Part 14: Cold WarUpdate 12: Cold War
Katawa Shoujo OST - School Days
I'm the first person in class today, although I think I'm a little too early. Then again, sitting alone here for twenty minutes sure beats having to suffer that time with Kenji. The combination of fatigue, frustration, and boredom starts making me feel very tired. I black out for a second, waking up when my head hits the surface of my desk. Rubbing my forehead, I realize this is as good a reason as any to stay up for now and stop coming to class so early later. Eventually, I hear a tapping noise outside in the hallway, and Lilly's tall figure appears in the doorway. She's not in this class, so she must have some other business. Maybe she's looking for Hanako. Lilly stops at the door, looking hesitant as if she was a vampire who can't come in unless invited. I consider doing so because she looks rather lonesome standing there. She steps in on her own accord though, after straightening her skirt and shirt collar as if it was of importance to look prim when entering our classroom.
LILLY: "Excuse me."
She calls into the quiet classroom with a probing, delicate voice. I realize the silence might unnerve her because of her blindness so I break it.
HISAO: "Good morning, Lilly."
LILLY: "Hisao? Good morning. I didn't hear you come in."
I wonder if she thinks it's suspicious I didn't say anything to her before. It's likely. If I were to tell too big a lie now, it would sink me.
HISAO: "Well, I was already here, just asleep until now."
LILLY: "Oh. Have you seen Hanako today, by any chance?"
HISAO: "No, she seems to come in only just before the bells ring... or after that. Do you want me to tell her something for you?"
LILLY: "No, it's fine. It's strange, but I think we're the only two people in the school right now. I didn't hear anyone else on my way here."
HISAO: "I shouldn't have gotten up so early today, I guess."
LILLY: "You're chastising yourself for doing something that other people should? Punctuality is a good thing. I think so, anyway. It's a very busy morning today. The festival is coming up soon, and today is the deadline for event registration, budget reports, and any other official paperwork. It could be that everyone is trying to complete the necessary forms at the last minute. Maybe that is why it's so quiet today."
MISHA: "Hi ~ Hi ~!"
Misha pops into the room with Shizune as if on cue, shouting with a loudness that makes Lilly visibly flinch.
MISHA: "Hi, Hicchan~! Hi."
MISHA: "Look, it's the class representative~! Hello~!"
Lilly smiles, probably amused by Misha's - or Shizune's - use of the word look.
LILLY: "Good morning."
MISHA: "Of course, you're not the representative of this class, right, right~?"
LILLY: "I'm not."
Lilly seems a little more guarded in her answers to Shizune than she was with me the other day. I guess they really don't get along at all. Then I realize that Lilly might actually not know Shizune is present and she's trying to detect whether or not she is, to know who she is talking to. For all she knows, she's talking to Misha, but knowing that she and Shizune are practically inseparable, she might expect Shizune being the one that actually talks. Damn, how complicated. I decide to help Lilly out, for my own peace of mind more than anything else.
HISAO: "You're here early, Shizune."
MISHA: "You were here even earlier than us!"
Misha puffs out her cheeks angrily. Why is she getting angry? Does she feel emotions on Shizune's behalf, too? It's not that weird, though, that Shizune didn't like my little comment. It's true, I was here earlier than them, so me saying something like that could definitely be misinterpreted as anything. Especially to Shizune, who doesn't have the benefit of hearing tone to gauge intent. Before I can start weighing whether or not I should apologize, Shizune has already moved on.
MISHA: "Class rep~! It's a good thing you're here~! We have to talk."
MISHA: "The festival is coming up in three days, right? Every other class has already handed in their projected budget reports for their events! Even the first-years! Except you~! Wahaha~!"
LILLY: "There is still time to hand it in, isn't there?"
MISHA: "Today! The deadline is today! You're certainly taking your time, aren't you? If I had it my way, I'd have had all of the necessary paperwork days ago, but someone~! had to say the deadline, please extend it~!"
LILLY: "Yes, that was me. Planning something on this scale is not a small task, and a week is too small a time frame to expect a whole class to work out such a complex issue completely."
MISHA: "Do you want to know what's harder than distributing the funds for one class' event? Handling the same matter for every class in the school and then some~! The one who does that is me!"
Misha puts her hands on her hips and stands up straight. Wow, she is really getting into the role. Lilly doesn't look like she's very amused, though.
HISAO: "Hey, Shizune, aren't you being a little too hard on her? There's still a whole day left."
LILLY: "Please, Hisao. It's all right."
Lilly seems happy I'm taking her side, but a bit conflicted that I might not think she can take care of herself.
LILLY: "If this is about the budget, then I'm disappointed you think I have forgotten about it. I understand how important it is."
MISHA: "Then~! Can I have it, please?"
HISAO: "Shizune, she might not have it on her at this exact second."
LILLY: "It's not here right now. I asked two students to take care of it for me. Students from my class."
She emphasizes the last sentence much to my surprise. She knows about Shizune and Misha's efforts to rope me into the Student Council? I guess word must've gotten around, so now she's using me as ammo against Shizune. This just gets better and better...
MISHA: "It was your responsibility~! A budget report isn't something you should just be delegating away; as class rep, it's your job to be on top of things! This kind of disregard for proper procedure is really just terrible~!"
LILLY: "They completed it, being capable of doing so, but the students have been sick recently, so they could not come to school and give it back to me. If you want, I will apologize on their behalf for getting sick."
Although Misha misses Lilly's little jab entirely, Shizune doesn't, and she seems torn between being offended by Lilly's daring and jumping for joy at the prospect of a challenge.
MISHA: "Lilly, don't they live here at the school? That's a five minute walk, you know~. What could they possibly have that prevents them from taking five minutes out of their busy lives... to drop off something that will affect the enjoyment of their entire class?"
Lilly opens her mouth to say something, but Shizune closes the gap between them and starts signing furiously, waving her hands around like an orchestra conductor. Misha tries her best to convey the same passion, but can't seem to lose her normal cheerful tone. The result is interesting and somewhat surreal."
MISHA: "And what's with that attitude~? I said that it's not something you should be delegating away; are you the class representative or aren't you? Tell me the names of those two students, they should have your job if you can't even handle something this simple yourself."
LILLY: "One form isn't the full extent of what I am supposed to take care of."
Lilly's tone is growing slightly impatient, but she is doing a good job of not letting Shizune see how unsettled she is becoming. She's playing her cards close to her chest. Shizune, on the other hand, wraps her fingers cheerfully along the edge of her glasses, knowing Lilly can neither hear nor see how excited she is.
MISHA: "Of course, you do so much, class rep~! It must be so difficult being you~!"
Lilly tightens her lips at Misha's words, clearly understanding the intent behind them even though Misha delivers them without even a hint of the sarcasm which they were meant to have. Shizune and Lilly don't like each other, that much is clear, but this seems a little much. It seems like Lilly has had enough and is ready to push back.
Katawa Shoujo OST - Track 19 (High Tension) HQ
LILLY: "I was actually just discussing the budget report before you came by. You must be very talented to have finished all your student council duties so quickly that you can track me down to make sure I don't forget my own."
MISHA: "Are you accusing me of slacking off? It seems like you're confusing me with yourself~!"
The next few lines flip from one portrait to the other, each switch accompanied by another clang.
LILLY: "I don't think so. That would be a very difficult thing for me to do; comparing myself to you."
MISHA: "You're right, the difference between us is like heaven and hell."
LILLY: "And it's not hard to guess which one you might represent."
They had to work that panty shot in there somewhere, didnt they
The air between them ripples with the heat of their enmity. Well, not really. They can't disguise it any more, though. Even Misha looks like she's beginning to understand the real nature of this conversation.
MISHA: "Hicchan~! Don't you slack off either~!"
HISAO: "What are you talking about?"
MISHA: "Aren't you taking part in the festival, Hicchan? You are, aren't you? Then~! I hope you're going to do a lot more to make sure it goes smoothly than this person~!"
I don't understand why Shizune is suddenly getting mad at me.
>"Don't drag me into this! I've done my part!"
>"Hey, come on. Cut me and Lilly some slack..."
Probably the second most important choice in the game. Remember that time when we fled into a book instead of socializing? That was step one in unlocking either Shizunes or Lilly and Hanakos routes. This is step two. If you side WITH whoever you met up with earlier, you end up soft-locked into their route(s). Is that the right word? Im trying to say youve entered the part of the scene structure that leads directly to their route, but you still have the occasional offramp (most of which lead into the Bad Ending, which Ill touch on without showing it) before you enter the route proper. I THINK thats the right term. Im not exactly an expert at visual novel terminology . If you side AGAINST them, you lock yourself out of all three routes for good, just as if you hadnt met up with anyone earlier, and have to content yourself/rejoice in Emi or Rins route or the Bad End.
=>"Hey, come on. Cut me and Lilly some slack..."
Lilly won the poll earlier by a hair, so were siding with her this time. It doesnt really matter, since both routes are locked off anyway. It does, however, determine the content of the next several scenes we get bounced through.
HISAO: "Hey, I'm the new guy, remember? It's not like I could've done much, even if I wanted."
LILLY: "That's right, you shouldn't expect a transfer student to jump right into it on his first week."
Lilly taking my side feels oddly comforting so I decide to back her up too.
HISAO: "Yeah you're being unreasonable with us both."
MISHA: "Excuses, excuses. Miss Class Rep has had plenty of time to deal with her report. And we repeatedly offered you a position to help with the student council work, but you refused to commit yourself to making the festival a success."
HISAO: "Yeah, but as I said back then, I'm not sure if..."
I don't have time for this right now; no matter what I do, it will mean being drawn into a confrontation with Shizune, and that is what she wants.
HISAO: "Whatever. Forget it."
Hanako doesn't come to the morning class at all, leaving her seat looking empty and lonely in the back of the classroom. I have to tell her that Lilly was looking for her if I see her later. After the events of this morning, class is pretty boring in comparison. I turn the pages of my textbook lazily. I have a bit of catching up to do, despite trying to keep up with my studies at the hospital, but I'm not feeling that enthusiastic about it. The clock at the front of the room sounds unbearably loud. The teacher hasn't said anything in over seven minutes, instead opting to cover the board in rows and rows of equations taken directly from the book. The rhythmic clashing of chalk on blackboard seems to synchronize perfectly with the ticking of the clock. I start to copy down the equations just to pass the time, even though they are right there in the text book.
Katawa Shoujo OST Afternoon
When the bell rings, I'm not in a hurry because I have nothing to do, so I stay for a while, reviewing what we covered in class today. I prefer to leave last anyway, so I don't have to deal with crowding in the hallways. I notice Shizune and Misha have also stayed behind, talking to someone from another class. Shizune's signing so fast that her hands make noises like swords cutting through the air. Maybe there is pent up anger in there. Misha is trying desperately to keep up, but it's clear she can barely manage to even understand her. I put my head down. Whatever they're discussing, it looks like serious business. Shizune signs to the point where her wrists crackle, and Misha struggles to spit it out in word form. Sometimes she trips over herself like she's dealing with tongue twisters. And then on top of that, she has to sign back anything the other girl says. Seems like a rough job. Misha looks tired, like she's about to faint. Luckily for her, their business is soon finished and the girls sit down on their seats again.
MISHA: "Uwaaah! I'm so tired!"
She's hanging her head limply on her desk, looking exhausted. I'll use the opportunity to reconcile with Shizune a bit, without getting roped into the student council thing again, though I suspect that door is now closed for me.
HISAO: "Festival preparations must be tough for you."
Indeed, the people in this school seem to be taking the festival very seriously. Whenever I see people idling around before and after classes they're always talking about their plans for it. It's kind of neat to see everyone being so enthusiastic about it. I'm probably the only one who doesn't have something to do.
Shizune scoffs at me first, as if trying to decide whether to ignore or sneer at me, but in the end she starts signing without doing either. Misha perks up, looking at her hands with slightly unfocused eyes.
She signs with harsh, heavy, dramatic strokes. Misha translates her signing into speech for me. She does it so well it's almost like Shizune is actually speaking, transmitting her thoughts directly through Misha. She must've practiced it vigorously.
MISHA: "Well of course, we're in the Student Council, you know, so we're pretty busy."
MISHA: "It's an important duty of ours, to ensure the success of the festival with all our strength."
MISHA: "We would shame ourselves in front of the past student council generations if the festival were to fail."
MISHA: "That's why there must be no flaws, no... errr I think that was incumbrances, no nothing that might make the festival short of perfect."
Shizune's passionate speech and Misha's enacting are really oddly fitting of them.
MISHA: "Oh? Hello~!"
Katawa Shoujo OST Stride
I look over my shoulder and see Hanako peering timidly into the classroom, most of her body hidden behind the door.
MISHA: "Hey! Playing delinquent again?"
Hanako blushes hard at Misha's straightforward jab, even if it was only in jest.
Shizune stares at her probingly, causing Hanako to look down and start backing away to the point where only her fingers can be seen wrapped nervously around the edge of the door. Maybe she is showing her dislike of Hanako by association of her dislike of Lilly. It appears so, and Hanako probably knows it as well.
HISAO: "What is it, Hanako?"
HANAKO: "H... has Lilly been here?"
MISHA: "Sorry, haven't seen Satou. She, eh, came by in the morning though."
Hanako keeps looking uneasily at Shizune, who stares back at her with her usual studying gaze. What is she trying to do? Of course Shizune isn't going to look away, and she is intimidating enough as it is, so I can only imagine how terrified Hanako would be. It is a little uncomfortable, watching Hanako's reaction to Shizune's normal behavior. This is what happens when two people of two different extremes meet, it seems.
HANAKO: "Do... do you know where she is?"
MISHA: "She might be slacking off somewhere, just like Hicchan~! Wahaha~!"
Damn, what is it with Shizune and her need to point out stuff like this?
Hanako nods quickly and retreats with haste.
MISHA: "What were we talking about? Oh yeah, we are really working hard to make the festival happen."
And driving other people insane along the way.
HISAO: "Well, good luck with that."
I stand up to leave, making my exit before either of them manages to berate me any more for slacking off.