Part 67: Proof of CompetencyGuess who has a debit card, poor impulse control, and some disposable income right now? is now an official SA smilie. Megane, could you add a brief description of the smilie to your post for people who have trouble seeing it so I can link it in the OP?
Update 61: Proof of Competency
Now were off to Update 12, specifically the Lilly-Shizune showdown. By the way, when the Nurse asked us to exercise this time, we said yes. You can actually access Shizunes either way, but going this way lets us access to more Shizune content As questionable a choice as that may be.
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...
Nothing for it, time to take the road less traveled.
=>Don't drag me into this! I've done my part!
HISAO: "Why am I being dragged into this, again? I've done more than enough, I think. If you're angry with Lilly, that has nothing to do with me."
LILLY: "Now, wait just a second... are you implying the president is more right in scolding me than yourself?"
Ah damn, I think I could've worded that better.
HISAO: "No, I don't know about that but... I mean..."
MISHA: "What are you saying, Hicchan?"
HISAO: "It's just that I hardly think it's fair you can say that, seeing that I've helped you guys."
The mood has changed. This is like a showdown between two gunfighters now. Well, it was like that before too, but this time Shizune's focus is on me. And so is Lilly's, though she keeps quiet. I'm afraid I inadvertently pissed her off.
MISHA: "Are you saying I'm wrong?"
What a dangerous situation.
HISAO: "It's too early to argue with you. ...Yes, I think it's unfair of you to get on my case."
MISHA: "Hicchan, you want too much~! But~! You have a point. Okay, okay okay~! You're not lazy, Hicchan. Hahaha~!"
Shizune pushes her glasses up with her thumb, almost approvingly.
MISHA: "That's good! If you're not useless, you shouldn't let anyone say you are~! But the next time I say it, it'll really be because you are disappointing me like Miss Class Rep here, so don't let this go to your head!"
Lilly takes the jab silently, a venomous visage frozen on her face.
MISHA: "Class rep~! Shicchan says: Don't forget that report, please~!"
LILLY: "I won't. Would that be all?"
LILLY: "Then, good day to you all."
Her voice would cut the air of the classroom into half, if it was more tangible. Lilly leaves the room, understandably in a bad mood but still managing to be as poised and calm as usual.
HISAO: "Shizune, you really did go a little too far today."
MISHA: "It's true, Shicchan, just a little~."
If I had been expecting Shizune to grudgingly admit I have a point there as well, I think I was expecting too much. She doesn't respond.
MISHA: "Hahaha~! Shicchan thinks you should mind your own business. Hicchan, we have a few last minute things to take care of before class~! We might be late, so~! Can you please cover for us?"
MISHA: "Perfect~! Yay~! Okay~! Thanks, Hicchan!"
They walk outside even though there are only ten minutes left before the bell will ring, signaling the start of class.
If we spent time with Hanako and Lilly earlier, Hisao takes this chance to shoot a barbed comment at Shizune, to Lillys pleasure. That doesnt salvage your chances with her or Hanako, however, and we didnt do that anyway.
Katawa Shoujo OST - Daylight
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. We've been covering the same amount of pages each day, so reading ahead is more or less giving myself a preview of what tomorrow's lesson will be about. 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, not noticing Misha's head poking over my shoulder until she is almost on top of me.
HISAO: "What are you doing?"
I try to strike a balance between being quiet enough to not draw attention to myself but loud enough to draw hers.
MISHA: "What are you doing, Hicchan~?"
Panic shoots through me as Misha starts talking at her normal volume, and I sputter out a hasty reply, still keeping my voice down despite the fact that she just blew any hope of being discreet I may have had.
HISAO: "I'm copying down that stuff, what are you doing? Why so loud?"
MISHA: "Aw~, really? But it's all in the book... That's why no one else is copying it down~!"
HISAO: "I know, why are you so loud?"
MISHA: "Why are you so quiet, Hicchan? It's hard to hear you."
I look around to see if anyone is noticing our conversation and it's pretty obvious that everyone has, even the teacher. Shizune smiles coyly and I start to wonder if Misha is doing this because she told her to. Is it because of what happened between her and Lilly earlier? This is what I get for trying to be reasonable? For trying to take the middle path? Shizune is way too prideful, although by now I should know to expect that kind of behavior from her.
HISAO: "Why are you doing this?"
Misha is totally oblivious to the awkward stare the teacher is giving both of us, while trying to balance her textbook on one finger. For a brief second it looks as if things could get ugly, but the teacher simply looks away, as if it's not worth the trouble. I guess this is a good thing, and I slump back in my seat in relief.
The rest of day passes by uneventfully, and this time I'm able to appreciate that it does. When the bell rings, I'm not in a hurry, 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. 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. Probably way over my head. Not just that, but Shizune also seems angry, although it could just be her normal severity making it appear so. 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.
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 starts signing at me and 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.
MISHA: "Well, we're in the Student Council, you know, so we're pretty busy."
The tone of Shizune's actions make me think she is speaking with disdain, but Misha interprets it normally, replacing whatever intent may have been there with her own chipper twist on things. It's still disorienting, I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
HISAO: "Never mind. How could I forget, with you two trying to get me to join at least twice a day?"
MISHA: "Hahaha~! But, Hicchan, some could say the work is too much. It'd be nice if students were to show a little more support for their leadership, some appreciation to the ones who are working so hard to make it all possible. Maybe, for example, a little help. That's asking too much, is it? Yep~! Help would be appreciated~! From students like you~! If students would show their dedication and school spirit, and offer some help, well, I don't exactly need it... But I wouldn't necessarily refuse it... So~! it would be nice if someone would...
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. They seem to have momentarily forgotten about trying to get me to stay for the rest of the day.
HISAO: "What is it, Hanako?"
HANAKO: "H... has Lilly been here?"
MISHA: "Sorry, Satou is not here. 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 funny though, 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: "If she has any sense in her head, she's in her classroom, working on their festival project. But who knows where that woman is loitering at. She might be slacking off somewhere~! What a useless woman~!"
Hanako nods quickly and retreats with haste, obviously to avoid any further contact with Shizune. Unfortunately, this turns their attention fully back to me.
MISHA: "But Hicchan is not useless, right? Right? He said so himself~! Wahaha~!"
I can see where this is going, and I do not want any part of it, not after that experience yesterday."
HISAO: "Well, good luck with your preparations..."
I start packing my bag, ready to make a break for the exit. Unfortunately I'm all the way on the other side of the room. The short distance to the doorway seems like a vast No Man's Land to me now.
Katawa Shoujo OST - School Days
Shizune and Misha both start maneuvering slowly in front of me, cutting off my route of escape in an unsettlingly cautious way that makes me think of ship-to-ship combat.
MISHA: "I think Shicchan is saying that you should help us, Hicchan~!"
HISAO: "Gee, I wouldn't know, she's so subtle."
MISHA: "But~! that's the intent, so, please? I can't keep up, we have to actually build stalls for the festival, almost all of them all by ourselves, can you believe that? Hammering boards together, over and over again, for hours, it's really hard! I'm so used to it I was doing swinging motions in class, and I didn't even know it!"
She bangs her desk a few times, imitating hammer blows.
MISHA: "It's so repetitive, I can't stand it! And yesterday, I actually hammered all the boards on top of each other... It was just a stack of boards all nailed together, and then I had to take it apart and do it all over again, and I got yelled at and laughed at~!"
She clamps a hand down on my shoulder and grins, quickly running her tongue across her teeth mischievously.
MISHA: "Do you have any plans for today, Hicchan? I wonder if you do~."
HISAO: "Sure I have plans..."
MISHA: "Really~? You're going to help us, right?"
I notice her hands are moving constantly. She's signing everything we both say so that Shizune can understand. Shizune is being somewhat quiet today. Is she still angry? Well, probably at least a bit. I can see it in her eyes. But, this could also just be another way of trying to guilt me into lending her a hand. I have to find a way out of this.
HISAO: "Hey, I should go now, to the library. You know, homework... I should get going, shouldn't I? I have to be diligent, because I'm a new student, and all, so I have to make a good first impression, right? Yeah... See you later, then!"
I turn to bolt for the door, but Shizune is blocking my path, her arms crossed over her chest and a stern expression on her face. She wags a finger tauntingly and begins signing to Misha with the manner of a squad leader giving directions to his fellow soldiers.
MISHA: "It didn't seem like you were in any rush to get to the library, Hicchan~! That's right, Shicchan~, it does seem like he was probably going to slack off for the rest of the day. Hahaha~! Wahaha~! You're surrounded~!"
MISHA: "Let's go to the student council room~!"
She lets out a chuckle, and then breaks into laughter.
MISHA: "I'm sorry, Hicchan, I feel bad, but this works out for everyone, right?"
MISHA: "That's right, Shicchan! Yes~, that's a good point too."
MISHA: "Yes, this is beneficial to everyone, it solves all our problems."
MISHA: "Yeah yeah~!, I also thought he'd be more appreciative of our efforts."
They pull themselves closer, as if they are about to pounce.
HISAO: "Hey guys, two-on-one isn't very fair, is it?"
She keeps looking forward, impassive, then gives a sinister smile.
MISHA: "Come on, we have a lot of work to do! Let's go to the student council room~!"
HISAO: "Gee, I don't know..."
MISHA: "Deja vu~?"
She chortles, before letting out another laugh.
MISHA: "Hahaha, you know, my horoscope said it'd be a good day for me today. And now that you're going to help"
Shizune signs quickly to her.
MISHA: "Right~!, I mean, now that you've decided to help us, completely of your own free will, I'll be able to take it easy! Lucky~, huh?"
I open my mouth to say something but then realize there's no point. I refocus on trying to think of a way out of this. No, their actions are clearly deliberate, there's no sense in attempting to reason with them. You can't reason with madmen. I frown, and they don't even notice my discontent, further proving my suspicions. They seem pretty relaxed now. I guess they think they've already won, so they're letting their guard down. That's kind of arrogant.
They pass forward in front of me as they move through the doorway... And I stealthily walk backwards back into the classroom as they step into the hallway, turning towards the stairwell. I let out a sigh of relief and quickly pack the rest of my stuff so I can make my escape.
Katawa Shoujo OST - Hokabi
The classroom door slams shut.
MISHA: "That wasn't very nice, there. Hahaha, you really got us good, though. Didn't he, Shicchan?"
MISHA: "Right, right... ...Hahaha! What was that about? I thought you said you'd help us! And then you bailed on us! And you thought you would get away with it, didn't you?"
The indignant expression vanishes and she begins to laugh hysterically, calming down only after an aggravated look from Shizune.
MISHA: "Oh, ah... Yeah~, you thought you could get away with it! But, a criminal always returns to the scene of the crime!"
I didn't even manage to leave the classroom in the first place. No, wait, I didn't even agree to help in the first place.
MISHA: "Not very bright, are you, criminal? Thinking you can just shirk your duties like that... How low, Hicchan~!"
HISAO: "I'm a criminal? What did I do? What's the charge? What am I guilty of?"
MISHA: "That's for the courts to decide, criminal! I don't think we have to tell you that! Besides, you're the criminal here, you know what you did!"
HISAO: "Have you ever read The Trial, by Kafka?"
MISHA: "No, what's that, Hicchan~? What does that have to do with this?"
HISAO: "I read it a few months ago. It's about these people who run a kangaroo court on a guy who just wants to live his life. They refuse to leave him alone, and he can't fight the power."
SHIZUNE: "... ..."
MISHA: "Hicchan, what does that have to do with anything? Hey~!, what does that mean?"
She turns back to me after signing back and forth for a lengthy amount of time.
MISHA: "You know, we're both a little disappointed in you. You've let us down, Hisao."
MISHA: "Dropped the ball."
MISHA: "Left us hanging. And out in the cold~."
MISHA: "Is that any way to treat a person? To run away from your responsibilities, to abandon your comrades? We think you owe it to us to honor your commitment."
HISAO: "What? But I didn't commit to anything~!"
My breathing catches in my throat and I momentarily start choking.
MISHA: "That's not true, Hicchan! You said you are not useless, you definitely said it, yes, definitely, definitely definitely~! We are calling you on those words now~! You better prepare to show you are not a useless guy! Your honor will be soiled forever if you try to get out of this~! So for the rest of the day, we are going to hang out together, just the three of us, and work hard!"
MISHA: "You can't fool us! You should be happy, you're doing your school a great service. Ask not what your school can do for you... But what you can do for your school! Hahaha! Hahahahahahaha!"
MISHA: "Cheer up, cheer up, Hicchan!"
She slaps me hard across the back with enough strength to knock the air out of my lungs. I gasp to breathe.
MISHA: "Besides, aren't you happy you get to spend the day with two cute girls? Hahahaha!"
I guess they are right. I did blurt those words out.
Accepting my fate, I follow them to the student council room...
Katawa Shoujo OST - Afternoon
...And hammer the final nail into the stall. It took all of the afternoon, and dinner time is nearly over. But it is done now. Shizune pulls out a roll of measuring tape and a small level, and inspects it thoroughly. She smiles, looking pleased, then motions for Misha to come over.
MISHA: "She says you did a very good job. In fact, you might actually have a gift for this. Wow, I'm impressed, too. And that was fast, have you done this before?"
HISAO: "No. Never. Never before. And I never will again."
MISHA: "Well, our quota for the day is six stalls. In a few minutes, me and Shicchan should finish this one. That means~... four more to go! We're making good time, she says~! Isn't this great fun?"
I could think of a million things I'd rather do, but I suppose everyone has to do their share for the festival, even me.
HISAO: "You're both lucky that I'm helping you two out, if I really didn't want to, I could have gotten out of it easily."
MISHA: "Really, Hicchan?"
MISHA: "Wahaha~! Shicchan thinks you are just running your mouth! Japanese people have no flight or fight reflex, Hicchan~!"
Shizune tents her fingers deviously.
MISHA: "Definitely~! Definitely, definitely~! If you really wanted to escape, you would have taken immediate action~! That is how you know someone is serious; when they have no doubts, no regrets!"
MISHA: "Maybe it was a bad idea to tell you that, since now Hicchan knows what to do next time~."
But, just the fact that she is all right with telling me this shows me that she doubts I'll be able to act on it. That only makes me want to do it more, and I almost want the opportunity to do so to arise again. But if that happens, she might get me again somehow.
MISHA: "Shicchan says she is happy now."
Katawa Shoujo OST - Raindrops and Puddles
Much, much later in the evening, we are looking at six completed stalls. With the pride of a job well done, we sit back and admire the fruits of our labor, not sharing a word between us. Just admiring. I realize I'm feeling quite thirsty.
HISAO: "Hey, isn't there a vending machine out in the hall? They're on all day, right?"
MISHA: "Yeah, the drinks are very cheap, too. We usually get something from there on days like this."
I dig around in my pocket, and find a single hundred yen coin.
HISAO: "Is this enough? I'm feeling kind of thirsty."
MISHA: "A hundred yen? You can get any drink in the machine with that."
HISAO: "That's good, that's very good, then."
MISHA: "Ah, wait a second. Hm? What is it, Shicchan? Do you want him to get you a drink too? Hahaha!"
MISHA: "Hicchan, you've really helped us out, so today I - I mean Shicchan, will treat you. Hey, what about me?"
MISHA: "What would you like? I'm feeling thirsty myself? So am I!"
HISAO: "Hm, I don't know. Anything's fine. I guess the melon soda."
MISHA: "Hey, wait, Shicchan! I also want a drink! Aw...! You know, it's times like this that I think she is just teasing me."
HISAO: "That's probably it. I'm sure she'll get you something, right?"
MISHA: "Yeah, she usually does. But... you never know..."
Shizune comes back with two melon sodas and a can of fruit juice. She hands me one of the sodas, and the other to Misha.
MISHA: "Thanks, Shicchan~! I had total faith that you'd get me one, I knew I could count on you! Wahahaha! But how did you know this was what I wanted? I usually get something else."
MISHA: "What? You knew I'd want to try it? And that I like these kinds of childish things? Hahahaha! Hahahaha!"
I gesture my thanks to Shizune, who smiles and nods.
MISHA: "Hey, Hicchan..."
MISHA: "We've been spending a lot of time together. Already, in such a short time, we've done so much. We should both stop beating around the bush. What I'm trying to say is,"
It sounds a lot like she's going to ask me out, but that can't be it. Nevertheless, my heart is beating like a jackhammer. Damn, this reminds me of another similar scene earlier this year. I try to say something, but my brains can't decide whether to stop her or to tell her to continue. I feel myself blushing all the way to the ears.
Katawa Shoujo OST - Ease
MISHA: "What I'm trying to say is... Would you like to join the Student Council?"
HISAO: "Ah, what a disappointment."
MISHA: "Hahaha! Hahahaha! Hahahahaha! Wahaha! Hahahaha! Did you think she wanted to ask you out, Hicchan? Hahahaha! Hahaha! Hahaha! Hahahaha! Hahahahahahahaha!"
I feel very embarrassed right now, I can feel myself getting even redder in the face. Shizune also tries to hide a blush after Misha translates, and then puts a few sheets of paper in front of me.
MISHA: "So, how about it? All the paperwork is right here. And you are sitting down, anyway. You look very at home here. Drinks and everything~!"
MISHA: "What do you say?"
She quiets down a little and asks again a little more solemnly.
MISHA: "Hicchan, what do you say? You don't exactly hate this, right?"
I'm more than a little surprised by this sudden change of tone. I don't really know how to react to it. For one thing, she isn't shouting uproariously with no regard for tact. Before, I'm sure she knew already that I was going to say no. This time, she seems actually serious.
MISHA: "I think maybe you should join. Not just because we could use your help, but, well, you're hanging out with us anyway. I think Shicchan would like it if you would join as well. It's not like you hate us or anything, right? It wouldn't hurt if you joined. And I'd appreciate it if you would."
She seems to be having a hard time getting her words out, which is strange for someone talkative like Misha. For some reason, I'm almost troubled by it. My eyes drift over to Shizune, who stares back at me tentatively, absentmindedly cleaning her fingernails.
MISHA: "If you don't want to join, I promise we won't ask again, but if you did, we would be really happy."
Both Shizune and Misha seem to be unable to look me in the eye. I can't lie, the thought of being around two such cute girls is something that I couldn't possibly pass up. I'm not looking forward to this kind of work every day, but there should be less after the festival. At least, I hope so.
HISAO: "All right. I guess it can't hurt, so, why not?"
MISHA: "Wonderful. Wonderful! Ahahaha~!"
Shizune tents her fingers in satisfaction.
MISHA: "She'll fill everything out, Hicchan. Congratulations, you are officially a member of the Student Council now!"