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TriOctium

The Diary of a Great Demon Lord

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Because Wstfgl bugged me non-stop I was forced into creating this for my character Yuudai Shinozaki. He is used in the roleplay Fuyukaba Academy: Demon Hunters, which you should totally check out after reading this thread. Yuudai is a 2nd year student at Fuyukaba Academy who spends his days in classes and doing his job as the President of Clubs and Societies, and beats up demons with the other members of the Student Council at night. If shounen anime is your cup of tea, then you'll enjoy Fuyukaba Academy.

 

In any case, let us begin!

 


 

"Bzzzzzzt. Bzzzzzt. Bzzzzzzt. Bzzz- Gigant!"

 

There was a sound of shattering glass as an innocuous alarm clock flew out of the 2nd floor bedroom, soaring high into the sky as it vanished beyond the roof of the next door apartment. I wriggled my hand back under the bedsheet, still half-asleep as I attempted to maneuver into an optimal position until I could no longer feel the heat of the sun's rays on my body. In this aspect, I failed terribly.

 

After a few minutes spent on accepting true despair, I rolled myself up onto a sitting position, letting the blanket slowly slide down my shoulder as I rubbed my eyelids. Dammit, it was New Year's Day. Why did I stupidly forget to turn off my alarm clock last night? Casting a glance at the hole in my window that I would eventually have to replace with a new panel, I sighed and got out of bed to wash up. Might as well make the best out of a bad situation.

 

I didn't have any plans for celebration today. Jinta and Berserker were both busy with their families, Haru was nowhere to be found, and I'd rather die than go on a man-date with Karyu. I tried asking if Katsumi (THE FLASH) had anything to do on the first of January, but I don't really know what got into her. Her face started to turn red, and then she had mumbled about having to discover the ultimate omelette recipe, and then began to shout at me for being an idiot. She must still be distraught from losing that curry competition.

 

My mother was waiting for him downstairs, as usual, with breakfast already sizzling on the stove. "Up so early?" She asked, without even looking back at me. Sometimes I wonder if she has magical abilities too. "It's New Year's Day, you know."

 

"Yeah, I kinda forgot." I took my seat at the dining table. It had three cushions around it, but my mother and I are the only two people using it most of the time.

 

She poured the scrambled eggs into a pair of plates, turning around to bring it to the table. "I think we can go shopping for a new alarm clock for you this week," my mother said with a knowing smile. I realized the crash must have been really loud. "And perhaps a new window pane, if you have time. You're always caught up in that Student Council activity of yours."

 

I hadn't told my mom about the Shinkatana. I hadn't told her about the demons, about the near-death experiences I have fighting them every night. It would be too much for her to handle, not after what happened with Dad. And so I smiled back at her, repeating the same answer I have been giving her for the past two years. "You know, there's always work to do."

 

"Well you should make some time for this poor old woman too," she joked with a laugh. It was good to talk like this, just the two of us. Maybe I really should take some time off from the Student Council.

 

I simply nodded back at my mother, the woman who had gone through so much and yet remained so strong. "Happy New Year, mom."

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Suggestion: Accidentally catch the glimpse of the panties of the prettiest girl you've ever seen, get mistaken for a huge pervert (even if it's true).

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Journal Entry #2

6:28pm, in the Kojima district

 

School was closed because of the big incident that happened just a few days ago, and thus I had nothing to do for the past few days. Things seem to have quietened down after Jezebeth was defeated, probably because all of the smaller fry are cowering in their boots after hearing that their boss was taken out. Not that it's a bad thing, but... I'm kinda starting to miss the busy days already. The familiar faces at Fuyukaba, the thrill that comes with every battle with a demon... Back in my hometown, I hardly even see Jinta around.

 

You see, I live pretty far away from school. It's an hour long train ride, followed by a fifteen-minute bus trip and another ten minutes of walking. It's no wonder that none of them want to visit me.

 

I suppose they're all busy with their own lives and such. Seeing as I didn't really have any plans for the day, I decided to head down to the local store to do some grocery shopping, and perhaps look out for new cloaks. My old one was kinda ruined by the rain. And I did... kinda... throw it to one side. Remind me never to do that again. At that point, I must have been too distracted in my own thoughts, because I bumped into someone on the road.

 

"Oh, I'm sorry!" came a soft voice next to me. I turned to look who I had collided into, and gasped. The girl, otherwise known as local pop idol Yuki, seemed equally as surprised. "Shinozaki-kun?"

 

Yukiko Minami was my classmate back when we were both kids. Even back then, she had been a bright student, but she always had the most passion in her singing. She won the Kojima Junior Idol Contest when she was 10, which I suppose kick-started her career as a pop idol. She obtained a grant from some local firm and entered into Kojima High, a prestigious school which I had failed to enter with my sub-optimal grades. I suppose it was for the best that I went to Fuyukaba instead. "Minami-chan," I replied, grinning at meeting such an old acquaintance. "How are you?"

 

Somehow the initial greeting turned into a full conversation, and then some of her crazy fans found her, so we had to run all over town just to evade them. They must have been power-users or demons, judging by their supernatural way to track where Yukiko was all the time. Finally, the two of us managed to shake them off when the sun was almost setting, and we collapsed onto the riverbank, panting heavily.

 

"I'm... sorry for... bringing you so... much trouble..." said Yukiko between breaths.

 

I waved a hand at her. "No sweat... I could have... outrun them... any day..."

 

She stood up and turned to beam at me. But perhaps she was still exhausted from all that running, because she lost her balance on the inclined slope, and collapsed with a gasp as she slid down the riverbank. By some divine stroke of fortune, she landed in what we men call... the perfect position. It was light pink. Typical of her.

 

Yukiko immediately sat up, blushing furiously as she glared at me. "You-you saw it, didn't you?!"

 

I looked away and scratched my head. "It's getting dark, we should probably-"

 

"Pervert!"

 

She got up and started to run away. She must have had quite a lot of energy left, because despite all that running earlier today, Yukiko managed to disappear in a matter of seconds. I sighed, feeling too tired to give chase to her, and lay down on the riverbank as a cooling breeze swept through the area. Perhaps these few days haven't been so bad after all.

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Suggestion: Yuudai finds a bunch of people to go for a karaoke session.

 

Feel free to invite any members of the Student Council or associated students. Or Gael because he's a creeper and must show up in all Fuyukaba-related entries from now on.

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Journal Entry #3

I think I feel sorry for Jinta. His poor heart must have received such a shock when he discovered Reika in his house, probably half-naked while eating Pocky, knowing her. I think Father Yamamoto must have planned Ayane's appearance at that exact time - it's too much of a coincidence. It was partially my fault too, for not warning him throughout all of our email conversations. Nevertheless, I think that this trial will prove to be ultimately beneficial for him, and he will undoubtedly emerge from it, stronger than ever before, ready to face down the worst of Demons knowing that nothing could ever be worse than that fateful day.

But for now, it was my responsibility as a friend to cheer him up.

I spent the whole day calling up various people, inviting them for karaoke and dinner. It had been particularly difficult to persuade Jinta, but once I told him that there were going to be girls present who are likely to get drunk (on the atmosphere), his mood over the phone seemed to brighten up considerably. I was pretty satisfied with myself, having planned an impromptu karaoke session successfully. But it soon became evident that even the best of strategists can be foiled by unforeseen circumstances.

The time came for the karaoke, and we all sat in the circular room, looking awkwardly at one another. There was Reika. Berserker. Katsumi the Flash. Jinta. Ayane, who insisted that she'd come along if Reika was present. Me. And a shady looking guy in a hoodie. When I leaned over to the strange middle-aged man and asked what he was doing in here, he simply answered, "Don't need to get so excited, Shino-kun. I just followed Glasses-chan here, y'know?"

So that was that. Resigned to make this 'Jinta cheer-up session' a success, I immediately jumped straight into the action, pointing a finger straight at Reika. "Pick a song!" She tensed up suddenly, glancing left and right as though hoping that I had been gesturing at someone next to her. Then, resigned to her fate, she muttered 'Baka' under her breath and stood up, taking the mike.

I know, I know I've let you down

I've been a fool to myself

I thought that I could

live for no one else

But now through all the hurt and pain

Its time for me to respect

the ones you love

mean more than anything

So with sadness in my heart

I feel the best thing I could do

is end it all

and leave forever

whats done is done, it feels so bad

what once was happy now is sad

I'll never love again

my world is ending

Wha-what was this?! Was this a song meant to be sung at funerals?! Was this morbid tune meant to cheer Jinta up?! Reika closed her eyes and nodded solemnly at the audience, handing the microphone back to me as she took her place back on the sofa. Never mind about her. I was sure the next one was going to be more cheerful. "Berserker!" I declared dramatically, as Keiko jumped to her feet and saluted me. "You are the chosen one! Take this wand of power, and go forth!"

"Yes, sir!" She replied emphatically. The middle-schooler hopped onto the stage, beamed at everyone, then began:

Piercing the shining clouds, I fly away (fly away),

While a panorama spreads through my body.

Kicked in the face, the Earth gets angry (gets angry),

And makes a volcano explode!

Within the melted polar ice,

If there’s a dinosaur, I want to train it to balance on a ball!

CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA

No matter what happens, I feel like it’s no big deal!

CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA

Just as loudly as my heart pounds,

The Genki-Dama roars...Sparking!

I don't get it! What is this song even supposed to mean?! I suppose it was indeed more cheerful than Reika's end-of-the-world song, but Jinta hardly looked impressed at all. Before I could stand up and take the microphone back, however, the stranger in the hoodie stood up and took it from Berserker, grinning at us as he said, "Let me show you kids how it's done." He took a deep breath:

Oppa Gangnam St-

I punched him in the face.

At this point in time, I pretty much resigned myself to the fate that this karaoke session was going to be a failure. I covered my face with both my hands and sighed heavily, wondering if Jinta would ever recover from his trauma-induced depression. Was he going to sink into the depths of a pantsu void for the rest of his life? My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a light cough over the microphone. I looked up... and despite all that had happened earlier today, I admit that I never expected to see something like this in my life.

Jinta was wearing the Fuyukaba school uniform. The female one.

Ayane was staring at him with a devious glint in her eye. Was this her doing?! Was she a power-user?! She must have been, to have managed to convince Jinta to change into this embarrassing outfit while I was distracted with the stranger. It must have been a punishment for him. But as I watched him make his song selection, I realized one very important thing. A man's true worth was not determined by his outer appearance, or what he wears. It was what he did that showed the worth of his heart. And Jinta had demonstrated his iron will and dedication to the way of the pantsu. In order to restore his relationship with Ayane, he was willing to undergo such a degrading act - truly a feat of a real man.

I nodded my head proudly. I would have expected nothing less of Jinta Yamamoto. He opened his mouth, inhaled deeply, and began to sing.

When I look at you my heart always goes thump☆thump

Like a marshmallow my swaying feelings are light☆and☆fluffy

Even though I’m continuously looking at your diligent profile

You don’t notice

Even if it’s just a dream I can close the distance between the two of us

O God please

Give me Dream Time just between the two of us☆

Holding my favorite bunny I go to sleep again tonight♪

Light and fluffy time, Light and fluffy time, Light and fluffy time

Impulsively my heart throbs painfully again today

Reading too much into your dry smile I Overheat!

Someday your serious face that I witnessed before

Will come floating along even if I close me eyes

Because it’s okay in a dream I want Sweet time between just the two of us

O God why

Is it painful to fall head over heels in love during Dream night

If I take out my precious teddy bear I wonder if I will be fine tonight?

If I show a little courage

And talk naturally

I wonder if anything will change

I feel like that but…

(But that’s the hardest part

How do I find a chance to talk

Y’know by the time I think about what to say it’s completely unnatural

Oh geez, no! Time to sleep, sleep, sleep~!)

O God please

Just this once please give me Miracle time

If I could say it smoothly, afterward…something or another will change

Light and fluffy time, Light and fluffy time, Light and fluffy time

Operation Pantsu Restoration turned out to be a big success after all.

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Scenario: Yuudai goes on a man-date with Karyu. 

 

He wanted to invite Jinta and Reika, but they hung up on him in tears due to the Diet Tyranny.

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Journal Entry #4

 

"Wha-what do you mean you can't come?! We had an agreement!"

 

Those were my famous last words, spoken an hour before the timing we all had agreed to meet at the Fuyukaba West Cinema to catch the latest blockbuster movie, Atlantic Rim. It was about manly robots that fought giant magical ponies which spawned from the depths of the earth, so I definitely had to catch it. Only I should have known better than to rely on Jinta and Reika to show up - apparently they were too busy dieting.

 

In the end, I showed up at the cinema with four tickets in hand. Karyu stood next to me, trying to look cool and bored at the same time as he leaned against the railing and stared into the distance lazily. The strange man who had crashed my karaoke party before was there too; I had learnt that his name was Gael from Reika. I wanted to ask him what he was doing there, but decided that the whole endeavor would just end in tears. "This is a great movie, innit, Shino-kun?" Gael drawled, looking at one of the posters intently. "I can't wait to see the female lead in action."

 

Karyu and I sneaked into the cinema while he was distracted.

 

The movie was pretty exciting, and I found myself gripping the edge of my seat more than once. If only we fought Demons that were as epic as the Little Ponies in Atlantic Rim! Throughout the course of the movie, I found my fingers absentmindedly brushing across the back of Karyu's palm several times as we both reached for the popcorn, but I thought nothing much of it. I mean, it's not like this was a date or anything. He seemed tense beside me, though, for a reason that I couldn't fathom at that point in time.

 

"Maaan, that was awesome!" I said as the two of us exited from the back of the movie theater after the credits had rolled. "But didn't you think that it was strange how the pilot of Gratuitous Mansex didn't know he had a fish sword until much later?"

Karyu jolted out of his reverie, glancing at me in a jerking motion. "What? Strange? You think I'm strange?"

"No, I'm talking about Gratuitous Mansex-"

"Mansex?!" His face was turning an alarming shade of red. "You sayin' I like dudes?! I like girls, man!"

"Oookay," I replied hesitatingly. I glanced at my watch; it was almost time for dinner. "Hey, there's a great steak place close by, wanna go out with me for dinner?"

Karyu was fidgeting with his fingers. "O-okay, but we're not going out! We're just... going for dinner. At the same time."

 

His strange behavior did not end when we started to eat our dinner. For some reason I could not fathom, Karyu avoided eye contact with me for the whole duration of dinner, and the two of us ate our steaks in awkward silence. The sun was setting quickly afterwards, and I somehow felt that it would be unwise to continue hanging out with Karyu for the rest of the day. So the two of us stood by the riverbank as the sun began to set, and said our goodbyes.

 

"So... I'll see you again?"

Karyu snapped in reply, "Of course, you idiot! I'm seeing you in school!"

"Not- argh, I mean, we could hang out again," I said, scratching my head. "With the others."

"Yeah, I guess. With the others."

 

We lapsed into silence for a moment. Then, I manifested my Shroud of blue flames around my back as they took the form of my usual cape, fluttering in the wind as I turned to face away from him. "I'm sorry, Karyu. It could never work out between us. I think you'd be better off with Haru after all." Before he could reply, I walked off, feeling the cooling breeze on my face as I strode into the sunset.

 

"Wha- Yuudai, you idiot!! I-I like girls!!!!!"

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Jinta convinces Yuudai to watch Boku no Pico with a girl next time he's on a date, because 'it shows what true men are like and would increase the girls affection when she realizes Yuudai is just like the MCs'

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Shinozaki-kun has to decide whether to cut the Kendo Club or the Karate Club's budget while the two teams loom over him. What does he do?

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Shinozaki-kun has to decide whether to cut the Kendo Club or the Karate Club's budget while the two teams loom over him. What does he do?

This will end in a duel, somehow.

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Journal Entry #5

 

I was ambushed the moment I stepped out of my house. The wooden bokken was thrust out of a bush beside me, and if it were not for my keenly honed Demon-dodging instincts, it would have jabbed straight into my ribcage. Instead, I sidestepped the attack, thrusting my right hand outwards and my left hand towards my face as I declared, "Emperor's Will! You are now unable to move!"

 

"Ugh!" came Keiko Mitsuya's voice as she popped out of the shrubbery, leaning back in shock. "I-Impossible! Even for the Great Demon Lord, this technique is...!"

 

"Hahahaha! Have you not learnt never to underestimate my power, Berserker?" I began to walk slowly towards Keiko, who backed away at the same pace. "Submit to my will, and I may yet spare your life for another day!"

 

She feigned a struggle against invisible chains, managing to break free after a few seconds. Holding her bokken at me with a defiant look in her eye, she retorted, "Never! Shinozaki-sama hasn't imparted any techniques to me for nearly three centuries! How am I supposed to defeat the Forces of Darkness at this rate?"

 

Oh, come to think of it, she was right. I had been so distracted with recent events in the past three weeks that I hadn't had much time to spend with Keiko. As she charged at me once more, I grabbed her sword and pulled on it, grabbing the top of her head to prevent her from toppling over from the sudden loss of balance. "Do you want to watch a movie with me, then?"

 

"Eh?!" Keiko's cheeks flushed red, and she cast nervous glances around the place. "Th-this is no time to be spent on frivolous activities like movies! But if t-the Demon Lord says it's okay, then I g-guess..."

 

I released my grip, giving her a light tap on the head. "Come on, there's this movie that Jinta recommended to me..."

 


 

What in the world was this?!

 

Why is that boy so pretty?!

 

And what is he doing touching that other boy's chest?!

 

I hadn't actually done any research on Boku no Pico at all, because I had inherent faith in the choices of the Pantsu Master. But this... this was an abhorrent monstrosity of anime! I shielded my eyes from the more 'intense' scenes, sneaking a peek at Keiko who was seated next to me in my room. I had hooked up my laptop to the projector, which played the movie on my wall. She was staring at it, her attention fully locked onto the movie. Her breaths came in short, interrupted gasps, and she gripped the side of her bokken so tightly her palm was turning white.

 

I had to do something to salvage the situation!
 

"Berserker!" I declared, standing up as I gestured dramatically. "Quick! The Forces of Darkness have launched an assault- ow!"

 

"Shut up!" She had hit me with the wooden sword angrily. "Pico-san's finally going out with Tamotsu-kun!"

 

No, no, no! This wasn't how it was supposed to happen! Looks like I was left with no choice. Silently, I spread my Influence over the room - that was what Zeppeli-sensei had called the pseudo-Shroud that the Shinkatana allowed me to manifest - and concentrated it inside my projector. Anything that was within the range of my Influence could be manipulated in the same way as I manipulated the Demon Reaper, but this was going to be especially painful for me. I did a mental sum of how much it would cost to get a new projector, held my breath, and whispered "Exort Minima."

 

"Ahhhhhh!" Keiko screamed. The projector had blown its fuse just as Tamotsu-kun was putting his tongue into Pico-san's belly button or something equally ridiculous, causing her to stand up and clutch her head in dismay.

 


 

"It's getting late," I told Keiko, not looking her directly in the eye. "You should be getting home."

 

She nodded, a bit too rigidly. "It would be unwise to linger long in the open, where I can be attacked at any time. I will retreat back to my dark abode with haste."

 

"Yeah."

 

Keiko turned and began to walk away. I remained standing in my door frame, still trying to purge my mind of the images that had been burned into it. But before she reached the gate, she turned back for one last time, a curious expression on her face. "Do... do you do those things with Jinta-san?"

 

 

 

I slammed the door on her.

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Journal Entry #6

 

It was another typical day at Fuyukaba Academy.

 

I had been lounging about in the Student Council room, leaning back on the huge chair which had been placed in the room that was designated to be my office, resting both feet on the desk to maintain the balance. It was great how the school budget was spent on amazing chairs like these. I decided that the next petition that he would raise was to ask that every classroom be equipped with chairs like these. It would make the classroom environment so much more conducive for learning.
 

The door to my office suddenly slammed open, and a dozen sweaty guys marched in without asking for permission. Definitely not a great way to start off a discussion.

 

"Shinozaki!" The head honcho of the group yelled in a gruff voice. "I heard from Hideaki-sensei that you were thinking of cutting the Karate Club's budget! What is the meaning of this?!"

 

Before I could reply, a second group of sweaty males marched into the already cramped space. I had to hurriedly push open the windows to avoid fainting from the overpowering stench. "Shinozakiiii!" What was with these guys and yelling my surname? "Why are you cutting the Kendo Club's budget without warning us?!"

 

"He's cutting your budget too?" The chief of the Karate Club asked incredulously. The two groups began to chatter angrily among themselves, expressing their displeasure about the way I handled monetary issues and the school club system in general, and before long, a vein popped in my head.

 

I slammed my hand on the table, and the whole room immediately became dead silent. "Listen up, you idiots. I only demonstrate patience when dealing with high school girls, not with some bunch of guys who have just rendered my air purifier redundant. So unless every single one of you wishes to undergo the blood purge... you had better shut up and listen to what I have to say."

 

The captains of both clubs were visibly taken aback by my sudden outburst, but they both remained respectfully silent. Before Hideaki had dragged me into the Student Council, I had been pretty notorious even among the delinquents in Fuyukaba. It seemed that they still remembered my infamy. "I have to deduct the budget of one of your clubs," I began to explain, loosening the neck of my uniform since the temperature of the room had risen significantly. "Fortunately for you, I haven't decided which one yet. Therefore... I will hold a no-rules duel between the clubs. Each club will send five members to meet me at the school field in an hour's time."

 


 

"I'm pretty sure this is against school rules, Shinozaki-kun," The captain of the Kendo Club protested. The representatives from each club had gathered in the field as I had requested. The Karate Club members were dressed in their gi, while the Kendo Club had brought along their practice swords. Both sides were doing warm up exercises before the commencement of the duel.

 

I turned towards the captain. "If you have any objections, I could always decide that the Kendo Club could go without a few extra swords..."

 

Defeated, he turned away from me while muttering something that sounded like "This is blackmail" again and again under his breath. Ignoring him, I raised my hands and addressed the ten students standing before me. "Today, your training will finally bear fruit! You fight not for yourself, but for the glory and the budget of your club! May the best club win!"

 

At my signal, the two teams charged at each other.

 

I watched the ongoing fight for about five minutes, but rapidly grew bored at what I was looking at. Both sides were hesitant to fight with each other, mostly because it was indeed against the school rules to inflict bodily harm upon another student. They were simply performing flashy attacks and choreographed moves that looked impressive but never actually did any damage to their opponents. After it became clear that neither side was going to make any progress, I turned to the Kendo Captain, grabbed the two bokkens that were sheathed to his belt, ignored his protests, and ran into the fray.

 

"Change of rules!" I declared, my heart pounding with excitement. "All of you, come at me with everything you've got!!"

 

They turned towards me, confused at the sudden change. I brought one bokken up in a wide slash, striking a dumbfounded student in the chest. In the same fluid motion, my other bokken jabbed into a karate club member, sending him sprawling onto the ground. Too slow! If they were in a real fight, they would have been beaten already!

 

The remaining eight students started to grasp the situation a little better, and began to surround me with their superior numbers. But I was Yuudai Shinozaki, the one Fuyukaba delinquents knew as 'The Blue Demon'. Eight-on-one was hardly a fair fight - for them. As though they had reached a common consensus, all of them raised their voices and ran at me.

 

It was over in ten seconds.

 

"Not bad at all," I remarked, stepping over the fallen form of a fellow student as I threw the bokkens at the Karate Club captain, who caught them with a confused look and glanced at his Kendo counterpart. "Neither of your clubs will be having their budgets cut."

 

"But..."

 

"I'll take it out of the Cooking Club instead."

 

 

 

Somewhere else in Fuyukaba Academy, Katsumi Inoue "The Flash" sneezed.

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Scenario: Yuudai meets Sakura again. She runs off, and Yuudai takes off in pursuit...

 

But he takes a wrong turn, and ends up at a scenic hilltop with a perfect sunset as a backdrop, reuniting with... someone completely different.

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Journal Entry #7

 

It had been three days since I had managed to finally grab hold of the elusive Sakura, where the two of us managed to stand face-to-face and talk for once. Not that she had been particularly talkative. The only thing that she had said that resonated within my mind long after we had parted was the mysterious phrase which I couldn't understand at all:

 

"You haven't changed a single bit, you big idiot."

 

I walked down the road back home from school, my mind pondering hard over the meaning of that simple sentence. Had I known this girl before? That would explain the strange sense of familiarity every time I saw her, but I had no recollections of ever talking to her at all. It probably was related to her memory-manipulating powers, I guessed. I had to talk to her again, to clarify the million and one questions that I had about her. Perhaps I could find her name on the school system...

 

Something prompted me to look up - and speak of the devil, there she was, walking calmly just around the corner. She was wearing the Fuyukaba uniform, and carried a small schoolbag in her hands, but I would recognize that frame anywhere. "Wait!" I shouted, running up past the corner... but she had already reached the end of the road, chatting with an unknown female student as she took a right on the T-junction. There were too many eyewitnesses in the area to use Valia, so I simply continued running after Sakura, ignoring the curious looks that people were giving me. I had to catch up to her; I had to know the truth.

 

It was like she was playing a game with me. Every time she slipped out of my sight round the bend, she'd mysteriously move all the way to the other end of the road by the time I caught up. Not once did she turn back and realize that I was chasing after her, despite my constant shouting for her to stop. I was getting frustrated, and my fingers twitched towards the invisible hilt of the Shinkatana...

 

The last bend was different. She had vanished completely, leaving me with two choices: left or right. I looked down both ways, but had no clue which way she could have gone. There was no time to waste, so I decided to stick to my personal motto: Right is always right, and dashed down that path as I sought to finally catch up to Sakura. She can't be too far ahead now.

 

And then, I emerged into a wide, open area as the streams of light from the setting sun caught me in the eye. There, on the hilltop before me, stood a slender silhouette that gazed out towards the brilliant sunset as a cool breeze swept through the area. It turned around and looked at me, a wide smile forming on its face. "Yo, Shino-kun! What'cha doing here at this time? Coming for a date with your girlfriend?"

 

I left Gael behind with his legs sticking out of the dustbin.

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