Part 6: Risk vs. RewardUpdate 5: Risk vs. Reward
Apologies for the obscenely long update; I
The rest of class passes uneventfully. The girl with the long hair never came back. Before I have the time to put any more thought into where she could have gone, the teacher informs us that it's time to stop working. Shizune looks more than a little annoyed that we only just barely managed to finish all our work on time. I'm just glad we finished it at all; it's not a contest or anything.
Katawa Shoujo OST - Generic Happy Music
MISHA: "Yes it is, Hicchan!"
I've noticed this before, but it's kind of funny how Misha is always moving her hands and signing not only everything she says, but what anyone else is saying at any given time. Obviously, it must be so Shizune can understand it. Her eyes dart back and forth between Misha's hands and me. I don't know who I'm supposed to be looking at. I'm talking to Misha, but that might be wrong; maybe I should face Shizune. I'm used to looking in the direction of the person whose voice I'm hearing, but really... Shizune can't hear me, but it would be disrespectful to talk to her only through Misha. Then again, isn't that what she's doing? No, she's at least looking at me. This is all very confusing and will take some time to get used to.
HISAO: "It's not a contest, because contests are competitions over a prize. If there's no prize on the line, it's not really a contest."
Shizune's eyes flash dangerously with a competitive glare. She stares at me, as if surprised that I'm challenging her. I think maybe this is a contest to her. I never noticed before how dark and blue her eyes are; it's truly an alluring gaze.
MISHA: "Are you sure, Hicchan?"
HISAO: "Very sure."
MISHA: "Hahaha! You're wrong, Hicchan. Because~!, I don't want to be the slowest one in the class. Therefore, what's on the line is my confidence in my abilities, and the prize is the satisfaction of proving them. Wahahahaha~!"
Shizune pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose in a very matter-of-fact way. I'd argue more, but the bell rings, and she quickly gets up and picks up her bag, looking at me expectantly. I had almost forgotten that I was supposed to have lunch with them.
MISHA: "Where do you want to eat?"
HISAO: "The cafeteria?"
MISHA: "Hahaha~! That's so plain... Okay~! Let's go!"
Plain? Well I guess... At my old school, I liked to eat outside, near the back of the building. It was a good spot, but I didn't find it until near the end of my freshman year. I wonder if there is a similar place to eat here. Misha seems to imply as much.
Shizune and Misha pull me towards the cafeteria, which is surprisingly not packed. Maybe some students favor eating in classroom or outdoors. I saw some of my classmates had boxed lunches. After we finish eating, Misha picks up where we left off earlier.
Katawa Shoujo OST - The Student Council (Shizune's Theme)
MISHA: "So, Hicchan, you wanted to know about clubs and stuff, right?, right~?"
MISHA: "Right, Shicchan! Okay, I guess it makes sense to ask first."
Exchanging little nods of confirmation, they turn to face me again and Misha straightens her posture as if she is about to deliver a speech.
MISHA: "Hicchan, do you have anything you're really interested in?"
HISAO: "I used to play soccer, but I'm not really into it. I don't follow the teams and players or anything like that. As of late, I usually just read a lot."
MISHA: "Hm... There is a book club, right, Shicchan? Right! But~! It seems like they have all the members they can possibly have right now. Sorry, Hicchan... It's a really popular club."
MISHA: "Ah, okay! But, more to the point, Hicchan, does this mean that you don't have anything already in mind?"
HISAO: "Not really."
MISHA: "Good! Great~! That's great, Hicchan! Really great! Hahaha~! Wahahahaha~!"
HISAO: "Why's it so great?"
MISHA: "No reason. Well, Hicchan, other than clubs and the upcoming festival, there is one other thing... Student Council!"
I see. I didn't know this school had a Student Council. That was a very melodramatic setup, though, just to tell me that.
I'm pretty sure the two of them know this, because Shizune looks a little embarrassed about it, and Misha is laughing. Shizune quickly retakes control of the discussion, in a manner of speaking. After all, it's still Misha who has to voice whatever she says.
MISHA: "Hahaha~! Hm? Right, right... Hicchan, maybe you should join the Student Council! They could use more people~. Yes! Definitely! You should definitely join!"
MISHA: Well, for one, we could hang out every day, Hicchan~! Shicchan and I are both in the Student Council. Actually, Shicchan is the president."
Hm... I'm starting to get the suspicion that Shizune and Misha might not exactly be the most unbiased people to talk about this with. As if reading my mind, Shizune quickly adjusts her glasses and signs something to Misha.
MISHA: "Hahaha~! Of course, we're not trying to get you to join just because we would obviously benefit from you joining the Student Council and therefore have an incentive to try and get you to"
HISAO: "So, you're admitting that"
MISHA: "Ahaha~! No! We admit nothing~! I mean, Hicchan, of course it would be nice if you joined, and we'd appreciate it. But even without all that, joining the Student Council shows a healthy interest in the workings of one's school. Yup~! It's true, Hicchan. Besides, don't you want to spend time with us after school, Hicchan?"
I can't tell if she is being genuine or if this is just really good acting. Both of them seem to be trying hard to look their cutest, although they are already pretty cute to begin with.
MISHA: "So it's settled, then. Welcome to the Student Council, Hicchan~!"
HISAO: "What? No. No!"
MISHA: "Awww... See, Shicchan? Of course it wouldn't go so easily."
MISHA: "Yup! That's right, though, it would be boring if it went that smoothly. Oh well~! Shicchan owes me candy now!"
HISAO: "You were betting on it? Hey, my life is not a game here!"
Shizune seems very intrigued by this when Misha signs it to her. The aggressive glint returns to her eyes.
MISHA: "Wahaha~! That's interesting, Hicchan. Let's play a game!"
HISAO: "That's not what I said."
MISHA: "How about Rich Man, Poor Man, Hicchan? If you lose, you have to join the Student Council~!"
HISAO: "No, absolutely not."
MISHA: "Aw~, why not?"
HISAO: "Well, because you two both have the same incentive, and therefore the same goal, which is to get me to join the Student Council, right?"
HISAO: "Yeah, that isn't my goal. But what this means is that both of you can team up and I'll be at a clear disadvantage. So, I will have to decline."
MISHA: "Hicchan! I'm very offended! Are you saying you don't trust us, and that we would pull something so ddisingenuous...? That makes me sad..."
It's hard to tell where Shizune's influence ends and Misha's thoughts begin.
MISHA: "In order to atone for hurting a young girl's feelings, you should definitely join the Student Council!"
MISHA: "How about a game of paper football, instead of Rich Man, Poor Man?"
HISAO: "Paper football?"
MISHA: "Yeah~! It's a game they play in America~! You make a paper triangle, and then you try to shoot it past goalposts that the other player makes with their fingers! Isn't it cool~? It's the ultimate form of competition between two people, Hicchan~!"
MISHA: "...And it's also played by elementary and middle school children, Shicchan? Wahaha! That means it's a game that really separates the boys from the men!"
HISAO: "More like the boys from the slightly older boys. Anyway, I'm not going to play that either. Just the fact that you know about it means you're probably surprisingly good at it."
MISHA: "Hahaha~! Yeah yeah~, that's true! How did you know, Hicchan?"
Shizune frowns at Misha, telling me that she probably wasn't supposed to admit that so readily. I wouldn't say that I'm happy with their attempts to get me into the Student Council, but I'm a little curious about what the Student Council does here. I've never been on one before, or even known anybody who was a member, so it interests me. I also kind of like Shizune and Misha, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
MISHA: "Okay, Hicchan, how about Risk? The game of world domination!"
No copyright issues in a non-profit production
HISAO: "I don't know what that is."
MISHA: "It's really fun, Hicchan. You fight for control of the world, with armies and everything."
NARRATOR: "Sounds like Shizune would be good at it."
MISHA: "If you want to play, we can after school."
MISHA: "Ah, really, Shicchan? We can play just for fun, Hicchan. Shicchan hasn't played in a long time, so if you want to, there are no strings attached~!"
HISAO: "Well, okay..."
MISHA: "Okay! Okay, okay~! Perfect~! We'll see you after school in the student council room, then, Hicchan!"
HISAO: "Wait, why there?"
MISHA: "Because~! That's where we keep the game. Wahahahaha~!"
I grimace to tell them how much I do not like this, but it's more for show than anything. So in the end I agree, but only after getting Shizune to acknowledge that I don't mean anything concrete just by accepting to take a look around and play a game with her. Lunch ends, and we go back to class.
During afternoon classes, the long haired girl comes back and sits down in her seat without a word. Again, no one seems to notice, or if they do, no one says anything. I want to ask Misha about it, but I don't want to be nosy.
Katawa Shoujo OST - Ease
After school, Shizune and Misha quickly find me by the first floor lobby and latch onto me, covering each flank in case I might try to escape. I feel a little offended, but I'd been considering it. Nevertheless, I'm a bit disturbed that enough people have made a break for it in the past that they're on their guard.
HISAO: "What's with the escort? This doesn't make me feel very comfortable."
In fact, it makes me feel like a dangerous prisoner being transported to his cell.
MISHA: "Wahahaha! What's wrong, Hicchan?"
MISHA: "That's right, we're just going to go play a game of Risk, remember?"
I don't know, Misha, this all seems a little sinister to me. I start thinking that when we sit down to play the game, they'll tie me down and torture me until I agree to join the Student Council. Well, that's highly unlikely, but still... For some reason, it just seems like it would be so plausible... Getting to the student council room is as simple as turning two corners from where we started.
HISAO: "What? That's it? This makes you guys being so on top of me seem a little silly."
MISHA: "That's not true, Hicchan, Shicchan says that when their life is threatened, people have shown the capability to pull off superhuman bursts of speed."
HISAO: "'Life is threatened'?"
Her expression unchanging, Misha signs something amusedly to Shizune, who makes a baffling face and puts her hands behind her back, looking pleased with herself.
MISHA: "Mm~ hm hm hm~..."
Misha feigns deafness and hums cheerily. Stop that, I know you heard me; you have no excuse, unlike Shizune.
Shizune opens the door to the student council room. It's a very plain, sparsely decorated room, although it is quite large, maybe even a little larger than a classroom. There's a big table in the center surrounded by chairs, and a smaller desk prominently placed in the back that I assume is Shizune's. There are a few regular desks and chairs stacked to one side, as well. Extras, perhaps? Aside from the tables and chairs, the room doesn't have much else to offer. Just a couple of filing cabinets and bookshelves stacked with old school records and documents. Not much else. In fact, nothing else. This is... a pretty bleak room. They could at least put a potted plant in here, or something. But the most noticeable thing that this room doesn't have is other people.
HISAO: "Are we early?"
HISAO: "What do you mean no? Does it mean nobody else is coming today?"
MISHA: "Yeah, that's right~."
Before I manage to ask why that's the case, Shizune claps her hands together very energetically.
Complete with sound effect.
MISHA: "Hicchan, let's play Risk! Come on, you promised, didn't you? You have to~! Hahaha~! Okay okay okay~! Do you want to know the rules? We can explain to you while we set everything up!"
While Misha is talking, Shizune takes out what looks like a board game from behind one of the filing cabinets and throws it on the table. Actually, this looks kind of interesting. After Misha spends a little too long for her liking running through the basics with a somewhat vague and confusing tutorial, Shizune cuts in and declares the game has started with a decisive motion, slicing her arm through the air. Shizune's aggressiveness is rubbing off onto me. I start feeling more competitive than I intended to be when I agreed to this.
Katawa Shoujo OST Hokabi
MISHA: "Hicchan, Shicchan wants you to know that you are taking too long to make a move.
Halfway into the game, while I try to ponder how to defend against Shizune's assault from two fronts, she breaks my concentration by drumming her fingers on the table to get my attention.
MISHA: "Hicchan, Shicchan wants you to know that you are taking too long to make a move.
MISHA: Shicchan also says that she will let you keep Australia if you agree to join the Student Council~!"
HISAO: "I thought this was a game with no strings attached."
Just the fact that she would dangle that over my head as an offer means that she knows I care about the outcome of this game.
HISAO: "And anyway: No!"
MISHA: "Shicchan admires your fighting spirit and would be a benevolent dictator who will spare your people if you agree to join the Student Council~! Hahahaha~!"
HISAO: "You're so competitive, Shizune."
She seems to take this as a compliment.
HISAO: "I would expect the Student Council president to be a little more magnanimous."
She doesn't seem to know what the word means or how it's signed, so she pulls out a piece of paper and writes it for Shizune, who in return signs it back to Misha. Misha presses her index fingers against her temples, as if trying to physically imprint the word into her memory.
Suddenly, Shizune bursts into a flurry of gestures. Misha looks daunted by the pace of her heated signing.
MISHA: "Ah, wait, please slow down, Shicchan... Um, Hicchan~! Shicchan says you're going to lose!"
HISAO: "Tell her I will crush her world empire with my rebellion."
MISHA: "Ah... Okay..."
Those eyes of hers shine with childlike mischief.
MISHA: "She says you have no chance if you keep playing like this, no you won't~!"
>She has a point. Attack aggressively!
>Its a trap, its smarter to play defensively here.
As you can probably guess, this is one of the primary departure points for Shizuness route. Do you know which option we should pick?