Part 4Looks like we're eating in class! Polls are closed and I'll have the update soon.
I won't try to force any comments, but if I do comment I'll label it with a so it's not confused with the game text. Let me know if it gets annoying and I'll stop. I just want to make this as entertaining as possible
Also, I am using a script to do this. I'm editing a text dump of the game's script file to be human readable as I go. I wanted to make that file human readable anyway, so this LP is a good excuse for doing so. That's why it takes me such a short time to make an update (I'm just zipping through the game and grabbing screenshots, then reformatting text).
For Sirmio and anybody else who's seen the anime but not this game, I think you're in for a treat. Like IDOLA said, it's a whole world further and higher. I enjoyed the anime before playing this, and I still do, but now I mostly enjoy it because it makes me remember all of the details in the game that are suspiciously missing in the anime
IDOLA: I'm playing this on a fresh install. Thus, since we went to homeroom right away, we're already locked onto the Arc path. It's the recommended first anyway, though. On my personal play I've just finished both near side paths and I'm starting down the far side path for the first time. I'm busy over the next couple days but I've been breezing through it pretty quickly. I'll probably finish the final three paths by the end of the week. I'm loving the game so much more than the anime so far.
Regarding the text, yeah there's a ton of it. Fortunately it's split up between five different paths, and there are a ton of similarities between several of them. There are areas where you can get almost an exact same scene with just a very few slightly different details, and the whole scene has its own blob of text (most of it copy-pasted). So, I'm not sure you can really compare this directly to a book on word-count alone. There's no doubt it's wordsy, but it's not anywhere near as long as it seems to have a reputation for.
Music: play track 3
"But man, what's up with us, just the two of us eating lunch together? What kind of meal goes unaccompanied by a beautiful blossom?"
"If you don't have any 'blossoms', why don't you join that group over there? I'm not going to stop you."
"Idiot! When I say 'blossom', I mean a single, beautiful blossom. Those girls making a group aren't good. They're poisonous, rather than being beautiful."
...... Arihiko's comment would've probably earned him some rocks thrown in his direction if the group of girls had heard him.
Luckily, the girls in our class didn't hear his poisonous words.
"...... That's pretty harsh, Arihiko. I know you were a bad guy before, but haven't you been getting worse lately? You're surpassing merely 'bad' and getting into 'deviant'."
"I can't help it, can I? When there's a truly beautiful blossom at our school, my discerning eye grows more critical."
"Hah...... So, who is this beautiful 'blossom'?"
"That's a secret. I don't want more competition, now do I?"
Arihiko laughs with an ambitious smile spilling over his face.
As it is something I don't have, I'm a little impressed by his ability to express himself so frankly.
"Um...... Senpai, are you hurt?"
"No, I'm not hurt at all."
Even her smiling reply troubles me.
"You said to come here at lunchtime, so I thought it would be rude if I did not."
"Uh...... It's true that I said that, but......"
What I intended to say was that she could come and I would take responsibility if she ended up being hurt.
Arihiko slams the table with a bang as he stands up.
"Ah, Inui-kun. Could it be that you and Tohno-kun are acquainted?"
"Yeah, we're more than casual acquaintances! Tohno and I have been friends since we were kids! Right, Tohno? You could even say we were best friends!"
Arihiko makes a tight fist for emphasis.
There's no room for agreement or disagreement.
In the end, Arihiko forcibly convinces Senpai to stay for lunch.
Well...... since she brought her lunch, perhaps that's what she had in mind in the first place.
"Oh, Inui-kun, do you live by yourself?"
"Nah, I live with my sister. Our parents left us in charge of the house, so we naturally learned how to cook, that's all."
Arihiko seems familiar with Senpai.
He's able to talk to her more casually than I can. I've only met her a few times.
"By the way, Senpai, you said that you were called here by Tohno. Did something happen?"
"Yes, I ran into Tohno-kun during the break. I wasn't hurt, but Tohno-kun hit his head."
"Hmm...... And you came to see him because you became worried?"
"Yes, that's about right."
Senpai's voice is brisk and pleasant to listen to.
Since listening is more interesting than talking, I keep silent.
"Ohh...... Could that possibly be the Tohno-san mansion?"
Senpai asks with some hesitation.
Now why would Tohno Shiki be going to live in the Tohno mansion? Something tells me she didn't think that question through.
The western-style house on top of the hill is probably seen as something special to the residents of the town.
I haven't been there for eight years, but even in my memories, the Tohno mansion was ridiculously large.
"Yeah, that's right. I don't think it's the right place for me either, but it's too late now that I'm done moving."
"Hmm...... You don't seem too happy about it."
"It's not a particularly good or bad thing. I don't really understand it myself."
"Well, even if it is your house, it's been eight years, right? I can understand if you're feeling restless. It'll probably feel like someone else's house for a while."
"I wonder if that's so...... I haven't gone back yet, so I don't know. Well, I'm a bit relaxed, since I've always got a refuge at your place."
"That's why he comes over to my place, where we conveniently have an empty room. Since he looks pretty decent, my sister took a liking to him, and he shamelessly comes to stay with us without paying a cent!"
Arihiko's fist trembles, as if to say 'unforgivable!'
"...... Taking care of Tohno-kun?"
Arihiko clamps a hand over his mouth.
"...... Sorry. I should have thought before I spoke."
"It's okay. You didn't say anything wrong."
I continue to eat my bread without looking at Arihiko.
I turn away.
And...... all of a sudden, I realize Yumizuka is close by.
Her eyes look like she wants to say something, but it seems like she can't bring herself to intrude.
"What's wrong, Yumizuka-san?"
I leave Arihiko and Senpai and call out to Yumizuka.
"Ah...... uh, I have something to talk to you about. Is now a good time?"
"Sure. Can we talk here?"
Yumizuka's eyes flicker towards Arihiko.
...... It seems Yumizuka isn't good at dealing with Arihiko.
"Is it alright if we discuss this in the hallway?"
"I don't mind. I'm leaving for a while, Arihiko."
Waving to Arihiko and Senpai, I exit with Yumizuka into the hallway.
"So, what did you want to ask me?"
Midnight...... then that rules it out completely.
I occasionally go out to the business district at night to buy something, but I've never been out into the city that late before.
"That's definitely not me. My household is old-fashioned, so they've got a curfew at seven. You can't get in after that even if you cry. Since I don't want to have to camp outside, I try to my death to get home before seven."
I'm upfront in denying Yumizuka's question.
She smiles happily.
"You've forgotten that we went to the same middle school together, haven't you?"
Yumizuka giggles as she speaks.
...... We went to the same middle school......?
I can't remember, so I can't say anything, but if that's true,
then it wouldn't be odd if she knew I was entrusted to the Arimas.
"Yumizuka-san, maybe, um......"
"It's okay as long as it's not you, Tohno-kun. Sorry for interrupting your lunch."
Interrupting my words, Yumizuka Satsuki goes back into the classroom after saying this.
Arihiko: "Yo. Is your conversation over?"
"Yeah...... it seems like she just got the wrong person...... Hey, Arihiko."
"Yeah. Yumizuka went to our middle school. To say more, she was our classmate during our second and third year, and now in the second year of high school, making for three years in total."
As if he knew my question, he answers.
"H-how did you know what I was going to ask?"
...... Well, whatever. After all, it doesn't matter to me if Senpai misunderstands.
"But you mustn't be so blunt to her, Tohno-kun. Yumizuka-san looks kind of sad, doesn't she? You've got to give her more of your attention."
"Senpai, lunch is going to end soon......"
"Yes. See you later, Tohno-kun, Inui-kun!"
Smiling, Senpai leaves our classroom.
I feel a little exhausted.
"Tohno. Don't go after Yumizuka."
Arihiko mumbles this with a stern face.
"Don't go after......? Why?"
"Listen, about Yumizuka...... despite her appearance, she's really shy and single-minded. She's not compatible at all with someone absent-minded like you. That kind of girl is dangerous to get really involved with."
Arihiko goes back to his own seat.
"...... What is he talking about? It's not like I'm thinking of doing something with Yumizuka-san."
I mutter to no one in particular, and sit down in my own seat.
Eight years ago, when I was a child.
I felt a "thud" pass right through the middle of my chest, then I passed out.
When I woke up, I was in a hospital bed. All I could remember afterwards was the pain and the cold.
I don't remember much of the accident, but even today, the scar on my chest remains.
I guess numerous fragments of glass pierced my chest, leaving burn-like scars there and in my back.
...... Actually, I was quite surprised at being saved.
Ever since then, I frequently collapse from an anemia-like dizziness, and cause a lot of trouble for others.
Maybe that's why my old man believed I was unfit to be heir to the Tohno household and entrusted me to our relatives.
"...... The wound on my chest, huh."
The huge scar in the middle of my chest, hidden from view by my uniform.
Now that I think about it, after that accident was when I started to see those "lines".
I am able to forget them, thanks to the glasses that Sensei gave me. But I think I would have completely gone mad if I never met her.
Keiko-san---the person who had been my mother up until now, said when I left that the Tohno household wasn't "normal".
"...... No problem. I'm not a 'normal' person myself."
Adjusting my crooked glasses, I pick up my bag.
I can't stay in the classroom forever.