Monta you could've probably figured this one out while both of you were sober. :lol:

"Are you well?":
I don't know why, but I always found your Yuichanzu OS to be soothing.
I kind of got worried in the middle there when Zuumin stopped sending letters back to Yuipon. :cry:
Just glad to see that they are back together in the end.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Interlude 5 + OS (Feb. 27, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on February 28, 2018, 11:40:06 PM
Thank you very much for the update.
Interesting to see the development of Yone and Neru.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Interlude 5 + OS (Feb. 27, 2018)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on March 01, 2018, 08:16:57 AM
Can I just ask, since I already read the OSs on your Wattpad. But is the Yuichanzu oneshot you posted based off 1-Gyou Dake no Airmail?
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Eccentric <Short Hiatus> + OS (Mar. 11, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on March 12, 2018, 02:11:20 AM
I'm sorry for the wait. After sitting on a half written chapter for a while, I realized that I can't keep up with the update rate that I want to have with Eccentric. Thus, I'll be taking a short hiatus from updating Eccentric for the time being. Hopefully, I can write more checkpoints and get back to updating soon. I need to really figure out what it is that I'm actually writing.

Although Eccentric is going on temporary hiatus, I'll drop in with one shots now and then. Hopefully, this hiatus doesn't last that long. Who knows. I'm absolutely amazingly terrible at time estimates.

@MaYukiIsLife: Well, I've already answered the question previously in chat with you, but... Yup~ the Yuichanzu letter one shot was based off of Airmail.
@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading!
@four4four: The truth is, there is a Yone-san arc! Although, it's technically Nijika's arc. A story of the baka and the smart kid, and maybe Neru will help smooth out their friendship. MonaRisa are smooth, really smooth. I don't know what the thief and detective pair will actually do, so that's up to your imagination. Thank you for enjoying the Yuichanzu~ Yuichanzu are great. (Although, they also kind of distract me from writing anything but Yuichanzu. Haha)




Skirt


The sky was a pretty reddish color, the sun setting early in the colder season. The club room was empty besides the pair who shared a name, Yui. Imaizumi Yui sat on a desk while her lover Kobayashi Yui sat in the seat.

In the middle of their light hearted conversation, Imaizumi hugged Kobayashi and stated, “I love you.”

Like the pair of lovebirds that they were, Kobayashi replied sweetly, “I love you too.”

“So, isn’t it okay?” With that, Imaizumi gave her lover a confident grin.

Kobayashi smiled wryly and shook her head, “No, I think that’s completely another issue.” Sometimes, she felt that her girlfriend had outlandish ideas.

“It’s okay. I trust in you, Yuipon.”

“This sounds like a terrible idea…” Nonetheless, she went along with Imaizumi’s idea. Yuipon’s fingers touched her other half’s inner thigh.

“Hyah!”

“Zuumin…”

“No, it’s okay. Um, I’m just a bit sensitive there.”

“Are you sure?”

Zuumin nodded, “Go ahead.”

“Zuumin’s the one who’s cute…” Yuipon mumbled as she lowered her head, moving Zuumin’s skirt a little, and bit down lightly on Zuumin’s thigh. Her ears were blushing.

“Huh? Nn...”

Just as the atmosphere in the room began to turn weird, filling with slightly heavy breathing, the door to the club room slammed open. Another member of their club, a club of supernatural creatures and their human companions, Shida Manaka came in, looking embarrassed.

“What the hell are you two doi-” Manaka called out, having been disturbed by their noises that she could hear from the hallway with her superior hearing. She froze for a moment, eyeing her vampire friend up her human friend’s skirt, and turned around mechanically to exit the club room, “Oh, don’t mind me.”

Yuipon tried to clarify the situation, her head still up Zuumin’s skirt, “I’m just sucking her blood!”

Manaka covered her eyes and stumbled out of the club room, trying to close the door and running away, “No, no, don’t mind me!”

“You know I’m a vampire!” Yuipon managed to get out of her compromising position and ran to the door to yell after Manaka, but Manaka was long gone.

Seeing that she had no way of catching up with Manaka, Yuipon could only sigh and go back to where Zuumin was. She glanced at her lover and blushed, thinking about what Manaka was implying that they were doing.

In that moment, the shorter human girl mumbled quietly, “...well, it felt good.”

The sky was reddish, the beautiful red of sunset in the winter, and somehow, it felt a bit warm in that club room on that day. Of course, that was a secret for the two of them only.





Chasing After Someone


Kobayashi Yui looked at the last message that her partner Imaizumi Yui sent her. Those simple words on the screen on the phone seemed like a lie. Without the smaller yet older girl’s sweet voice, without Imaizumi’s smiles and strange expressions, Kobayashi’s hand unconsciously shook as she looked at the phone.

The phone read, ‘I’m sorry. I have to go for now.’

Imaizumi, Zuumin’s funny emojis were nowhere to be see. A promise of seeing each other later was nowhere to be seen. Simply, Imaizumi Yui had disappeared

Kobayashi Yui ran past her friends, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to accept such a thing. If Zuumin left, then Yuipon would chase.

“Yuipon, where are you going?”

“Zuumin.”

“But, Zuumin is-”


The screen was cracked. I just didn’t want to notice.


She didn’t know how long she had lived. Some people just lived longer. There were humans, and then there were the immortal humans. Kobayashi Yui had been a little disenchanted with humanity, yet when she met the other Yui for the first time, she felt herself feeling glad to be undying.

Imaizumi’s warm smile warmed her up. Before Kobayashi knew it, she was attached to Zuumin and never wanted to let go.



As Kobayashi hummed a lullaby from long ago, she noticed Imaizumi lean on her shoulder. She wondered if the shorter girl had fallen asleep, but because Imaizumi was warm, Kobayashi was happy to be a pillow.

She continued humming, quietly singing the lyrics to a song forgotten by man.

She felt a stir on her shoulder. Glancing over, she saw Imaizumi say with the most earnest expression of love, “I love Yuipon’s voice.”

Kobayashi couldn’t help but blush, but she kept singing softly, a song for only the two girls’ ears to hear.



It was hot as the two walked together through the busy streets of the city. Kobayashi felt the heat too strongly, so Imaizumi told the immortal girl to stay under the shade. Kobayashi sat on the bench under the shade, but to her surprise, Imaizumi ran off.

Kobayashi wanted to chase after Imaizumi. She told herself to trust in the short girl, but she didn’t want to be alone. Sitting anxiously by herself, swinging her legs back and forth, she waited for Imaizumi.

Soon enough, Imaizumi was back, and she held two ice cream cones in her hand.

“Yuipon! I got ice cream.” Imaizumi beamed, handing Kobayashi a cone, “You like vanilla, right?”

Kobayashi smiled softly as she took the ice cream, “Ah, thank you.”

They ate ice cream together, enjoying the cool sweetness. Seeing Imaizumi lick at her own vanilla ice cream, Kobayashi couldn’t help but giggle at the shorter girl’s cuteness. She remembered that one time where she was shocked to see Imaizumi chomping on ice, a bad habit that the human liked to indulge in.

Imaizumi smiled back at Kobayashi. Then, to the immortal’s surprise, the shorter girl leaned close to Kobayashi’s cheek, and she licked off a little bit of vanilla ice cream that had gotten there.

At some point, one of them said, “Let’s spend forever together.”



Winter came as soon as summer passed. The small white snowflakes fell from the sky as the illumination lights of the holiday season brightened up the city. The lights replaced the stars, creating a twinkling beauty of a modern time that seemed so nostalgic to Kobayashi’s mind.

Walking together, holding hands, the two Yuis strolled through the city together. A thought passed through the older’s mind on how long they had known each other for at this point, but the time seemed like just an instant.

“Will you marry me?”

That day was late December, in the year—


The year seemed wrong. There was something wrong.


No matter where she ran to, Kobayashi Yui couldn’t find Imaizumi Yui. The places that they used to visit together seemed to have changed. Everything was just wrong. Before she knew it, her feet led her to a place that they had never visited together.

The grass was wilted. It was a place filled with stones, tablets with names and dates, marking the final resting place of loved ones. Zuumin wasn’t here.

Kobayashi noticed her friend, Oda Nana, standing in front of a grave, setting down a flower. In her heart, the immortal knew that she didn’t want to look at the name on the grave.

“Wh-where’s Zuumin?” Kobayashi shakily asked Oda Nana.

Oda Nana replied somberly, “Yuipon… Zuumin’s already gone.”

The strong and bright smile that had gradually turned into a weak smile on a pale face, the black and the red, and the rainy day filled with eulogies stabbed into Kobayashi’s mind as if threatening to stay there forever.

She wondered how long ago that had been. She wanted to forget. She wanted to hold Imaizumi’s warmth once more. She wanted to pretend that the slab of stone with Imaizumi’s name wasn’t already decades old. She wanted to keep clinging onto their memories together just like she carefully took care of that old cell phone that they had bought together all those years ago.

She wondered what good there was to living forever as an immortal being if the person she loved passed away so quickly, at such a young age, without even allowing her to say goodbye.

Kobayashi Yui cried, soaking Oda Nana’s shirt, falling to her knees on the dirty ground. It was raining, and it wouldn’t stop raining until the world ended.


At the end, I realized that I was chasing after someone who I couldn’t chase after anymore.
She’s not here… anymore.





Happy Yuichanzu and sad Yuichanzu. They're both somewhat fantasy, but... just to be clear, the cute high school Yuichanzu doesn't get a bad ending! They get happiness properly.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Eccentric <Short Hiatus> + OS (Mar. 11, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on March 12, 2018, 09:54:53 PM
Skirt:
Yuipon, you shouldn't be so bold at school. :shocked
I was thinking the same thing as Manaka when you stuck your head up Zuumin's skirt. :P

Chasing After Someone:
Yuichanzu was split up. :cry:
It's comforting to know that even after so many decades that Yuipon still loves Zuumin.
What I want to know is what happened to Zuumin.
Based on the cracked screen, it seems like she was in a car accident or something similar.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru +) [Eccentric <Short Hiatus> + OS (Mar. 11, 2018)]
Post by: Keyaki--Otaku on March 15, 2018, 02:18:10 PM
TT^TT Chasing After Someone is sad!!!! It's really making me cry!!!!! Specially since I was listening to a sad Yuichanzu song while reading it, so because of that I cried more TTTT^TTTT
Title: Eccentric <Short Hiatus> [OS (TechiPe) (Mar. 17, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on March 18, 2018, 01:44:58 AM
@Keyaki--Otaku: *hands over some tissues* Thank you for reading. Yuichanzu deserve happiness! which is why, the next Yuichanzu I write will definitely be happy.
@four4four: Yuichanzu are madly in love. They're so precious. Lol, sorry, I'm going to ramble a bit.
For what happened with Zuumin, I want to say that Yuichanzu managed to be happy together during a proper human lifespan for Zuumin, but Zuumin's life was cut short by illness. After they got married, Zuumin's health began deteriorating from illness, and not wanting to worry Pon, she went off alone one day, and by the time Pon found Zuumin, Zuumin was already gone.
I didn't really think of the specifics of how Zuumin died, so a car accident could have been it.
The crack on the screen is partially symbolism, partially emphasizing the wear and tear of time, and partially from Pon throwing an angry fit of denial that Zuumin was gone. She regretted it afterwards, but luckily, the phone survived. Pon wouldn't let it die no matter what because she wanted to cling onto her memories together with Zuumin even though Pon kind of falls apart in grief.
More trivia than anything else, that phone was also something that Yuichanzu bought on a date together.

Getting away from the sadness, TechiPe! This is totally a crack ship, isn't it? I wrote a light hearted and random one shot set in the TokuDare universe.

Stabbing with Chopsticks and Love Sickness


Hirate Yurina sat in her desk group during lunch, eyeing Watanabe Rika eating. After the whole ordeal with their teacher, Tokuyama, the class had miraculously come out whole and well. Rika’s cry and attempt to take responsibility made the class see the strange girl who clung to her plushie Karaage in a different light, and the class began to interact with her more.

As Yurina had sat in the same table group as Rika during the incident, the short haired detective girl couldn’t help but be drawn toward Rika. The way that the false-culprit of the murder held herself was intriguing.

For a moment, as Rika chatted with the headphone wearing Shida and giggled, squeezing Karaage, Yurina felt a tinge of jealousy. She wanted to monopolize Rika’s time and find out more about the mysterious girl.

Soon enough, Shida left. Rika noticed Yurina’s stare and smiled, somewhat confused. Yurina’s eyes widened a little as she noticed what she was doing and averted her eyes for a moment, almost childishly pouting. Rika smiled even brighter in response, squeaking Karaage in delight.

Rika asked, “Hirate-san, are you going to eat that?”

Yurina looked down at the bread in her hands and realized that it was a little mangled, squished by her hands, which had unconsciously been holding it tightly. She loosened her grip and wondered if she wanted to eat it anymore.

Seeing Rika’s curious gaze, Yurina couldn’t help but nod, “Yea.” She stuffed the bread into her mouth; she felt a little self-conscious being watched.

“Hirate-san is cute.” Rika giggled.

“Actually, you can just call me Yurina, um, Rika.”

“Yurina?”

The short haired detective girl nodded slowly, watching Rika’s reaction. Luckily, Rika seemed happy to call Yurina by her name.

Rika stabbed her chopsticks into her bento’s rice again as if using them like a fork. Putting that glob of rice in her mouth, she hummed a song happily to herself. Yurina smiled while watching Rika, completely unaware of her classmates’ warm looks and the apathetic group’s snickers that they should just kiss already.



Ring. Ring. Ring. Class dismissed for the day. Each clique was heading out. Watanabe Risa and Nagahama Neru were going on a makeshift date with their other friends, Ishimori Nijika and Saitou Fuyuka, tagging along to make sure that they didn’t do anything strange. The two Yuis in the class were laughing over new lyrics.

The class rep, Sugai Yuuka, called out to Yurina, “Hey, Techi, do you want to go karaoke?”

Yurina shook her head, “Maybe next time.” She spotted the somewhat pushy Moriya Akane getting pushed by the headphone wearing Shida toward Yuuka. Having long deduced Moriya’s crush on Yuuka, Yurina silently cheered them on.

Rika had already headed out, leaving for somewhere. Although the class had started making friends with Rika, they still weren’t all that close, and Rika wasn’t often invited for outings in the spur of the moment.

The short haired girl exited the school building.

She walked through town by herself, looking at shops and whatnot. There was a place with cute accessories and a collection of blue whale shark plushies from an aquarium in Okinawa, and it just made her think of Rika.

Yurina stopped in the shop and bought a plushie.

“What do I name this?” She wondered aloud.

Then, she shook her head. She couldn’t believe how much Rika had been on her mind recently, and she couldn’t quite figure the reason out. Holding, the whale shark plushie, Yurina continued her way along. Her house was close enough to the school that she could walk there if she really wanted to.

Passing the grassy area near the river bank, Yurina suddenly heard a cry.

That was Rika’s voice, “G-give it back!”

Some delinquent boys were bullying her, the leader sneering as he held her phone, which was playing something on the screen, “Haha! What’s with this? Some dumb videos?”

“Please give it back!” Rika told them while on the verge on crying.

The lackey snatched Karaage out of her hands, “And, some stupid plu-”

Before Yurina knew what she was doing, she had slid down the grassy hill leading to the river bank and walked over to the group, giving the delinquent leader a good, hard kick to the shin, “Give them back to her.”

Rika exclaimed in a whisper, “Yurina…!?”

The boy who was kicked hissed in pain and threw a sloppy punch toward the short haired girl. Yurina calmly evaded that punch and gave him a cold glare, asking him how dare he bully her girl.

“Give them back to her.” Yurina repeated coldly, stepping into their space like a wolf into the den of a bunch of cowardly hyenas, “And scram.”

“Why should we, you little bitch?” Another boy spat in her face, charging at her.

She slipped to the side again and gave him a kick as well. However, Yurina was aware that she couldn’t take on the boys in a fair fight and get away with it. She slipped a hand into her pocket and pressed a small bluetooth device.

“Who knows? The police should be coming any moment now.” Yurina spoke nonchalantly. One of the delinquents managed to punch her in the shoulder, sending pain through her body, which she winced and tried to hide away.

On her signal, the sound of police sirens started blaring out from nearby.

The delinquents froze. One of the lackies cried out to the leader, “S-shit! Dude, we better get away!” The other lackies also nodded along to that statement.

The leader scowled, throwing the phone at Rika, hitting her, and had the other guy throw Karaage back, “Take your stupid dog-thing and phone back then!”

The delinquents retreated with tails between their legs.

Once the delinquents were out of sight, Yurina pressed the bluetooth in her pocket again.

Yurina asked Rika worriedly, “Rika, are you okay?”

“I’m okay, but… Yurina, your shoulder…” Rika shook her head.

“It’s okay. It doesn’t really hurt at all. Ack!” Yurina put on a mask of bravado until Rika suddenly poked at Yurina’s shoulder.

Rika murmured, “...thank you…”

Yurina went up the hill to retrieve her phone, bag, and a portable speaker, revealing her scheme where she put a recording of the police on to trick the boys. What she needed that for in the past was a secret. Rika followed Yurina along.

The two of them took a seat on the grassy hill leading down to the river bank.

Feeling curious as to how Rika was holding onto the phone desperately along with Karaage, Yurina inquired, “What were those videos?”

“Precious treasures.” Rika replied quietly.

Yurina peeked over. Those videos were actually the gags that she and her classmates had done and allowed Rika to film all that while ago during the Tokuyama incident. They were nostalgic but ultimately embarrassing.

“Oh.” Somehow, Yurina couldn’t think of a good thing to say.

Rika squeezed Karaage, letting him make a squeaking sound to Yurina.

Words flew out of Yurina’s mouth, “I’ll make you more precious memories from now on.”

Rika’s eyes widened.

The typically cool headed detective girl felt herself get flustered. She fumbled through her bag and brought out the blue whale shark plushie that she had bought just a while ago. She tried to change the conversation.

Yurina gifted the plushie to Rika, and it was thus named Aoko.

They chatted for a while and watched as the sun set.

Yurina looked at Rika’s phone awkwardly and asked, “By the way, are you ever going to delete those gag videos?” The gag that she did was still embarrassing to think of.

“Nope.” Rika shook her head. She pressed Aoko’s mouth onto Yurina’s lips with a small giggle.



The class had been left alone by the teacher for a period of study hall. As would be expected from the chaotic group that hid their teacher’s dead body and panicked in trying to solve an outlandish mystery, they weren’t properly studying.

Risa and Neru were flirting out right in the back of the room. Yurina finished up some homework from another class before she looked up, noticing Shida chatting animatedly with Rika.

Yurina shook her head. Even though she clenched her pencil tighter, it was a good thing that Rika was getting along with their other classmates. Just because she wanted to monopolize Rika’s time didn’t mean that she could.

However, Yurina couldn’t keep her gaze off of the chatting pair.

When Shida got a little touchy-feely with Rika, Yurina couldn’t take it anymore. She got out of her seat and walked over to Shida and Rika. Yurina smoothly separated Shida and Rika, sending Shida an unhappy look.

The blue headphone wearing girl raised her eyebrows before grinning. “Good luck, Techi.” She ruffled Yurina’s hair and walked away casually.

Rika looked at Yurina in confusion. She held Karaage and Aoko, moving them as if they were confused as well.

Yurina grabbed onto Rika’s wrist, not wanting to let go. Even though she knew that she was probably bothering Rika, Yurina didn’t want to let go.

The classroom seemed to go silent, eyes on the odd pair.

Yurina confessed, articulating her words clearly, “I like you.”

Surprised for a moment, Rika didn’t say anything in response. Yurina deflated on the inside, but she put up a strong front because she didn’t want to guilt Rika into anything. Then, to her surprise, she felt soft lips on her own lips.

Yurina’s brain couldn’t quite catch up.

Hiding their faces with Aoko and Karaage, Rika gave Yurina a small peck on the lips. When she finished the chaste kiss, she blushed and hid her face behind Karaage, giving him a soft squeeze and a squeak that meant yes.
Title: Re: Eccentric <Short Hiatus> [OS (TechiPe) (Mar. 17, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on March 19, 2018, 06:18:48 AM
That's a sad ending for Yuichanzu.
Zuumin shouldn't have left Pon after getting sick.
I think it made it even worse for Pon to cope with the loss of her lover.
 :cry:
Hopefully, they will find love in the next life (AU).

This was a really cute TechiPe. :wub:
Didn't think of shipping these 2 together, but I ship most things. :P
Techi was really bold taking on those delinquents.
It was adorable that Techi gave the plushie to Rika as a gift. I guess we can say that is the origins of Aoko. :lol:

What I'm more interested in knowing is what is this secret that Techi has for having a police siren recording on her phone. :?
Title: Eccentric <Short Hiatus> [OS (Techi-centric) (Apr. 11, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on April 12, 2018, 03:19:24 AM
Wait a bit more for Eccentric please! For now, a one-shot inspired by a dream that a friend had about the members finally finding Techi in the forest. Please enjoy~ although, you might have already read it on my Wattpad.

@four4four: The secret to the police siren? Hm. I realized that... I don't really know. Haha, I think in my mind, as I wrote that sentence, I had the image of a delinquent Techi, but I'm not sure that it would work out. Probably a delinquent that preyed on other delinquent.



Home


The crisp, cold air looked foggy white now. Trekking through the woods, her shoes crunching on the leaves and sticks below, Hirate Yurina glanced upward through the trees. There was faint light filtering through, yet it didn’t feel warm at all. Her fingers casually grazed against the tree bark, feeling the rough texture.
She wondered what it was that she was running from, what is was that she was searching for.

—Hirate doesn’t understand.—Hirate should just stop and listen.—Hirate should become more social—Fit in. Fit in. Fit in. Fit in.—You’re not cute at all.—Why can’t you be-

The short haired girl halted in her steps. She let out a breath that she hadn’t realized that she was holding and gripped her arm in a shudder. There was no one around. Even though none of those ghosts were here, they still haunted her, jeering, but now there was no more warmth around her either.

In truth, this dark forest was a scary. The childish part of her that still lived on dimly, that part that just wanted to be at home, pampered while watching comedy shows, questioned why she was here.

“I just wanted to be alone.” Rebelling against the adults, she muttered. She wondered why for some reason it seemed too quiet here, why it seemed like a cage of solitude rather than a freedom in flight.

She kicked at a rock, but rather than having it fly away, she fell onto the ground instead, the rock still lodged into the dirt. Getting to her feet, she winced and let out a small whimper. It hurt, not injuring her enough to draw blood but enough to scrape some skin off her palm.

Any other time, someone would scold her gently while patting her clothes down to get the dirt off. Those people weren’t here.

Yurina walked forward, and then, she stopped. Leaning onto a tree with her back, she put her hand on her forehead and bit her lower lip in frustration. She slid downward until she was sitting on the dirty ground.

She mumbled, “I just wanted to get away from there.” Hugging her knees closer to her body, she thought about where she wanted to go—back to before Keyaki—that wasn’t that answer at all.

For a second, she closed her eyes. She was tired; maybe it would have been okay to just go to sleep. Yet, she couldn’t sleep. She knew that she couldn’t find comfort there. In the darkness, she wandered for a moment but jolted awake with a sharp breath, hugging herself more tightly.

“Does anyone realize that I’m gone?”

She received no response from this forest.

Getting up, walking forward, tick tock, tick tock, crunch crunch, crunch crunch, she felt tired. She could only keep going. Wasn’t that right? She asked herself. The asphalt where the bottle in her heart shattered had turned to dirt and stone. That dirt and stone finally turned to blades of grass.

Here was a clearing with grass. Beyond the grass, in visible view, was water. And in the sky, she laughed as to where the sun was.

A face reflected in the water, which was disrupted by ripples from that girl stepping into the water. Her feet sank into the mud in the lake, and the water chilled her, but she walked and walked in the shallow water. Maybe at one point, it would swallow her whole just like the city’s fumes, the manufactured people, had tried to do so. Maybe, she was trying to consume herself.

The water reached right below her knee.

Yurina stopped. She breathed. She still couldn’t take a deep breath, that deep breath that she was searching for. In fact, she wondered if she had already started drowning in this knee-deep water.

Silent. Quiet. Then, it wasn’t.

“Techi!” A voice.

Hands. Warmth. Crying. There was a moment of confusion as to what this was supposed to be.

She felt herself be embraced from behind and smelled a familiar fragrance. That person embracing her from behind hugged tightly, not letting go but rather burying her own face onto Yurina’s shoulder in tears that she had finally found Yurina.

A voice escaped from Yurina, “...Pippi?”

Manaka, still clinging to Yurina, said, “Yea, it’s Pippi… hic… hic… You… you just disappeared like that.”

“I’m sorry.” Yurina apologized. Yet somehow, she felt warmer now.

Before they could exchange any more words, the pair heard more sounds, hurried footsteps along the grass that started splashing in the water. Glancing toward the direction of the sounds, they found Yuichanzu quickly approaching, calling out their names with faces of relief, “Techi! Manaka!”

The shorter of the Yuichanzu, Imaizumi, quickly jumped up and tackled the pair into an embrace. However, that tackle was too much, and as they hugged, the three fell over into the water. Sputtering and getting up, they laughed.

Yurina sighed with a budding smile, “I’m soaked…”

“Ew, I think I got some mud in my mouth.” Manaka groaned.

Imaizumi replied sheepishly, “Oops?”

Yurina wiped her eyes with her wet sleeve. It wasn’t as if she was crying. It wasn’t that at all. She wasn’t trying to hide her tears or anything like that.—She was just happy to see the other members again. Because being alone was lonely.

“You guys…” Kobayashi Yui walked through the water toward the trio in a more calm manner than her counterpart. “Let’s get out of the water?”

“Sorry, Yuipon.”

“Zuumin, geez.” Yuipon smiled wryly at her partner, and she turned to the younger girl, extending a hand, “Techi?”

They all got out of the water and back onto the grassy land. Before long, the rest of the Keyaki members arrived as well. After burying Techi in a big group hug filled with worry over her disappearance, which had lasted longer than just a day, they let her breathe a little.

Naako dug out some towels from her backpack and gave them to Techi and the others to dry off a little. Fuu-chan, Dani, and Uemura brought out some snacks. Even Pe-chan gave Techi a gentle bop on the head with Aoko and said, “Don’t… disappear again like that, okay?”

Yurina whispered, “You’ve found me.”

A sudden flick to the forehead came from Akane, “Yea, welcome back.” Those words met with consensus from all the other members.

Hiding her eyes with the towel she had used to dry herself off, the girl who had been lost in the forest smiled with a tremble, “I’m home.”

This was the place that she had been searching for. The cold air and the wisps of fog seemed to be starting to disperse. Maybe the sun would begin shining again.
Title: Re: Eccentric <Hiatus> [OS (Techi-centric) (Apr. 11, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on April 12, 2018, 03:44:13 PM
Good Short!
Techi does not stop being a very mysterious person, I believe that right now he is the member of the one who really knows less about her.
Title: Re: Eccentric <Hiatus> [OS (Techi-centric) (Apr. 11, 2018)]
Post by: FZA02 on April 19, 2018, 01:17:31 PM
why this feels real, techi is really the most mysterious member (or person) i've ever known and strangely it makes me feel....connected

i truly believe that this is how keyaki really is.....a warmth family, without any big conflict or major rivalries they just.....a family that happen to be idol

and manaka indeed is techi's hiraishin while yuukanen is like techi's parent who will always be there for her
Title: Eccentric [Checkpoint 28 (Apr. 27, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on April 28, 2018, 03:19:36 AM
@FZA02: Thank you for reading. Keyaki's bonds are an extremely precious thing.
@Minami-chan: Techi is mysterious, right~


Eccentric is back!! Also, I have exams basically the entirety of the next month, so... I don't know about writing. I haven't actually made that much progress in writing, but since being on hiatus doesn't make me write more, let's just see how it goes. I think I have a pretty clear idea of the progression of this arc. I do have some checkpoints written.

Aoi arc, start!




Checkpoint 28


The sun filtered through the windows brightly. Harada Aoi was rummaging through her locker in the back of the Keyaki classroom while Watanabe Risa sat on a random desk, scrolling through her phone.

They were the only two in the classroom on this fine summer day because summer break had started.

Risa glanced over to Aoi with a somewhat disinterested look, “What were you trying to find again?”

Aoi ignored Risa. “Aha! I found it!” After looking through her locker, she let out a noise of joy. Then, she accidentally elbowed the back of the locker as she grabbed the object, “Ouch!”

The locker gave off a hollow sound, but neither girl noticed. Risa sighed, sliding off the desk and walking over to Aoi who was cradling her arm, wincing. The cool, short haired Watanabe plucked the object out of Aoi’s hand and took a look at it.

“A camera?” Risa played around with the small black prism, turning it on.

Aoi nodded with an expression that seemed to be asking Risa to ask more, “Yea, I bought it recently.”

“For what?” Risa snapped a picture of what she felt was a dumb expression on Aoi’s face.

“Memories!” Aoi cheered, “We can’t let our high school life go by without making some memories, right?”

Risa nodded, looking through the near empty memory of the camera, “Uh-huh.”

“There’s been an inflation in the cost of things in points, so I thought I’d buy it before the price went up. Also, it’s summer vacation, so I want to take a lot of photos.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Hey, Risa, are you listening? You’re not listening right?”

“Uh-huh.”

“You’re really not listening! Hey, hey, hey.”

“Uh-huh.” Risa smirked.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket. She took it out, handing the camera back to Aoi. Risa read the LINE message that had been sent through the class group chat and showed it to Aoi who had left her phone back in the dorms.

“Eh? Yay!” Aoi smiled brightly as she read the message.

Risa made a vague comment, “The pool seems nice.”

Neru apparently asked some teachers in charge of the pool if the Keyaki class could use it. Since the Keyaki class was a special class, their gym class didn’t get a chance to have swimming lessons, so the only thing they could do was go there in their free time.

Amazingly enough, after asking about the pool, a reservation was made for the Keyaki class to enjoy a whole section of the pool with water slides and recreational items by themselves for a full day.

“Anyways, you’ve gotten your thing, right?” Risa started out the classroom door, “Let’s go back.”

“Risa, you’re such a meanie. Yea, I got the camera. Wait for me!”



The lounge area of the dorm, which was basically treated as the common room, was surprisingly rowdy. Although the dorm was filled with places that the girls could go, and the campus was large despite the restriction of staying on campus, much of the Keyaki class was hanging out there.

Hirate Yurina glanced at Neru who was looking at her phone. The short haired girl ended up staring, watching Neru’s soft eyes reflecting the light of the screen while hiding something more. Yet, undeniably, Yurina was mesmerized.

“Yurina-chan.” Neru seemed to have noticed Yurina’s look.

The short haired girl replied, a little surprised, “What is it?”

“Do you want to go buy swimsuits together today?” Neru asked. The class would be having fun at the pool tomorrow.

Yurina shook her head, “I’m fine with the school swimsuit, but if Neru-” She suddenly stopped.

Although the Keyaki class wasn’t going to have swimming lessons, swimwear was provided along with uniforms. The swimsuits weren’t normal school swimsuits, resembling wetsuits more, with short sleeves and form-fitting shorts.

“But?” Neru inquired.

Yurina shook her head, “It’s nothing.” Her heart sped up a little bit at the thought of Neru in a bikini.

“Okay.” Neru smiled, “But, I think Yurina-chan would look cute in a cute swimsuit.”

“No, Neru’s cute, but I’m not really...”

Suddenly, interrupting the roommates’ conversation, Aoi popped up with her camera, “Hey, hey, what are you two talking about?”

Neru answered Aoi’s question with a question, “Yurina-chan’s cute, right?”

“Techi’s cute.” Somewhat confused, Aoi nodded.

Manaka, intensely playing Pokemon on her 3DS while Risa watched, decided to chime in as well, “Yea, Techi is cute.”

“Cute~” Imaizumi strolled by, adding the conversation to her impromptu made up song that she was humming.

The short haired girl could only smile awkwardly at the praise. A poisonous voice in her heart whispered that this was just like before and would end just like before—a bunch of liars—even if these people were different and didn’t know about that time.

Snap. The sound of a camera shutter broke Yurina out of her thoughts.

“Oops.” Aoi grinned sheepishly as she looked at her camera. She accidentally clicked and took a picture of Yurina. It was framed weirdly, and the short haired girl’s expression was strangely melancholic as well.

Aoi remembered what she came over to bug the pair about, “Oh, yea! Can you two pose and let me take a picture?”


—Although I’d like to forget my memories.


The picture was quickly taken. Aoi promised Neru that she would send it to Neru through LINE later. Yurina had yet to get a new phone, and it looked as if the short haired girl wasn’t planning to get one anytime soon.

Just as the conversation began to wrap up, Aoi’s wristband suddenly showed a small point gain of ‘+100.’

A sound came on through an intercom, causing the girls to look around in confusion. This system hadn’t been used before, and the intercom was nowhere in clear sight.

The voice of the mysterious figure who usually appeared on the screen in their classroom spoke, “Congratulations on passing your exams and starting your summer vacation.”

“Do your best to make some good memories. Your youth will not last forever as life is fleeting. As there are no classes, a few of the venues to earn points will be unavailable for this time period.

“Instead, throughout the summer, a number of tasks will be provided for you to complete, allowing you to earn more points. Do take advantage of this situation. However, be careful not to make any mistakes.”

Neru frowned, glancing at her roommate.

“You won’t be able to move onto the next task without completing the previous.” The voice continued explaining. “The first task is to-”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1415745#msg1415745)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 28 (Apr. 27, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: four4four on April 28, 2018, 06:58:01 AM
Yay, Eccentric is back! :)
I still wonder what Aoi's arc will be about. :?
I really want to know about Techi's back story. :huhuh
Title: Re: Eccentric [Checkpoint 28 (Apr. 27, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on April 28, 2018, 03:34:49 PM
“You won’t be able to move onto the next task without completing the previous.” The voice continued explaining. “The first task is to-”

what is the task! which?!
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 29 (May 3, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Shinoki on May 04, 2018, 01:49:55 AM
@four4four: Aoi's arc is a story of friendship! (what an amazingly vague explanation) It's also where Techi meets a certain Hiragana member and opens up the way for a certain person from Techi's past to catch up to Techi in the next arc (in a bad way).
@Minami-chan: Tehehe, sorry. The truth is, when I was writing it, I wasn't sure what to write for the task at that point. But since I had set it up as a cliffhanger, I decided to just leave it at that for now.


Checkpoint 29


Splash, splash! The feeling of muscles that hadn’t been used in a while burning was oddly refreshing. Kicking her legs, moving her arms, swimming through the water was still okay. She could hear voices on encouragement, but she blocked them out because she didn’t want to hear them turn into something else in her mind. Yet, she could still hear Neru’s voice.

Yurina swam furiously, spotting her classmates, Akane and Risa, just a little ahead. Through some flow of conversation, they had decided to hold a swimming competition.

The whiteness of the wall was just in sight beyond the coloring of swimming goggles and the blueness of the water. She extended her hand, reaching for the wall. She touched, and she stopped, letting her feet touch the ground, resurfacing.

Just two-three seconds before she reached the wall, a whistle had already been blown.

“You three are all too fast!” Yurina could hear Aoi’s surprised cry.

The short haired girl shook her head to shake some of the water off her hair. Then, she removed her goggles, letting it drop to her neck, getting out of the water. She sat down on the pool edge, feet in the water.

Suzumoto placed a towel on to Yurina’s head, “Good race, Techi.”

“Yea, it was fun.” Yurina used the towel to wipe her face. “Although, I didn’t win…”

Akane swam over with Risa in tow. The competitive girl’s eyes sparkled as if she found a new comrade who she wasn’t about to lose to, “Tecchan, you’re surprisingly competitive sometimes, huh.”

Risa hummed along in agreement.

Neru approached them, holding a cool bottle of water in her hand. “That was a good race.” She handed the bottle to Yurina, “Water for you.”

“None for us?” Risa joked.

Neru responded in a similarly light hearted manner, “Hehe, sorry.”

The Keyaki class was having a day of fun at the pool, this area reserved just for them for a day. Aside from having swimming races, the girls were playing on the water slides, lazing around on floats, and enjoying themselves outside of the water.



Snap. Snap. Snap. Harada Aoi was taking a lot of pictures of everyone having fun. She managed to catch the perfect moment of Ozeki style, Ozeki Rika falling into the pool in a stupid manner, entangled with Uemura Rina, coming from a water slide.

The slightly dark girl even nearly captured a picture where the Yuichanz couple in their class nearly kissed, although they hadn’t said anything about going out, and their faces were simply rather close. That moment was interrupted by Oda Nana.

Aoi grinned as she saw Risa being bugged by her counterpart. She snapped a picture of Manaka and Risa playing together, a picture that she would later look back on as those two flirting disgustingly in front of everyone.

“Techi, what are you doing?” Aoi walked along, almost stepping on her short haired classmate.

Yurina got up from her lying position and removed the towel from her face. “Taking a break.”

Aoi gave her classmate a skeptical look but didn’t comment on Yurina’s explanation. She took a seat next to Yurina and started chatting about random things in a way that would make the class’ most long-winded talker, Sato, proud.

Just as Aoi reached the high point of a story that she was telling to Yurina, they suddenly heard a soft voice scream. “Kya! Ah! C-cramp…!”

Their heads immediately turned toward the direction of the voice, finding Koike Minami flailing in the water, her leg having cramped up, leaving her in a tough spot. Before Aoi could even react, Yurina jumped into the pool.

As the penguin loving girl starting sinking into the water, Yurina grabbed onto Koike’s body and dragged her to the edge of the pool. Koike then held onto the edge of the pool.

Yuuka swam over with Akane and sighed in relief that Yurina had saved Koike.

“Mii-chan!” Aoi ran over, aiding Habu help their friend out of the pool.

“H-Habu-chan, Aoi-chan, that was scary…” Koike quickly latched onto her tall roommate and sniffled. She looked about to break out into tears, but she quickly thanked Yurina, “Thank you, Techi. Ouch, my leg.”

Then, she winced. The whole issue came from not stretching properly before playing in the pool, which caused her leg to cramp up.

“I can’t just stand by and do nothing.” The short haired girl stated.

“That’s a cool line.” Someone commented.

Yurina shook her head, “It’s a borrowed quote though.” She quietly refrained from elaborating on who it was borrowed from.

Habu helped Koike stretch and get rid of the cramp, leaving Aoi to feel a little sad since she hadn’t been able to help her friends with anything.



The bottom of the pool felt oddly cold and dark. Diving through the water, Neru felt out of place. Of course, a pool wasn’t the same as the water in her hometown, but as she stopped, feet touching the ground, she knew that there was something else.

Glancing at the bracelet on her wrist, Neru knew that she didn’t have to delude herself about anything.

“The first task is to deliver a package.”

That person had said something along those lines.

Neru glanced through the distortion of the water and saw her classmates playing around in the water. Fuyuka dived down for a moment and waved to Neru. Neru waved back with a smile before Fuyuka resurfaced.

Small bubbles of air floated up. Neru could hold her breath for a long time.

She squinted her eyes. For a moment, she thought that she saw something bright, but there was no such thing.

Neru noticed her roommate swimming listlessly. Grinning mischievously, knowing that the short haired girl had yet to notice her, she headed up through the water. As Neru got closer, Yurina noticed her with a look of pleased surprise.

Letting out a gasp for breath, Neru broke through the surface of the water. At the same time, Yurina also came up.


—Smiles are extremely precious things, are they not?

NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1416057#msg1416057)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 29 (May 3, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: four4four on May 05, 2018, 03:31:50 PM
That's too vague! :lol:
So Techi's past is finally catching up... :cry: Although, I really want to know what happened.

Wahhh, Techi so cool saving Koike.
Techi and Neru surfaced at the same time? In different locations? :? Or... in the same location? :wub:
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 29 (May 3, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Minami-chan on May 06, 2018, 11:24:34 PM

“The first task is to deliver a package.”


There are still many mysteries to solve!



Thank you very much for the new episode.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Detour 1 + Checkpoint 30 (May 11, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Shinoki 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.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1416322#msg1416322)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Detour 1 + Checkpoint 30 (May 11, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Minami-chan on May 14, 2018, 12:23:21 AM
Poor Aoi.


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


Why does she feel that way?

Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Detour 1 + Checkpoint 30 (May 11, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: four4four on May 14, 2018, 04:43:06 AM
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.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 31 (May 17, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Shinoki 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…”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1416660#msg1416660)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 31 (May 17, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Minami-chan 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.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32 (May 26, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Shinoki 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.”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1417235#msg1417235)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32 (May 26, 2018)] <AOI>
Post by: Minami-chan 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.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS (YuzuMiko) (MonaRisa) (May 28, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki 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.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS (YuzuMiko) (MonaRisa) (May 28, 2018)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on May 28, 2018, 11:44:56 PM
lol that reference to techi there
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS (YuzuMiko) (MonaRisa) (May 28, 2018)]
Post by: four4four 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:
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32.5 + 33 (June 10, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki 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.”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1417723#msg1417723)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32.5 + 33 (June 10, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan 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.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32.5 + 33 (June 10, 2018)]
Post by: four4four 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.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Seasons - OdaPon (June 15, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki 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.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Seasons - OdaPon (June 15, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan 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:
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34 (June 25, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on June 26, 2018, 04:22:24 AM
I shall prostrate myself in shame for the long wait for such a chaotic chapter. Thank you for waiting! I also kind of want to smack past-me on the head for putting the focus on TechiNeru too much because Aoi's part and their part doesn't really overlap, but it's Aoi's arc, which is making the organization difficult.

I got distracted by an internship, writing YuukaNen (if things go well, I can probably put up another one-shot soon), and reading Japanese Keyaki fanfics. If you know basic Japanese, you should totally read these fics! here (https://ameblo.jp/keyaki460115/) and here (https://ameblo.jp/chinami0115/entrylist.html) They're really good fics. On another note, if you know Chinese, go check out hapojun's (a twitter artist) older drawings since there's some amazing YuukaNen there.

@Minami-chan: Thanks~ What's your favorite Oda ship? (I'm really sorry about the long wait for Eccentric)


Anyhow, enjoy! (please don't kill me for this weird checkpoint)





Checkpoint 34


The metal about her wrist notified her that the task had been completed as the box was handed over to the regular Sakamichi student Kakizaki Memi. As the sun was about to set, Hirate Yurina was about to leave, yet suddenly another regular student came out of the left field, tackling Memi down in tears and sobbing out a love confession.

Yurina froze for a second. Then, she quickly turned away, giving a departing statement of good luck to Memi or perhaps to the confessing girl and ran away.

Her feet kept moving, the air rushing past her, her dark hair that had been getting longer slapping her face. By the time she stopped, her forehead was filled with sweat. The sweat droplets rolled down to her chin, dripping off. The short haired girl put her hands on her knees and gasped for her breath.

“...eh, why did I run away?” Yurina ran her fingers through her bangs, covering her eyes with her hands, “Why do I keep running away?”

She realized quite simply that the painful feeling in her chest right now was jealousy.

The short haired girl spotted Neru in the distance. She couldn’t call out to Neru. Just acting distant in the morning had been painful enough. The idea of facing Neru again dug into her like the claws of a beast.

If she just kept pretending, then it would be okay. If she just closed her eyes and took another shaky breath, then she could keep living like before.

Words like love were just lies.

But she fell in love anyhow—



Inside, they could not see the night sky filled with stars. The moon was beautiful, wasn’t it. Those words that meant I love you couldn’t be heard—



“Is there something bothering you?”

A soft voice broke Aoi out of her stupor, the voice coming from beside her. In the dorm cafeteria, Aoi poked at her food listlessly while sitting next to her friends Habu and Koike. At some point, she had zoned out.

Aoi shook her head, “Ah, it’s nothing.”

“Are you sure?” Habu followed up for her close friend.

Aoi nodded, “Yea.”

She felt her face twitch because she was lying. Her internal hypocrisy gnawed at her, making her feel even worse about being upset over her other friends’ choice to not let her in and her inability to help.

Koike and Habu didn’t force the camera-wielding girl, but they shared a glance of worry.

Aoi looked toward the exit of the cafeteria. There, a short haired girl and a long haired girl were talking. Rather, Yurina and Neru seemed to be talking, whatever Neru saying causing the short haired girl to be taken aback and quickly run out.

Neru seemed to meet Aoi’s eyes before leaving as well.

“Hey, what are you worrying about right now?” A voice came from behind Aoi. Risa jokingly started to ask, “Not going to take nosy pict-”

Feeling her worries flood out in what should have been a normal retort in their usual conversations, Aoi inadvertently shouted and threw the camera at Risa, “I don’t need this thing anymore!”

“Oof! What?” The cool Watanabe caught the camera, scrunching her eyebrows in confusion at her annoying pseudo-little sister’s outburst.

Akane, grabbing dinner together with Yuuka this night, came over and asked, “Hey, what’s going on here?”

“Sorry for being nosy! I just wanted to-” Aoi stopped in the middle of her sentence. She froze before turning away and quietly walking out of the cafeteria.

Koike frowned at Risa, “Risa, why did you make Aoi cry?” Both of them had spotted the tears in Aoi’s eyes.

“I didn’t mean to make her cry.” Risa scowled. “What’s wrong with her today?”

Akane spoke up with her interpretation, “It’s because she’s a good kid who always wants to help fix other people’s problems even if she’s a bit meddlesome.” She gave a wry smile to Risa and glanced at Habu as well, remembering how she had gotten mad at Aoi before exams.

Risa shook her head, “No, you and Yuuka were just being annoying back then.” Risa starting walking toward the cafeteria door while holding Aoi’s camera carefully.

“You’re still going to apologize, huh.” Akane praised lightheartedly, “Risa’s also a good kid.” She gave Risa a light slap on the back to go on and find Aoi.

The cool Watanabe huffed, “Shut up.”


“Let’s continue being just friends like before.”
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”


Aoi hugged her pillow, sitting on the edge of her bed with puffy eyes. Her roommate Sato had prepared a cup of hot chocolate for her when she calmed down and was floundering in worry over Aoi.

Aoi mumbled, taking the off-season hot chocolate, “Thanks, Shiichan.”

“Don’t worry about it, Aoi-chan. We’re roommates and friends, and I don’t like to see you sad.” Sato replied.

Sato’s long-winded answer brought a small giggle to Aoi.

Then, Sato asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to let Risa in and apologize?”

They could hear Risa at the door, knocking continuously.

Aoi shook her head, “I don’t want to.”

Sato laughed awkwardly. “I’ll tell her that.” Getting up from her seat, the long-winded artist went to the door to tell Risa that Aoi didn’t want to talk right now before coming back.

“Thanks…”

“You’re welcome.” Sato inquired, “Do you want to tell me what’s worrying you?”

By default, Aoi began with a rejection, but she changed her mind, “Actually… if you’re okay with listening.”

“Of course I’m okay.”

“Well, the thing is, every time I try to do something, I feel like I mess up a lot.” Aoi blurted out, “I wonder if I can call myself a friend since I’m so useless. When I see my friends worried or in trouble, I want them not to have problems, so I get myself involved, right?

“But, I keep messing up. Right now, even though I just wanted to let Techi and Neru make up, I think they’re fighting even more now.” Aoi continued.

The whole while, Sato nodded, listening attentively.

Aoi regurgitated everything out rapidly. By the end of her piece, she buried her face into her pillow and wouldn’t look up at Sato. A broken shard stuck in her heart whispered that perhaps her roommate would see her as a meddlesome annoyance too.

Yet, Sato gently hugged Aoi. “You’re a good friend, Aoi. Just the fact that you worry about your friends is important. Because sometimes, we’re just not ready to say these things to anyone, but knowing that someone cares can save people.

“I’m a little weak in the mental department, which is why I keep on talking for so long, but you’ve helped me a lot of times. You don’t abandon your friends. Even when I start rambling, you listen and chat with me. You help me out with art stuff too.

“I know that it’s hard to remember the good things over the bad things, but there are a lot of good things. Friends fight all the time, and we can be stupid by not talking it out even when it would be better to do it.

“You don’t need to take on the burden of everyone’s problems. You’re Aoi, and you don’t need to be a fix-all. Even though it really hurts to see our friends sad.

“I think it’s the same with everyone that it’s sometimes really hard to spit out what we’re thinking and agonizing over. Even though we should be able to communicate better. It’s a human thing, I guess.

“I’m glad you told me about your problems.” Sato finished flustered and worried that she had come off as lecturing.

Aoi hugged Sato back, burying her face into her roommate’s shoulder, and she smiled, “That was long.”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1418323#msg1418323)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34 (June 25, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on June 26, 2018, 07:43:00 AM
I was so engrossed in TechiNeru that I completely forgot that this was Aoi's arc. :lol:
I hope she will be able to help TechiNeru out though. :(
But I am just wondering what Neru said to Techi in the cafeteria. :?
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34 (June 25, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on June 26, 2018, 12:15:58 PM
Poor Aoi.
She should not feel bad, she has not done anything wrong. In reverse try to help everyone.
Now the one who's going to be terribly worried about doing something wrong is Risa, and she really has not done anything.
I'm also intrigued by what happened outside the cafeteria with Neru and Techi.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34 (June 25, 2018)]
Post by: mooza on June 29, 2018, 08:07:08 PM
jfc for some reason, i havent been receiving any emails about eccentric's update so i assumed you were still taking a break. i just realised i missed like 5 chapters O_O ohwell anyway, good job as always! techi's pretty smart, i was almost worried about a love triangle between techineru and memi for a moment. yikes. i hope they make up soon tho :<
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Bamboo Cutter - YuukaNen (June 30, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on June 30, 2018, 10:30:55 PM
Not the Eccentric update. That'll come... at some point. Rather it's a YuukaNen one-shot with Kaguya-hime story pieces that escalated way too far all over the place. (It was supposed to end at a 2000 word point but got to almost 8000 words instead. Totally the reason why Eccentric always has updating problems - me writing excessively for my one shots.)

By the way, should I make a separate thread for the one-shots from now on?

@mooza: Thanks for reading! MemiTechiNeru drama is fun, but Manafi already put in her claim for Memi.
@Minami-chan: The Keyaki class kids are a troublesome bunch sometimes, but their experiences together will help them to better communicate with each other in the future, hopefully.
@four4four: Aoi will do her best.


Bamboo Cutter


Watching the cherry blossoms fall from the tree in her courtyard, Yuuka wondered how the water birds at Lake Biwa looked as the spring came. She held her brush and journal in her hand, carelessly writing a poem of her thoughts.

Yet, she knew that she would not be able to see the Lake that she had once visited with her father. She pondered, concluding that she might not have the chance to see it ever again.

For all the beauty of the courtyard of the Sugai family, a family of officials loyal to the Emperor, this estate was merely a cage within a vaster world. Just a little bit of evidence for a plot to overthrow the Emperor, damning evidence under the magistrates’ eyes, could cut off the bloodline of the Sugai family with its head ready to be executed.

Yuuka, a mere scholarly girl, had been put under house arrest.

She did not expect a good end. Even blood relatives of the Fujiwara family in charge of this land of the rising sun had been quietly dealt with when they fell out of favor. She thought quickly back to the situation where the uncle Michinaga put his own daughter as the Emperor’s empress when his niece had already been the Emperor’s empress.

Her brush stopped. The ink dried slowly on the paper, and she quickly tore it out. Like the fleeting blossoms, she felt that her words were also ephemeral, and they like her loyal family would soon be forgotten as if eaten by a hakutaku.

If she rode a horse, perhaps she would reach a land far away and be free. If she became a Buddhist nun, perhaps she would be spared her life. Yuuka mused escapes as quickly as she shot them down.

The exotic cat that her uncle had brought home long ago let out a lazy meow, interrupting Yuuka’s thoughts.

“Tom, are you hungry?” Yuuka asked the cat, walking into her room from the open courtyard.

The cat with the strange name from somewhere else waved his tail, but he kept his fat torso happily on the tatami mat. He seemed to almost shake his head no. He hadn’t enjoyed his food as much recently with the disgrace of the Sugai family, which had caused the servants to leave as well.

Suddenly a noise came from the front of her family’s estate.

Yuuka jumped while Tom lazed about. The girl panicked, Perhaps it was the Emperor’s people coming to take her head already. Even if it was just a thief, she was alone with no way to deal with it. Then, she mustered up the courage within herself. She had no choice but to check the noise out.

The scholar went to the front with a decorative sword that had been left in her father’s study. If someone found out that she was going to the door with a sword, she would have been doomed with a label of rebellion, but that hadn’t come to her mind.

Slowly going to the location of the sound. She also heard some rustling and the faint outline of a voice. It didn’t seem to be the Emperor’s people. A common thief seemed more likely, even if thieves didn’t often have the guts to attack officials.

Yuuka approached the sound and charged.

Forgetting to unsheathe the sword, she slammed the sword, which was basically a stick, toward the intruder’s head, “Stop right there- Huh?”

The intruder caught the sword and threw it to the side, nearly making Yuuka trip, “Ouch! Hey!”

Yuuka’s brain stopped as she set her eyes on the intruder. It was a beautiful young lady that seemed around her age. This young lady was dressed in simple and fresh clothing of good quality fabric, showing an amount of wealth thrown onto her. Yuuka’s gaze went to the intruder’s red lips, and Yuuka slapped herself in her mind for thinking that it would probably feel nice to kiss this person even though she had never kissed anyone before.

“I-I’m really sorry about that…” Yuuka apologized.

“No, it’s okay.” The intruder shook her head. She showed off her hand as if saying that her guts were too great to be defeated by a mere stick. “I’m the one who climbed over your wall to get away from those annoying suitors.”

As if the deities above planned it, the sounds of young men running by asking where a beautiful young lady had went could be heard right outside the estate. The intruder quickly placed a finger on Yuuka’s lips to keep her quiet.

The thought that the intruder was single crossed Yuuka’s mind before she internally chastised herself again.

Tom then meowed, having walked over sometime in the middle of the two humans’ interaction. He gave a sharp look toward the intruder before warming up, rubbing himself against her leg with a series of purrs. The cat then proceeded to tell his master that he wanted food.

“Tom is hungry right now. It seems he likes you though.” Yuuka extended the intruder an invitation, “Would you like to join us for dinner?”

“Thank you.” The intruder smiled brightly toward Yuuka.

Keeping her blush under control, the scholar introduced herself, “I’m Sugai Yuuka.”

“Moriya Akane.” The intruder replied. With a thoughtful face, she then took Yuuka’s hands lightly and asked, “Actually, if you don’t mind, is it possible for you to hide me here from those suitors for a day or two, Sugai-sama?”

Startled, Yuuka nodded, “Of course. But, you don’t need to call me Sugai-sama. The Sugai family has already fallen out of favor… so it may perhaps be better to not be here.”

“I don’t particularly care what the Emperor thinks. That man has no guts.” Akane reassured Yuuka.

Yuuka had no words. People didn’t insult the Emperor so easily, but she couldn’t protect the Emperor either. Instead, she just followed Tom as he led the way to making dinner and having said dinner. A small nagging feeling bugged Yuuka as she thought about Akane’s name, an intense color for a beautiful woman but also something else.



They ate a plain dinner together at a small table. Tom sat off the side, happily rolling around with fish in his stomach. Yuuka heard not a single complaint from Akane despite their meal being so plebeian, unsuitable for those who belonged to the class that wore glamorous, layered clothes.

Yuuka sighed as she set down her chopsticks with a last word of thanks for the food, “Akane-san, I apologize for the state of our dinner.”

“No, it’s okay. It reminds me of home.” Akane shook her head, smiling at Yuuka. She then joked, “You’re just a little clumsy with cooking.”

“Home, huh.” Yuuka murmured. A few poetic words fluttered through her mind, but her home had already faded around her for home was family.

Akane explained, “I grew up in the countryside with my grandparents.”

“Hm.” Akane’s words sounded familiar to Yuuka, but she couldn’t quite place where she had heard them before.

“Although they always liked to say that I came from a bamboo tree.”

“Ah.”

“I guess it’s better than coming from a peach or the stars.”

“Wait? Akane-san, you’re… Akane-hime!?” Yuuka finally came to the realization as to who Akane was. She was a beauty from an unknown family who had been so sought after by the upper class,  courted intensely, that she had even caught the eyes of the Emperor. She had even been given an honorary title of princess.

“Don’t get me started on people who call me that.” Akane pouted, “I’m just a normal girl.”

Yuuka could understand that living in the part of society ruled by court and polite society rules around the Emperor was stifling and unrewarding at times. She still couldn’t help but say, “Well, you are pretty.”

Akane giggled, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“But those nobles and even the Emperor who said things like that. They’re a bunch of shallow little jerks. I give them a task, but they come back with fakes.”

“I suppose that’s how it is.”

“Yea.” The princess leaned forward toward the scholar and teased, “Hey, Yuuka, would you give me Tom in exchange for my hand in marriage?”

“Huh…?”

“Tom for me.”

“Sorry, but Tom is part of the Sugai family.” Yuuka replied plainly, “You can become Tom’s other master though. The house is so empty right now.”

The fact that everyone else had been taken away, only herself under house arrest here, saddened Yuuka. Even Akane, her new companion, would definitely leave in a day or two.

Akane consoled Yuuka with a pat on the head, gaining a confused look from Yuuka.



Night fell. Yuuka set out a futon for Akane and let Akane go to sleep. She herself could not yet fall asleep, so she stepped out into the courtyard with the light of dim candles and the moon up in the sky. Tom accompanied the scholarly girl, wrapping around her leg for a moment.

Holding her brush and page in her hand, Yuuka wrote out a quick line.

Suddenly, a voice read out the line on the page, “The moon is beautiful.”

Yuuka turned around in surprise to see Akane still awake, standing behind her. Akane smiled apologetically for surprising Yuuka, and the two exchanged silent words with their eyes.

The two sat down on the porch and looked at the courtyard at night. The fireflies glittered like stars on the ground. The moon reflected in the koi pond, glimmering with the stars. Even the cherry blossoms drifting down seemed like the sky falling.

“Your handwriting is pretty.” Akane pointed to the ink on Yuuka’s page.

Yuuka smiled shyly, staring down at her words, “Thank you.”

“Do you like the moon?”

Yuuka murmured, briefly gazing at Akane, “It’s very beautiful. It… The moon is beautiful, isn’t it.”

“It is.” Akane nodded, “I like the moon a lot.” She extended her arm, hand reaching up for the moon like the monkey reaching into the water’s reflection. She couldn’t reach it.

“Do you want to go to the moon one day?”

“I rather like it here actually.”

Akane stood up and stepped down into the courtyard. She twirled around happily, and the fireflies hovered around her. Her cheeks
held a rosy complexion; perhaps it was from the warmth of spring that lingered even in the night.

Yuuka’s hands moved without her thinking. Her eyes followed Akane’s figure while her heart sang words and phrases that appeared on paper. The girl under house arrest felt that if she closed her eyes a moment too long, Akane would disappear just like the cherry blossoms.

Yuuka said in reply to Akane’s words, “Yea, I like it here too.”

She was sure that they meant different things.



Two days passed like a flowing river. Surely, the time for Akane to leave had come, but Yuuka’s selfishness scolded her and said to take Akane’s hand and keep her in the Sugai estate. Yuuka slapped away that selfishness because she knew that there was little future for the Sugai family.

“This is goodbye.” Akane said sadly at the front gate of the estate, “Let’s meet again.” Her usually strong and energetic voice trickled off at the end of her sentence.

Although Yuuka couldn’t promise such at reunion, she nodded, “Yes, let’s meet again.”

“I don’t really want to leave. Even though I’ve only been freeloading here.”

“You can stay here as long as you want.” In the end, Yuuka’s inner selfishness broke out. “The Sugai household can be your second household. My father would have surely said something like that too.” She hiccuped a little at the thought of the Sugai family head.

“Thank you, but I don’t want to trouble you further.”

“I’ll fight off any suitors you have. Even though I look like this, ink grinders are pretty hard, you know?” Yuuka made a show of rolling up her sleeves.

Akane giggled. It was when Tom came and gave a similar show of strength that Akane finally gave her normal bright smile and said, “Then, I’ll be in your care for a while more. I might never leave, you know?”

“That’s fine too.” Yuuka clumsily cheered and hugged Akane.

In the middle of the hug, Yuuka realized that Akane smelled very nice and felt very nice to hold. Even if she wanted to part, Yuuka was stuck in the embrace by Akane’s strong arms, and she worried to herself if Akane could hear her heartbeat racing.



The cherry blossoms finished for the year, their short two weeks ending. Yet, when Yuuka woke up in the morning, she found her lonely life changed. Next to her futon, she would find Akane who had claimed that she felt more at ease sleeping with others due to her childhood in a relatively small house.

They had grown incredibly close, Yuuka clinging to Akane’s warmth.

Hearing the chirping of the songbirds, Yuuka opened her eyes one morning, feeling a weight atop of her. She blinked away the lingering pieces of sleepiness and found Akane on top of her.

Yuuka turned red, heart suddenly racing, overly self-conscious of Akane who appeared to be still asleep, the placement of Akane’s leg between her own legs, and the way that Akane’s arms pinned her down. Yuuka internally chanted sutras to herself to calm down, and she cried out silently as she saw Tom exit the room with a judging look that seemed to accuse them of being too bold so early in the morning.

“I… hate…” Akane murmured in her sleep. “The Emperor…”

The scholar pinned underneath wondered what the princess was dreaming about. Soon enough, she heard Akane mumbling about beauty foods and shoes, the dream topic seemingly changing until Akane stopped sleep talking.

Feeling overwhelmed, Yuuka tried to shake Akane lightly and wake her up.

Akane woke up with blurry eyes, not all coherent yet. Seeing Yuuka underneath her, Akane tightened her hold on Yuuka and gave Yuuka a kiss.

“...I love you.” Akane said as if about to cry.

Yuuka felt her breathing stop for a moment. Although Akane only gave her a quick kiss, Yuuka could still feel the sensation of Akane’s lips on her own. They were soft.

Even though they shouldn’t have, even though they should have kept their heads above the sea of inappropriate acts in the morning, Yuuka kissed Akane again, “I love you too.” She threw away the last bits of self-control holding herself back.

By the time they got out of bed, it was noon. Their clothes were thrown to the side. Yuuka softly breathed in the scent of Akane’s hair as they embraced. Akane really was beautiful, and Yuuka had been dyed madder red. She could understand the suitors who chased after the princess in her arms.

She wanted to apologize. Hearing Tom’s resigned footsteps at the two women who he had accepted as his masters, Yuuka opened her mouth.

Akane spoke first, “I’m sorry for making you do this…” Her heart sounded loud with guilt for trying to seduce the scholar in the morning.

Yuuka quickly retorted, “No, I should be the one apologizing for… dirtying you like this.”

“Don’t apologize.” Akane shook her head and peered into Yuuka’s eyes, “...I really have fallen in love with you, Yuuka.”

Akane’s fingers intertwined with Yuuka’s. Perhaps, Akane felt a red string of fate looped around their pinkies, tying them together. Yuuka wished that she could see it, or at least, she desperately turned her ears away from her heart’s whispers that words of love were as ephemeral as the faded red of cherry blossoms.

She fell  in love with the warmth beside her.

Even if she couldn’t tell lies apart from truth, she chose to think that their moment together was truth.



They didn’t talk about their lust filled morning again. Soon enough, the heat of late spring and early summer settled into the estate. Flowers began to bloom on the branches of a tree leaning in from the wall of the courtyard.

At this time, the youthful scholars and noble young people would be gathering and creating poetry and music. Yuuka reminiscenced on the year before where the daughter of the Nagahama clan had almost fallen into the lake where a gathering had taken place only to be saved by a quiet youth of the Hirate clan. Yet now, all she could do was look at the lonely flowered branch and move her brush.

A poem from the land of the setting sun, a large kingdom that her own home had connections to, came to mind as Yuuka looked at the flowers. Before she could finish reciting the Chinese characters in her mind, the scholar found Akane come up from behind.

Akane placed her chin on Yuuka’s shoulder, “Aren’t those flowers beautiful?”

“Yes, they are.” Yuuka nodded. The romantic inside of her mumbled that the blossoms were not as beautiful as the woman beside her.

Akane took those words and walked toward the branch of flowers. Using the slowly deteriorating wall as steps, she climbed up a little to the worry of Yuuka and gracefully plucked a flower from the branch. Hopping down with the flower in her hand, Akane smiled widely.

“You worried me, suddenly scaling the wall.” Yuuka let out a sigh of relief as she saw Akane return to her side.

Giving a sheepish apology, Akane tucked the flower into Yuuka’s hair, “I just thought that this would look beautiful with you.”

Yuuka blushed. She felt Akane’s cool hands gently adjust the flower and her hair. It was her face that had become warm rather than Akane’s hands that had become cold.



The flower pulled from its living branches wilted away without a sound, unnoticed. Festival goers played music in the streets for summer had come. Even joyous shouts for prosperity could be heard from the common people as the Emperor’s carriage passed by.
Yuuka and Akane sat in the courtyard, looking at the stars and the moon in the night sky. Beside them sat a bowl of chilled fruit. Tom entertained himself away from the couple, petting the koi fish in the pond.

“Do you not want to go enjoy the festival?” Yuuka glanced toward Akane, “The food and shows are a once a year pleasure.”

Akane replied as if her words were obvious, “You aren’t going.”

“I’m under house arrest after all. That his Majesty allowed me to live this long so peacefully here is already too kind.” Yuuka placed her hand on Akane’s.

“Don’t say that.” Akane scowled. “I want to stay with you. I’ll freeload here for eternity. A man like him doesn’t deserve the life of someone like you.”

“Rude as always about him.”

Akane laughed, “You’re using the same rude pronoun.” Some parts of her rubbed off on Yuuka just as parts of Yuuka rubbed off on her.

Throughout their time together, Akane had revealed to Yuuka why she hated the Emperor so much. There was his arrogance, his inner palace, his politics, his casual disregard for human life, his uselessness, and his ideas that women belonged to him because he was descended from a god. Akane added another reason onto her list, that Yuuka’s life was in his hands.

In this courtyard together, they could temporarily forget about the world. This courtyard was their own paradise together.

“I’m okay with you freeloading forever though.” Yuuka spoke lightly, “Rather, this has already become your home.”

“Eh?” Akane paused.

Yuuka didn’t continue to elaborate. “You’ve got some juice on your lips.” Instead, she casually licked the corner of Akane’s mouth.

They turned away from each other, blushing in the dimness of the night. Yet, their fingers didn’t dare to part. Tom swatted the koi fish that had come to close, causing the reflection of the moon in the pond to break apart.



Eventually the time came for the warmth that Yuuka could barely tell apart from the chilling truth to end. On a night without the moon, the orb in the sky having shrunk into a crescent and then into darkness across the days, Akane stayed outside, looking upward rather than to go to sleep.

Yuuka joined Akane on the wooden porch with an uneasy feeling.

Suddenly, Yuuka felt her eyes blinded by a bright light. When she managed to pry open her eyelids, she spotted a celestial being holding a white furred, red-eyed rabbit, a veil like the moon covering the being’s face. That entity ignored Yuuka but exchanged glances with Akane.

Yuuka’s heart dropped as she saw Akane’s expression.

“I have to go back to the moon.” Akane whispered, turning her eyes away from Yuuka, taking a tiny step toward the moon’s messenger. “I’m sorry.”

Yuuka shook her head and tried to smile, “Thank you for letting me live a happy illusion up until now.”

“No-” Akane stumbled in her step. She twisted to face Yuuka with a desperate cry that she was misunderstood.

“Princess, do not linger any longer on this impure Earth. You must return to the moon.” The messenger interrupted sternly.

Yuuka tried to ignore the messenger. “You don’t need to say anything because I was aware from the very start.” Yuuka shook her head again toward Akane, her voice cracking as she tried to convince herself that everything was okay. “Was this lowly servant’s body able to satisfy you, Akane-hime?”

“...you…” Akane choked.

“I really loved you.”

Even though she was a simple scholar who could not compose even a single line of a masterful poem, even though her family had already fallen to disaster as a clan of traitors, Yuuka’s heart gave itself away to Akane. Yuuka was glad that she could fall in love before waiting for a final execution.

“I love you. Why don’t you understand that?” Nearly shouting, Akane grabbed onto Yuuka’s wrist and tried to kiss Yuuka, “I won’t touch people that I don’t love…”

The messenger seemed disgusted by the pair’s physical intimacy so foreign to the sterility of the moon. The being tried to call again to the princess but was quickly ignored.

Yuuka faced away silently.

The messenger tried to speak again, “Princes-”

“Leave.” Akane spat out furiously, sending a glare toward the moon’s messenger. “I won’t return to the moon tonight regardless.”

Backing away, the messenger spoke quietly with the rabbit and retreated, leaving the courtyard to just Yuuka and Akane again.

“Yuuka.” Akane called out.

Yuuka lightly shook her arm, removing Akane’s hand from her wrist. To the scholar’s surprise, Akane let go. Yuuka didn’t face Akane but she said quietly, “You don’t need to lie. You can go home if you want. I was happy to have been able to love you.”

“I’m sorry for being too greedy… hic… I’m sorry that I just do what I want… hic. Please don’t hate me. I knew… hic… I shouldn’t have tried to take advantage of you.”

The scholar whipped around and denied, “I was the one who took advantage of you.” Her heart screamed in agony at Akane’s tears, the usually strong princess broken down.

“Can we j-just continue living our idle happy days together?” Akane rubbed her eyes as if it would stop the tears but only made them puffier and red. “Is it so bad that I want to stay here with you? This is home.”

Yuuka knew that she had gone mad long ago. She could no longer convince herself with insecurities but breathed clearer with the reaffirmation of a mutual affection.

A bit unsure if she still had the right to do so, Yuuka embraced Akane and murmured, “Akane looks the prettiest when she’s smiling.”



Finishing up a simple yet delicious lunch made by Akane, Yuuka and Akane walked throughout the compound, strolling about. They passed through another courtyard that had fallen into disrepair.

Akane entered the garden of that courtyard and looked around at the flowers in full bloom still despite the lack of servants caring for the plants.

Yuuka followed after Akane, and she stopped under the shade of a large pear tree that was in the middle of bearing fruit. Placing her hand on the bark, she noticed a swing on the other side of the tree.

The swing had been something that her father had the head steward install. Though the children of the Sugai family originally played on it, when they had gotten bored of it, Yuuka’s mother had taken to sitting on it to watch the children laugh while Yuuka’s father stood behind her mother.

Yuuka took a seat on the swing, seeing that it was still usable.

“Yuuka, are you tired?” Akane inquired upon seeing Yuuka sitting.

Yuuka answered, “No, I just wanted to sit on this. It’s nostalgic.”

“A swing?”

“Yes.”

Akane asked, going behind Yuuka, “Would you like me to push you?”

Yuuka laughed like a child as she flew up into the air on the swing and Akane pushed. A split second anxiety brushed her mind that she would crash into Akane going down, but luckily, her princess had the common sense to move.

Tom meowed, bathing in the sun as he drowned out the cheerful noises of his two masters.



The Emperor’s decree came roaring down like the executioner’s blade. In the middle of afternoon tea, the Emperor’s men broke into the Sugai estate. The paper of the sliding door was torn apart. Marching intimidatingly, they entered the room to find Yuuka conversing with Akane, an official halting in surprise at the beauty beside the scholar.

The lead official of the squad read out from a scroll to Yuuka, “The Emperor has decreed for you to become an example for the traitors within the court.”

Yuuka set down her cup. Even though she was shaking, her heart resigned itself to a calmness of death, so she nodded, “I see.” Glancing toward Akane, Yuuka smiled apologetically, unable to word out anything in response to Akane’s grim expression.

The Emperor’s men pulled Yuuka harshly to her feet and grabbed onto her arms with vice-like grips, dragging her away. They peeked at Akane but quickly looked away.

“You will be escorted to await your punishment.” The lead official stated primly, “Be thankful that his Majesty has given you this time before the judgement you should have received.”

Akane rose to her feet, calling out to the people taking Yuuka away, “Wait.”

She was ignored, and Yuuka was quickly being forced away toward the exit, leaving the place that they had spent so much time together in. Akane chased after Yuuka and shouted for the Emperor’s men to stop again.

The lead official walked toward Akane and told the princess, “Akane-hime, do not worry. We will be taking this criminal away.”

“If you wish, the Emperor will receive you any time, princess.” Another official spoke up. “Please stay back as to not get involved with this traitor Sugai.”

Akane bit her lower lip in frustration.

“Please don’t get involved any further, Akane. Thank you.” Yuuka called out to Akane, twisting back to see the face of the person she wished she could spend her life with.

The people holding Yuuka scowled and roughly pushed her, giving her a punch in the face to shut her up, causing her lip to start bleeding. Yet, Yuuka didn’t let out a sound, only a glare toward them.

Akane barked out, “Stop.”

The lead official gestured for the men to halt in their actions, only letting them grip Yuuka’s arms to the point of bruising. He nodded at the serious tone in Akane’s voice.

As the Emperor had already spent much effort into courting the moon princess,  even legitimately dispatching people to China to find the fire rat’s legendary robe, and the Emperor had spoke of his willingness to trade anything reasonable for Akane’s hand, the official knew that he would be in trouble if the Emperor knew of Akane-hime’s presence at the Sugai estate and if the official did nothing to try to promote his lord. Those expeditioners died, but he preferred to keep his own neck.

“Spare Yuuka’s life.” Akane spoke slowly, “And I’ll marry… his Majesty.” Enunciating every word so that she could not be misunderstood, she wanted to gag at the idea of being with the Emperor. Yet, she was willing to sacrifice a small thing for a greater selfish desire.

“No-” Yuuka objected, only to be jolted violently.

They had already reached the exit of the compound. Yuuka thought to herself that this was how her short happiness would end, parting at the same place that she had first met Akane.

Out of the corner of her eye, Yuuka spotted the ceremonial sword from long ago that she had tried to attack a mysterious intruder with. It was still in the same place that it had been haphazardly thrown to, and that intruder had been Akane. Yuuka could no longer waver back and forth before picking up her courage to fight.

Her mind went blank, choosing not to hear anymore talking about marrying the Emperor. Smashing her shoulder into one of the people holding her, Yuuka tore her arm away from the other, ripping herself free. She fell to the ground with the way she tried to escape, but she wasn’t trying to escape.

Instead, she scrambled to grab the weapon.

“I can’t accept that!” Yuuka cried out. She found herself unable to get the sword, a heavy foot coming down on her fingers as she was more firmly captured this time. Choking, Yuuka reached for Akane, “Akane!”

Yuuka saw as familiar fingers picked up the sword. She looked upward with all she could to look at Akane’s face as the Emperor’s men tried to push the scholar into the ground to stop her from struggling more.
“I’m sorry, Yuuka.” Akane mouthed, ‘I love you.’

A harsh pain hit Yuuka, an impact to the back of her head. Everything went black, and she could no longer see the beautiful madder red. And yet she could imagine the glistening of tears dripping away nonetheless. Perhaps she was the one crying.



The prison cell felt cold. Yuuka shook her head and paced about. She had recovered from her injuries, but not once again had she been able to meet Akane. This cell that she was held in was more like a room than a prison. Again Yuuka was under house arrest.
Given good food, good water, good sanitation, even soft bedding and a desk with materials to write with, Yuuka should have felt cold at all.

At night, flower petals fluttered into the cage-room. Yuuka took a deep breath, holding paper and a brush in hand, and she gazed at the full moon. She wrote a meaningless sentence. Then she wrote another.

“The moon is beautiful tonight, isn’t it?” The scholar murmured aloud to no one.

No matter how well she calligraphed her strokes, there was no one to read them. For some reason, the ink seemed to leak down and blur, but she had already run out of tears.

By morning, the moon had left, and the sun came up.

Yuuka heard the sound of impatient footsteps coming closer to where she was staying. She nearly jumped in surprise when the visitor came into site.

It was a young man with sharp features wearing elegant clothing. Rather than just that, her visitor was the Emperor. At first glance, he appeared handsome, the work of many generations of the Fujiwara family. Yet, his expression seemed severe and upset. His advisor behind him appeared to fade into the shadows.

Without a preface, he barked at Yuuka, “What did you do to her?”

Yuuka was taken aback. “What do you mean by that?” The female that the Emperor spoke of was Akane, but Yuuka hadn’t received a single word on Akane since she had been taken away.

“Why is it that you are so special in her eyes, Sugai?” The Emperor’s voice seemed to almost crack.

Yuuka stayed silent.

“We should just kill you here.” He grumbled.

Although afraid of death, Yuuka ignored her shaking hands and spoke boldly against the Emperor. “If you can make her happy.” She gripped her hands into fists and stopped shaking.  “Then kill me as many times as you want.”

Seeing her resolve, the Emperor folded his arms, “As if we would. At the very least, we will fulfill this request of hers.” He looked at Yuuka as if she was stupid.
Yuuka glanced away.

The Emperor’s advisor handed the emperor a small box. He took the box and threw it at Yuuka’s feet.

Stating regally, he told the scholar, “Go. Disappear from this court. The Sugai family is no more. We bestow a scholar the main section of the former estate and lock away the rest.” In other words, he was letting Yuuka go but forcibly erasing the existence of the Sugai family. “You have no more relationship to any of us.”

Yuuka didn’t pick up the box.

The Emperor walked away with a smirk, “Never set foot in the heart of the capital proper again.”

The Emperor’s advisor paused to tell Yuuka, “You will be escorted home tonight.” Then, the advisor left as well.

On that night, rain fell fiercely, the sky covered by clouds. Yuuka returned home with nothing having come with nothing, but she lost something that she could never replace. At the entrance of her home, she saw guards stationed there to keep her locked in.

Walking inside, nothing seemed to have changed. Tom, still alive but a little skinnier, came up to his master, eyes darting about for his other master, and rubbed against her as she curled up into a ball on the floor.



Akane pushed aside the servants, storming ahead in a multi-layered kimono. After seeing that smirk on the Emperor’s face and his declaration that she could see where Yuuka had been kept, she immediately headed toward that area.

When she arrived at the room, she found people already cleaning up and throwing away the signs of a prisoner ever being there. Seeing papers being discarded, Akane hastily grabbed one and held it close to prevent it from disappearing.

She felt alone here.

Behind her, she heard the sound of footsteps. The servants all stopped in their work and bowed in respect. The Emperor arrived.
Akane refused to bow to him.

The Emperor took the paper out of Akane’s hand. “Why don’t you throw away that scrap in your hands?”

“Give that back.” Akane tried to retrieve it, but he held it above her head.

“It’s a poem?” He shrugged, looking at the contents of the paper, “We will admit that the scholar has pleasant handwriting.”

“Her words aren’t for your eyes.”

“Nor are they for yours. You will be our consort, and she will live in a separate world.” The Emperor embraced Akane, but she didn’t fight back, staring at him hatefully resigned like a doll.

He kissed her, his rough lips brushing against her. Objectively, as the Emperor, his skin was smooth as were his lips, but Akane could feel nothing but disgust, seeing his possessive eyes.

The paper fell to the side.



Yuuka woke up in the morning feeling cold. When she looked out to the courtyard, there was snow falling like flower petals from the sky. The flowering trees were however flowerless, bare with only the white of winter as decoration.

She once more felt herself used to being alone.

She was informed that a visitor had come. A small spark in her heart wished the visitor to be Akane, but the most she could ever see Akane again would be if the Imperial carriage passed by her home. She hated the idea of Akane belonging to the Emperor and had lost many nights of sleep.

Instead of just one visitor, a pair had come. Yuuka invited them in.

After the destruction of the Sugai household, Yuuka had been put under house arrest again, but people were allowed to visit. Although still considerably dangerous to associate with someone from a traitor’s family, even when the family was gone, the Hirate and Nagahama youngsters who Yuuka had met and chatted with at gatherings before came to visit as friends frequently.

“Neru, Yurina, I’ll brew some tea for you.” Yuuka let them sit down and went to prepare tea for her guests.

They chatted about meaningless topics for a while such as poetry or the instrumental skills of the noble girls around the capital. This was their usual preface to the darker side of their conversations.

“You likely know already, but the Emperor still has not announced his marriage with Akane-hime.” Hirate Yurina spoke.

Yuuka nodded. Over half a year had passed since Akane exchanged her marriage for Yuuka’s life, but the Emperor had since not made any outright moves.

“His uncle is trying to push a consort, the Emperor’s cousin, onto the Emperor.” Neru took a sip of tea, giving a theory as to why the marriage had not been fixed. “It seems that there is some disagreement in the back.”

Yurina quickly reassured Yuuka upon seeing the scholar’s worried look, “If you worry that Akane-hime will get caught in the crossfire, you shouldn’t worry too much. The Emperor takes great care to keep her isolated and protected from others, be that good or bad news.”

“Thank you.” Yuuka weakly smiled, “I just don’t know how to feel when they do get married.”

Yurina and Neru couldn’t give Yuuka empty words to believe that the Emperor and the moon princess would not get married.

“If he dies, then they won’t get married.” Yurina said lightly.

Yuuka smiled wryly, “Are you planning treason?”

The Hirate clan was a vassal clan to the ruling family of the Fujiwara, and they had intermarried with their ruling clan before, Yurina being third cousins with the Emperor. Yet, a great divide had formed between the clans, causing rumors of planned insurrection to build in the recent years.

“You didn’t hear those words from this mouth of mine.” Yurina fiddled with her short hair and gave a cheeky smile.

“Who knows.” Neru laughed.

On the other hand, the Nagahama clan was a strong military family of loyalists, loyal to the crown and the Fujiwara clan. Neru seemed to be an outlier.

They changed topics, returning to the more light-hearted side of conversation. The tea had gone cold, but no one cared to drink anymore. The Hirate and Nagahama pair left as the sun went down, promising to meet with Yuuka again.



Although the snow began to melt, Yuuka fell ill with fever. Sweating profusely, feeling a burning heat matched with a freezing chill, she could barely get water to drink. Preparing food was unlikely to go well.

She heard visitors come in worriedly and tuck her into bed and take care of her.

Bedridden, Yuuka’s brain dreamed of happier days. A cool towel was pressed onto her forehead, and porridge was made. The porridge was tasteless, nothing like what Akane made, being the porridge of Yuuka’s two friends.

Tom sat as a pile of warmth on Yuuka’s feet, meowing for her not to die.

Her sight was blurry. In truth, she could make out the panicked faces of Yurina and Neru, but there was someone else she wanted to see.

“...please freeload here… forever...“ Blinking away tears, Yuuka mumbled, “Akane, don’t leave.”

Yuuka fell unconscious, struggling to breathe. Her body burned, gasping for air. She could vaguely hear a cat’s crying and shouting to quickly go find a doctor to treat her. She ignored all that as she chased painfully after a dream in a dream.

Her friends watching could do nothing to help.

By the time the doctor came, Yuuka’s body calmed down a little, allowing him to do a check-up. The doctor’s diagnosis was that Yuuka’s body had suffered too much stress in the recent months, hurting her ability to fight off sickness. He prescribed some medicine and advised Yurina and Neru on how to take care of a sick person.

After the doctor left, Yurina and Neru stayed to watch over Yuuka.

“Yuuka is really…” Yurina spoke to Neru. “A precious person.”

Neru berated herself, “To think that we first came to talk to her because we’re a pair of traitors against the royal family.”

Tom swished his tail and gave a look toward the pair. He had already accepted that they were a part of his master’s circle of humans, so he was making sure that no one else left while they waited for his master’s other half.



When the first sprouts of spring popped up in the hard ground, Yuuka coughed, choking, not because of a lingering sickness but because of a shocking piece of a news. Various testimonies on the event popped up around the capital, and Neru was recounting them to Yuuka.

Apparently, Akane killed someone with a ceremonial sword. After silence for months on the activities of the moon princess, she did an outrageous deed.

Some said that the princess was mad. Some said that she had stopped an assassin that was trying to kill her beloved Emperor. Some said that she was being framed for a crime.

When Neru described the supposed appearance of the sword, Yuuka couldn’t help but pause in wonder.

Yuuka whispered under her breath, “...isn’t that my family’s sword?” She was glad that Akane kept it at least.

In the next moment, Yurina entered the room, panting as if having rushed to deliver a piece of news. Taking a second to catch her breath, the short haired girl blurted out, “Akane-hime killed the head of the Fujiwara clan.”

The room froze.

The head of the clan wasn’t the Emperor, but he was practically the puppeteer of the Emperor. Though the Fujiwara clan was the ruling clan, it was a separate entity from the Emperor on technicality.

Neru shook her head and asked for a repeat, unsure if she heard that correctly. She heard it correctly the first time.

“Also, there’s other news.” Yurina frowned. “The Emperor has announced that Akane-hime will be crowned Empress tomorrow.”



Sitting in the courtyard, watching the cherry blossoms bloom, Yuuka sipped a bitter white wine. There was no moon in the sky. Her emotions in turmoil, she gazed at the courtyard.

The scholar noticed a white rabbit with red eyes. She wondered where it came from but simply watched the rabbit bounce around the courtyard.

The rabbit approached Yuuka and turned into a girl, a goddess from the moon. The rabbit-goddess caused the container of wine to spill onto the grass and took the cup out of Yuuka’s hand. Dipping a tongue into the wine, the goddess made a face of disgust and threw the cup away.

“The princess is not by your side.” The goddess observed as if scolding Yuuka. Then, the goddess declared, “She will be taken back to the moon.”

Yuuka choked out in shock, “I don’t want that.”

“Don’t worry. You will be able to see her beauty all you want from the Earth as you look up at the moon.”

“Even if I were blind, I wouldn’t want her to go to the moon.”
“Then, do you wish to touch her body, you lustful human?”

“I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy being with her like that, but even if I lost all my sense of touch, I wouldn’t want that.”

“You speak pretty words.” The goddess praised Yuuka as someone who only talked and never did anything. “Then, what do you want?”

“I just want to be by her side.”



Soon after the Emperor crowned the Empress, he announced that Akane-hime belonged to the royalty of the gods of the moon and had no choice but to return to the celestial object in the sky. Rumors started that the princess gifted him the pill of immortality out of love before she left, and that an expedition of men heading up to burn something on the tallest mountain, the one closest to the moon, had been decided strengthened the people’s beliefs.

In truth, the emissaries from the moon came to retrieve Akane once more. This time, they would not let her stay on the tainted Earth. The Emperor argued back, but he was powerless against the people from the moon.

Akane did not love him. Living with him and feeling his flesh, though he never truly touched her to her relief, she found that the Emperor was a pathetic man. Yet, she was afraid that he would kill Yuuka since leaving for the moon would be tantamount to breaking their pact.

She begged the people of the moon to give the Emperor a pill of immortality. She beseeched of him to never touch Yuuka in exchange for the magic elixir. He agreed emotionlessly.

Akane sat in the carriage flying through the sky, looking out the window.

The beautiful princess saw the cherry blossoms blooming. Spring had arrived, and nearly a year had passed since she first met Yuuka. She wondered if Yuuka was looking up at the sky and if the flowers in their courtyard had blossomed yet.

A handmaiden called out to her, “Princess, there are much more beautiful flowers on the moon.”

Akane ignored the servant. Looking out the window, she found herself crying, the tears falling from the sky like jewels.



The capital burned, lit up red by flames consuming the court and the palace. People frantically tried to put out the blaze, but the red continued fluttering like petals. The noise of swords tinkled like bells amidst the chaos.

Three pairs of footsteps hurried through the halls of the Emperor’s dwelling. They could hear shouts and sounds of slaughter.

Yurina quickly spoke to Yuuka, “Yuuka, you don’t need to be in such a dangerous place.” Even as they ran, Neru, Yurina, and Yuuka,
the former two attempted to shield the latter from the mess of an attempted coup from their faction.

Yuuka shook her head, “I need to talk to the Emperor one last time.”

Yurina nodded. Then, looking to collapsed hall to the side, the short haired girl cursed under her breath, “Tch. It’s escalated way too quickly.”

“This way.” Neru quickly pointed in a safer looking direction to the place they expected the Emperor to be escaping from. “If we’re too late, he might be already killed.”

The three girls ran. As they had predicted, the Emperor was attempting an escape through a hidden back entrance of his palace. Aided by an eunuch, he was injured by an arrow to the shoulder.

Upon seeing the girls, the eunuch fled.

The Emperor barked out a laugh, “I see. You’ve come to take my life.”

“No, I’m here to talk.” Yuuka stepped toward the Emperor, signalling for her friends to stand back. She noticed the Emperor holding a sheathed sword.

“There’s no meaning to talking anymore.”

“What difference does it make for you to speak a few more sentences?”

“A world of differences. They say that a flap of a butterfly’s wing can cause the world to change. If she had never met you, perhaps things would have been different.” The Emperor spoke so melancholically that Yuuka had nothing to say. Seeing her troubled expression, he threw the sword to her feet. “This is your sword that she used to kill the Fujiwara head.”

“I see.” Yuuka nodded. She picked up the sword and took a little bit of it out of the sheath to check the condition. The sword had been cleaned and sharpened.

“Kill me with it.”

“That’s not what I’m here for.”

“Then I’ll kill myself with it.”

“I don’t particularly care what you do with your life, but before that, let’s talk.”

“I’ve already said that I have nothing to talk about. You wish to talk about Akane, do you not?” The Emperor sighed.

Yuuka nodded.

“Why don’t you take this pill and ascend to the moon like Chang’e then?” The Emperor threw a package wrapped in paper to Yuuka. Speaking lowly, he laughed, “Maybe then she’ll smile for me once.”

“Thank you.” Yuuka passed the sword back to the Emperor.

She turned her back away as she saw the image of the Emperor committing suicide reflected in the eyes of her friends. Opening up the paper package for a moment, she saw that the paper was one that she had used in her short arrest to write on and that there was indeed a pill inside.



Akane heard a sound from the front of her extravagant new house on the moon. She had chased away all of the people who she could, but the moon’s denizens kept a careful watch over her to prevent her from escaping. They knew of her longing for the Earth.

Sluggishly heading toward the entrance, Akane wondered what sort of wild animal got in. She hoped that it wasn’t a rabbit. There were basically only rabbits on the moon, and she was so sick of them.

What she saw wasn’t an animal but rather an intruder, a human.

Akane halted in her footsteps.

The intruder rubbed her shoulder in pain, having climbed over the wall and landed on her shoulder in a bush. The intruder had a few leaves stuck in her hair, but when she noticed Akane, she couldn’t help but give the biggest teary smile.

The moon princess asked disbelievingly, “Yuuka?”

“A-Akane!” Yuuka sniffled and ran to Akane.

Akane squeezed Yuuka tightly in a hug and laughed while crying tears of happiness, “You’re pretty bad at climbing walls.”

Yuuka nodded and cried, “Let’s go home.”

Yuuka took Akane’s hand. It was warm. Holding hands, they started on an adventure to go home, to go back to Tom and enjoy the flowers peacefully and to grow old together happily and healthily.

The moon gazed fondly upon them.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Bamboo Cutter - YuukaNen (June 30, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on July 07, 2018, 01:03:53 PM
Greetings.

See you in the next update.  :cow:
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34.5 + 35 + 36 (July 15, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on July 15, 2018, 06:54:25 AM
I thought that the last arc was a mess, but apparently this one is more of a mess. I'm telling myself no more one-shots until I get more of Eccentric written. I hope I can treat each Eccentric arc like one of my one shots since the length is comparable.

Sorry for the huge delay! I have a three part update to hopefully make up for that a little bit.

@Minami-chan: Sorry for the delay! Thank you for always reading.





Checkpoint 34.5

Hirate Yurina didn’t want to return to her room nor did she want to eat. Pacing back and forth just outside of the dorm, she looked up at the sky at the darkness. Her bangs had gotten messy and in the way of her vision when she ran away, but black on black was just black.

With a sad expression, her roommate had smiled awkwardly in a way that didn’t reach her eyes and extended an offer, “Let’s continue being just friends like before.”

Yurina had replied, “I’m sorry. I can’t do that.

She didn’t stay long enough to hear what Neru had to say back.

—Because she liked Neru. Because she didn’t want for Neru to hate her selfishness. Yurina couldn’t give a decent answer to a confession, but she wanted to cling onto a chance.

She knew that she wouldn’t be able to give a proper answer to Neru’s confession, a dirty feeling constantly clawing at her throat at the idea of being able to be happy and enjoy love. She didn’t trust that Neru would even be able to bear being near her if Neru actually got to know the person that was Hirate Yurina.

“I like you.” Yurina kicked at the ground.

She liked the Neru who ate weird things, the Neru who said kind words, the Neru whose arms bent disgustingly, the Neru who would chat with her at night when she had nightmares.

“I like you, Neru.”

The Neru who she walked with under the rain. The Neru who had warm and soft hands. The strong Neru. The awkward Neru. Neru who always seemed to be there even when she wasn’t.

With turmoiled steps, the short haired girl wondered if Neru would come and find her. Yet, Neru didn’t come.

Yurina heard the door of the dorm building open. She quickly turned around to see who came out only to find Oda Nana stretching a bit, seemingly coming out for a breath of fresh air.

Oda Nana came up to Yurina and asked, “Eh, Techi? What are you doing?”

“Hey, Dani.” The short haired girl glanced up at Oda with a greeting.

“Wait, are you crying?”

Yurina shook her head, “I’m not.” She didn’t think that she was crying. Even seeing her friend’s worried expression and her own face reflected in her friend’s eyes, she couldn’t feel anything rolling down her cheeks. She wasn’t crying, but surely, there was an expression close to that.

“Did you and Neru fight?”

“No, it was just me being stupid.”

“You look like you’re going to start avoiding Neru everywhere you go.”

Yurina froze like a deer in headlights, caught in the middle of a crime.

“Everyone needs time by themselves, so don’t worry too much about it.” Oda Nana consoled Yurina. “But, you can’t avoid her altogether or else it’ll be harder to reconcile.”

“Thanks. Just tonight, I don’t want to meet Neru again.”

“Where are you going to sleep tonight?”

“Sleep is…”



The clock ticked hours past midnight. Nagahama Neru sat on her bed and looked toward where Yurina would usually be. Her short haired roommate used to thrash and turn in her sleep a lot in the beginning but had begun to be able to sleep better recently. However, now she wasn’t even here.

Neru looked at her phone. A while back, she had received a LINE message from Oda Nana saying that Yurina was staying over at the three people room. Oda Nana tried to lighten the mood a little by making a pun that Yurina would definitely Neru, so Neru shouldn’t worry.

Having sent a relieved reply quickly after receiving the message, Neru should have had nothing else to do but sleep, yet she couldn’t fall asleep.

Her mind replayed the expressions that appeared on her roommate’s face when she confessed and when she rescinded the confession. Perhaps Yurina thought that she was good at hiding emotions, but Neru couldn’t help but see a myriad of pain and uncertainty on the other girl’s face.

Neru had consistently dug herself into a deeper hole.

Neru muffled her face in her pillow, “Even though I like Yurina-chan.”

If she took back that taking back of the confession, she felt like she would just be creating a bigger mess. She wasn’t supposed to be doing something like this. Really, she didn’t have the right to do something like this.

Her phone rang a special ringtone.

She didn’t need to look to see who had called. Lifting her face up, eyes reddish, Neru picked up the phone and asked coldly, “Why are you calling right now?”






Checkpoint 35


Flipping through the photos on the memory chip of the camera, the girls in Risa’s room couldn’t spot Aoi properly in any of the pictures. There were pictures of everyone and even pictures of scenery and the school, but the person behind the camera had stayed behind the camera the whole time.

Risa sat on the floor with Manaka, Akane, and Fuu-chan looking over her shoulder as she went through Aoi’s camera.

The cool Watanabe let out a noise of frustration and tossed the camera onto her bed after finishing. “What’s wrong with her? That kid...”

“Aoi thinks too much about others.” Akane said, repeating something that she had said earlier to Risa in different words.

“Yea, I know.” Risa huffed, hugging her legs closer to her body and making a sullen expression, “I can’t believe she snapped at me like that though.”

Fuu-chan consoled Risa, retrieving the camera, “Don’t worry too much. Shiichan’s there. I’m sure Aoi will come around soon.”

“Should I be nicer to her from now on?” Risa wondered aloud, asking the question half to herself and half to her group of friends.

The cool Watanabe would often teasingly ignore Aoi or make snide comments, something that she did with all of her friends, but she questioned if she had been pushing the boundaries a bit and just hadn’t noticed Aoi’s sensitivity.

“Friendly teasing never hurt anyone.” Manaka leaned on Risa’s shoulder, speaking flippantly. Yet, in the end, she mumbled with furrowed brows, “But, yea, let’s do that.”



By the next morning, Aoi and Risa exchanged apologies. Although Risa tried to return the camera back to Aoi, Aoi refused the camera and quickly escaped by getting breakfast and sitting with Habu and Koike as well as Sato, her roommate.

Risa sighed, taking a seat next to Manaka who had gotten two breakfasts, one for herself and one for Risa.

Manaka joked, “If you sigh too much, the happiness will escape out of your mouth too.”

“Seems like they’re going to need some happiness supplements then.” Risa leaned on Manaka, pointing in the direction of the typically harmonious couple of Yurina and Neru who had come in through different doors but still managed to shrink away from each other.

Neru came over to Risa and Manaka, greeting them, “Good morning. Can I eat with you two?”

“Sure.” Risa nodded.

Sitting down with her food, Neru noted the camera still in Risa’s hand, “Is that Aoi’s camera?”

“Yea. Looks like she doesn’t want it anymore.” Risa grumbled.

“Oh.” Neru made a noise of surprise, realizing that she must have missed something last night. Half-heartedly, she started mixing ketchup with her yogurt.

Manaka gently took the camera out of Risa’s hands and grinned positively, “We just have to take pictures for her until she wants it back.” Fiddling with the camera, she managed to turn it on and get it ready to snap a picture.

Risa smiled at her girlfriend’s antics and pointed to Neru’s yogurt that was gradually getting painted a strange red, “Like this weird thing Neru’s eating.”

“Hey, it tastes good.” Neru retorted, placing a small spoonful into her mouth. The yogurt didn’t taste as good as usual.

Risa noticed the way that Neru’s face fell, and she glanced to the side, spotting Yurina eating with Oda Nana, Suzumoto, and Kobayashi. She mumbled, “That’s like the first week of school.”

That quartet ate together during lunch often somewhere from the start, but they had become a quintet after Neru joined the class.
Manaka took a photo of the quartet. “Huh, it’s blurry.”

“Let me try taking a picture.” Risa said, receiving the camera from Manaka.

She turned over to face where Aoi was sitting and focused the camera on Aoi. It was a pretty bad angle, but after a bit of figuring out the camera, Risa took a picture.

Neru got passed the camera, and she looked at the pictures, “Aoi’s pretty amazing with the camera. The framing and lighting are all nice.” Neru stopped at a picture, “Wait, what’s with this picture…”

She found a picture of herself and Yurina asleep on a large cushion in the lounge area. The short haired girl was making a peaceful face while clinging to Neru, probably having rolling onto Neru at some point during their nap since Neru didn’t remember getting hugged. On their faces were whiskers drawn in erasable marker, Neru as a tanuki and Yurina as an otter.

Neru tried to figure out when exactly this was from.

“Oh.” Risa stopped in the middle of a bite of food.

Manaka whispered conspiratorily into Risa’s ear, “Wait, we got found out…”

“No, she doesn’t know that it was us yet.” Risa shook her head and whispered back.

Neru sighed, completely hearing the roommates beside her, “Hey…”

“It got wiped off before you woke up.” Manaka waved off their little prank with an excuse.

Seeing Neru’s exasperated expression, Risa said lightheartedly, “Okay, okay, we won’t do it again.”

“Hm.” Neru made a non-reply hum and showed that she heard Risa. In her heart, she wanted to steal away the Yurina with otter marks on her face. That was impossible now.

As Manaka, Risa, and Neru ate breakfast, Akane and Fuyuka joined them. They were a bit surprised that Neru wasn’t with Yurina but quickly figured it out. With the way Neru glanced over at her roommate, they wondered if it was a love issue.

Then, the voice over the intercom came interrupting breakfast time as if knowing that all 21 girls had gathered. “Congratulations on completing the first task.”

“Your second task will be more straightforward. Please show your food preparation abilities tonight. You will be needing them in the future.

“The summer camp held at Sakamichi will have a joint dinner with a barbecue and other foods tonight for all of the participating students. Head to campus lot 46 around 5 PM to start preparing food. You may create your own menus but will receive demerits if it causes food poisoning.

“Ingredients and everything will be provided. Teachers will also be present to help. Do enjoy this experience.” With that, the intercom clicked off.

The girls started chattering, some finding the second task interesting and some worried that they would really actually give food poisoning to a bunch of people they hadn’t talk to before. The girls in clubs participating in the camp like Akane made troubled expressions on what to do.

Neru sighed, “He sounds like he’s having fun with this.”







Checkpoint 36


Everyone gathered at campus lot 46. There were many cooking stations and ingredients already set up, and their home economics teacher greeted them, eyes glinting sharply to not disappoint after their lessons.

Aoi saw a literal pair of human magnets in front of her. Despite sticking closely usually, once a turnaround event occurred, they couldn’t stick together no matter what. Whenever Neru came close to Yurina, Yurina couldn’t help but sneak away even when Neru wasn’t specifically approaching her roommate to talk.

It would have been funny if it wasn’t sad.

Neru continued along with daily life normally except for her gaze consistently drifting to the short haired girl. Yurina was too flustered to realize how awkward she appeared around Neru.

As the cooking stations were made for two to three people each, the class started splitting up into groups, deciding who would make what. They had been informed that they should cook about 300 servings, a number that made the girls blanch.

Aoi was about to go to the pair when Yurina suddenly gained the courage to approach Neru herself.

Aoi heard the click of her camera. For a second, it seemed like the lens focused on her. She turned and saw that it had found its way to Fuyuka’s hands. Fuu-chan and the group were laughing happily.

Watching that, she felt like a bystander.

Suddenly, Sato came up to Aoi and pointed to a cooking station, “Aoi-chan, do you want to cook together? Nijika says she’s taking that station with Fuu-chan, so let’s go to the one next to that one over there.”

Aoi smiled, “Sure! What are we going to make?”

The roommates headed to the cooking station.



Meanwhile, another pair of roommates were talking in a much more stilted manner. Hirate Yurina had pushed down the butterflies in her stomach and approached Neru. As she saw Neru, her throat suddenly felt dry, and looking at the slight tiredness in Neru’s eyes that only someone who watched Neru all day would see, she couldn’t say anything at first.

That was why Neru started, “Would you be okay pairing up with me for this?”

“Yea.” The short haired girl nodded. She felt like her heart had been thrown into a tundra, a cold and unbreachable distance suddenly opening up from the way Neru spoke, words that lacked their usual intimacy.

They walked toward a cooking station. It was basically a kitchen countertop except portable with a stove, a sink, a table-like area, and even an oven. The ingredients were in an area behind the stations.

Silence fell between the two girls. Yurina glanced at Neru’s hand, but she barely reached for Neru’s shirt before stopping.

Neru asked, “Do you think sandwiches would be fine? It looks like Risa’s group is going to make curry rice, and Aoi’s group is making dessert.” Pairs and trios had grouped together to work together.

“Sandwiches are fine.” Yurina replied, putting on an apron.

She watched as Neru tied up her hair in a ponytail, a rare sight. Neru in an apron and with a ponytail was a warm sight.

They decided on making egg sandwiches and chicken katsu sandwiches after both saying what type of sandwich might be good. After googling how to make them and grabbing ingredients, the pair got to work rather separately.

“Neru…” Yurina mumbled, seeing Neru prepare the chicken.

Neru inquired, “What is it?”

“It’s nothing.” Yurina shook her head.

In the middle of the chicken preparation, Neru noticed, “Ah, I forgot the panko crumbs.”

Without even needing to be cued, the short haired girl said, “I’ll get them for you.” She quickly left the cooking station to the ingredients station.

At the ingredients area, Oda Nana and Aoi were picking up items. Aoi was getting extra sugar for the gratin that she was making, something that Tsuchida-sensei’s co-worker dubbed henninjin cake at his first glance at it. Oda Nana got some vegetables like paprika that Suzumoto had sent her out to get.

Yurina glanced about, not sure where the crumbs were.

Aoi noticed, “Ah, Techi, what are you looking for?”

“Panko crumbs.” Yurina stated.

Oda Nana pointed left of where she was, “They’re over there.”

“Thanks.” Yurina spotted what she was looking for after following Oda Nana’s finger gesture.

Oda Nana laughed cheerily, “No problem. Good luck.”

After grabbing the panko crumbs, Yurina returned to Neru. She gave the ingredients to Neru, and they continued working. Around them, they could hear their classmates voices and even some scents floating over.

“Is this how normal friends are?” Yurina asked Neru.

Neru shook her head, “I’m not sure.”

They smelled a faint scent of onions from the curry at Risa’s station stinging softly and sweetly. The onions had been cut a while ago. Quiet, the soft hum of cooking, savory smells, prickling sensations floated in the air around their eyes.

In a little over an hour, they finished making a few dozen sandwiches. Setting the sandwiches up on plates, the roommates took a seat in a pair of stools provided.

Some of their classmates finished while others were still finishing up the food.

“So, we’re just going to sit here and once the dinner event starts, we help serve food for half an hour before being invited to join in for the barbecue and other parts of the activity.” Neru spoke as if asking for confirmation on something she already knew.

Yurina confirmed, “Yes.”

Silence felt painfully awkward. There was only a bit of time left before the event was to start.

Yurina stood up. “I’m going to walk around.”

Neru didn’t follow.

The short haired girl didn’t want to disturb the classmates still making finishing touches, so she went and surveyed the lot. Barbecue stoves were definitely set up as well as a number of tables and chairs off to the side. She noticed a teacher rolling out a mini-fridge with an ice cream sticker on it.

A few normal Sakamichi students seemed to be trickling in already. A girl from the photography club jumped excitedly next to a model-like friend as she noticed that the Keyaki class was there.

A voice called out to the short haired girl, “Hirate-san, I didn’t know that the Keyaki class was participating.”

“Kakizaki-san. And…”


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1418471#msg1418471)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34.5 + 35 + 36 (July 15, 2018)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on July 15, 2018, 04:09:09 PM
DAMN YOU SHINO.

In all honesty....

Chapter 34.5 - I'm curious to hear who Neru is actually talking to at the end of this. Because they seem to call at the wrong times.

Chapter 35 - :/ TechiNeru splitting the others up because of their problem

Chapter 36 - Memi and..? Katoshi? Ayaka? Kyonko? WHO?!
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 34.5 + 35 + 36 (July 15, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on July 16, 2018, 11:54:14 AM
So happy!!!

34.5: I understand the feelings of Techi, but ... the rejected is Neru, I can not help thinking that this is really more painful for Neru and seems to be alone.
35: Yogurt with ketchup .... I do not know how to not get sick if she keep eating that.
I am happy that at least Risa and Aoi have been able to talk and apologize both.
The photo that painted the face of Tanuki and Otter to Techi and Neru should be very funny.
36: Well at least ... they have cooked together ... although this is terribly uncomfortable. I feel sorry for the two. Yurina because she really is very confused, but that is what has made Neru reject. I have conflicting feelings.

PS: by the way! who calls Neru to the cell? It is not the first time he receives mysterious calls.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 37 + Detour 2 (July 19, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on July 20, 2018, 01:44:15 AM
Checkpoint 37


Hirate Yurina turned to see Kakizaki Memi and another girl wearing the normal student uniform. After Memi greeted Yurina, the short haired girl naturally greeted her acquaintance back and realized that she had either forgotten or just didn’t know Memi’s companion’s name, or better said, Memi’s girlfriend’s name.

Hearing Yurina’s pause, the other girl introduced herself, “I’m Takase Mana.”

“Nice to meet you.” Yurina replied, knowing that Mana knew who she was. She glanced at Memi and saw that the girls were holding hands and in Memi’s free hand was her sketchbook.

“Even Hirate-san noticed your sketchbook.” Mana pouted, clinging onto Memi, “You should pay more attention to Mana.”

“Sorry, sorry, Manafi.” Memi apologized to her girlfriend with a smile. Thinking for a moment, she turned to Yurina with a cheeky grin that showed her fangs and said, “By the way, I’ve finished the drawing, if you want to see it.”

That offhanded request from a while back had dropped the short haired girl’s mind, “Oh, yea.”

Before they could continue the conversation, Yurina felt a hand grasp her own and pull her away from Memi.

Neru appeared. “Techi, it’s almost time to start.”

Seeing the appearance of another popular Keyaki class student, Memi waved a see you later gesture to Yurina with her sketchbook hand, “We won’t bother you anymore.”

Mana followed Memi away, somewhat starstruck.

As Yurina went with back to the cooking station with Neru, she felt herself being dragged. Neru’s grip was scarily strong to the point that the short haired girl winced, and Yurina couldn’t decipher Neru’s expression as they walked.

Tearing her hand away from Neru’s as she stumbled at the abnormal walking pace, Yurina paused before they reached their station. That caused Neru to halt as well.

“Te-” Neru was interrupted.

Yurina looked Neru in the eye, “Neru, I want you to call me by my name.”

“Sorry, Yurina-chan.” Neru snapped out of the green emotions that had overtaken her during Yurina’s moment with Memi. She then realized that she had grabbed her roommate’s hand harshly. “Your hand! I didn’t accidentally hurt you, right?”

“No, I’ve had worse.”

“That’s really like something Akane would say.” Neru joked along the lines of the Yuuka-Akane parents pair talk that popped up now and then before speaking seriously. “But, painful things hurt, so…” She gently brushed her fingers along Yurina’s hand.

They returned to the cooking station. Around them, everyone else seemed to have finished their preparations as well. The roommates took their seats on the stools and waited for the event to begin, watching people trickle in.

With more people coming and the afternoon sun coming down, the temperatures felt high. Luckily, it was a relatively cool day, but they still made sure to keep some water nearby to prevent getting dehydrated.

A teacher made an announcement with a speaker that the dinner would officially start in ten minutes. If the students wanted to get food prepared by the Keyaki class, they would have to line up first and only get one serving until everyone got a chance to get food. Five minutes after the start, the barbecue would be allowed to start.

A festive mood filled the lot.

The normal Sakamichi students lined up, and soon enough, the event started. The few dozen sandwiches that Neru and Yurina prepared were gone quickly. Luckily, the students lined up relatively calmly, and nothing happened.

A few took the chance to talk with their idolized Keyaki class, but they were ushered away by their classmates like at a handshake event. Someone even dropped the phrase ‘TechiNeru’ by accident before being mobbed by hands trying to cover her mouth.

Thirty minutes hadn’t yet finished, but the sandwiches had.

Taking a sip of water from the water bottle at their station, Yurina suddenly felt her stomach grumble a little bit. She blushed, hearing the sound loudly, before setting down the bottle.

On cue, a hidden chicken katsu sandwich appeared before her mouth. Neru held it out for Yurina, “Here. You should eat.”

Yurina took the sandwich and bit into it, chewing. The flavors of the spices and meat melted in her mouth even though the food had cooled. Eating, she appeared like an otter.

Now that they were left alone in their own world bubble again, the short haired girl found herself getting nervous.

“Neru, you haven’t eaten either.” Looking at the sandwich that she took a bite out of, Yurina glanced at her roommate.

Neru responded, “We can barbecue food later. I’m not that hungry.”

Yurina put the sandwich in front of Neru’s mouth. Even though Neru didn’t take the sandwich back, the short haired girl kept her arm extended until her roommate took a bite of the food.


—Whatever normal is hurts.


The Keyaki class was finally free to join in on the event as the half hour passed. For some reason, Akane got into a barbecue competition with Nagasawa Nanako, so Yuuka helped distribute the barbecued foods, which prompted Aoi to join to help. Yuuka gave Yurina and Neru a heap of food.

Thus, the roommates sat and ate dinner.

Mana and Memi came over, Memi holding her sketchbook, “Hirate-san, Nagahama-san, good evening.” Mana and Memi introduced themselves to Neru after the greeting.

Watching the normal student pair, Yurina couldn’t help but feel a bit envious, remembering how they ended up having their love confession in front of her.

Memi flipped open the sketchbook and handed it over to Yurina to take a look.

Yurina took a look and her lips quirked upward a little before she returned the sketchbook to Memi. “Thank you. It’s beautiful.”

“No, thank you.” Memi shook her head.

After a short interaction, Mana and Memi left the roommates to finish their dinner.

Eating quietly, Yurina watched at Neru used a napkin to wipe away some sauce that had gotten on her face. The short haired girl made sure that she hadn’t gotten any on her own. By the time they had finished eating, the teachers and some school committee students were distributing frozen treats.

Yurina went through the crowd and grabbed an ice pop that had two sticks and could break in half. She returned to her roommate and broke one in half to half to Neru, “Neru, here.”

Neru took the ice pop, “Thanks.”

They walked toward their classmates with a gap between their shoulders. It looked like their friends were already making a commotion, having congregated by coincidence.

“Yuipon, notice me…” Oda Nana was annoying Yuipon.

“Can you get out of the way of the camera a little bit?” Kobayashi Yui snapped a picture with Aoi’s camera and sighed as it turned out to be mostly Oda Nana’s head plus Aoi and Habu in the tiny corner that wasn’t her roommate.

Everyone laughed a little.

Before Yurina and Neru joined their classmates, Yurina stopped to speak, “We’re acting really normal, but is this really okay?”

If they pretended that nothing ever happened in the past few days, life would appear like normal. They would probably be able to continue as friends that were almost the same. The chasm that had opened up would close into just a crack. Yet that felt wrong.

“I don’t know.” Neru answered.

Yet they did know. Yurina’s feelings, Neru’s feelings, they were a kaleidoscope of their souls that created something just right, something strange like rainbow fish swimming in a pretty river where no fish swam.

Yurina took a deep breath. “Neru, I like you. I love you.” Looking Neru straight in the eyes, she poured out her heart, “If you’re okay with something like me, then, would you be willing to go out with me?”


—The person you’ve fallen in love with is...


Nagahama Neru gazed into Yurina’s eyes. It was as if the words, the confession, that spilled out were a dream. She only had one possible response with the way her heart beated.

“Yes. Please take care of me from now on.”

Like that, she learned that first kisses tasted like the fruit juice of ice pops mixed with embarrassing salty happiness.






Detour 2


A second year student, Saitou Kyoko, jumped at the sudden outburst of sound coming from where the popular Keyaki class was, almost bumping into an underclassman. Luckily not having to regain her balance, when she glanced over at the fans of the Keyaki class, she laughed wryly with her deep voice.

Some girl shouted out, “I told you Hirate-san was on top!” In turn, she was quickly dragged away by her friends who told her to be quiet.

From what Kyoko saw, the Keyaki class’s Hirate Yurina kissed Nagahama Neru, an action that had caught the eyes of not only the Keyaki class but also the normal class girls. Kyoko jokingly thought to herself in an old man voice that those first year Keyaki girls were really innocent.

Then, she remembered that she had nearly bumped into an underclassman, one who was wearing a armband that signified her being part of the student council that was helping out in this event. In the end, spacing out, she walked straight into that younger girl.

“Sorry.” Kyoko apologized.

“No, it’s okay.” The underclassman girl shook her head before facing Kyoko straight on. The underclassman observed, a hand on her chin, “You have a really nice voice.”

“Really? Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” Without prompting, the underclassman student council member extended a self introduction, “I’m Kageyama Yuuka.”

“Ah, I’m Saitou Kyoko.” Kyoko responded, unsure what Kageyama wanted.

“Kyoko-san, huh.” Kageyama got to the point, “Can I ask you some questions? A survey about how you’ve been feeling about the summer camp this year?”

Kyoko laughed, finally thinking that she understood why the underclassman was talking to her, “Oh, you got stuck with survey work.”

“Well, it’s pretty interesting. I like knowing things, and it’s an excuse to talk to all sorts of upperclassman.” Kageyama grinned.

“Huh.”

“Let’s get started then.” Kageyama dug out a small notebook.

Kyoko shrugged casually, “That’s fine with me.” She was a second year student, and she had the luck to have been interrogated by one of her upperclassman in the student council the year before on the camp event. Of course, that interrogation was really just some friendly asking.

“Okay, so, first is, what club are you in?” Kageyama asked, knowing that Kyoko was a second year from her school uniform.

“Noodle appreciation club.”

Kageyama paused, blinking rapidly in confusion for a good ten seconds. Then, she regained her calm, “What’s your favorite type?”

Kyoko knew that wasn’t a survey question, but she answered anyways, “I like Jiro’s ramen.”

“Oh, I’ll jot that down. How has your experience been here so far?” Kageyama resumed the actual survey taking.

Kyoko answered the questions.

“I think that’s about it. Do you have any questions?”

“Since you’re on the student council, do you remember when we have to turn in the application for the performing festival?”

“The cultural festival is still pretty far away, Saitou-san.” Kageyama laughed. Then she made a thinking face. “The secretary said that the schedule is packed this year, so I think the deadline is sometime before the sports festival. Applications haven’t started yet though.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” After that, the underclassman made a quick bow and waved goodbye to Kyoko, hurrying off elsewhere.

Kyoko let out a huff of amusement and thought that Kageyama had something clever and sparkling on the inside. She heard a teacher announce that they had brought more refreshments since the refreshments had unexpectedly run out. Just as Kyoko was about to head over, she was tackled down by her best friend.

It looked like the night wasn’t over for talkative people.


“Kyoko, Kyoko, Kyoko, even though I’m tone deaf, I got praised!”



NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1418957#msg1418957)





I'm leaving the note at the end of the chapter this time. Whew, a proper checkpoint that made things move and a slice of life detour. I've made a realization that Eccentric is technically a rom-com. Except, it's lacking in the comedy part half the time and the romance gets pretty painful. Yea, it's not a rom-com.

With that, TechiNeru is together! There will definitely be different obstacles in their way, but Aoi might finally get some screen time in her own arc. This short span of TechiNeru being awkward and distant but ultimately coming together really highlights their closeness. In the end, it's hard to be apart from people you love. (Clingy otter Techi)

Thank you for reading! I hope you continue to read this story~ I'll try to keep up with updates too.

@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading and commenting always! I really appreciate it. For who called Neru's phone... it's somewhat of a secret that will be answered later in the story. But, I can give a clue that the person is: not a member of the Keyaki class and someone involved in a darker part of the system in the story.
@MaYukiIsLife: *laughs evilly* The hiragana member who was with Memi... was Manafi! By the way, Katoshi actually made a one-two sentence appearance in Yuuka's arc. Kyoko's made her appearance here too with a special someone at the end. I wonder when Ayaka will come in. Although Gana-chans aren't a big focus here. (In other words, Detours are basically completely side stories.)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 37 + Detour 2 (July 19, 2018)]
Post by: MaYukiIsLife on July 21, 2018, 01:26:48 AM
I already talked to you on Twitter about this. BUt thanks for adding a bit of KyonKage lol.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 37 + Detour 2 (July 19, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on July 21, 2018, 07:11:24 AM
Aoi needs to try harder, so she can take the spotlight back.
It's her arc after all. :lol:

Checkpoint 34.5:
TechiNeru needs to make up soon. :(
Who is this mysterious person on the phone?!?!?! I want to know who! :angry:

Checkpoint 35:
Yay! Risa and Aoi made up.
Step 1 of committing crime: never leave behind evidence. :P

Checkpoint 36:
Ooooooo.
Are TechiNeru going to make up? :w00t:
Who's with Memi? :?

Checkpoint 37:
Completely forgot about that scene with Mana.
YASHHHH! TechiNeru is a thing now! :wub:

Detour 2:
Why does Kage want to know Kyoko's favourite ramen? XD
Who is this person at the end? :?
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Coffee Courage Plus OS <OzeRisa> (July 22, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on July 22, 2018, 07:17:15 PM
@four4four: Thank you for reading! Hopefully, the last few chapters to wrap up the arc will be able to focus on Aoi more. The mysterious person on the phone... I want to give spoilers, but I don't know if there's a way to do that on here. So, it's a secret~ Kage asked Kyonko about the ramen because she was curious. And the person who tackled Kyonko is Mao.
@MaYukiIsLife: No problem.


I wrote this OzeRisa one shot because I was getting a little irritated at how my MonaRisa shipping friends always complained about OzeRisa. While I'm not an OzeRisa main shipper, we can all ship what we ship. (lol, but seriously no more one shots for the time being) I'm not really sure about their dynamic together, so it might be written a bit awkwardly though.

I've set up a poll to see if I should separate the oneshots and Eccentric. Please vote.

Anyways, please enjoy!





Coffee Courage Plus


She was waiting at the airport for her friend, walking around having come too early, when she heard a slight commotion. Her phone buzzed in her hand, notifying her that her friend’s flight had been delayed to tomorrow due to weather safety concerns.

Sighing, the girl, Ozeki Rika, decided to go see what the commotion was about. She had come to the airport after all. As she got closer, she heard chattering about a celebrity coming back to Japan here, and it seemed that the fans were waiting. She spaced out for a moment only to find herself pushed into the wave of people that the security was trying to control.

The celebrity’s entourage arrived, staff blocking the view of the crowd, which riled the crowd up even more.

Ozeki tried to escape the crowd, but she found herself getting pushed around so fiercely that she was nearly pushed over and trampled. She berated herself for her curiosity since she didn’t even know who the celebrity was. The main celebrity that she was interested in had already retired two months back for an unexplained reason.

Feeling herself lose her balance, she braced herself for the worst.

Eyes closed, she held her breath for a good ten seconds. Yet, she wasn’t trampled. A slender hand had grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the crowd. Ozeki didn’t dare open her eyes until she finally exited the crowd and stumbled back to balance.

Ozeki blurted out a word of gratitude. “T-thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” Ozeki’s savior smiled.

Ozeki looked at her savior, a tall girl wearing a fashionably coordinated outfit and a cap on her head that hid her face. Something about her savior reminded Ozeki of someone, but Ozeki couldn’t put her finger on exactly who. That smile just filled her with a pleasant sensation of nostalgia.

Seeing her savior about to leave, Ozeki’s fingers brushed against her savior’s fingers, almost grabbing the other girl’s hand but stopping upon realizing that such an action would be rude. Nonetheless, Ozeki didn’t want the girl to leave yet. “Um, let me treat you to something as thanks for saving me.”

The girl made a hum of contemplation before nodding, “I’m free today, so I guess I’ll take you up on that offer.”

“Yay.” Ozeki cheered with a grin.

The girl laughed. “Haha, Oze, you haven’t changed at all.” She lifted her cap a little bit, revealing a familiar face that Ozeki hadn’t seen in a long time.

“Eh?” Ozeki paused.

The girl, a friend from childhood, Watanabe Risa, took Ozeki’s hand into her own hand and teasingly asked, “What will you treat me to then?”



With her head spinning in confusion upon meeting Risa again, Ozeki couldn’t reply at all. Somehow, they made their way to a coffee shop nearby, outside of the airport, that Ozeki really liked.

It was only when they took their seats and were asked by the owners, two otter-like girls named Yurina and Memi, about what they wanted to order that Ozeki snapped out of her dream-like state. Seeing Risa again was a dream for Ozeki.

Ozeki awkwardly ordered her usual coffee and cake, and Risa coolly ordered some cake and coffee, jokingly saying that eating some extra sweets was fine if it was on Ozeki’s money.

“So…” Ozeki tried to start the conversation. “What have you been doing recently, Risa?” They hadn’t talked in five years now, their situations breaking them apart.

“I’ve been travelling overseas. How about you?” Risa responded.

Ozeki laughed, “Nothing fancy like that. I’m attending Keyaki University right now. You know, they have good scholarships.”

Risa nodded, stirring her coffee. “Maybe I should enroll there then. I might be a bit behind since I focused too much on work last year.”

There was a difference between their lives, the Rika who lived a normal middle class life and the Risa whose family was so wealthy that she didn’t truly need to work. Once upon a time, the Ozeki and Watanabe families were at the same level, highly prestigious families who owned large conglomerates.

However, disaster struck the Ozeki family, which caused the Ozeki family to go bankrupt while others took over the conglomerate with mergers or just buying out the shares.

Ozeki and Risa had been friends, their families also friendly, but in the end, the Watanabe family coldly stood back and didn’t help despite Risa sticking up for Ozeki during the period of unrest where their harsher schoolmates looked at the struggling Ozeki family badly.

However, that was the past. In the end, the Ozeki family couldn’t be saved, and they became normal people who climbed their way back up to middle class. The first year was difficult, the next less so. The financial aspect of life before and after was jarring, but they had no choice but to get used to living.

Just like that, Rika and Risa also stopped interacting with each other much, unable to talk to each other as classmates and at social parties.

Ozeki realized that a silence had fell between them. “You were modelling, right?” Ozeki inquired despite already knowing.

“Yea, I was. Did you buy any of the magazines?” Risa teased.

Ozeki blushed a little, but she nodded nonetheless. She used her money from her part time job to buy the magazines where her childhood friend modelled. After all, Risa was pretty.

“Thanks.” Risa smirked.

Ozeki covered her face in embarrassment. “Did I say that out loud?”

“Yea.” At that, Risa couldn’t help but laugh.

Ozeki made a dead fish look at Risa. She just couldn’t keep the face up, mouth scrunching up in her own style before ultimately smiling. Eating some cake and looking at Risa, feeling a butterfly in her stomach at the cute face Risa made at the deliciousness of the cake, Ozeki asked, “Why did you stop modelling?”

Risa sheepishly smiled, “Ah, my parents wanted me to get married.”

Ozeki nearly dropped her fork and choked out, “It’s way too soon for that!”

“Right?” Risa nodded. “You know Shida Manaki? My parents are interested in forming a deal with the Shida family.”

“Eh, Manaki?” Ozeki thought for a moment, remembering a somewhat flashy boy with a kind heart who was in their class in their last year together and third year in middle school. “I guess he and Berika aren’t dating anymore then?”

“As far as I know, they broke up temporarily recently. But, they do that once in a while. Even Pe gets mad when Manaki keeps flirting with Akane. Of course, I heard that Yuuka beat him up with a horse afterward.”

“Ouch…” Ozeki winced at the thought. “I haven’t seen them since… well, that, but I guess they haven’t changed much.”

“They really haven’t. Did you know? They bugged me for a good while about wanting to chat with you again and see your Ozeki style back then.”

“Ahaha…” Ozeki laughed weakly. Even she wanted to meet them again, those friends that she had made in the past, but their social positions had fallen too far apart, and she hadn’t met them in forever.

Risa made a troubled face, knowing what was going on in Ozeki’s mind.

They chatted a bit more, changing the topic. They had finished their cake and coffee, but the shop owners let the pair of friends continue sitting and chatting. It was a fun and light experience like a piece of a puzzle finally being found and put in place.

Only, the puzzle piece couldn’t last. Risa’s phone suddenly rang.

The former model apologized to Ozeki and picked up the phone. The smile on Risa’s face faded away to a look of frustration as she talked with the other person on the phone.

Ozeki asked, “You have to go now?”

“Yea, a marriage interview came up all of a sudden.” Risa replied, face disgruntled and unwilling to go.

“Ah, do your best.” Ozeki made an unwilling face as well that caused Risa’s expression to loosen.

With a joking tone that hinted that, ‘you’re not the one going.’ Risa got up from her seat and said, “Yea, I will.”

As Risa waved goodbye, leaving, Ozeki felt displeasure in her heart. Without thinking, she jumped up and called out to Risa to wait. “Wait, can I have your number?” Upon seeing Risa’s surprised expression, Ozeki stuck on a completely fake explanation, “Because you ate too much cake, so I have to repay you if you get fat.”

“Hey.” Risa feigned an angry expression. “Are you calling me fat?”

“N-n-no. That’s not what I meant.”

“Hm?”

“I just wanted your number. I’m sorry…”

Risa let that upset look disappear and giggled, “I knew. If you want my number, don’t make such dumb excuses. Here. Let’s exchange numbers.”

Ozeki brought out her cell phone nervously. The pair exchanged numbers. Sadly, quickly after, Risa had to leave, and they also exchanged words of ‘see you later.’

Ozeki watched as Risa left and sighed, placing her forehead down on the cool table. She heard her heartbeat, and she heard a pair of footsteps coming toward her. As the footsteps stopped, Ozeki raised her head to see the owners of the shop come over with a smile and a cake.

Memi jokingly said as she placed the plate with the cake in front of Ozeki, “Here’s another cake on the house for your sad pick-up line.”

“That’s pretty mean, Memi-san.” Ozeki grumbled.

Yurina, the other owner, smiled wryly and agreed with Ozeki, “Yea...” She had fumbled over her own pick up lines when she tried to get Memi to go out with her back in the days before they were practically married and owning a shop together.

“Thanks.” Ozeki took a bite out of the cake, feeling a kindred spirit in the short haired owner. Rather than Risa getting fat, Ozeki felt that she would be the one getting fat.

“Well, as long as you have courage, it’s fine.” Memi smiled enigmatically.



They kept in contact. Texting each other, giving each other phone calls, even meeting up to go to cafes and see a movie one time, Ozeki felt like her friendship with Risa had returned to when they were younger and classmates. Yet, at the end of each precious moment, she was torn back to reality.

Risa would be taken away by that gilded world while Ozeki would live a normal life as a normal person in a world of normality. The expression that Risa would make at the end of each meeting and the way Risa’s voice would lower in tone as a servant called for her, interrupting their phone calls, only served to highlight everything.

Ozeki Rika’s heart hurt.

It hurt because she wanted to stay by Risa’s side, but she could give nothing.

Even if she calligraphed out the words ‘I love you,’ she couldn’t give those either because they were just pretty words on paper. Words couldn’t bridge a social gap, nor could they heal the wound in Ozeki’s heart from when her family had been so cruelly kicked down.

Neither Rika or Risa able to voice their feelings, time passed.

One day, Ozeki received an unexpected message. In her mailbox, not through the usual text messages, she found a fancy invitation to a party. She wondered if her mail had gotten mixed up.

Risa’s phone call came quickly after, “Oze, there’s a party for our middle school reunion. Do you want to come?”

Ozeki opened up the invitation as she talked with Risa and replied, seeing what was written on the invitation, “I got an invitation in the mail.”

“Oh? Probably Nijika then…” Risa sighed, sounding exasperated over the phone.

“Nijika knows my address?”

Risa replied dead serious despite telling the world’s biggest lie. “Nijika knows everything.”

“Seriously?”

“No, actually, Neru and Nijika are dating now, and Neru supplies her with a lot of information.” Risa explained. Nagahama Neru was the heir to an information company.

Ozeki laughed, “Poor Nijika.” She felt warm that her old friends still cared, but she was happiest getting Risa’s call and hearing the slight jealousy in Risa’s voice that Risa wasn’t the first to send the news.

“Most of it goes in one ear and out the other.” Risa stated, speaking for herself and her slightly not-book-savvy friend, Nijika. She returned to the previous topic, “Will you come?”

Ozeki paused, unsure, but she heard the pleadingness in Risa’s voice, “Yea… if it’s okay.”

“Thank you.” Risa’s voice picked up. “It’s casual formal, so don’t worry too much about clothes. Even if it’s a bit unfashionable, it’s okay.”

“Hey.” Ozeki pouted. “I should still be better Oda Nana and Yone-san.”

Risa only laughed cheerfully in response.



The second she walked into the party, she felt that she was out of place. Although at first glance, the clothes and the people appeared normal, they were brand names of the simplest things. At first glance, the food seemed like normal food at a middle school reunion, but a single flask of that champagne was worth a toe.

Ozeki walked into the party robotically, trying not to stand out.

Yet, in the end, her old friends noticed her and made her stand out in a chorus of “Ozeki!” “OzeRika!” “Orika came!” and whatnot. The classmates who had looked down on her back then for her family’s situation still send condescending looks over but kept quiet to not insult the upper level heirs that remembered Ozeki fondly.

Chatting with her old friends awkwardly, Ozeki looked around for Risa, but Risa had yet to arrive.

Risa finally arrived after Ozeki was drowned in the public displays of affection between Manaki and Berika as well as Akane and Yuuka, which made the middle class girl wonder if there was something in the water. Somehow, Ozeki relaxed because everyone was still everyone.

“I’m sorry I’m late.” Risa rushed toward Ozeki to apologize.

Ozeki shook her head, “No, it’s okay.” When she looked at Risa, she couldn’t help but hold her breath in amazement that Risa was wonderful no matter what.

Their middle school friends had given the pair room to stare into each other’s eyes romantically in the middle of a party. There were a few encouraging snickers and smacks from the audience.

Once the moment ended, Neru asked Risa, “What kept you? There shouldn’t have been any traffic.”

“My parents set up another marriage interview.” Risa sighed.

Shida Manaki piped up. “Yea, we’re not getting married.”

“Quiet, Manaki.” Both Watanabe Risa and Watanabe Rika, Manaki’s girlfriend, said at the same time.

The flashy youth shrank away sheepishly, “Yes, ma’am.”

“Of course I didn’t accept.” Risa glanced toward Ozeki. “It was with Morimoto.”

Someone murmured, remembering their middle school classmate, “That sexist jerk?” Not only was Morimoto a sexist jerk, but he also looked down on anyone with less wealth than himself despite his family having a history of dirty money.

Risa scowled just thinking about him, folding her arms, “He’s still a sexist jerk.”

They tried changed the topic, but right on cue, the Morimoto they were talking about entered the party. He swaggered over to Risa, leering at their female classmates and pushing Ozeki aside like dirt before wiping off his clothes.

Risa glared at him, but she backed away, not wanting to be close to him.

“You know what they say. I like them feisty, right, Shida?” Morimoto sneered.

Manaki scowled, “You’re disgusting. Just get away from Risa.”

Morimoto ignored Manaki’s complaint and pushed the other boy aside. “As far as I’m concerned, her parents have already given her to me. The Watanabe family wants that contract with the Morimoto family.”

“I refuse.” Risa stated clearly. She gestured secretly to Ozeki not to get involved because she didn’t want Ozeki to get hurt.
Ozeki watched, frozen in place. On one hand, she was afraid of Morimoto who had bullied her in the past. On the other, there hadn’t been a single person in this world that she wanted to murder more in her life.

Morimoto took a step closer to Risa, his hand reaching to touch her.

And Ozeki moved. She didn’t think. She just kicked him with her unfashionable shoes and took Risa’s hand just like Risa had taken her when she was in trouble, dragging the girl she loved away from the danger to safety. Ozeki pulled Risa to their friends and glared harshly at Morimoto.

“You bi-” Morimoto barked.

“You know what? Screw you! Who gave you the right to… to…!?” Ozeki sputtered as she confronted Morimoto, not flinching from his ugly mien.

The friends made like a wall between Morimoto and the Ozeki-Risa couple. It wasn’t that they weren’t a protective group before, but rather Ozeki didn’t feel it before.

Berika told off Morimoto, holding Manaki’s hand, “Like Ozeki said, go away.”

Seeing Morimoto’s dark expression, Neru stepped up to the plate and revealed the screen of her phone, “I’ve pulled up the Morimoto family’s dealings while you were busy digging a hole for yourself, so… let’s just see how you’ll fare tomorrow.”

Morimoto stumbled back, a cold sweat developing. He lunged forward to try to grab the phone only to get tripped to the side by Neru.

With no other choice, he fled with his tail between his legs.

After confirming that he was gone, the tension among the former classmates slowly dissipated. They were able to go back to a cheerful party mood.

Manaki came over to Ozeki with sparkling eyes and praised, “Ozeki’s cool.” The others had been about to step in and scare Morimoto off, but Ozeki beat them to the punch.

Akane also came over with a thumbs up, “I don’t remember you having this much guts before.”

“Well, I just took some love advice from a friend…” Ozeki sheepishly smiled. “I think.” She remembered hearing Memi who ran her usual coffee shop encouraging her to be bolder.

Risa, still holding Ozeki’s hand, raised an eyebrow, “Love?”

“Erk.” Ozeki choked.

Risa hummed in playful curiosity, “Hm?”

“I’ll just say it.” Ozeki Rika confessed, “Risa, I like you.”

“I’ve been waiting for you to say it. I like you too.” Risa replied with a kiss.



“...ah, public displays of affection.”

“Quiet, Manaki.”





This is kind of unrelated, but...

I was going to post it before KeyaKake and knowing the 7th single line up, but I didn't have time. I'm really down (it feels so lonely) about the senbatsu without Zuumin, Manaka, and Aoi. Zuumin and Manaka are my oshimen. And even though I should have expected Manaka to be gone... it's just really lonely.

I look forward to the day that our silly King Mona comes back. Let's bury her in Aoko and sweets and Pokemon and things like that.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Coffee Courage Plus OS <OzeRisa> (July 22, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on July 23, 2018, 12:35:44 AM
Checkpoint 37: at last!
Techi has decided to leave aside his fears and try to be happy with Neru.
I guess this is the beginning of a lot of problems, but I love being together.

Coffee Courage Plus: It's not a couple that I like, but I do not dislike it either.
Actually, I started to follow Keyakizaka thanks to: Tokuyama Daigorō or Dare ga Koroshitaka ?,
so I have small sequels of that Risa x Neru.



About the survey, I prefer to separate the topics, but what you decide will be fine.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Coffee Courage Plus OS <OzeRisa> (July 22, 2018)]
Post by: mooza on July 29, 2018, 05:08:22 PM
ahhh techineru official!!! im so happy but hmm..doesn't feel like things are all gonna be sunshines and rainbows in the coming future. there's still many things you've yet to reveal to us :P i'll be looking forward
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 38 (Aug. 5, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on August 06, 2018, 05:10:22 AM
@Minami-chan: RisaNeru is great too~ Thanks for your opinion on where to put the one-shots.
@mooza: *evil laughter* *more evil laughter* *chokes on evil laughter* For now, TechiNeru gets a little bit of sunshines and rainbow before my *evil laughter* kicks in.

I'm sorry for the wait! This checkpoint is a light hearted episode. Aoi's arc will be wrapping up in a few checkpoints, and it'll be followed by a mini-arc. The next proper arc will be Yuichanzu's arc.


Checkpoint 38


With the dinner event finished and the new couple formed, the Keyaki class had headed back to their dorm with a gain of points on their wrist devices. Before long, a week passed, and within that time period, the club summer camp had ended.

They were assigned a third task to assist the student council for a day, so the girls gathered at the student council’s large room.

At the head of the room, a tall third year student clapped her hands together to get everyone’s attention before starting to speak, “Thank you for coming to help. I’m the student council president, Sasaki Kumi.” Kumi looked at the twenty-one gathered girls, “Everyone in the Keyaki class only entered Sakamichi this year, so I’ll explain a few things.

“Around the end of summer vacation and the resuming of school, we tend to get a bit busy because of all of the events. Right after school starts, Sakamichi has its athletic festival, and pretty soon afterward, the cultural festival comes on.

“It’s not the busy season yet, but if we don’t get our loose ends tied up, we’ll be scrambling around to get those things done when we need to focus, so you all coming is a really big help. Many of our student council members are out vacationing right now too.

“I’ll tell you what specific tasks we need assistance on after splitting everyone into groups for efficiency.

“Oh, by the way, the student council has a special little thing planned for tonight, so everyone here can join in if they want.” With a smile, the president finished up her introduction.

The Keyaki class girls clapped. Aoi’s hands also clapped, but as she glanced beside her to her classmate Watanabe Rika, she couldn’t help but feel like the ditzy Watanabe hadn’t listened to a single word said. When Aoi glanced over to Yurina and Neru, she found them clinging to each other, fingers hooked together.

Quickly, they were all split into groups to help with the work.

Aoi found herself sitting in between Yurina and Neru, facing Risa and Manaka. For some reason, she felt like she was being a third wheel that was forcing a stop to the flirting by her physical existence.

They were given paperwork to sort through and told to do it leisurely.

“Did your previous schools have sport and cultural festivals?” Neru started a conversation.

Everyone nodded.

“That’s nice.” Neru smiled wryly with nostalgia. “Mine was a really small school, so we didn’t really have a cultural festival. What did you do?”

“Ah…” Yurina let out a barely audible noise.

“Last year was… a haunted house. Although I just manned the entrance.” Risa said after thinking for a moment. Then she snorted, seeing Manaka’s face, “Hey, what’s with that disappointed expression?”

Manaka glanced away, “We also did a haunted house, but I was forced to be a ghost.”

“I want to see pictures of that.”

“That’s embarrassing.” Manaka gently swatted at Risa.

Aoi looked at the love birds in front of her with lukewarm eyes. She could just read Risa’s mind, which was going on non-stop about how adorable her girlfriend was. Naturally, Aoi was sure that Manaka's head had similar thoughts.

Neru then inquired, “How about you, Aoi?”

“Eh?” Aoi hadn’t felt the flow of the conversation coming toward herself. “Well, we did a mini arts and crafts auction. Our festival was only a half day thing.”

While chatting and working, they went through the afternoon. Before long, a few stomachs growled. No one knew how long they were supposed to help out, and seeing the student council members diligently chugging on, the Keyaki girls thought that they would keep going for a bit longer.

The door to the student council room suddenly opened. The president came in rolling a cart while another member rolled in another cart, the smell of food coming in.

President Kumi cheerfully said, “I brought ramen for everyone!”

To the surprise of the Keyaki class, the student council members collectively let out a groan, “Urgh…”

Laughing awkwardly, she raised a hand, gesturing for them to stop, and added, “And sandwiches.”

“Ohh.” The student council’s response to sandwiches was a little better.

“Come and get dinner.” The president said, causing the student council members to gather and get their food. Seeing the Keyaki class shyly sit there, Kumi called them over as well. “The Keyaki class too. There’s too much ramen anyways.”

The Keyaki class got their dinners.

As Aoi broke open her disposable chopsticks, a bowl of ramen in front of her, she couldn’t help but wonder aloud why ramen made the student council members cry out in agony.

A student council member passing by, a sweet girl called Sasaki Mirei, explained the ramen situation, “The noodle appreciation club gave us a lot of coupons for ramen. They’re so much we need help eating the ramen. Even though I’m bread…”

Aoi nodded, dumbfounded by the sorrow she felt in her new acquaintance’s voice.

“Aoi.” A voice from across the table called out to Aoi.

Aoi noticed that Risa had obtained her ramen and sat down with Manaka, “What is it, Risa?”

With a practiced ease, the cool Watanabe placed a vegetable in Aoi’s mouth, “Here.”

Aoi chewed and swallowed the vegetable. For some reason, Risa took that as a cue to feed all the things that she didn’t want to eat to Aoi.

Aoi couldn’t believe that she had to say the words that she said, “Hey, eat your vegetables properly.”

“Aoi-chan.” A chopstick from behind plopped some vegetables into Aoi’s bowl accompanied by a soft voice of a person walking by.

“Berika, not you too!” Aoi pouted, not wanting to eat the vegetables just like her friends. She turned to her short haired classmate to try to make an example, “Look, Techi’s properly eating her vege-”

While Yurina was indeed eating her vegetables, Neru was feeding Yurina. The couple that was acting like newlyweds froze in the middle of their flirting at the sudden attention. Neru blushed, and Yurina hid her face in Neru’s shoulder.

Aoi ate her vegetables and ramen, ignoring her crazy friends.



After dinner, the sun began to set, and before long, the sky was dark. The student council president once more went to the head of the room and made an announcement.


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1419307#msg1419307)
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 38 (Aug. 5, 2018)]
Post by: mooza on August 06, 2018, 06:46:51 AM
the couples need to get a room. jk im glad to see techineru happy FOR NOW.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 38 (Aug. 5, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on August 07, 2018, 11:49:45 AM
“Look, Techi’s properly eating her vege-”

While Yurina was indeed eating her vegetables, Neru was feeding Yurina. The couple that was acting like newlyweds froze in the middle of their flirting at the sudden attention. Neru blushed, and Yurina hid her face in Neru’s shoulder.


Checkpoint 38: The couple Techi and Neru seem adorable. I hope to see more interactions between them, although it seems that both are shy.
Are you going to mix Neru with the other characters in the school? As she was Hiragana, I thought maybe you were thinking about it...
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 38 (Aug. 5, 2018)]
Post by: four4four on August 11, 2018, 07:08:25 PM
3rd wheel? More like spare tire (5th wheel). :lol:
Poor Aoi; not only is she a 5th wheel, but she is the vegetable dumpster. XD
What did Kumi announce? :?
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 38 (Aug. 5, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on August 17, 2018, 10:35:14 PM
 :cow: :cow: :cow:
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 39 (Aug. 20, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on August 20, 2018, 06:13:37 AM
Checkpoint 39


The student council president had happily announced the summer staple activity, encouraging everyone to participate so that they might be able to hold one as a summer camp activity.

The rules were simple. Given a flashlight and course area marked out on the ground with glowing stickers, each group was to find an amulet. The idea was that they could be timed, and the fastest returning pair won.

Aoi thought that the activity sounded like fun.

She had said to her roommate who had wisely chosen to sit out with the panicking Imaizumi, “How bad can it be? It’s like a outdoors haunted house, right?”

The student council had made the test of courage too scary.

Thus, at the moment, thought the Keyaki class had returned to the dorm, Aoi still remembered the terrifying ghost with an axe stuck in her head. Aoi had made sure to emphasize to the student council in the after-survey that they needed to tone down the terror.

Laughter filled the dorm lounge.

Rolling on the carpet with a sigh of relief that she didn’t see anymore ghosts, Aoi overheard a suspicious conversation from Risa and Manaka about Risa mercilessly killing a Diglett Aoi in a Pokemon battle. Aoi pretended not to hear.

Even as she stayed silent, none of their rowdy cheer was interrupted.

Snap. As Aoi started to sit up, she suddenly felt her field of vision filled with a blinding light. She sputtered out in surprise, trailing off as her sight cleared up, “Ow! What was that for…?”

“Sorry, sorry, I didn’t think flash was on.” Suzumoto apologized, holding onto Aoi’s camera. She had been about to take a picture of Aoi’s sleeping face, seeing as Aoi had stealthily snapped sleeping pictures of everyone else at some point. “I thought you were sleeping, so, you know.”

Aoi did not know. “Hey, no sleeping pictures, okay?” She puffed up her cheeks and hid her face behind her hands.

Manaka laughed as she joined the conversation, “It’s fine, isn’t it? We can make a family collection of sleeping pictures.”

“Mom. Dad. Kid. Daughter-in-law.” Risa lazily pointed to Akane, Yuuka, Yurina, and Neru before gesturing to Aoi. “Aoi’s the pet dog.”

Someone spoke up, “I think we’ve had this conversation before.”

“Oh, I see.” Aoi nodded her head sagely at Risa’s explanation. Then she whipped her head around to retort, “Wait, what? Hey, I’m not the dog!”

“Pet burdock root.” Manaka joked much to the chagrin of the other burdock root in the lounge.

Uemura gave her suggestion, somehow having received the granny role, “Pet little sister.”

“I’m okay being the little sister without the pet part.” Aoi puffed up her cheeks. She would have liked to be the pampered little sister more than the teased little sister, but her heart was content with the role.

Just like that, Aoi was coerced into pretending to sleep so that they could take a photo of her sleeping.

After taking photos to their hearts’ content, the class handed off the camera to Risa. Risa flipped through the photos, many of which she had seen and many of which were newly taken by her classmates recently.

Flippantly, she stated, “Hey, let’s print out these pictures.”

Aoi frowned, thinking about the embarrassing fake-sleeping photos that had just been snapped, “Eh, no way.”

“Didn’t you say that we should make memories?” Jabbing Aoi on the forehead, Risa dangled the camera in front of Aoi. “You didn’t take any photos with yourself in them, so we even made memories for you.”

Manaka snickered as she took the camera out of Risa’s hand, “Though Risa says that, aren’t some of them pretty crazy blurred? Mostly the group photos.”

“You know how it is when you have short people.” Fuu-chan laughed, gesturing to Uemura and Imaizumi followed by Habu. “Tall people.” Then, she gestured to her friend group. “And normal people. Right? It’s hard to get them in a frame.”

The ever-so-diligent Yone quickly retorted, “No, no, no, I don’t think that’s how it works.”

“Let me take the group photo then.” Aoi sighed.

“Well, there’s no point if you’re not in it.” Risa shrugged. Seeing the short haired girl about to say something, the cool Watanabe retorted before Yurina spoke, “Techi, you too.”

At Risa’s words, Aoi stealthily wiped her eyes. She suddenly spoke up in a clear voice, “You know, I love everyone in the Keyaki class.”

“Yea, I know.” Risa nodded casually.

“Hey, don’t interrupt.” Aoi automatically retorted.

Manaka held back her laughter as she consoled her girlfriend, Risa having a conflicted expression on her face.

Aoi continued, finishing up her declaration to her classmates, “Everyone’s a precious friend, and I’m glad that I met everyone. I’m glad that we became friends and that you’re okay with being friends with me.”

The lounge was filled with silence. Everyone looked at their burdock root, pet dog, little sister, more importantly, their precious though a little annoying at times friend in surprise.

Neru broke the silence, “It’s a given after all.”

Fuu-chan sniffled a little, smiling, as she wiped the corners of her eyes, “Of course we’re friends. Group hug?”

“I don’t really kn-” Yone, who was adverse to germs, started a rebuttal but was quickly piled on top of by her more rambunctious classmates.

Ozeki only added to the pile, “Eh? Group hu- oops!”

Yuuka barely avoided becoming a casualty of the situation. Holding the camera and handing it over to Aoi who was at the center of the hug, she smiled as she went to join the hug, “Why don’t we take that group photo right now?”

“Can we do it before I die?” Oda Nana choked.

“Ah, geez! My eyes are puffy right now.” Aoi broke out into a lopsided grin, “I guess it can’t be helped though.”

Nagasawa Nanako also whimpered in a dead voice, “Anytime now.”

Aoi turned the flip screen of the camera over and said the magic words, “Smile!”

Using the camera that she hadn’t taken pictures with in a while, Aoi took a messy selfie with herself half buried under her classmates. She was smiling so brightly that later when she looked at the chaos, she would get a little embarrassed and hide the picture away, but she would never get rid of it.



NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1419430#msg1419430)




At this point, the content of <AOI> is more or less wrapped up in a messy checkpoint. Friendship! That's a power that holds everyone together. (I'm sorry, Aoi, but your arc turned into something really messy overall.)

There will still be an Interlude or so before the arc officially ends. However, in my outline, there's supposed to be a mini-arc featuring OzeUemu in the sports festival before Yuichanzu (3 checkpoints maybe?), I still need to think about the arc it falls under.


Sorry for the long delay. Before I knew it, I accidentally passed my self-set deadline of 14 days max for updates.

My oshimen Imaizumi Yui has announced her graduation from Keyakizaka46. I have 2 oshimen, Manaka and Zuumin. For me, this announcement was extremely sad. The idea that there would be no more Zuumin in Keyaki, no more Yuichanzu, and no more all the precious things that Zuumin brought is extremely painful. However, let's look to the future. Although Zuumin is graduating, I hope you guys will keep supporting her as a solo talent from now on. I'll keep writing Yuichanzu related stories too!


@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading! Sorry for the long delay. TechiNeru is adorable, huhuhu. For this story at least, it focuses so heavily on Kanji Keyaki that I don't think there will be that much Hiragana-Neru mixing in the main story. There might be some in the Detours, and if I ever get there, the after-story Memories (chapters about events that happened but weren't covered).
@mooza: FOR NOW. Dun dun dun!
@four4four: The announcement was a test of courage. Since tests of courage are a total staple of summer episodes, I thought I would include one in this arc. We got the pool episode after all, but I couldn't figure out how to write it, so it got kind of cut out. The test of courage was the original Checkpoint 39.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 39 (Aug. 20, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on August 23, 2018, 10:08:00 PM
Thanks for the update.
The truth is that the activity proposed by the president, looks good.
It's like a treasure hunt.
It can give a good chapter.
It seems that with Aoi and everything is solved, that's fine. That he has realized that they are all friends.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Interlude 6 (Aug. 24, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on August 24, 2018, 06:28:12 PM
Interlude 6


On the first day, still irritated by the metal bracelet around her left wrist, Oda Nana couldn’t help but fiddle with the device as she walked with the rest of her class to see dorm room assignments. She wondered if they would get single rooms, given that the dorm building was definitely large enough for twenty girls.

Her classmates made up a great assortment of people whose names she was doing her best to remember. Since they would be together for a while, Oda Nana was confident that she would get to know everyone soon enough.

Of her classmates, she noticed most the pretty girl with long hair and a soft, but somewhat sad default expression. Kobayashi Yui, that was the girl’s name. Maybe Oda Nana’s heart skipped a beat, but she was just drawn toward Kobayashi.

In her daze during the self introductions, Oda Nana nearly didn’t notice the darting gaze of yet another cute girl who glanced at her a number of times. If Oda Nana remembered correctly, that girl’s name was Suzumoto Miyu.

Oda Nana couldn’t help but sigh internally that she was among too many cute girls while she herself was only how she was.

The class found the room assignments. When Oda Nana glanced up, she couldn’t help but shake her head and look again. Everyone was in pairs except for herself and another girl named Hirate Yurina who had been in a seat near her.

Hirate was stuck all alone, a good thing or a bad thing, Oda Nana didn’t know since they were merely acquaintances.

Oda was however placed with two other girls, Suzumoto and Kobayashi. Oda Nana wondered if the supervisor had mixed up something, making a one and a three when the rooms could have been plain and simple, two and two.

Nonetheless, she went to her room later with her new roommates. Getting settled in, they reintroduced themselves and chatted, Suzumoto awkward, Kobayashi quiet, and Oda Nana brightening the mood.

As the three were roommates, they naturally spent more time together. Sitting close in the classroom, they formed a lunch squad with Yurina and eventually the late joining Neru.

Oda Nana loved hearing Kobayashi sing. The prettiest voice for the prettiest girl, she found the two Yuis who dubbed themselves Yuichanz together singing at times. A part of Oda Nana’s soul shined when she saw Kobayashi’s bright smile together with Imaizumi.

It wasn’t as if Kobayashi wouldn’t smile for Oda Nana. When Oda Nana took stalker-like photos of her roommate, Kobayashi at times would pose and giggle at Oda Nana’s antics. At other times, Oda Nana would be scolded or ignored for being weird.

Kobayashi never seemed to realize Oda Nana’s feelings.

Perhaps it was because Oda Nana was too forward about it. Oda Nana didn’t believe she wore her heart on her sleeve, but from the start, she had proclaimed the feelings she had for Kobayashi from her heart. At first, they might have been superficial, but bit by bit, Oda Nana fell for the awkward parts of Kobayashi, the teasing parts, the silly parts, the childish parts, everything, even the part that liked to be with Imaizumi.

Honestly, it hurt a little to be continuously shot down as a joke.

During a lunch break before exams, Suzumoto had come up behind Oda and started playing with her roommate’s hair. Suzumoto asked, “Hey, Oda Nana, who do you like the most in the class?”

“Of course it’s Yuipon.” Oda Nana replied smoothly with her usual expression.

Like always, Kobayashi gave a smile, an embarrassed but distant look that easily waved off Oda Nana’s feelings, “Thanks.”

Oda Nana was aware. Kobayashi Yui liked her as a friend at most. They didn’t shared the same feeling in the slightest. Even as Oda Nana noticed her classmates and friends slowly get closer, share secret little touches that no one saw, Oda Nana knew that her feelings weren’t being conveyed to Yuipon.

The next few moments went past her mind like the flow of water, normal chattering with little substance, glances at Yurina and Neru who seemed like they had some sort of chemistry going on. Suzumoto’s fingers running through Oda Nana’s hair felt nice.

That was until they reached a tangle, and Oda let out a yelp, “Ouch!”

“Sorry!” Suzumoto jolted at the same time, retracting her hands.

“It’s okay.” Oda Nana laughed and set out a question to her friends, “Should I cut my hair? I wonder…”

“I like it either way.” Suzumoto responded as if contemplating Oda Nana with various hairstyles.



Or it could have been, “I like you either way,” but those words went unheard as a choice decision. After all, Oda Nana knew that Suzumoto was kind.



By the time summer break rolled around and stayed firmly around, Suzumoto Miyu realized that she was embroiled in a troublesome situation. Rather, she had already known about it since a while back. She had developed feelings for her roommate, Oda Nana.

Thinking, she rolled over on her bed, wanting to go back to sleep. With summer and all, there was surely time to sleep in.

Nonetheless, she made sure to sit up for a glance around the room to check if her roommates had awoken. She saw Oda Nana quietly reading a Murakami novel, and she saw that Yuipon’s bed was made, no one there.

Then, Suzumoto remembered that Yuipon had gone off, ditching them for Imaizumi, for an extended sleepover between Yuichanz. Suzumoto shook off a barbed thought that suddenly crossed her mind. She was just groggy and half-awake.

The three of them were playing a game of charades, but only Yuipon wasn’t actually playing.

Suzumoto plopped her head back down on the pillow. Her eyes naturally drifted toward Oda Nana even as they started to close when she hugged her blankets, happily ready to sleep.

She asked Oda Nana, “What does ‘love’ mean?”

“Something more than ‘like,’ I guess?” Oda Nana only gave a glance away from her book before dropping back into it. Her words seemed absent mindedly taken out of her mouth, “Any guys you like?”

“Dani-kun.”

“Sounds like a foreigner’s name. Danny-kun. Am I really the closest thing to a guy our age around here?”

Suzumoto didn’t respond to that. After all, she didn’t see Oda Nana as a man. She wanted to see Oda Nana as Oda Nana, but at this moment, her words didn’t come out. With a yawn, she said instead, “Good night.”

“Good night.” Oda Nana chuckled.

Suzumoto went back to sleep. Rather than a game of charades, their intentions and words failing to reach each other, sometimes, it felt like a clogged up telephone game where each person chose not to hear the words that they didn’t want to hear or refused to respond.

Maybe she was playing the wrong game in the first place, dancing the wrong choreography, because maybe only she thought they were in the game while everyone else was just living their life. They were just being friends who had some skinship and joked about love, normal high school girls.

Suzumoto hoped that she wouldn’t see any nightmares. The sun had risen after all.




<AOI> fin
To be continued...


NEXT CHAPTER (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=42263.msg1419599#msg1419599)




I feel like there's definitely a better order to write and organize Eccentric than how I'm doing it, but... hopefully you don't mind that the Interludes sometimes come flying out of nowhere. Usually, the interludes come an arc or two ahead of each couple's arc - unless they don't have a specific arc for that couple. (DaniPonMon should be Arc V. Look forward to it, haha)

@Minami-chan: Thanks for reading! Yep, everyone's friends, and Aoi's arc is resolved. I think I'll write the test of courage story at some point.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Interlude 6 (Aug. 24, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on August 25, 2018, 12:26:40 AM
Interlude 6:


The interlude 6 has been magnificent.

I had not been thinking about this couple, or couples ... or trio.

I really found it interesting and I have been wanting more.
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru, OzeUemu+) [Rest-stop (Aug. 30, 2018)]
Post by: Shinoki on August 31, 2018, 04:56:39 AM
This update is like an extended interlude focusing on the Ozeki Uemura roommates pair. It was originally going to be a 3-4 part mini-arc, but I thought I'd make it just one update. A fluffy back to school for the Keyaki class - although I also have to go back to school soon, haha.

Ozeki and Uemura aren't going to get their own arc, so they get their own little mini-arc Rest-stop.

@Minami-chan: I'm glad you enjoyed interlude 6! I'll definitely be covering more OdaMonPon in the future. Yuichanzu is the current arc, but the next one is the OdaMonPon arc. You might get to see some of Yuipon's perspective on the triangle in this current arc.





Rest-stop


Ozeki Rika felt a strange feeling that she was intruding on some intense story filled with tragic love stories and a hidden enemy that had yet to be seen. It was just a feeling that she had as she fell out of bed in the morning to the sound of her alarm clock ringing for the first time in over a month.

She let out a strangled yelp of surprise, realizing that she had exited her dreams and awoken to her dorm room in the Keyaki class dorms.

Quick footsteps sounded from the direction of the bathroom she shared with her roommate. Hair still wet, in a state of half dress, her roommate Uemura Rina hurried out to check on Ozeki, “Ozeki, are you okay?”

“I-I’m okay.” Ozeki stumbled to her feet and averted her eyes from her roommate for a second with a blush, “Did you just shower?”

The short, fairy-like Uemura replied affirmatively with a smile, “Yea.” Then Uemura glanced at the time. “If everything’s okay, I’m going to finish preparing for class. We don’t want to be late on the first day back.”

“We don’t want to be late on the first day back.” Ozeki nodded. She blinked once. She blinked twice. It took a few moments for her still sleep-addled brain to comprehend that summer break was over.

Ozeki finally did. The date was starred on their shared calendar after all.

Throwing her stuffed animal Shimajiro back onto the bed haphazardly with her summer blanket, Ozeki jumped into action to get ready. She had thought it was strange that her alarm clock had rang. She had thought it was even stranger than her roommate was up before her.


“Why did I wake up so late!? I’m going to be late!!”
“I thought you had everything ready already.”


The classroom door slammed open right before the bell rang for the first homeroom back from break. Everyone was in their seats chattering, a few classmates wondering where the last two members of the class were. Their eyes went to the door to see Ozeki bolting in, running with her limbs flailing about grossly, followed by Uemura who looked out of breath and dying.

Ozeki flew into her seat, “Not late!”

Following, Uemura melted into her own seat, “Haah… Haah… barely in time.”

“I’m sorry, Rina. I set my alarm clock for the wrong time.” Ozeki apologized. “You should go ahead of me next time.”

“It’s okay. I can’t let you be late by yourself.”

“It’s not like we get detentions, only point losses for being late, so you don’t need to. But, thanks.”

After Ozeki spoke, the bell rang. She laid her head down on the cool surface of her desk and peeked over to Uemura who was resting her head on her hands, elbows on her own desk. Her roommate really was like a beautiful porcelain doll.

The usual man on the screen came on and said his thing, the words filtering in one ear and out the other for Ozeki.

“Try not to fall asleep in class.” He made a parting statement that broke an odd stifling atmosphere coming from the front of the classroom.

Ozeki jolted, noticing that she had lost a trivial 1 point as a scolding from the organizers of the Keyaki class. She hadn’t fallen asleep as much as lost herself in thought glancing at her roommate. Ozeki’s eyes suddenly met Uemura’s eyes, and she averted her eyes for a moment without thinking before looking back with a sheepish grin.

Uemura giggled at her roommate’s antics. The short fairy-like girl gestured for them to pay attention up front.

Before long, classes like before resumed. The teachers on the screen had them do a little pop quiz to test how much knowledge the girls retained over the summer. As if all of the teachers conspired together, the classes felt like one quiz after another.

Ozeki felt like she did fine, being one of the members of the class with average smarts. However, she could sense an aura of despair coming off of some of her classmates.

Ozeki didn’t have fun taking so many quizzes either. Only Yone seemed to be a little excited during their science quiz, but Ozeki’s eyes started spinning after the third picture of circular micro-organisms.

Break time was a well deserved reprieve from academics.

“That… was intense.” Ozeki let out a sigh of relief, sitting on top of Uemura’s desk as Imaizumi and Aoi somehow took over her own.

Imaizumi nodded, words coming out half in English after making up all her answers to the English quiz she just took, “Ikageso is pool.”

Uemura tried to bring up a positive, “But then we get the sports festival and cultural festival, so no more studying!”

“When are those again?” Ozeki wondered aloud.

“Weren’t you paying attention when he made the announcement?” Aoi happily puffed out her chest to explain, “The sports festival is in only two weeks. He said that we’re signing up for activities tomorrow.”

“I hope there isn’t anything too difficult.” Uemura said.

Imaizumi cheerfully spoke, “I think we can take it.”

“Confident, huh?” Suddenly, Kobayashi Yui walked over, placing her arms around her musical partner with ease.

“Yuipon.” Imaizumi greeted Kobayashi.

Ozeki said to Kobayashi, “Yuipon’s fast, right? I think we can leave the running events to you.”

Uemura laughed, placing her cool fingers on Ozeki’s hand, “At the very least, not us.”


Thump. Thump. Thump.
Ozeki Rika didn’t have a heart condition, not like that at least.


The next day came quickly, the sun still hot and bright, the seasons not quite transitioned despite the end of summer break. For homeroom, the Keyaki class had to assign or choose roles for the sports festival.

They were given a bit more information on the event, find that it was a one day event where the winning class got a special prize class trip. Unfortunately, even if the Keyaki class won, they wouldn’t be able to get the special four day trip to Guam due to Keyaki class rules. Instead, they would get points and a party.

As the girls didn’t have teachers in the real physical sense, one way or another, Sato Shiori and Sugai Yuuka were pushed up to the front of the classroom to organize who did what on the screen.

Yuuka gestured to the board, “Okay, so it looks like these are the events?” Touching it, she found that the screen had a touch screen, and they were supposed to go through each event listed and select participants from a checklist.

The two girls up front somehow figured out how to work the activity participant sign up program.

“I don’t know if this is the best way to do it, but maybe it would be good if we were to go through each event one by one and see who wants to do what. If there’s no one who wants to do something, we can just randomly assign someone.” Sato suggested.

“That sounds like a good plan.” Yuuka responded.

They started the process.

Ozeki looked at the list of events and tried to think of which ones she wanted to do. There were ones like the 100 meter dash, which were out of the running from the second she saw them. The cavalry battle sounded interested as did the costume race, but there was also some scavenger hunt event and the classic three-legged race.

Ozeki was brought out of her thought by Uemura’s voice, “What do you want to do?”

“The scavenger hunt sounds like fun.” Ozeki responded, “How about you?”

“I want to try the bread race, but I don’t think I can jump high enough to bite onto the bread.”

“Pfft.” Ozeki couldn’t hold back a laugh.

Uemura pouted, “Hey.”

“I just imagined it.” Ozeki found her roommate in front of her eyes to be too cute, and the image of her roommate trying to get bread dangling above her head was even more adorable.

Yuuka called out to the chatting roommates, “Ozeki, Uemura, do you two want to do the three-legged race?”

After silently confirming with Ozeki, Uemura replied, “That sounds like fun.”

“I’ll put you down for it then.” Yuuka smiled and fiddled with the board to select the pair for the event.

Before long, everyone had been assigned to their events. They had the next two weeks to get some practice in, and then, the sports festival would start without further ado. For the time being however, the girls had classes.



After the school day ended, Ozeki and Uemura found themselves outside, trying to practice. Tying their ankles together, the roommates nearly tripped over just getting up. They didn’t want to make an embarrassment of themselves at the actual event.

Stumbling over and over again, they weren’t in sync in the slightest.

Chanting to keep a rhythm, they still fell over for the nth time, “One, two. One, tw- Agh!”

It was good that they had thought to change into jerseys because their pants were getting covered in grass and dirt from each time they fell over.

With their ankles still tied together, the pair took a break and sat down on the grass, taking a sip of water and wiping away the sweat on their foreheads. They hadn’t made progress, tripping up after the first few steps, which was way worse than the average performance for a three-legged race.

Uemura tried to hug her knees only to realize that she was still tied.

“Let me undo it.” Ozeki untied their ankles. “This is probably enough for today?”

Uemura nodded, glancing away dejectedly, “Yea. Sorry for dragging you into this…”

“Don’t worry. We can do it. We still have two weeks.”

“But what if we still can’t get in sync with each other?”

“It’s only the first day, Rina.”

“You’re right.” Uemura exhaled.

“That’s good.”

Suddenly, the fairy-like girl’s eyes met Ozeki’s. Uemura looked straight at Ozeki’s face before starting to giggle, “Haha.”

“What is it?” The sound was pleasant like bells, but Ozeki was confused as to why her roommate was suddenly laughing.

“You have dirt on your face.” As Ozeki went to wipe away the dirt with her hand, Uemura laughed even more, “And on your hand, Ozeki.”

“Geez, that’s embarrassing. I was saying something good too.” Ozeki scowled.

Ozeki wiped her hand on her pants and used her shirt to wipe away the dirt that found its way onto her face. She scrunched up her nose in embarrassment, but her heart warmed up when she saw her roommate laughing instead of making that sad expression that didn’t suit her roommate’s face.

“Hehe, thanks, Ozeki.”

“We’re friends after all.” Ozeki felt like she said something stupid.



With only three days left before the sports festival, the class’s most competitive member, Moriya Akane went up to the front of the room during break. Taking a deep breath, putting on a serious look, she got everyone’s attention. Even Imaizumi who was singing random Nishino Kana songs by herself as Kobayashi listened stopped.

Ozeki glanced at Akane, wondering what Akane would say. She thought that she saw a wry smile on Hirate and Neru’s faces, the two on the cavalry battle team with Akane, having intensely practiced.

“I just want to say a few words.” Akane spoke with severity. “We. Are. Winning.”

The class was silent.

In a smooth movement, Akane walked away from the front of the room like she hadn’t said something normal in an absurd manner.

Ozeki felt a little bad for the cavalry battle team, knowing that they had definitely trained hard. The words slipped from her mouth a little louder than she wanted to her roommate, “I’m glad we’re not on the cavalry battle team with Akanen.”

“What did you say, Ozeki?” Akane seemed to have snuck up on Ozeki.

Ozeki back peddled, “Uh, nothing!”

Taking that excuse, Akane inquired of the pair of roommates, “How are you two doing?”

“We’re doing okay.” Ozeki tried to redirect her classmate’s attention, “Why don’t you remind Berika that she has to run?”

“Hm?” Watanabe Rika found herself suddenly brought into the conversation. Her mouth was filled with chocolate bread.

Akane looked back at Ozeki after glancing to Berika only to find that Ozeki had run off. “Ozeki, don’t run away!”


Wearing jerseys again, this time pants not dirtied, the pair managed to do it.
“We did it! Maybe we can win the event!”
A hug. She hadn’t caught a cold, but her cheeks were still pink.


The day of the sports festival finally came. Each class had a different color designation, and the Keyaki class sat in their area with green ribbons about their right wrists. The teachers gave the opening speeches at the field they were using for this year group’s part of the sport festival. A refreshments stand and an announcer’s stand were set up.

A pair of upperclassmen, Iguchi Mao and Saito Kyoko, were apparently doing the announcements while student council members were working together with the staff for the events.

“We have the Keyaki class here too. Isn’t this interesting, Kyoko? Though I bet Kyoko-” Iguchi chattered brightly.

“Let’s move onto the first event.” Saito Kyoko pulled the announcing back on track in a cool, deep voice. “First up, we have the 100 meter dash. Each class’s runner, please head to the designated line.”

Ozeki thought that the announcer pair had an interesting dynamic that somehow just clicked.

Risa went up to the starting line for the 100 meter dash, and when the whistle blew, she flew. Going neck to neck with another class’s runner, the cool Watanabe from the Keyaki class managed to win the race.

Everyone cheered. The Keyaki class started the festival off to a good start.

The second event was the bread race. Ozeki and Uemura’s events were in the latter half of the festival, but even just watching and cheering on their friends was a fun experience. They saw as their clumsy Watanabe Rika ran forward, jumped for the sweet bread hanging from the string, and ran to the finish line in a shocking third place with the bread in her mouth.

Happy screams erupted from the other classes at Hirate’s handsome looks while wiping away the sweat on her sweaty bangs, as the Keyaki class cavalry battle team dominated the playing field.

For some reason, there was a horse riding competition as well.

Aoi, Koike, and Habu participated in the ball toss, eliciting commentary on how adorable they were when doing their best together.

Finally, Ozeki’s first event came.

“Now we have our scavenger hunt. What sort of object or person will they be asked to find? From a snack to a crush, there’s a lot of things. If it was me participating and I got the prompt of someone I like, I’d definitely choose Kyoko!” Iguchi exclaimed, hugging her companion.

“Thanks.” Kyoko took Iguchi’s words calmly. “The rules for this event are simple. Drawing from a box, each participant gets a prompt for something or someone that they must find. When the whistle blows, the participant can go find the prompt item or person. Whoever brings their scavenged topic to the student council member, the one currently raising her blue flag over there, wins.”

“But, what if they can’t find it?”

“The participant can swap prompts. However, they must wait until the whistle is blown to swap prompts, and for each prompt swap, they must wait five seconds.”

As the instructions were explained by the helpful announcers, Ozeki went to the prompt box and starting line with the other participants. Putting her hand into the box, she drew out a slip of paper and opened it up to take a look.

She paused with a sigh. She really wanted to know who wrote the prompts.

Heart racing, Ozeki waited for the whistle to blow and signal the start. The Rika who was never called Rika in the class because there were two Rikas already knew what she was going to do. With Akane wanting to win that badly, Ozeki thought that she should do her best in the events too.

The whistle blew.

Ozeki darted over to where the Keyaki class was. She quickly found her roommate, Uemura, nursing a bottle of water.

The fairy-like girl questioned as Ozeki came over, “Ozeki, is your prompt a water bottle?”

Ozeki hurriedly explained, extending a hand toward Uemura, “No, actually, I need you for it.”

The short girl readily took Ozeki’s hand and followed along as they rushed to the student council member. “Okay.”

Ozeki handed the student council member her prompt slip, waiting for a confirmation. A confirmation she received, unexpectedly winning first place for this scavenger hunt event. She also received a complicated look from the student council member, but luckily, the student council member didn’t say anything.

Standing at the finish line area where the student council member was, Ozeki watched the rest of the participants scramble to not finish last. The scavenger hunt event concluded quickly.

As Ozeki and Uemura went back to where the Keyaki class was watching, Uemura asked curiously, “What was your prompt?”

“Um…” Ozeki, still holding her roommate’s hand, looked away, unsure how to answer. Her eyes darted around wildly. “It-”

She was saved by announcer Iguchi’s voice. “Next up is the three-legged race! I hope everyone practiced. Be careful not to trip.”

“Please head to the starting line area and receive your ankle ties from Tsuchida-sensei over there.” Kyoko finished up.

Ozeki made an excuse, “I’ll tell you after the three-legged race.”

Luckily, her roommate accepted it. With a soft smile and a light squeeze with her hand, Uemura let Ozeki lead the way to the starting line of their pair event.


“The truth is…”
“Thank you.”
She didn’t mean those words that way, but both of them were clumsy fools.


Uemura Rina watched the emotions cycle through her roommate Ozeki Rika’s face as they tied their ankles together for the three-legged race. From the start, she had realized that Ozeki was an earnest girl who let out her thoughts, the good and the bad.

When they settled in as roommates, it was Ozeki who talked with her and made her feel better when Uemura felt homesick. Ozeki had also been homesick, but Ozeki still made sure to put her attention to her new friend.

The Ozeki that was kind, the Ozeki that did stupid things, the Ozeki that did her best, the Ozeki that was a slob, Uemura thought that she saw so many sides of Ozeki, and she wanted to see more.

Uemura wished that she had been able to call Ozeki by her first name Rika, but by an odd turn of events, everyone had taken to calling Ozeki by anything but Rika due to the presence of another Rika in the class. A little part of the fairy-like girl whispered to herself that she would be a special existence to Ozeki if she called Ozeki by Rika.

She had spaced out.

Ozeki brought Uemura back into reality, “The race is going to start soon.”

Uemura stood up with Ozeki and said, “Let’s win this race.”

The starting signal sounded. Holding hands and counting a rhythm, Uemura and Ozeki speed-walked together toward the finish line. Their speed was only average, but they were staying on track better than the rushed pairs that were stumbling across the course.

Uemura gave Ozeki’s hand a reassuring squeeze that they were doing well.

Although in the end, they came in a close second place, the pair felt a sense of accomplishment wash over them.

The pair untied their ankles and returned to the Keyaki class’s spot.

The shorter girl stretched her arms, glad that her job was over for the sports festival, “Second place is pretty good, isn’t it?”

Ozeki nodded, “Yep.”

For a few moments, they shared silence. Uemura waited for her roommate to say something more. Usually, there was something more to be said.

Ozeki gulped nervously, “The truth is… the prompt was ‘One-sided love.’” She could barely be heard when she said, “I like you, Rina.”

“Thank you.”

“Not the friend-type, but I think something a bit more-”

Uemura couldn’t tell if those were tears starting in Ozeki’s eyes. Without thinking, Uemura cupped Ozeki’s cheek and leaned in for a quick kiss.

At that action, Ozeki went silent with shock.

The fairy-like girl blushed, “I like you too. Like this.” Uemura’s own heart was racing, wondering if Ozeki was going to accept once Uemura responded, wondering if they had perhaps cheated a little in the scavenger hunt.

“Eh?” Freezing, Ozeki’s eyes widened.

“I like you, Rika.” Uemura said. Ozeki’s given name felt right.

Ozeki seemed to wobble, unsure if this was reality, “Can you do that again?”

Uemura gave Ozeki another peck on the lips. This time, she could feel how soft Ozeki’s lips were. This time, the words of her true feelings rolled more smoothly off her tongue. “I like you, Rika.”

“Can you… again?”

The rest of the sports festival went by like a blur. Even though the Keyaki class didn’t win overall, Uemura felt like they achieved a victory. Their cheeks burning red, the roommates didn’t let go of each other’s hands, knowing that their feelings were mutual.



Uemura Rina hadn’t felt a strange feeling that she was intruding on some intense story. After all, she was living her own happy love story with the eccentric person that she had fallen for.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru, OzeUemu+) [Rest-stop (Aug. 30, 2018)]
Post by: Minami-chan on September 02, 2018, 10:59:04 PM
Same as the previous couple surprised me and liked me a lot. This couple doesn't appeal to me.
Thanks for the chapter, I imagine it will be important for the development of the main story.
See you!
Title: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [TEMP HIATUS]
Post by: Shinoki on September 16, 2018, 05:30:38 AM
@Minami-chan: Thank you for always reading and commenting! Your comments mean a lot to me (comments are like the fuel for my soul). The last two weeks, I've been pretty busy so I haven't had a chance to update.

I'll be taking a short hiatus (lol, somehow this happens a lot, doesn't it?) because school has started up and I have to deal with college applications. My first batch of applications is due November 1st, but hopefully I get the stuff done before then. For now, I probably won't be able to update Eccentric much.

See you later! I hope you'll continue reading Eccentric when I can finally update again.
Title: Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [TEMP HIATUS (possibly until Nov. 1?)]
Post by: Minami-chan on November 12, 2018, 11:43:12 PM
I hope you do well in the exams.
Give it all!