BGM: Play With Me!
I've gotten a little more comfortable here over the past couple days. Entering the clubroom, the usual scene greets me.
Starting the fun off early, huh?
Some of these glitches happen randomly and aren't in the raw video. I had to rerecord several times.
: "Ah, hi Yuri..."
I'm not sure if it's me, or if it's Yuri's expression...but the weight of yesterday's quarrel still hangs in the air a little.
The glitching stops at this point and her portrait returns to normal.
Yuri glances over her shoulder, looking around the room. Natsuki is reading manga at a desk. And surprisingly, Monika isn't here yet. Suddenly, Yuri takes my arm and pulls me to the corner of the room.
: I...I really need to apologize. Nothing like that has ever happened before...and...something just came over me, I guess...I wasn't acting mentally sound. Please don't think we're usually like this! Not just me, but Natsuki as well..."
We've been through a lot with Yuri and I feel like we know her fairly well, but remember that this is THIS Mitayo's third day of knowing her, if that.
: "Yuri...I'm happy that you were considerate and apologized. You don't have to worry too much. Even though I've only been here a couple days, I could tell something was off yesterday...maybe we were just a little extra sensitive because it was our first time sharing poems."
"Poems also swing me into a near-murderous rage, don't beat yourself up."
: "But whatever it was...it didn't make me think any less of you. I had already decided that there's no way you can be a bad person. And now that you're apologizing, I know you really didn't mean it."
: A-Ah...Mitayo...don't say those kinds of things so frankly...they make me a little too happy. I'm really glad that you're such an understanding person...and I'm really glad that you joined this club. Everything is a little bit brighter with you around, and--"
: Sorry, what am I saying right now...? I just--"
Yuri apparently wasn't ready for a Natsuki confrontation this morning.
: "No, I haven't...I was also kind of wondering where she was."
: Man...Yuri, I'm guessing you haven't, either?"
Yuri is clearly taken aback by how calmly Natsuki is addressing her.
: N-No, I haven't..."
: Jeez, this isn't like her at all."
: What? Why're you looking at me like that?"
: U-Um...Natsuki, about yesterday...I-I just wanted to apologize! I promise I didn't mean any of the things I said! And I'll do my best to stay under control from now on...So--"
: Did you do something yesterday?"
She really did forget all about it. It's not like I'm not suprised, it's just...Monika was right, after all!
Those lines are in glitch text as well.
Oh, ok, that explains everything.
: I'll accept your apology anyway, if it helps you feel better about it. Besides, it's kinda nice to hear, since I was always afraid you secretly hated me or something like that. Ehehe."
: N-No, not at all...! I don't hate you..."
: Ahaha. Well, you're kind of weird, but I don't hate you either."
Natsuki turns to me.
: You're still on trial, though."
So, we're just not gonna bring that up at all, huh? We're just gonna sweep that little weirdness under the rug? Alright, then.
You know what? No, not alright then. Am I the only one in the room seeing this or what?
Suddenly, the door swings open.
: "Ah, there you are..."
: I didn't mean to be late...I hope you guys weren't worried or anything!"
: "Nah...well, Natsuki was."
: I-I was not!!"
NO LYING ALLOWED IN THE LITERATURE CLUB, NATSUKI.
: ...What took you so long, anyway?"
: Ah...well, my last period today was study hall. To be honest, I kind of just lost track of time...ahaha..."
: That makes no sense, though. You would have heard the bell ring, at least."
: I must not have heard it, since I was practicing piano..."
: Piano...? I wasn't aware you played music as well, Monika."
: Ah, don't give me more credit than I deserve. I guess I've been practicing for a while, but I'm still not really good yet."
: Still...that must require a lot of dedication. So, I'm still impressed."
: Aw, well thanks, Yuri~"
: You should play something for us sometime!"
: Ahaha, that's..."
Monika looks at me.
: Maybe once I get a little bit better, I will."
She didn't mention that she was working on a song last time. Whether that's relevant or a change from the last timeline is unknown.
: "That sounds cool. I look forward to it."
: Is that so? In that case...I won't let you down, Mitayo."
Monika smiles sweetly.
: "Ah...I didn't mean any pressure or anything like that!"
: Ahaha, don't worry. I was hoping that I could share it with you, anyway. I guess that's why I've been practicing so much recently."
Uh, we've only been in the club for three days, Monika...
: "I see..."
I'm not sure if Monika was referring to the whole club, or just me...
: "In that case, best of luck."
: Thanks~! So, I didn't miss anything, did I?"
: "Not...not really."
I choose not to bring up anything that the three of us talked about. Besides, Natsuki has already run off into the closet.
Alright, word group B won, which means another scene with Natsu
: Um...since your compliments put me in a good mood...I was wondering if you would like to spend some time together today. I mean--in the club!"
: "Ah, I suppose so. I don't think I could say no to you, after you gave that book to me. Well, I guess I need to make sure Natsuki isn't waiting for me. After we finished reading yesterday, she--"
: She's fine! She's reading over there. See?"
Uh, welp. Change of plans, boyos - it looks like Yuri is commandeering our play time for the day.
You can see it in the video, but the transition between scenes is a rough cut-out as opposed to a screen-wipe.
I'm a little salty with myself because I had this done a few days ago when I thought Yuri would win - I forgot that she would do this. Guess I'm doin' it again. I'm smrt!
I look at the cover of the book. The book is titled "Portrait of Markov". There's an ominous-looking eye symbol on the front cover.
It's the same book...
: Basically, it's about this religious camp that was turned into a human experiment prison...and the people trapped there have this trait that turns them into killing machines that lust for blood. But the facility gets even worse, and they start selectively breeding people by cutting off their limbs and affixing them to--"
: O-Oh, that might be a little bit of a spoiler..."
: But anyway, I-I'm really into it! ...The book, I mean!"
...yet...not the same book...at all.
: "That's kind of--!"
That's kind of dark, isn't it? Yuri made it sound like it was going to be a nice story, so that dark turn came from nowhere."
: Ah...are you not a fan of that sort of thing, Mitayo?"
: "No, it's not that...I mean, I can definitely enjoy those kinds of stories, so don't worry."
Totally into body parts and stuff, yeah, all those things!
: I hope so..."
Yeah... I totally forgot that Yuri is into those things. She's so shy and reclusive on the outside, but her mind seems to be completely different.
: It's just that this kind of story...it's the kind that challenges you to look at life from a strange new perspective."
: I'm...I'm rambling, aren't I...? Not again...I'm sorry..."
: "Hey, don't apologize...! I haven't lost interest or anything."
I'm just super weirded out, that's all!
: Well...I guess it's alright, then...but I feel like I should let you know that I have this problem...when I let things like books and writing fill my thoughts..."
: I kind of forget to pay attention to other people...so I'm sorry if I end up saying something strange! And please stop me if I start talking too much!"
: "That's--I really don't think you need to worry...that just means you're passionate about reading. The least I can do is listen. It's a literature club, after all..."
: Ah--that's...well, that's true..."
: "In fact...I might as well get started reading it, right?"
: I-I mean, you don't have to, but...!"
: "Ahaha, what are you saying?"
: "Let me just get the book..."
Unchanged scene. Activate scrolling mode!
I quickly retrieve the book that I had put into my bag.
: Alright...it's fine if I sit here, right?"
I slip into the seat next to Yuri's.
: Ah...! Yeah..."
: Are you sure? You seem a little apprehensive..."
: That's...I'm sorry...it's not that I don't want you to! It's just something I'm not very used to...that is, reading in company with someone."
: I see...well, just tell me if I end up distracting you or anything."
I open the book and start the prologue. I soon understand what Yuri means about reading in company. It's as if I can feel her presence over my shoulder as I read. It's not a particularly bad thing. Maybe a little distracting, but the feeling is somewhat comforting. Yuri is in the corner of my eye. I realize that she's not actually looking at her own book. I glance over.
Real quick change.
It looks like she's reading from my book instead--
Sorry about that.
Back to middle-mouse buttoning!
: Yuri, you really apologize a lot, don't you?"
: I...I do? I don't really mean to..."
: Sorry...I mean--!"
: Ahaha. Here, this should work, right?"
I slide my desk until it's up against Yuri's, then hold my book more between the two of them.
: Ah...I suppose so..."
Yuri timidly closes her own copy. Once we each lean in a little bit, our shoulders are almost touching. It feels like my left arm is in the way, so instead I use my right hand to hold the book open.
: Ah, I guess that makes it kind of difficult to turn the page..."
Yuri takes her left arm and holds the left side of the book between her thumb and forefinger.
I do the same with my right arm, on the right side of the book. That way, I turn a page, and Yuri slides it under her thumb after it flips to her side. But in holding it like this...we're huddled even closer together than before.
It's actually kind of distracting me...! It's as if I can feel the warmth of Yuri's face, and she's in the corner of my vision...
: ...Are you ready?"
: To turn the page..."
: Ah...sorry! I think I got a bit distracted for a second..."
I glance over at Yuri's face again, and our eyes meet. I don't know how I'll be able to keep up with her...
: Ah...that's okay. You're not as used to reading, right?
: It's probably the least I can do since you've been so patient with me..."
We continue reading. Yuri no longer asks me if I'm ready to turn the page; instead, I just assume that she finishes the page before me, so I turn it by my own volition. We continue the first chapter in silence. Even so, turning each page almost feels like an intimate exchange... my thumb gently letting go of the page, letting it flutter over to her side as she catches it under her own thumb.
: "This might be a silly thought, but...the main character kind of reminds me of you a little bit."
: N-No, I don't relate to this character at all! Definitely not!"
The last time we went this, Yuri seemed mildly unhappy at the thought. This time, though, she is vehemently opposed to the comparison that Mitayo's making.
: "Really...? I was just thinking the way she second-guesses things she says, and all that..."
: A-Ah...that's what you were talking about...sorry...I thought you meant...something else about her."
: "Something else...?"
: N-Never mind! We didn't even get that far yet...so I don't know why that came into my head...ahaha!"
This seems like a fair reaction given what we know about this timeline's version of the book.
: "Yuri, are you feeling alright?"
Yuri's been a little fidgety ever since we started reading...
: "You can rest if you're feeling sick or something. Your breathing is a little..."
Yuri puts her hands on her chest, as if to feel her heartbeat.
: I-I didn't...even notice...anyway, I'm fine! I just need some water...!"
: "Alright...don't push yourself."
Yuri stands up and practically rushes out of the classroom.
: "What on Earth was that about...?"
: Did something happen just now?"
: "Eh? I have no idea...Yuri was acting a little strange, I guess..."
Let's be honest here. Everyone's acting a little strange.
: So you don't know anything..."
: "Sorry, I can't say I do. Are you worried about her?"
: Oh...no, not really. I was just making sure that you didn't do anything to her."
: "N-No, nothing!"
: Ahaha, don't worry...I believe you, silly. Yuri just does this sometimes, so it's nothing alarming."
"That crazy girl, always drinking water!"
: "Alright...if you say so."
: Anyway, why don't we start with sharing our poems with each other?"
: "Eh? Shouldn't we wait for Yuri?"
: Is that okay?"
: "Yeah, I was just asking..."
I stand up. I make a mental note of where I left off in the book, then slip it back into my bag.
Well, since Yuri's off getting the world's longest drink of water, our options are somewhat limited...
We'll explore them next time!
Raw Video File: http://www.polsy.org.uk/play/yt/?vu...qOxQ&autoplay=1