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/qst/ - Quests

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookerman32
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Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dark%20Gate%20Academy
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Quest Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N3BViqaqZo

Far off, nestled in an otherwise small Japanese town lies the Dark Gate Academy. An institution of tremendous size, the Academy holds a long kept secret. Unknown to the outside world, this unseemly town is home to a tear in our reality. A gate between our world and a bizarre dimension known as the Darkworld. The inhabitants of this hellish world breach this gate and attempt to flood into our reality and spread throughout the world on a regular basis. However, the Dark Gate Academy is home to students of truly extraordinary abilities. The ability to sense the presence of these evil Darkworld creatures, and defeat them in combat, sending them back through the gate.

They cannot close the rift between our world and the Darkworld, but the students and staff of Dark Gate Academy have dedicated their lives to using their amazing powers to hold back the darkness that plagues our world, even if it costs them their lives. They have risen up to the challenge and in secret have become great heroic defenders of the world as we know it.

For many years, Dark Gate Academy has held back the forces of the Darkworld, kept this unspeakable evil contained within their walls in secret. But now, with their existence revealed, a great cloud of change looms over Dark Gate Academy.

>Previously on Dark Gate Academy...
Kaiya was returned to school by her brother, albeit in a comatose state.
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“Still not waking up, huh?”

Mayu turns her head to you, as she's seated beside the sleeping Kaiya's bed. You and the rest of the class have been watching over her in short shifts since she arrived to you, carried by her brother into your dorm room. She hasn't even so much as stirred in her sleep since then. It's actually pretty worrying... what happened to make her like this? How did her attack on Selene at New Year's cause her to fade away... and how did she show up again anyway? So many mysteries... all of which Keiji has deemed himself too busy to answer, instead spending his time with the older classes, occasionally checking in on his strange little sister's condition.

Either way, it's time for you to relive Mayu of her duty and take over watching duties. You share a small smile with Mayu as she rises from her chair with a slight blush. The rest of the class don't know about the... advancement in your relationship with Mayu yet, and the two of you are struggling to find the right time to tell them. You're both too introverted for this kind of announcement... and you're a little scared of how excited the likes of Kiriko and Mio will be at the news. Kiriko especially... your sister's gonna be a nightmare to deal with.

Mayu gives a nod as she looks over to Kaiya. “Indeed, she has not moved an inch. She remains solid as a rock.”

“Must have been boring,” you reply, yawning. “I'm happy to just zone out and listen to music for the next two hours.”

“I was not bored,” Mayu explains. “At most, I was jittery that I could have been training in this time. But no matter, I had a book to entertain myself.”

“Is this it?” you ask, picking up a small pink paperback atop the dorm's dresser.

Mayu nods. “Yes... it is a book of poetry.”

Your eyes dart across the book's title as you hold it up. “Huh... Poems from the heart: Words in a time of romance-”

Mayu snaps the book from your hand, her face red and flushed. “I-it... it is an i-interesting read...”

You let out a small chuckle as you take a step closer to Mayu, placing her hand in yours. “That's cute, you should read some of them to me sometime.”

“That would be nice...”

In the semi-privacy of Kaiya's room, you and Mayu lean in ever closer to each-other. It's been difficult to find time without being interrupted by the rest of the class, so this might be one of the few times today you'll get a chance at some intimacy with your new girlfriend. The two of your brush lips, always a little awkwardly... neither of you are completely used to being in a romantic relationship yet. She wraps her arms around your waist as you place your own hands firmly on her hips, embracing as you just take in the pleasure of-
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The door creaks open, as a certain blue-haired figure saunters in. “I hope everything is okay in... here...”

Hanako looks over at you, and the two of you look back at Hanako.

Hanako continues to stare.

The two of you continue to stare.

You keep eye contact, not breaking from your position.

Hanako screams, then turns around to run in a panic. Of course, she runs into her door, which has swung shut in the time you were staring. You and Mayu break from your embrace to check on the girl who just ran headfirst into a door and collapsed onto her floor.

You hunker down and hold her up, as she quickly regains compusure. She lets out a groggy groan, as she looks up to the two of you.

Hanako continues to stare.

The two of you continue to stare.

Hanako tries to let out another scream, but you cover her mouth to silence it until she wears herself out.

“What are you doing here?” you harshly whisper. “It's not your shift!”

“B-but it's my room!” Hanako cries. “I just wanted to check on Kaiya, a-and you two were... you were...”

“Yes,” you whisper. “We were. And we're gonna tell the others, but please, if you can just keep quiet about it... for us?”

Hanako panics. “I-I can't keep a secret! I'm terrible at that! The moment any pressure is on me, I just start screaming!”

“Well this time you have to!” you explain. “Me and Mayu are awkward enough as it is... we're not ready to be swarmed by the rest of the class' questions. Please Hanako, for your friends...”

“B-but I-”

Mayu leans down, her calm and icy demeanour cutting an unintentionally intimidating figure over Hanako. “I would appreciate it if you remained quiet,” Mayu states as earnestly as she can, but it was hard not to interpret it as scary and threatening. Hanako certainly did.

“I... I'll try...” Hanako states in a meek tone.

“Thanks,” you smile. “Sorry for giving you such a shock...”
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Wait, that voice just came from Kaiya's bed. You spin your head around, to see none other than Kaiya herself sitting up in bed, staring menacingly at you. She rises up out of the bed and continues to stare.

“Kaiya!” Hanako exclaims as she rises to her feet, rushing towards her roommate. “You're awake! I... I was starting to worry that you'd never wake up!”

“How nice that would be,” Kaiya mutters in a deadpan tone, before turning to Hanako. “You are?”

Hanako's face shifts to one of concern. “W-what do you... it's me! Hanako... your roommate? Your...”

Kaiya pauses as she stares at Hanako, examining her. She runs her hand down the concerned and confused Hanako's face, before giving a slight smile. “Yes... Hanako. Friend.”

Hanako breathes a sigh of relief. “Yes! Friend!”

Kaiya looks over to you and Mayu, examining the both of you. “Ice, Shadow... yes. The others.”

You're not a friend, you're still one of the others to Kaiya. Makes sense, you suppose Hanako is the only one she'd even call by name.

Kaiya lets out a cough, looking around her surroundings like a confused puppy.

>Do you want us to get your brother? He's been worried about you.
>Uh, maybe you should lie down a little longer. Don't strain yourself.
>Do you remember what happened at New Year, Kaiya?
>>Do you want us to get your brother? He's been worried about you.
Best girl is back that was fast.
>>Do you remember what happened at New Year, Kaiya?
Surely Kaiya knows his big bro is a good guy
>Do you want us to get your brother? He's been worried about you.
Don’t know why it didn’t include my vote
Calling for
>Do you want us to get your brother? He's been worried about you.

Writing now.
>Do you want us to get your brother? He's been worried about you.
Best prophet is back.

Who doesn't know that Keiji is best boy?
I know, but some people can’t handle tough love and think he has some “evil” intentions.
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>Do you want us to get your brother? He's been worried about you.

"Brother..." Kaiya mutters. "Brother..."

Kaiya clutches her head in pain and begins to stumble, her face straining into a grotesque visage.

"Kaiya, are you okay?" Hanako asks. "Your brother is-"

The door bursts open, as Gado and Amaya rush into the room. "We heard Hanako screaming, is everything okay?"

Well, this isn't what she was screaming about, but you quickly turn your head to address them. "She's up. Find Keiji!"

Gado runs off and fetches Keiji as Hanako watches over her friend. Keiji runs into the room, spots the distressed Kaiya, and simply smirks. "It's about time you woke up, you sleepy slug."

Kaiya looks up at Keiji and her eyes widen. "No... the phoenix is too bright... go away..."

Keiji lets out a sigh. "Come on, you do this every time. Surely you've gotten used to it by now?"

"Gotten used to what?" you ask, but Keiji is too focused on his sister to give you an answer.

Kaiya lets out a distressed scream which worries Hanako. The nervous blue-haired girl turns her head to Keiji as he begins to approach. "S-stop right there, mister! She told you to go away..."

"I'm her brother."

"She's not treating you like a brother!" Hanako protests. "So... s-stay back!"

Hanako stands between Keiji and her friend, as Keiji lets out a sigh. "This is all so silly. You have no idea what's going on, little girl."

"If my friend is scared..." Hanako mutter. "T-then I'm going to p-protect her."

"Kaiya, are you okay?" Keiji asks the hunkering girl, ignoring Hanako. "It's okay... come, I'll get you something to eat."

Kaiya raises her head as she looks to Keiji. She rises to her feet and walks past Hanako. Keiji smiles and places a hand atop his little sister's head, as her face remains in a frown. "You really are a hassle..." Keiji smiles warmly as her ruffles her hair. "It's gonna be okay, Kaiya..."

"B-b-but..." Hanako mutters.

"I commend you," Keiji smiles as he ruffles Hanako's hair in turn, causing her to blush. "As annoying as that was, I'm happy to see my sister has a friend like you. To be honest, I'm shocked she has any friends at all, considering her disposition."
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"What happened to her?" you ask Keiji as he passes by. Again, he gives you no answer as he leads Kaiya to the dorm lounge, where more of the class is waiting.

"Oh hey, it's Sleeping Beau-" Chuichi begins to joke, before Kaiya stares at him with murderous intent, shutting him up.

Keiji places his sister on the couch as he speaks. "So, what do you want to eat-"


"Thought so," Keiji nods, as he turns to Amaya. "You there, why don't you cook something up for-"

"No," Kaiya mutters. "That one produces poison. Him."

She points at Chuichi, and the combined intimidating stares of herself and her brother put the class clown to work.

"Keiji-senpai," Makoto states as he approaches. "It's such a relief that Kaiya is awake again... but as head of class, I have to put my foot down. You know something we don't, and we have a right to be informed about the circumstances our classmate's condition... we're all very concerned..."

Keiji tilts his head back and nods. "Very well, it's something I've been meaning to explain. Let's call a meeting between the class heads, and I will discuss this matter with-"

"Not just the class heads," Makoto explains. "I reserve the right to bring another class representative with me. I don't want this to be a secret between the class leaders. Hanako is class president, she can-"

Hanako shakes her head. "S-sorry, but... I want to stay here and keep an eye on Kaiya..."

Makoto nods. "Very well... Kazuma, you have a good head on your shoulders!"

"I do?" you ask with a tone of doubt.

"Well... I trust you," Makoto smiles. "Do you want to join?"

>Of course, I'm curious as to what's going on myself.
>Maybe you should take your sister with you. Amaya has more sense than me.
>Maybe you should take Mayu with you. She's calm and rational.
>Of course, I'm curious as to what's going on myself.
Kaiya wants to eat Chuichi’s meat every day for the rest of her life.
So Phoenix, is it his arch demon name or his archangel name?
>Of course, I'm curious as to what's going on myself
Curious. Quite curious.
>Of course, I'm curious as to what's going on myself.

>Best boy gets best mythical beast as an Archangel
Is Keiji the Isamu tier graduate?
Isamu wishes.
Season 0 with Yamato and Keiji-senpai adventures when?
Calling for
>Of course, I'm curious as to what's going on myself.

Writing now.
>Season 0
>Not an AU reboot about Keiji, Yamato, Taka, Isamu, Gado and Odysseus and their roadtrip through the Darkworld
Add Kinji, Settan and Tsuki and it would be 10/10.
>Makoto nods. "Very well... Kazuma, you have a good head on your shoulders!"
>"I do?" you ask with a tone of doubt.
>"Well... I trust you," Makoto smiles

I thought Makoto had better Judgement than this
They Gad a small bro moment duel post Kaz meltdown and he also saw how he protected Io during the witch hunt so I think he knows that at the very least Kaz is a good boy.
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>Of course, I'm curious as to what's going on myself.

Makoto nods. "Well... let's find out. Keiji, if you don't mind?"

Pretty interesting to see Makoto exercising his authority, it's good to see him acting as a proper leader to the class.

Keiji nods as he casually walks by, as you and Makoto follow him towards one of the empty club rooms as you set up the meeting.

As the others arrive outside of the room, you see that Makoto wasn't the only one to bring a spare class member. Maro has Shinji right behind him, while Saki brings... oh no... oh no.

"Kouhai," Ryoji smirks with a hand in his pocket. "Good to see you again."

"I hoped you had left to live in the woods," you mutter.

Ryoji chuckles. "Come on, is that the welcome I get? You're definitely happy to see me."

"We've got more important things going on," you reply, as you all enter the club room.

You all take a seat at the table, as Keiji remains standing over all of you.

"Keiji-senpai, with all due respect..." Saki begins.

"We need answers," Ryoji mutters.

Keiji shakes his head. "Well, where to begin... I doubt you'd immediately believe the truth behind my sister."

"Keiji-senpai..." Maro mutters. "I've been curious. I don't recall a single instance in your time in this school that you mentioned a sister. I Kaiya truly your sibling?"

"Of course!" Keiji smirks. "Well... not quite. Kaiya Ki is indeed my sister... but the thing in your dorms is not technically Kaiya Ki."

"The... thing?" Makoto asks. "You call your sister a thing?"

Keiji sighs. "The real Kaiya is dead."

"What?!" you exclaim. "How?! When?!"

"Of pneumonia, six years ago," Keiji explains. "You kids have never met the real Kaiya."

What? How... how can that be?
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"You better start explaining," Ryoji mutters, "Cause these vague answers are really pissing me off."

Keiji looks over the group and lets out a deep heavy sigh. "Very well... listen close. During my time here... I was always interested in the magic surrounding the Darkworld. I researched it extensively, particularly the various rituals in the old scriptures. After my graduation, I continued my search... and I made discovery after discovery. And above all else... I practised a particular ritual within these old scripts... one with the power to revive the dead."

"Necromancy?" Maro asks. "Keiji... just what have you done?"

"I... experimented," Keiji explains. "With small creatures. Hamsters, bugs... none of them worked, none of them lasted. But one attempt did... my most ambitious, and my most personal attempt. My older sister Kaiya... she died when she was fifteen years of age. It had a horrible effect on me, and when presented with this supposed power from a world of godly magic... I just had to try, didn't I?"

"You r-raised you sister from the dead?" Makoto asks. "She... she's a zombie?"
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"No, you childish idiot," Keiji mutters. "Don't call her a zombie, it's insulting. She's... a homunculus. She's not all of the Kaiya that grew up with me... she's barely her at all. Traces, yes... but none of the same memories. Kaiya was an outgoing girl, took ballet, loved baseball... and while she responded positively when exposed to those... her primary interest, her primary focus lay in death. She would also spout nonsense that she claimed to be prophecies... it was then that I realised the ritual did not raise the dead... no, it created life. And not in a way I ever want to repeat..."

"So... you continued to take care of this thing?" Ryoji asks.

Keiji shrugs. "Well... to be perfectly honest, I had no other choice. Even when she destroyed herself, she would dissipate and reform by my side soon after. She would rest as her organs reformed inside her, and she would retain her memories after each revival... though her mind would become more scrambled each time. It became clear that she was bound to me... and for at least as long as I lived she would constantly return to life. It offended me. I didn't want her around. She was not my sister, but rather a creature living in her skin... but over time, my protective instincts kicked in. My sister, my daughter, my creation... she was all three. She was strange and deranged... dangerous and incomprehensible... but she was no demon... in fact she's quite adept at killing them."

"Well..." Ryoji mutters. "It's sad that this only might make the top three most crazy-ass and bizzare things I've ever heard."

"As hard as it is to surprise us at this point... wow..." Saki mutters. "Senpai... I can't believe you would partake in something like that..."

>It sounds like her life is suffering. Don't you feel ashamed of what you created?
>She's human enough to have made a friend. And we've all been pretty accepting of her... so maybe you did a good job, after all?
>You're a monster.
>She's human enough to have made a friend. And we've all been pretty accepting of her... so maybe you did a good job, after all?
>This is a lot to take in though.
>She's human enough to have made a friend. And we've all been pretty accepting of her... so maybe you did a good job, after all?
>She's human enough to have made a friend. And we've all been pretty accepting of her... so maybe you did a good job, after all?

>Keiji made his Onee-san his familiar
Bestest boy.
Calling for

>She's human enough to have made a friend. And we've all been pretty accepting of her... so maybe you did a good job, after all?

Writing now.
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>She's human enough to have made a friend. And we've all been pretty accepting of her... so maybe you did a good job, after all?

"You're really naive, you know that?" Keiji mutters, staring at you with hateful eyes. "Either way... there. Your much needed information on the state of my mysterious sister. Now... do what you will with that information. I'm certain you'll share it around the school and make her even more of a pariah than she already is. Now, Maro... do you mind if I walk and speak with you in private?"

"Very well," Maro nods. "The rest of you, return to your respective dorms."

You step out into the hallway, as Ryoji turns to you. "Well, would you look at that, Kouhai?"

"Look at what?"

"You," Ryoji smirks. "This new air of positivity around you, this new confidence to speak up. What changed while I was out? Did you finally hook up with that samurai friend of yours?"

You remain silent, and Ryoji's grin only widens. "Heh, you did, didn't you?"

"M-maybe..." you blush.

Ryoji chuckles, as he gives you a light punch on the arm. "You're gonna be alright, kid."

"Uh... thanks?" you mutter, as Ryoji heads down the hall with Saki-senpai.

You and Makoto meanwhile return to the dorms in silence. It's only when you reach the door that Makoto speaks up. "The rest of our class will be in there awaiting answers and... I don't know what to say. I don't want to harm Kaiya's public image-"

"Not possible."

"-But I also don't want to have to lie..." Makoto sighs. "What should we tell them?"

"Leave it to me," you reply. "I'm not sure what to say, but I'm good at making a decision at the last second... rarely ever the right decision, but at least none of the blame will be on you."

"You're comfortable with that?" Makoto asks.

You shrug. "Eh, I've got worse hanging over my head. Come on."

You and Makoto enter the dorm lounge, where the entire class seems to be gathered by this point, as Kaiya simply slurps away at a beef bowl on the couch.

"Well?" Amaya asks, tapping her foot nervously.

>It's nothing important, Kaiya will be fine.
>Kaiya... is a homonculus.
>Kaiya... is undead.
>Kaiya... is a homonculus.
Only real way to put it, unfortunately.
>Kaiya... is a homonculus.

Just be honest
>Kaiya... is a homonculus.
I'm trying to think of something to add to it similar to the first choice, but for now I'll puzzle it over while pushing for this.
>Kaiya... is a homonculus.
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>Kaiya... is a homonculus.

"Oh..." Chuichi mutters in a solemn tone. "That's it... that explains everything... oh wait, no. It explains nothing, man! A homoncu-what?"

You let out a sigh and elaborate further on what Keiji had told you, with the rest of the class listening in rapt attention. As you reach the end of your explanation, the class seem to have gotten it.

"So she's a damn demon impostor?!" Sae yells, clearly not getting it and acting very reactionary.

"Not at all," Taiyo explains. "I've never heard of this ritual that Keiji performed... but I would have known if she were another demon."

"You are kinda the expert on that topic, sunny-boy!" Mio laughs.

"I hope that is not my new nickname."

"So... your brother made you out of a corpse and a spirit using evil demon magic..." Chuichi mutters, trying to put the pieces together in his head as Kaiya obliviously slurps away at her meal. "And now you can't die at all? Uhh, maybe I'm talking out of line, but... isn't that torture for you?"

"Shut up idiot," Gado growls.

"I'm just saying that if I were in that position, I don't know... I'd kinda hate whoever made me that way..."

"I command you to shut up!" Kuin adds.

Kaiya slams down her bowl, finished with her meal. "Hate... yes. But the phoenix is of my blood, and I am bound to it. Hate does not matter... I like this beef. Make me more."

As Chuichi moves to make more, Hanako stares at Kaiya with sympathetic eyes. "Kaiya... I..."

"I don't see what the big deal is!" Roka yells, scratching the back of his head. "She's strong, can't die and kills demons good! That's got my respect, why the hell are you all looking at her like some kind of freak?!"

As Roka gets poked in the ribs by Kiriko, Amaya speaks.
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"She's not a freak," Amaya explains. "But... the circumstances are... very strange. I'm not exactly comfortable with unholy demonic rituals and whatever they produce... Umm, no offence, Kaiya."

"The Holy Mother will be the last," Kaiya replies.

"Uh... I'll take that to mean no problem?" Amaya says in a hopeful yet unsure tone.

"Kaiya..." Hanako mutters. "It's okay. I hope us knowing about this doesn't make you uncomfortable... that you're-"

"I'm strange..." Kaiya mutters, barely comprehending her own words. "I'm a freak... I'm broken... I'm..."

"One of us, by the sounds of it," Ninsei cuts in.

Everyone stares at Ninsei, then Kaiya, before the entire class' eyes dart around at each-other.

"He's right," Risa states. "We aren't a class with any right to judge people. Are any of us any better than Kaiya here?"

Atasuke chuckles. "Well, I'd like to consider myself a cut above the rest... but Kaiya here is more than a fine addition to our merry band. After all, she is quite the... alternative beauty... and which a plumper behind than any-"

"You were so close to saying something good," Kiriko shakes her head. "So close, Atasuke. Anyway, what's your opinion on this, Kaz?"

"Me?" you ask.

"For the guy who broke the news, you're awfully silent on the matter. Come on, what do you think?"

>Kaiya's one of us. It's that simple.
>I... don't know.
>I have to admit... It does freak me out.
>I mean, I've seen plumper, but Atasuke does raise a good point...
>Kaiya's one of us. It's that simple.

Nothing more. Nothing less.
>Kaiya's one of us. It's that simple.
>She's always been one of us, nothing has changed

"One of us, by the sounds of it," Ninsei cuts in.
Ninsei calling it like it is
>She's always been one of us, nothing has changed
Tossing that one in to the pit as well!
>Kaiya's one of us. It's that simple.

>Still letting Taiyo onto DGA grounds
>After he was cool with letting Tsuki go on a killing spree
Calling for
>Kaiya's one of us. It's that simple.
>She's always been one of us, nothing has changed

Writing now.
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>Kaiya's one of us. It's that simple.
>She's always been one of us, nothing has changed

"That's right!" Hanako exclaims, as she squeezes Kaiya tight on the couch. Kaiya doesn't even react, like she was a simple plushie for Hanako to hug into. "Kaiya... no matter who you are, no matter how you were born... you're still Kaiya Ki. And Kaiya Ki is my friend! And we're never going to abandon you! Because... because... we're class 1. And we're family. And we're always going to stick together!"

"Okay," Kaiya gives a nonchalant reply, cutting through the passion of Hanako's speech... but Hanako is pleased anyway.

"I'm just happy we have a real explanation for Kaiya being the way she is..." Mio explains, her face forlorn. You remember how much distress Kaiya's eccentricities caused her a while back.

Risa nods. "Yeah, let's just move on. Glad to see you up and running again, Kaiya. Just further proof that there's nothing we can't handle... oh crap! He's here! Mio, hide me!"

... Huh? Something tells you the air in the room just changed.

"Hide from who?" you ask, confused.

"Quick, in this barrel!" Mio exclaims.


"Why is there a barrel there?!" you ask.

"Well not all of my goods can arrive in crates!" Mio explains, explaining nothing in the process.

You're so confused.

The doors to the dorm creaks open, as a young blonde guy slinks into the lounge. He leans against the doorframe, looks into the room and lets out a sigh.

"She's in the barrel."

Mai and Ukon both let out shocked gasps. "How did he know?!" Mai exclaims.
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The boy sighs. "Okay, I'm not the idiot you seem to think I am, princess."

"And Risa's a princess?!" Ukon gasps again.

The boy shakes his head. "Okay... for those of you who don't know, the name's Katsuyori. I've been tasked with guarding the daughter of general Aoki while she attends this school-"

"You work for general Aoki?" Gado glares. Oh boy... this won't end well.

"I'm really more of a freelancer, but-"

Ninsei spits. "Get the hell out of my sight."

Katsuyori throws his hands up in protest. "Whoa, whoa! What did I ever do to you?"

"Kill our families," Gado mutters.

"Oh... well yeah, that would make sense..." Katsuyori admits. "Only I must be goin' senile young because... I don't quite remember ever killin' any family."

"All of Aoki's men are equally guilty," Ninsei mutters. "If not my family, someone else's."

"Ninsei, try to stay calm..." Tami mutters.

Katsuyori sighs. "Okay... I get it. The Princess has been hammerin' this home to me since I got here. Aoki's army... not very well-liked. They've got a bad rep... but I ain't with them. I ain't a soldier, and I ain't ever killed anyone in my entire life. I'm just a freelance mercenary trying to make his way. Hell, my job is protecting someone!"

"I don't need your protection!" Risa yells from inside the barrel.

"Well, sorry Princess for not trusting the safety and judgement of a lady who's first thought is to hide in a freakin' barrel!"

>You should go. Isn't it obvious you're not welcome here?
>Guys, maybe we shouldn't jump to a witch-hunt right away... it'll just make matters worse.
>Guys, maybe we shouldn't jump to a witch-hunt right away... it'll just make matters worse.
>That said...now is not exactly a good time, Katsuyori
>Your presence is making my friends uncomfortable please leave

Got stick up for our friends, not this random bum
Basically this.
>Guys, maybe we shouldn't jump to a witch-hunt right away... it'll just make matters worse.

>Ninsei, Gado and Risa giving the guy hired to do a job shit
>But not giving the guy who had a chance to save countless of lives shit because he wanted to spare the feeling of a kid he never met
Gado man you're great, but this is your Achilles Heel.
>>Your presence is making my friends uncomfortable please leave

Ninsei is being surprisingly not shit this thread
Calling for
>Guys, maybe we shouldn't jump to a witch-hunt right away... it'll just make matters worse.

Writing now.
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>Guys, maybe we shouldn't jump to a witch-hunt right away... it'll just make matters worse.

"I don't care," Ninsei replies. "If you expect me to allow one of Aoki's men into the place I live-"

"You said you were a freelance mercenary, right?" Gado cuts in. "What work do you specialise in?"

"Usually collecting bounties," Katsuyori replies. "I built a pretty good reputation on being able to apprehend bounties alive. Gotta be honest, this is the first time I've been presented with guarding a VIP... I think I was being punished for my attitude, to be honest..."

"Right..." Gado mutters, as he approaches the blonde. "Freelance... but being punished with commands... you're not one of Aoki's soldiers."

"Are you kidding?!" Ninsei yells. "Of course he is-"

"He's freelance."

"YOU were freelance!" Ninsei exclaims. "And you never took a job for Aoki-"

"Back then, I had a choice," Gado explains. "And look how that turned out for me. You know how much land they control these days. Good luck finding work in Zenko Ugaki's country that isn't under General Aoki."

Ninsei quiets down, understanding where Gado is coming from.

"Finally, someone who gets it," Katsuyori smirks. "So I can-"

"-Listen here," Gado cuts in, getting into Katsuyori's face. Both men are pretty tall, but Gado certainly has the edge in their face-off. "I don't trust you a single bit. You don't start with my trust, you earn it over time. I'm not going to embrace you, I'm not gonna be your friend, and I'm not going to treat you any better than I would pond scum... but you're still human, and I don't know your story. You haven't personally crossed us yet, and so I can't bring myself to just send you out in the cold... I know Risa can't either. But know this... you have your eye on her? I have my eyes on you. I'll be watching you like a hawk, and the second you move out of line I will not hesitate to put a bullet in your head."

Katsuyori stares at Gado, before snorting and bursting into laughter. "Oh man, you've got the papa bear thing on lock. Kudos, man! And... chill out, I get it. You might not like who gave me the job, but he's paying me to protect your friend. And I like money way too much to screw that up."

"This group already has someone who likes money," Chuichi sighs, still making more beef. "That quota's filled. And sometimes I wonder if we needed to fill that quota in the first place..."

"Hey!" Mio pouts.
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Gado steps aside, as Katsuyori enters the room. Gado makes his way over to Ninsei, who has his arms folded. "Don't like my decision?" Gado asks.

"Not particularly, no."

"Me neither," Gado replies. "But trust me, I've got my eye on him, and I'll take him down the second he moves out of line."

"You better," Ninsei mutters. "I'll be keeping my eye on you to make sure you do-"

"That's a chain of too many eyes on people," Gado interrupts. "It's really contrived. Why don't we both keep an eye on him, it would be a lot more straightforward."

"... Fair enough," Ninsei agrees.

"Besides..." Gado whispers within your earshot. "He's an independent merc with attitude... and Aoki doesn't punish him with execution? He might be more valuable than he lets on... or even knows. I'm curious to find out."

Katsuyori hunkers down by the barrel with Risa inside, staring at it with smug intent. "Brilliant plan, princess."

"Shut up."

"No really, a masterstroke. Your best idea yet. You know if I had devised a plan where I hide in a barrel and carried out said plan in front of all of my friends, I'd feel real embarrassed. Like a mighty idiot. Not you though... must be some of that upper class composure you've got, right?"

Katsuyori receives a stony silence from Risa.

Katsuyori sighs. "Look... I'm just trying to do my job here, but you're makin' it real difficult. What do I have to do for you to at least... you know... talk to me about this?"

>Maybe you should give her some space first. She'll come around, I'm sure.
>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.
>Why don't you spend some time in the barrel? Risa'll like that.
>Maybe you should give her some space first.
>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.
Space yes. Come around? I have doubts that she'll do that so soon...
>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.

"This group already has someone who likes money," Chuichi sighs, still making more beef. "That quota's filled. And sometimes I wonder if we needed to fill that quota in the first place..."
Chuichi bring out that much beef and Kaiya will notice
>>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.
>>>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.
>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.

Bantz master Chuichi, bad at jokes, great at disses.
One day Chuichi is going to snap and dismantle class 1 with his sick burns
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>You don't need her to like you. Just do your job.

"What do you think I'm trying to do, pal?" Katsuyori sighs. "I'm not trying to get this headache to like me-"

"Good, because I don't!" Risa yells from inside the barrel.

"Don't you butt in, or I'll kick the barrel over!" Katsuyori yells.

You let out a sigh, as you notice Kiriko placing her cellphone in her pocket. Seems she was taking a call on it. "Kaz, Hanako... that was Konami. We're late for that lunch meeting!"

Oh crap... Konami. You almost forgot you had agreed to a lunch meeting to catch up with your old schoolmate. Your old schoolmate who just so happens to be condemning this school in protests...

"Oh no!" Hanako exclaims. "I hope she wasn't waiting too long!"

Hanako pats Kaiya on the head as she looks over to Chuichi bringing more beef over and handing it to the homonculus. "Can you look after Kaiya while I go to lunch?"

"Weeell..." Chuichi hesitates, before Hanako clasps his hands in hers, tearful eyed.

"P-please..." Hanako begs. "For me..."

"Damn your weaponised cuteness..." Chuichi blushes. "Okay, as long as she doesn't, you know, eat me alive."

"I will if I run out of meat," Kaiya grins creepily, causing Chuichi to sweat.

You grab your tracksuit jacket and throw it on. "Okay guys, let's go."

"May... may I join?" Mayu asks, giving a respectful bow.

Kiriko smiles. "Well, I don't think Konami would mind... but why?"

"I think it would be nice to have lunch with Kazuma... and you, and Hanako, and your other friend."

"That was worded oddly..." Kiriko mutters. "What say you, Kaz?"

>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!
>Uhh, maybe you should chill here. It could get pretty awkward...
>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!
>>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!
>Uhh, maybe you should chill here. It could get pretty awkward...
Rather get the whole "death academy" thing out the way as quickly as possible.
>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!
I'm not voting this because I think it's the best idea.

I'm voting this because there's no way it won't be lulzy.

>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!
Calling for
>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!

Writing now.
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>Why not? Come on, Mayu, let's go!

Well... it couldn't hurt, could it? Konami is sure not to mind, and if you keep it discreet, you might be able to sneak in a nice lunch with your new girlfriend.

"Well then, it's settled!" Kiriko smiles.

"Yes," Mayu nods. "I was simply worried that my joining would make matters uncomfortable."

"Huh?" Kiriko raises an eyebrow. "Why?"

Mayu freezes in silence, as Hanako lets out a panicked hum. She looks like she's about to burst.

"B-because!" you exclaim before figuring out the rest of that sentence. "Mayu's not an old friend of Konami's s-so I'm sure she was worried they'd have little to talk about! B-but I'm sure Konami is happy to make a new friend while catching up with the old ones!"

"Ah... I guess that makes sense!" Kiriko smiles, as you all breathe a sigh of relief. "Onwards!"

That was a close one. You and Mayu walk behind the other two, so that you can hold hands while you move without being spotted. You break away as you reach the ramen place with Konami waiting outside, her megaphone still in hand.


"There you guys are!" Konami exclaims into the megaphone. "What took you so long?"

"Sorry," Kiriko scratches her head. "We were really busy and kinda lost track of time..."

Konami snaps her fingers. "Just as expected! That school must run you all ragged!"

"No, we're fine!" you assure her. "Oh, by the way, this is Mayu. Is it okay if she joins us?"

"Why?" Konami smirks. "Is this your girlfriend?"

You and Mayu blush and stammer, while Hanako continues to hum. "N-no..."

"I'm just teasing!" Konami laughs. "I forgot how easy it was to fluster Kazzie!"

"Kazzie?" you sigh. "Are you really bringing that nickname back?"

"It's a lot better than your other middle school nicknames," Kiriko points out. "Crapuma, Kazutrash..."

"T-that's enough!" you stutter. "T-time for Ramen!"

You practically shove the others inside the ramen place and find a booth. You sit in next to Kiriko, and Konami slides in on your other end... much to the disappointment of Mayu, who stares sullenly at you.

"Something wrong?" Kiriko asks.

Mayu nods. "Nothing... I just expected to be seated next to Kazuma."


"N-no reason..." Mayu blushes. Hanako simply hums.

Man, you guys are not good at hiding this.

"So..." Konami smiles, as she rest her elbow on the table. "Tell me, what's it like enrolling in the now infamous Dark Gate Academy?"

>Well first off, it's actually called the Dakugeto Institute of Higher Education...
>It's fun. Like any other school.
>What can I say? We fight demons... and go to class.
>How about you tell us about you, first? What have you been up to?
>Well first off, it's actually called the Dakugeto Institute of Higher Education..

Oh boy this is gonna be good

"It's a lot better than your other middle school nicknames," Kiriko points out. "Crapuma, Kazutrash..."
And here I thought our awful dice rolls ruined Kaz, but apparently not
>Well first off, it's actually called the Dakugeto Institute of Higher Education...
>How about you tell us about you, first? What have you been up to?
>What can I say? We fight demons... and go to class.
>It's fun, most of the time.
>Well first off, it's actually called the Dakugeto Institute of Higher Education...
Calling for
>Well first off, it's actually called the Dakugeto Institute of Higher Education...

Writing now.
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>Well first off, it's actually called the Dakugeto Institute of Higher Education...

Konami chuckles and wags her finger in front of your face. "Ah, but that's not what the people are calling it! And I'm a woman of the people!"

"They're really calling it Dark Gate?" Kiriko asks.

"Don't we call it that?" Hanako replies.

"Yeah, but we go there!" Kiriko exclaims. "I didn't expect it to catch on with others!"

Konami nods. "Well, it's a catchy name! Much easier to say than Dakugeto whatever whatever, you know?"

"I guess," you shrug.

"Ah!" Konami exclaims. "But that didn't answer my original question, did it? Deflecting with a non-answer, huh? Classic Kazzie technique!"

"I didn't do that much, did I?" you ask.

"Oh Kazzie..." Konami grins, pressing her face closer to yours as she pats your head. "You're just as I remember you."

Konami turns to see Mayu staring at her with what can only be described as a calm and silent fury. Her face is motionless, but Konami can pick up on the dark intent in Mayu's eyes. She must be a little jealous of the stranger getting all handsy with you.

"Ah! Mayu, wasn't it?" Konami asks. "Why don't you fill me in on life in Dark Gate, since Kazzie is so reluctant?"

Mayu simply stares at Konami, unable to speak a word.


"Mayu's pretty shy and awkward," you shrug, as you take a gulp of water to help your own nerves.

Konami chuckles. "Just like you, then? Wow, you two have so much in common! You should date!"

"YES!" Kiriko exclaims, banging her fists on the table.

Mayu blushes up a storm, while you choke on your water.

Hanako simply hums louder.

"Oh, won't someone tell me of this academy you all seem so happy in?" Konami lets out a melodramatic sigh.

>Okay, I'll tell you all about it.
>I'm sure Kiriko has a lot to say.
>I'm sure Hanako has plenty to say.
>Well, Kiriko, Hanako? What should we start with?

Everyone gets an attempt. Mayu is welcome to as well, but I feel she won't contribute...for some reason.
>>Okay, I'll tell you all about it.

>I'm sure Hanako has plenty to say.
Because this can only go well
>I'm sure Yamato has a lot to say...wait
>I'm sure Nina has a lot to say...wait
>I'm sure Maya has a lot to say...wait
>I'm sure Yasunari has a lot to say...hold on
>Okay, I'll tell you all about it.
Calling for
>Okay, I'll tell you all about it.

Writing now.
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>Okay, I'll tell you all about it.

You shift in your chair as a bowl of ramen comes your way. You all begin to dig in as you continue to explain the academy to Konami.

"Well... I suppose I should get it out of the way first. Kiriko and I already knew about the academy before we were invited to attend. My parents were students there and later teachers. Mayu's parents, too."

"Oh..." Konami mutters. "Sorry if it's rude to ask, but... isn't your mother wheelchair bound?"

"W-well, she obviously fought the demons before she was wheelchair bound..." you reply. Crap, that doesn't sound good.

"Right..." Konami raises an eyebrow. "And how is your dad?"

"He's... missing," you reply, unable to come up with a good enough lie.

"Oh... I'm sorry," Konami mumbles. "W-what about you, Mayu? Do your parents still teach?"

"My father is dead," Mayu replies bluntly. "And my mother... my mother..."

Mayu hangs her head low in despair, as you scramble to change the subject.

"L-let's not dwell on that! W-what kinda music have you been listening too, lately?"

Somehow, you miraculously manage to steer the conversation away from the school and the misfortune that has come with it. Instead, you all get caught up in casual talk. Even Mayu manages to share a few friendly words with miss Kimura.

At the end of the meal, the five of you step outside into the cold winter air.

"Brr, it's so drafty..." Konami mumbles.

"Maybe you should wear a heavier coat... or some pants..." Kiriko points out.

"But a skirt gives me full freedom of mobility!" Konami points out.

"You know what doesn't? Frozen legs."

You share a chuckle, as Konami turns to you. "This was nice."

You nod. "Yeah... maybe we should do it again sometime... maybe after you've stopped protesting our school..."

Konami shakes her head with a forlorn smile. She gently places her hand on your shoulder as she speaks. "Kazzie, Kiriko, Hanako... Mayu... I weep for all of you."

Dammit, she only heard the tragic stuff that came from the academy... her protest is going to be full force tomorrow...

Konami wanders off, as you and the other three make your way up the hill to the school.

"Hey guys, can I ask you a question?" Kiriko asks, placing her hands casually behind her head.


"Okay... When did you start dating?"

... You don't react.

Hanako, however, screams.

"W-we aren't..."

"Come on," Kiriko glares at the both of you. "My brother, my best friend... you thought I wouldn't notice something was up? I'm not the doofus you take me for, you know!"

"Kiriko, I don't know what you're talking about-"

"Just admit it, Kaz. The jig is up."

>Fine... you got us. Me and Mayu are dating.
>I don't know what to say. We aren't together.
>Fine... you got us. Me and Mayu are dating.
>...Its a secret...
>Fine... you got us. Me and Mayu are dating.
And leave our GF out in the cold?

You're a bad boyfriend!
>I don't know what to say. We aren't together.
>I mean she only recently confessed to you, it'd be weird if she immediately moved on wouldn't it?
>>Fine... you got us. Me and Mayu are dating.
Calling for
>Fine... you got us. Me and Mayu are dating.

Writing now.
You right

>>Scoop up Mayu princess style THEN run away!
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>Fine... you got us. Me and Mayu are dating.

In the winter cold, you and Mayu stand before Kiriko. She smiles... and her eyes fill up with tears.

Of all her responses, you didn't expect crying.

"A-are you okay?" you mutter.

"Yes!" Kiriko exclaims through sobs. "I'm... just... so... happy... for you!"

The sobbing Kiriko quickly pulls the two of you into a warm embrace. The warmest embrace.

"Kiriko..." you mutter.

"It's about time you two got your act together!" She laughs.

Mayu lets out a hum as she smiles, the three of you hugging tight.

Eventually, you break the hug, as Kiriko begins to ponder. "I'm the first person you told, right?"

"Technically..." you point out. "But Hanako knew since this morning... she walked in on us kissing."

"Wow Hanako, you managed to keep a secret for an entire afternoon!" Kiriko claps.

Hanako pumps her fist. "I know! I did it!"

"You still have to keep that secret," you point out to Hanako's dismay. "The others still don't know..."

"Perhaps we should tell them?" Mayu points out.

True... Kiriko is the biggest privacy invader anyway. What's the harm in letting the rest of the class know... after all, they're your family.

"Okay!" you exclaim. "Let's do it when we get back! U-uh, tell them we're dating, I mean..."

You arrive at the dorms, and call for an immediate class meeting.

"Who showed up now?" Chuichi asks.

"Nobody," you reply. "We just have an... an announcement to make. Everyone, sit down."

"There's not enough seats," Ninsei points out.

"Well then... just stand and listen," you reply with a shrug.

The class gather around, facing you and Mayu as the two of you slowly interlock your fingers together. "Okay... here it goes... guys, Mayu and I are dating."

You could hear a pin drop. They must be shocked into silence by the revelation that-

"But what's the announcement?" Tami asks.

... Or they were waiting for you to say more.

"W-wha?!" you gasp.

"Obviously you and Mayu are dating," Risa points out. "You've been dating this whole time."

"N-no we haven't!" you protest.

"T-this is a new development!" Mayu adds.

Sae raises an eyebrow. "Are you sure? Cause the tension between you two was off-the-charts. I thought you've been dating for months!"


"Okay, so what's the punchline here?" Chuichi asks. "You guys are dating... is the gag that it's obvious? Next, you're gonna tell us Mai and Ukon are dating!"

"Wait a minute!" Mai exclaims, as she and Ukon gasps. "You two are dating?!"

"Wow, what a shock!" Ukon exclaims in earnest.

You groan. "Why are you the only one's surprised?! And why the delayed reaction?!"

"Kazuma and Mayu sitting in a tree..." Alice cheerfully bobs along by herself, while Mio cheerfully joins in on the melody.

"Are any of you truly surprised?" Mayu asks.

A resounding round of no's follow.
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"Hell, I don't even know you guys and I could have guessed!" Katsuyori laughs.

"It does seem pretty obvious..." Manabu Misawa points out.

"W-why are they even here?!" you exclaim, as Makoto walks up and places a hand on your shoulder.

"Congratulations, you two."

Chuichi nods. "Yeah, congrats!"

Anri smiles. "It's nice to see you both so open about your emotions."

"You are both quite adorable!" Amaya smiles. "Ah, true love..."

"My two biggest combat rivals dating?!" Roka grumbles. "Really stacking the odds against me aint'cha?!"

Despite your initial outrage by their non-reaction... the support from your friends sure does leave you feeling fuzzy inside... until Kuin starts a chant for the two of you to kiss in public... a chant that quickly catches on.

Despite being red as beetroots, you and Mayu fulfil that request to the cheers of Class 1. Cheering on a pair of misfits finding love together... how very Class 1 of them. This day has only solidified one thing about this bunch.

You love the hell out of these freaks.

The afternoon soon turns to evening, and the evening soon turns to night. That's what happens when you're having fun with friends. Reading poetry with Mayu, Videogames with Kuin and Hanako, eating dinner as a full group, followed up by cards with Gado and Chuichi... and an ill-conceived squat and push-up challenge laid down by Roka which you both lose to Mayu.

Eventually, the class begin to retire to their respective beds, and you're soon to join them. You kiss Mayu goodnight as she makes her way to her bed, leaving you with only one other member of your class.

"It's real good to see you back, Kaiya..." you mutter, as the strange girl stares at the wall.

"They won't."

"Huh?" you ask. That's an odd reply...

"Hanako said Class 1 will stick together," she mutters. "They won't. They'll be torn apart. Divided. Broken. Soon..."

Kaiya snaps out of her trance and looks over at you with her signature smile. "Good night... Kazuma."

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>Ending Theme





Thanks for playing! This thread was a ton of fun, and next thread should be expected next weekend!

>Player Question
Lots of people from Class 1 had stuff to do this episode. Which member of Class 1 are you most excited about going forward?
Thanks for running Booker

>Which member of Class 1 are you most excited about going forward?
Hard Question but, I am looking forward to Hanako and Kaiya getting some more screen time
Hard to not say Kaiya, she continues to be a mystery, even with some mysteries solved. Still hyped for Risa's development as she is public enemy no.1 with several people in the country, even if its not revealed yet.

Great thread book!
Makoto. He finally decided to put his authority as the class leader to use and I'm interested in how this will pop up again further down his character growth.
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>Bonus Scene

Being invited to your new girlfriend's room in the middle of the night was quite the anxiety-inducing experience. The implications that come with such a thing... Ryoji would be mocking you for the next few months. Not to mention how jarring it was for such a request to come from Mayu of all people... though judging by the severe use of heart-emoticons, Kiriko was a creative consultant when it came to crafting the text message.

Your sweaty palms are alleviated when you enter the dorm to see your sister still in the room, chatting on her phone in the corner. What a relief, no intended funny business... you're far from ready to do something like that. You get anxious just from seeing Mayu's midriff most days... then again, that's likely due to the pretty obvious scar in that region...

"Kazuma," Mayu smiles slightly, sitting on the edge of her bed in yellow and black polka-dot pyjamas, her penguin plushie in hand. You know... when you first met Mayu, this is not how you ever imagined her to spend her nights. Now, there's nothing that could surprise you.

"It's pretty late," you note. "Why did you call me over? Do we intend to watch a movie? Pull an all-nighter?"

Mayu shakes her head. "No Kazuma, we have class tomorrow. And I expect you to awaken even earlier for training. I... simply wished to see you again as we prepared for bed."

As Mayu looks at you, you can't stop yourself from blushing. You look over to Kiriko, who flashes a cheeky smirk before sticking out her tongue, still on her phone.

You look back to Mayu, sitting serenely on the side of her bed, as she pats to her side, beckoning for you to sit with her.

You comply, and soon you are handed... a hairbrush?

"Uhh, what's this for?" you ask, raising an eyebrow.

"I thought that you could help brush my hair," Mayu explains. "It does take quite a while, I warn you."

Oh crap, a responsibility. Calm down, Kaz... it's just a simple task. Brushing hair is hardly the most taxing thing you've ever done... but what if you somehow screw up? Dammit, now those sweating palms are back.

"Y'know, you don't have to come up with a reason for me to stay here longer..." you point out.

"I know, but this task does gauge how much time we waste," Mayu replies. "If you stay after completing with the task, then we know that we are being irresponsible with our time management."

Well, she takes her timekeeping seriously... or perhaps she doesn't want to feel like she's wasting her time on unimportant things.

Mayu runs her fingers through her long hair... you never noticed just how long it was until now, reaching her waist... and sits expectantly.
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Okay, simply done. Simple task Kaz, don't overthink it... no room for Crapuma or Kazutrash here, you've got to have faith in your most basic of abilities at least. Here it goes... okay, going well so far... no disasters... you haven't pulled out a clump of her head, no cries of pain... these are good things... just focus on doing good things... focus...

"Kazuma, is something wrong?" Mayu asks.

"H-huh?" you ask, breaking from your trance. "N-no, why?"

Mayu pauses. "Well... it seemed like you were mumbling something."


"It sounded like you were mumbling 'Brushy Brushy' over and over..."

... Well done, idiot. You were so focused on doing a completely basic task that you forgot to not sound like a weirdo while doing it...

"W-w-well..." you mumble, embarrassed. "I-I guess I just kinda zoned out..."

Mayu nods and gives a slight smile. "It was very cute."

"O-oh," you mutter. "You really think?"

Mayu nods and turns as she raises the penguin plushie. She squeezes it and lets out a smile "Wark" sound to simulate the penguin's cry.

"Uhh... what was that about?" you ask.

"You made an odd noise that left you embarrassed," Mayu explains. "I felt that if I too did something odd, you would feel more comfortable."

You can't help but chuckle. "Ah, but you made one fatal flaw, Mayu. What you did actually was cute."

The two of you share a smile and blush in a wonderful moment of silence.

And then you begin to hear what Kiriko is saying on the phone.

"Yeah, you have to see to believe it. They're here now, and they are just adorable!"

"Wait... who are you talking to?" you ask.

Kiriko scoffs. "Who else? Mom!"

Your eyes widen. "Well, put her on speaker or something!"

Kiriko complies with your request, as your mother's voice rings from the phone.

"So I heard a certain little Kazu has found himself a girlfriend?"

"Y-yeah..." You mutter.

"Oh, don't be embarrassed! You're a lucky boy, Kazuma! Though I will point that I had to hear the news from Kiriko..."

You scratch the back of your head. "Sorry mom... Kiriko herself only found out a little while ago. I've been meaning to call-"

Your mother laughs from over the phone. "Don't worry, I'm just teasing! Now... when do I get to meet her again?"

"W-well, we're busy with classes for the next while..." you point out. "We might not have time to visit Kingudoro..."

"Then I'll come to you!"

You throat tightens at the suggestion. There's those sweaty palms again...

"You want to visit the academy?" you mutter. "Mom, you..."

You pause for a moment, then speak. "Actually, Mom... I'd love that."
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"I would love that as well, Miss Mashita..." Mayu states with a respectful bow, apparently forgetting that your mother can't see her over the phone.

"Then it's settled? I'll come up the first chance I get! And I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures of the lovely couple!"

The three of you say goodbyes to your mother, as Kiriko hangs up. Kiriko pauses in thought. "Mom... coming to the academy..."

"Is something the matter?" Mayu enquires. "You both seem nervous."

"Not nervous," you explain. "Just surprised. Mom has refused to come to the academy ever since her... accident."

"I see..." Mayu mutters. "Regardless, I look forward to meeting her once more."

You smile. "Yeah, and maybe soon I'll get to meet your mom."

"My mother..." Mayu mutters, turning away for a brief moment.

You frown. "Something wrong?"

Mayu turns to you and shakes her head. "No... I too would like that. Under happier circumstances..."

You can tell that Mayu doesn't want to get into it. Instead, you divert attention by holding the penguin in front of your face and letting out a "Wark!"

This elicits a "You're such a dork" from your sister... but it also causes Mayu to crack a smile. And that's all you need to go to bed happy tonight.

Very Cute Booker
That was even more awkwardly adorable than expected, I will never get bored of this couple.

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