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#1 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 16 April 2019 - 01:09 AM

Hello!Project Online

 

 

 

 

J9QxPbA.jpg

 

Summary of the Fanfiction:
"Hello!Project Online" is a multi-part story that retells the adventures of Yokoyama Reina and her friends in the virtual world of the same name. The protagonists discover and experience in different ways, which laws, joys and dangers this dream reality holds ready for them. Finally, they become aware of the great responsibility they have to bear and that each one of them has abilities that leave the limits of reality far behind them. But what is the ultimate price they have to pay? How great is the willingness to give everything and to completely eliminate all rationality? A battle for survival begins...

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Data:
- Chapters released: 1 / ?
- Rating: P18 (Some descriptions of violence)
- Characters: Yokoyama Reina (First Protagonist), Kamikokuryo Moe (Second Protagonist), All other members of Hello!Project (including following groups: Morning Musume, °C-ute, Angerme, Juice=Juice, Country Girls, Kobushi Factory, Tsubaki Factory, Kenshuusei), Various current and former members as well as employees 
- Genres: Fantasy, Drama, Epos, Virtual Reality, Friendship, Action/Adventure

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Foreword

 

Hey ho together!

I'm glad you got lost in my fanfiction. I hope you discover one or the other story for your mental well-being. Before I present the first chapter, I'd like to say a few words to you.

First of all I want to make it clear that I didn't create any of the characters (apart from a few exceptions) myself. They're all from Hello!Project. Only the behaviour patterns, actions and motivation of the individual figures are conceived by me and only follow the real images rudimentarily. Therefore I hope that you don't resent me if your " favourite " doesn't behave in the way you are used to or expected from her.

Mainly all my creations revolve around the virtual reality "Hello!Project Online". The multi-part story of the same name is the main series of my works and tells about the adventures Yokoyama Reina (main protagonist of my series) and her companions experience in the virtual world. Here, the different genres give each other a hand. From action-packed scene descriptions to humorously stupid conversations to dramatic twists, everything is included.

Friendship, loyalty, responsibility and selflessness are the virtues I want to convey with my stories. I take all the time in the world to develop and progress the characters and environment in the entire cosiness given to me. So if you are looking for a story that is told quickly, you won't necessarily get your money's worth here. But you can rely on me when it comes to the loving and respectful handling of the characters, because for each of them I have worked out an independent characteristic that gradually comes to bear.

But since I only have one thread and don't work out detailed storylines, I am basically my own reader, who is there with excitement and emotions and doesn't know the final products of the events as well as the developments of the individual characters. This approach contains clear advantages and disadvantages. However, I would like to base my approach on the positive aspects. On the one hand, I always remain motivated when writing, because after all, I want it to go on just like you do. On the other hand I can experience the life of the admirable idols of my world day by day and spend "real" time with them.

I was especially inspired by animes like Sword Art Online or Log Horizon. But you should mention that these already existing worlds are much better than some people say they are. As long as you only focus on the implementation of the environment and not directly on the shallow characteristics of the characters, you can get really good ideas for your own story.

The important messages contained in my works are fundamentally oriented towards the current problems and questions of our own world. How far should we go in the research and development of independently thinking AIs? What vital decisions should we leave to computers? In which directions is the use of virtual reality developing? How do people behave in stress-generated or even life-threatening situations? What happens when we are robbed of our thoughts? Which psychological damages (or cures?) are caused by virtually generated brains?
I could continue to ask these questions. Ultimately, it is best if you make yourselves a picture of my written subjects. Get involved in the world of "Hello!Project Online" and simply enjoy the weekly chapters released on Monday (Central European Time) in which Reina, Kamiko and the many other characters try to find themselves and explore the virtual world in its entirety.
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing you!

To prepare you for what is to come at the beginning, you should know that this story is set in an alternative universe. The core focus is on the fantasy, drama and adventure elements mixed with a good portion of friendship. I don't focus heavily on pairings and romance, nor will this be a peaceful story. However, if there are any opportunities (as you might notice in the second chapter), I will of course allow the characters to have a togetherness.

Naturally I try to represent events, chronologies and characters as truthfully as possible. Nevertheless, be prepared for everything and don't judge me too harshly. But of course any criticism is welcome. In addition it has to be said that this story is a translation of my already in German written version, which you can read on Fanfiktion.de under the same name.

I'm not even sure if anyone is reading this at all, but I just publish chapters every week. On the one hand for my own joy, on the other hand someone might accidentally discover the story and like it. Then I did everything right in the end.

Furthermore it should be mentioned that "Hello!Project Online" basically describes the life and adolescence of Yokoyama Reina. But it is my goal to integrate all the idols that are available to me into the story and to give everyone their own unique appearance. Sooner or later, the narrative perspective changes from time to time, so that the focus is not only on Yoko.

All in all, it will be an adventure in which we will get closer to the members of Hello!Project. It's always sad to see them all gradually graduate. That's why I want to give you and myself the opportunity to share experiences with the heroines from Japan before they possibly disappear completely from our lives. I wish you a lot of fun now!

Let's go to the REHAB Academy! Let's go to the Haven!

ON TO ...

HELLO!PROJECT ONLINE !!

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Chapter 1: The Awakening

 

 

 

Glistening light enveloped a scrawny figure. Small, slim and thin. Her silhouette wavered through the void. Where was she? Who was she?

Restless, without goal in mind, the figure wandered around. Did she move forward? No! Backwards? Or did she move to the side? She did not know. She did not understand it and felt disoriented.

She was filled with inner emptiness. She was a lost being. Lost in the Nothingness of an endless time...

"Reina..."

"Yokoyama Reina..."

In the distance, a soft voice echoed. The shadowy figure longed for this being in a non-existent world. She had never heard such a pleasant sound before and yet it seemed so familiar.

"Yokoyama Reina!"

The voice became louder. The figure didn't know if she actually drew closer, but slowly a warm-hearted feeling spread on her skin. A smile crept onto her face.

A smile...

Suddenly hands appeared in front of her. The person slowly looked at them and realized that they were her own. She gently touched her face. It felt flawless. Soft lips, snub nose, long dark brown hair gently touching her shoulders. She, the silhouette shape, was a girl.

"Come to yourself, Reina!"

Reina? Was that her name? Yokoyama Reina? Quietly she spoke the words to herself. Within a few seconds the name had literally burned into her mind. And for some reason she smiled again at the newly acquired knowledge. She had to grin wider and wider until it finally turned into a resounding, hearty laughter.

After a few minutes Reina calmed down. Feelings of happiness swept through her body. Laughter. What a pleasant diversion. It seemed so familiar to her. And although she should have panicked, she was satisfied. She could remember absolutely nothing. Neither a past life nor family, friends or responsibilities. Nevertheless, she felt an inner balance, the feeling of a balance, which dispelled all sorrow and worry in an instant.

Again she looked at her hands. Reina had a light skin tone, but a slight tan could not be denied. What was her descent?

Now looking around a little more attentively, she slowly examined her surroundings. The glistening light had almost completely disappeared in the meantime. Instead she discovered clear shapes. Reina was in a small room. White walls, whose plaster was already peeling slightly off, surrounded her. A small metal desk with a wooden chair and a feather bed were the only visible furnishings in the room. On the ceiling there was the bright neon light that had surrounded her just a few minutes ago.

The girl didn't know how she got here. She also didn't know what was waiting for her behind the door, which silhouette was now noticeable in a gray tone on one corner of the room. Instinctively she turned in that very direction of the door. Her left hand grabbed the knob. She felt the cool metal on her fingers.

Then there was a slight jolt. The room was filled with a resounding squeak. The door moved. A gentle breeze stroked Reina's face. What was waiting for her beyond this room?

An excited feeling twitched through her body. A tickling feeling of curiosity flashed through her chest. With her eyes wide open, she slammed the door. And her mouth opened in surprise, but no sound came out.

In front of her was a vast hall, covered in warm light sent out by enormous chandeliers. Red and white flags woven into each other and created a fascinating spectacle of colours. On the other side, directly opposite Reina, a marble, shining white staircase stretched upwards. At least 200 steps, Reina calculated roughly and her fascination increased even more. Who lived here?

"As of today, this will be your home, Yokoyama Reina."

Completely surprised that she was not alone, the young girl turned to her side. From one of the many doors on the left and right sides of the large hall a young woman approached her. The brown-blonde hair blew gracefully, as did her movement. Proud and attentive at the same time. Every step radiated security and dignity.

"My name is Goto Maki. And from now on you are one of my students."

Reina's eyes widened.

"W-what? Your disciple? What do you mean by that? Student of what?

After all, they were facing each other directly. The young girl was definitely only a few inches smaller than the stranger, but the enormous presence emanating from Goto Maki was overwhelming. Reina's knees began to tremble. What was suddenly going on with her?

The woman seemed to notice the insecurity. An almost motherly expression graced her face.

"Don't be afraid! You will soon learn everything. It would be best if you accompanied me. We did not expect you here immediately. But how do you say it: Better too early than too late, isn't it?

Goto Maki looked happily at Reina, but she didn't seem to expect an answer. Instead she turned around on her heel, waved her hand, a sign that Reina should follow her, and walked gracefully towards the marble stairs.

Completely perplexed, Reina walked after her. What was awaiting her now? Who was the woman with this incredible aura?

The girl felt the curiosity again. The woman claimed that this was now her new home. That meant that there must also be a former home. But not a single thought had a memory of a past life. It felt strange to think about it. She felt that there was a clear past for her. But she just couldn't reach for it. Any attempt to create a memory failed. But for some reason she didn't mind at all.

Her eyes were fixed to the ground, lost in thought. She was confused by the golden-yellow check patterns of the tiles. Her right eye twitched.

"Strange..."

Reina frowned silently. Goto Maki had her eyes on the girl and looked at her mysteriously. Reina hadn't noticed this at all as she wallowed in her thoughts and stopped abruptly. Worried, the girl asked:

"What i-is strange?"

Reina felt pierced by this intense look that was meant for her. For a short time they remained in one place. The woman didn't seem to make any effort to give an answer or at least to continue walking.

When Reina finally decided to ask again, the features of her companion relaxed.

"It's nothing. I only found it interesting that you were so willing to be comfortable with the situation. I know quite opposite examples."

Reminiscing in further remembrance, Goto Maki set off again. A grin lay on her face. Reina reassured this immensely. The woman seemed to be a good person. Her smile was honest, felt the girl.

Much more determined than before, she followed her new acquaintance. Uncertainty and tension accompanied her closely.

 

 

To be continued...


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

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Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

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I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#2 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:39 AM

Chapter 2: Grade Zero

 

 

 

Reina thought amused that the local household did not lack any facilities at all. They had already walked past countless doors as they entered the fourth corridor. Should this indeed become her new home, she hoped that the way to the fridge was at least signposted.

Nevertheless, the young girl liked staying at this place. Every room she could catch a glimpse of seemed exceptionally well maintained. The corridors were flooded with the warm light that shone down from the high ceilings. The floor was covered with hazel laminate and was similarly decorated with red-golden and white-black carpets, similar to the flags in the entrance hall. Looking at the silver shining knight's armour at every corner of a corridor, Reina felt reminded of a magical castle. Where this thought came from, however, she could not understand. It was just there. And that made her strangely happy.

"We are there.”

Her guide stopped abruptly. A massive wooden door erected in front of them. It seemed extremely solid and had metal hinges along the edges.

Reina felt uncomfortable. What awaited her behind it? A new life? Old memories? Again, a smile graced her face. Whatever it was, Reina felt ready for anything.

"You seem to be happy. That is a bit unusual.”

Goto Maki looked at the grinning girl with a slight smile on her lips. Normally, newcomers had completely different kinds of emotions. Fear. Insecurity. Doubt. Anger. The experienced woman had been through all this in past times. But she never felt such harmony and childlike naivety at her side.

With a light push she opened the door. One last time she turned back, looked with gleaming eyes into the slightly tanned face of her companion and said:

"I think we can expect a lot from you, Yokoyama Reina."

With a big smile she turned around, stepped into the room behind the massive door and nearly left the stunned looking Reina there.

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, in the sky, a beautiful sunset was aglow, marked by a radiant golden yellow, which turned into a burning orange and finally joined the horizon in shades of increasingly dark red.

Kamikokuryo Moe leaned in deep tranquility over the railing of the balcony on which she was standing. Deep in her thoughts, she looked into the endless vastness of nature, which unfolded so richly before her.

Green fields. A dark forest. High, blue mountains with white tips. The landscape seemed picturesque. Almost like a wonderful dream, surreal and yet within reach.

Kamiko, as the young girl was called by everyone, felt a strange feeling of wanderlust growing inside her. Now and then such impulses arose in her, but even after more than half a year she still couldn't tell where this kind of feelings came from. In such times she perceived an inner emptiness. An omission for something that was there and yet not. Maybe it was a thought she could not grasp. Or perhaps the feeling arose from a need that she could not get fulfilled.

In the end she could think about it as long as she wanted. She never managed to find a satisfactory solution to the problem. But how could she solve something she didn't even understand herself?

Slowly she felt the emerging coolness that became apparent at dusk. After the hot summer days of the last weeks this was a welcome change. Kamiko enjoyed the weak wind as it stroked through her long black hair. Full of inner relaxation she closed her eyes and let the moment slip away peacefully.

"You've been in this place quite often lately."

A familiar voice abruptly ended the silence. Kamiko opened her eyes and smiled. She knew exactly who was standing behind her, at the balcony entrance. She turned to the person and answered:

"It's pleasant to be alone for a few minutes at the end of the day and recharge your batteries. Don't you agree, Rikako?"

The person addressed, a tall girl with shoulder-length dark hair, leaned with crossed arms against the frame of the door. A deep frown stretched over her immaculately pretty face.

"I'm worried about you. To take a break once in a while is absolutely fine. But you've been isolating yourself more and more from the group lately. The grinning Moe has almost completely disappeared."

Kamiko's lips took on narrower features. The comment had clearly hit her feelings, but she didn't want to let it show.

However, the girl named Rikako immediately noticed that she had hit a nerve and took a decisive step towards Kamiko.

"If it's because of Kassa..."

Kamiko immediately opened her eyes.

"No!”

Silence. Both women looked at each other intensively. Then the voice of the smaller girl sounded again. This time her voice seemed weaker.

"No, that's not it."

Although she had actually planned to give her voice more weight, she knew that she had succeeded in exactly the opposite. Rikako must have noticed that too, Kamiko thought. For this reason she cast a slightly unsettled glance towards the person who was now directly opposite her.

For a short moment no one said a word. None of them even stirred.

Suddenly Kamiko felt gentle warmth on her left hand. Rikako had grabbed it and smiled softly as she whispered:

"You must not be hiding. Even if at the moment you have the feeling that it will make you feel better. Ultimately it will destroy you. And I don't want that. Nobody of us wants that.

Rikako's eyes sparkled. Kamiko loved to look into those hazel diamonds. They gave her the feeling of deepest security. She felt security and happiness near Rikako. No other person did this trick for her.

"RIKAKOOOOOOO! KAMIKOOOOOOO!"

A loud voice interrupted the silence of the moment surrounding the strange situation. Both young women were startled and looked at the balcony door in an instant. Not a second later, a light brown mop of hair appeared at the entrance, grinning at the scenery.

"Well then I caught you red-handed, I'd say. Turtledoves to-be, huh?"

Kamiko's eyes widened in shock and her cheeks turned a scarlet red, while Rikako defensively crossed her arms in front of her chest and answered hectically:

"Murotan! You're mistaken. We were just talking. Didn't we, Kamiko?"

The person she spoke to nodded in panic.

"Exactly! Exactly! I... We... uh..."

The lady named Murotan laughed heartily. Panting she said:

"You should see each other right now. The sunset is nothing against the red color on your faces."

Kamiko and Rikako didn't know what to do about it and could only wait out the embarrassing situation until Murota Mizuki, that was the full name of the laughing woman, had calmed down and finally liberated them:

"The new Kenshuusei are now fully present. Maho isn't very interested and Take is in training, so I wanted to ask you if you'd like to join me on the sightseeing tour."

At the last words a stealthy grin crept onto the face of the energy bundle. A shiver ran down Kamiko's back. She knew exactly how this sightseeing tour was going. She had already gone through it once. Normally one tried to make oneself as rare as possible at Kenshuusei inauguration ceremonies, only for the reason that one had not to be the tragic companion of Murotan. For she had her own way of welcoming the newcomers. And this was never to the advantage of those by her side.

Rikako sighed. She seemed to be pursuing the same thought as Kamiko. But if Murotan had targeted a person, it was impossible to escape her ban. And since the two girls did not want to be seen as targets for the previously staged mockery, they had no choice but to accept the request.

Murotan jumped into the air with joy.

"Hihi, this is going to be great. The newcomers will really get to know us and never forget us again."

Rikako gave Kamiko a disdainful look and whispered:

"That's what I'm afraid of..."

Kamiko tried to avoid a grin and accompanied her two comrades into the house.

 

 

 

 

Reina, still at Goto Maki's side, was now in a room that had strong resemblances to a classroom. Several wooden tables and chairs took up most of the space, while a kind of screen was set up at the front. The empty space between the screen and the tables covered about a quarter of the room. The floor was raised at this point by a small step and reminded Reina of a stage.

What did it serve for? Maybe the one who held his presentation in front of all the listeners needed a lot of space. Or maybe several people should fit on the stage to perform something.

But while the girl was still looking around in amazement, her companion pointed out that they were not alone.

Only now did Reina notice the other figures sitting at a corner of the room or leaning against the wall. A total of five people. All girls who, at least at first glance, were about the same age.

Reina paused at this thought for a moment. How old was she actually?

Exactly at the moment she asked herself this question, the soft voice whispered to her again:

"Fifteen..."

Suddenly she looked around the room more intensively. Nobody had addressed her directly. Neither Goto Maki nor any of the other girls.

But why would they do that, after all, Reina hadn't said her thoughts out loud.

A little confused she followed her guide through the rest of the room. While Goto Maki greeted the group with a smile, Reina examined the newcomers more closely.

Each of them seemed more or less intimidated or frightened.

On the one hand there was Nishida Shiori. Her special eye-catcher were the sweet dimples, which appeared with every movement of her face.

Then there was Yoshida Marie. She had funny button eyes and Reina thought for herself that they would certainly get along well with each other. However, her ears were red with nervousness and she seemed clearly the most frightened of all.

Hashisako Rin, most likely the youngest in the room, had such an innocent face that she seemed almost lost.

A girl, she stood out by her size, for she towered over most others by length, tried to smile a little cramped to mask her insecurity. She succeeded only moderately. She introduced herself as Kawamura Ayano. Especially next to Rin she seemed like a huge giant.

The coolest of them, it seemed, was Yamazaki Yuhane. She was casually leaning against the wall with her right shoulder and threw encouraging glances into the group, almost as if she wanted to say: "Don't be afraid! I'm here for you," which again seemed bizarre as she was apparently a newcomer herself.

After Goto Maki had introduced all the girls to each other, she turned away from the group and walked towards the stage.

With an impressive snap of her fingers, the room light turned off. Instead, the flickering glow of the screen was clearly visible. A text was formed on it:

"HELLO!PROJECT ONLINE”

Some of the girls respectfully whispered the title they read there for the first time. In a majestic manner, Goto Maki spread her arms and began to speak:

"Welcome to Hello!Project Online! With your presence here and now, you have already taken the first step towards becoming part of this fantastic journey. A journey that will teach you everything you need to know for life."

She took a short break and looked around smiling. No one said a word. Banned silence filled the room. Then she continued:

"This castle, we call it Haven, the refuge of every stranded person in life, is your home as of today. We, the teachers, teach you everything to get on in this world. Even though most of you already know it, I would like to repeat it: My name is Goto Maki. I am responsible for training the mind. One of the three disciplines and pillars of our institution. If you are naturally chosen, you will learn the extraction of your inner being to the outside. Dealing with your mind. Touching your soul and handling it.”

Reina secretly looked at the other girls. She still didn't know what all this was all about. What exactly were they there for? What was the goal of the whole thing? Who had brought them to this place?

Reina recognized all these questions and much more confusion in the faces of her fellow sufferers.

Even Goto Maki was aware of this and her features became more serious. With a softer tone and more deliberately chosen words than before, she explained further:

"I don't want to lie to you. And I see in your eyes that you crave answers. But those answers you seek are dangerous. But of course you have a right to know why you are here."

The teacher took an unpleasantly long break and breathed deeply several times. Just when Reina thought that Goto Maki had simply forgotten that she wanted to tell something, she began to raise her voice alarmingly:

"As you may have already noticed, this is not the real world. We are in a virtual reality."

Boom. Boom. Boom. Reina's heart was racing. What was she just told? Not the real world? What did that mean? But she was here, wasn't she? Her hand lay on a wooden table, whose flat form she could feel completely without delay. The glances she cast through the room seemed so crystal clear. And the smell of the classroom...

Goto Maki continued her lecture mercilessly:

"Yes, this information may be a shock for you. And you probably don't even believe me. After all, everything feels so real here."

Her gaze intensified. Even Reina now felt a slight discomfort.

"Don't be fooled. Exactly in this moment you are connected in a special hospital to many sensors, which cover all senses of your body. Taste. Smell. Hearing. Vision. Feeling. Every nerve end is connected to a super-computer, which only simulates all these physical emotions. It meticulously calculates in nanoseconds what you feel when and how by analyzing and assigning your brain waves."

This idea gave rise to goose bumps chasing over Reina's back, and another followed right after, as she thought that these goose bumps were generated by a computer connected to her body.

Goto Maki gave the girls a short break to digest all this. When she noticed that her listeners had regained their composure, she continued, at least more considerately, now:

"I want you to listen carefully and stay focused. For what I now tell you can destroy you if you do not pay attention.”

Fear was flooding the room noticeably. But nobody spoke a word. Goto Maki nodded encouragingly and then told:

"You have fallen victim to a severe neuronal disease. The treatment requires extreme measures, which would not have been possible in the real world through your consciousness. Therefore, your brain activities and the corresponding net structure were copied at great expense and packed into a virtual vessel. Inside this vessel a blockade was erected, which locks away the memories of your old life. Instead, the virtual network structure that you have free access to was fed with neutrally accessible data, such as the memory of a classroom from a perfectly normal school facility. You all probably had a pleasantly nostalgic moment when you entered the room."

She pointed her hands to the environment they were in. Reina was forced to agree with her. The room felt strangely familiar, although she didn't know where it came from at all. The other girls all felt similar, she noticed with a sideways glance.

"I know the situation will completely overwhelm you right now. And maybe you are not completely satisfied with the handling. But you can be sure that all this has been discussed with you beforehand. Each one of you has agreed to this treatment with your own will. Because it saves you. At least the very best is tried to save you..."

Suddenly the voice of Goto Maki failed and the eyes of the girls were wide open with horror. Yuhane was the first to call:

"What does that mean? Is it possible that we still die?”

The woman smiled weakly before answering:

"Yes. You can die."

That had been enough. Reina's stomach contracted. She got sick. She didn't want to die. She wanted to experience things. To have fun. Get to know new friends. Had she ever been in love? How did that feel? What exciting experiences she had missed. And what experiences had she forgotten?

So many thoughts and questions shot through her head at the same time that she became dizzy.

Meanwhile Goto Maki lifted her arms to calm her down.

"Listen up! Yes, it is true. You are in acute danger. I don't want to gloss over that. But do you feel anything of it at the moment? Do you feel pain?”

Confused, the girls looked at each other.

No. None of them felt any discomfort outside the news they had just received. In fact, until a few minutes ago, they had all talked quite positively and vividly. This would not have been possible if a deadly disease had slumbered in their consciousness.

"So you see, the therapy is extremely effective. If you still had all your memories and perceptions from the real world, this could lead to a collapse of your brain and the doctors would no longer be able to do anything for you. In fact, and here comes the true treatment, you are your own doctors..."

Goto Maki's beautiful smile had returned as she looked into the helpless faces.

"This world, created solely for you, is the therapy you need to return strengthened and, most importantly, healed to reality. Like a phoenix rising from its ashes."

A short pause was taken to allow some reflection of the words. Reina felt as if Goto Maki had been working towards this with her monologue. And she was right.

"As you can imagine, the progress of a therapy always comes from the patient. If the patient loses the will to live, the disease wins. The more the patient believes in himself and his environment, the more guaranteed is the success of the therapy.
Normally such a process is carried out with the whole body and mind in the real world. This is not so easy in your case. You can neither move nor be conscious during the treatment. That is why this virtual reality was created to simulate a therapeutic environment. Here you can freely unfold body and mind in full consciousness. Your task is to increase the potential of your mental power and your energy while keeping the mental balance within you. Harmony and natural balance are the keywords here.
As you live through this development of your being, you will be confronted with tasks that can be of various forms. Some of these tasks are important for the existence of our society in this world and increase on the one hand your prestige here and on the other hand your self-confidence and thus the strength of your will for life and freedom.
But there are also tasks, and tests that go along with them, that are essential for your survival. Failure to accomplish such a task can have serious consequences for your state of mind in reality.
So, as you can hear, you yourself are always the key to your own healing."

Goto Maki looked around after these hard to digest words. Many question marks formed over the heads of the girls, but each of them had the feeling that these very questions would soon be answered by themselves. In a good or bad way.

"Now I'd like to explain to you how you're going to live in the Haven and what the Haven is."

One last deep breath of Goto Makis echoed through the room.

"The girls who live here in the Haven are all about your age. Some are older. Some are younger. There are different groupings to which certain girls are assigned. Within these groups, the members get to know two of our three cornerstones. Knowledge of the Mind, my specialty, and Knowledge of the Energy.
The third pillar, Knowledge of Clarity, is transmitted among generations. A generation is made up of girls from all groupings who have been assigned to a grouping at the same time or in a narrow period, because their state of knowledge is at the same level. This is not necessary with the other two Knowledges, because there the interaction with the own grouping, which is from now on your family, is particularly brought into focus.
Within a group, one tries to go through the different Grades of Rehab, from One to Five. They serve to assess your rehabilitation status and also give you a seniority."

Goto Maki wrote an invisible S in the air with her finger and suddenly the writing disappeared from the screen. Instead, six pictures of different people appeared. Above it Roman numerals from zero to five.

"These are girls at our academy. They all belong to different grades and thus to different seniorities. So they are in different stages of therapy and thus their experience with the world is much more differentiated from each other. On the basis of this, we can determine a clear hierarchy. If far-reaching decisions are made, they will always be judged according to seniority. A Grade Three member has to listen to a Grade Four member. A Grade Four member must again show the necessary respect to a Grade Five member. I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at.
It's a simple Senpai-Kouhai construct that enables you to learn from the more experienced girls and pass knowledge on to a younger generation at the same time."

Nishida Shiori suddenly interrupted Goto Maki's lecture by pointing a finger. She looked irritated at the young black-haired girl with the sweet dimples. Reina liked her calm voice, even if it was somewhat fragile, marked by the insecurity each of the girls had in the room.

" Mrs. ...um ...Goto?! W-What does the zero mean? You said there were only five grades, didn't you?

Goto Maki grinned at the remark and turned her eyes to the picture of the girl below the striking zero. She wore short, black hair and seemed both cheerful and determined. Her pose, her face pointing far away and her hands a few centimeters from her hips, under perfect body tension, gave the whole scenery of the picture a heroic expression. Reina became warm around her heart and at the same time she felt an instinct to get to know this person.

"What I said earlier is right. There are only five official Rehab Grades. But there is another unofficial number. Grade Zero!”

And with another majestic movement she turned to her listeners and pointed her index finger at the girls.

"You! You are currently in Grade Zero! This is a classification that allows you to stay here in the Haven and receive the basic training of our teachings. You are the newcomers and cannot be assigned to a group immediately.
No. You will receive training first. And depending on how quickly you learn and are ready, you will be assigned to a grouping after some time. Finally, it must be determined whether your body and mind are strong enough to participate in the therapy. Only then will you begin the official rehabilitation. So get to work!"

A general murmur went through the round. Reina tried to bring all the information she had just received into a certain structure in her head.

It was about her survival. So much she had understood. She had to be in one of these groups in order to really be able to implement the therapy.

This all seemed extremely disturbing. At least Reina had the feeling that she had to feel this way.

But strangely enough a certain relief spread through her. She now knew what was wrong with her. She was neither crazy nor had she otherwise suffered any lasting damage, so she would have lost all memories. Apart from the fact that she was terminally ill, everything was fine. With this dry thought she had to stifle a laugh.

As she looked around, she saw faces not quite so confident. Kawamura Ayano changed every second between hoarse laughter and horrified facial expressions. Yoshida Marie had completely collapsed. Hashisako Rin tried desperately to suppress her tears. Nishida Shiori had become as white as chalk.

Only Yamazaki Yuhane seemed as composed and confident as Reina, which reassured her.

But as the first tremendous shock slowly subsided, Goto Maki confidently stepped towards the girls, formed a V with her index and middle fingers and touched her right cheek with them. Grinning at both ears, she said:

"Welcome to Hello!Project Online! And of course welcome to the REHAB Academy!”


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#3 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 29 April 2019 - 05:35 AM

Chapter 3: Kenshuusei

 

 

The shock was still deep. Nevertheless, the group led by Goto Maki headed for the training rooms.

In pairs they entered one corridor after the other. The Haven was definitely a gigantic place. Their guide told them how she had wandered through this labyrinth for the first time. When asked if there were any directions or pointers, she just laughed dryly, but didn't answer.

After several doors, crossings, and staircases, they finally reached the destination that Goto Maki had set for them.

Reina, who was trying to keep up next to the tall Kawamura Ayano, felt an excited tingling in her chest. They were now to meet the remaining members of Grade Zero. The majority of them practiced hard to be assigned to a group at some point. However, Goto didn't say a word about WHAT they were practicing.

When Reina thought about it, she realized that she had no idea what criteria were used to join one of these ominous groups.

The other girls of her generation had asked this question several times, but the constantly grinning woman remained in mysterious silence.

Reina looked at the wooden twin door that stood in front of them. When she looked at the pretty engravings and curves, she felt a little uneasy. This had nothing to do with the upcoming encounters. She was really looking forward to them. Instead, she had to deal with the fact that almost every larger door in almost every major corridor looked exactly the same. Reina was absolutely sure that she would not perish of any therapy, but of this maze of wood, stone and armour.

On the other hand, the young girl thought to herself, this could also be part of the treatment. Perhaps the Haven tested the survival skills mentioned, as it was taught to scouts. They also relied on their trained sense of orientation and the cryptic directions the environment gave them.

"Yokoyama, are you coming?"

Reina was startled by the sound of her name. Kawamura Ayano looked at her inquiring. The tall girl had already moved ahead quite a bit, whereas the others had already entered the new room completely. Without noticing, Reina had stopped. Inside she cursed herself for letting herself be distracted so quickly. Certainly Goto Maki had already explained everything in detail on how they could easily find their way around the Haven and Reina had missed it. Now she had to sleep on the hard floor forever and cover herself with carpets because she couldn't find her way into her room anymore.

She shook her head vehemently. Of course that didn't happen. Asking for the way was certainly not forbidden.

She quickly caught up with her people. Immediately all previous thoughts had disappeared when she entered the huge hall.

It was a training hall like the ones professional sports clubs would own in the real world.

Different circles and lines were drawn on the elastic floor to mark the areas of different types of sports, stretching over the entire surface in a dull blue tone. The sides were crowded with mechanical devices of all kinds. Reina didn't know a single name, but even the sight of it triggered an unparalleled enthusiasm.

The hall itself also had spectator ranks, which faced upwards from the field by ten steps. Above was a second level, separated by a safety grid, which probably allowed an even better view of the area.

The sports hall was definitely an impressive structure. On the opposite side of the entrance door, where the new arrivals were currently standing together with Goto Maki, a small group trained in front of a huge mirror. The mirror extended almost over the whole area.

Together they walked across the field and joined the practicing girls. They were all in the same age group as the new arrivals. But they, too, already radiated a certain aura. It wasn't even a slight comparison to Goto Maki, whose perception was still difficult for Reina to put into words. Nevertheless, the strange energy emanating from the young people could not be denied.

"These are your future companions, if you want to call them that.”

Goto Maki pointed to the little group consisting of six girls.

They immediately finished their training and examined the new girls extensively. Reina was relieved to notice that the glances were by no means harsh or unpleasant. Instead, they were greeted warmly. Honest joy surrounded the hall and Reina felt a pleasant tingling sensation running through her whole body.

Interestingly, the first person to introduce herself to them was also a Reina. Ichioka Reina.

"It's great that we get reinforcements. You must be very excited, but don't worry, we won't be too hard on you at first. You have all the time in the world to get used to it."

Her clear laughter made her sympathetic. As one of the oldest of them, already two years older than Reina, she had the unofficial leadership of the members of Grade Zero.

"But don't get all your hopes up that you will join Morning Musume. The next star there will be me."

The clearly youngest girl among them, Kiyono Momohime, grinned challenging at Reina's group. Apparently she saw the group as a new competitor. In her eyes one could see burning ambition.

Two more young women joined them. Dambara Ruru was tall and calm, but Reina was surprised at her incredible mental strength. She was clearly the person with the greatest potential in the hall.

The other person addressed her first words directly to the cheeky Momohime.

"You should first train your steps and coordination properly. Otherwise people will think that Morning Musume would be a group of amateurs if they took in such a little tripping queen."

The name of the speaker was Takase Kurumi. She had a round, loving face, which now lay hidden behind a severe mine.

Momohime gave her an unhappy grimace and then turned her gaze away from the older one.

Horie Kizuki, lovingly called Kii-Chan by everyone, was the oldest of the group by pure age, which is why she was treated with great respect by the others present. Her stories were also full of experience. She actually came from another therapy program that worked under the same conditions as Hello!Project Online. It had the strange name NICE GIRL Project!

Kii-Chan was transferred to the local therapy after the partner program had to be closed for some unknown reason, along with some other girls.

Reina's eyes were wide open with amazement. She could not help but be impressed by all these personalities with whom she would soon spend her time. They were all, just like Reina herself, still at the beginning of her therapy. They all pursued the same goal: joining one of the large groups.

But don't get all your hopes up that you will come to Morning Musume. The next star there will be me.

The words of the young Momohime struck Reina's mind.

Morning Musume? Was this one of those ominous groups?

Suddenly her eyes fell on a person who had not joined them. A girl with short black hair. She was taller than Kawamura Ayano, Reina thought. The flat, round face seemed timeless. One could not exactly determine the age of the girl. The forehead was wrinkled. Apparently she was highly concentrated on the task. Without even paying attention to the new arrivals, she performed one fluid movement after another. She drew an elegant circular pattern, with legs and arms in perfect harmony.

Reina could not elude the beauty of the moment. Astonished, her jaw dropped. That was the girl she had seen in the picture of Goto Maki's lecture. Was it a dance she performed? The changes of direction were so smooth. Fast at times. Sometimes slowly. But always in harmony with the rhythm of Reina's heartbeat. The young girl felt a strong connection. Longing awakened in her...

"Kaedi! Why don't you take a break and come here?"

Takase Kurumi's voice echoed over to Reina and the strange girl. Both were startled and torn from their different yet equal trances.

Reina shook her head violently with confusion. She hadn't even noticed how she had moved away from the group and had stepped closer and closer to the fascinating girl.

This same girl looked at her for a brief moment. Her serious gaze grazed Reinas. Confusion could be read on both faces. Then she turned her attention to the group, especially Takase Kurumi. With a sudden bow she produced a hasty apology:

"I'm sorry. I didn't realize the newcomers were already here."

Momohime hit her on the back laughing.

"Yes yes, Kaedi! We know you can't get enough of training."

The person spoke to scratched her head slightly embarrassed, but said nothing about it.

Goto Maki clapped her hands satisfied.

"Well, not all Kenshuusei are here, but that doesn't matter. We..."

"Kenshuusei?"

Nishida Shiori seemed surprised. The other new arrivals also exchanged puzzled looks.

Goto Maki frowned because of the interruption. Then she realized the problem.

"This is your small but fine inauguration. You are now members of the Hello!Project Kenshuusei. With the ascent to this rank you are now officially recognized in the Haven. Tomorrow you will start together with your comrades", she looked with a smile into the big circle, "the training. This is Grade Zero, which I've already told you about."

Nishida Shiori, who had interrupted Goto Maki before, was now completely silent. Kawamura Ayano and Yoshida Marie examined the more experienced girls with a slightly fearful look. Hashisako Rin had to hold back the tears again.

But Yamazaki Yuhane radiated enormous determination. A confident smile embraced her striking face. Reina could absolutely understand this emotion. She, too, felt the huge anticipation growing. There was no reason for grief or concern. This was an adventure. And they were all allowed to experience it together.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#4 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 06 May 2019 - 06:18 PM

Chapter 4: Arrival of ANGERME

 

 

Sweat was dripping across the hall area in torents. The training group had resumed its exercises. And it seemed to be anything but a piece of cake.

Reina sat, together with her generation mates, on the floor of the hall. They leaned in a row against the small wall that led to the spectator stands. Speechless and fascinated at the same time, they observed the spectacle that was presented to them.

Goto Maki had already left an hour ago. She told Ichioka Reina, known among the Kenshuusei as Icchan and who was in command of the Kenshuusei together with Takase Kurumi, that the newcomers were still free today and would start their first real training tomorrow morning.

Nevertheless, Icchan had offered the 26th generation of Kenshuusei, as the newcomers were now officially called, to watch them training to get an idea of their future activities.

Yokoyama Reina could not really imagine what the actual therapy, according to Goto Maki, would look like. Now she could finally see the impression she had been waiting for. And her face was one huge question mark.

The group of six moved in perfect rhythm with each other. Icchan was at the top of their formation, dictating the steps. Reina had the impression of a constantly changing dance. At first, slow, even hand movements were performed in the air, while each foot step was chosen with extreme caution. Suddenly there were lightning-fast, successive changes of direction with each limb, followed by an elegant cartwheel over crossed hands. Finally, all kinetic energy was channelled into a flowing, slow-motion body technique.

"This are fighting choreographies."

The 26th generation looked unanimously to Yuhane. Her analytical remark came as a surprise. Her eyes were firmly fixed on the bodies of the various participants. She literally absorbed every movement. Reina had to laugh internally at this idea.

Shiori mumbled quietly in the meantime:

"You mean we learn how to fight?"

Rin had a shiver running down her back.

"I don't want to fight."

Yuhane gave the little girl an encouraging smile.

"It's not wrong to learn how to defend yourself, is it?"

The person she spoke to nodded slowly, but didn't seem convinced. Ayano, on the other hand, put her thumb and index finger on her distinctive chin. Seemingly she thought it through.

Suddenly she said:

"But it's not just a fight, is it, Yuhane?"

The girl with the determined look nodded in agreement.

"You're right, Ayano. Viewed quite simply, they are just practicing a dance. This way they learn perseverance and body balance. Both are also important elements in worldwide martial arts."

Reina admired Yuhane for being able to make this connection in her mind. But something confused her. So Reina asked:

"But if it could even be a dance, then why do you think it is a fighting choreography? Couldn't the movements just happen to look like fighting elements?”

Yuhane smiled knowingly.

"I could be wrong, of course. But these constantly changing rhythm movements switch back and forth rather consciously between active and passive action. These are clear arguments in favour of fighting techniques."

Marie was completely overwhelmed.

"Why is that?"

Yuhane continued her monologue.

"In a fight, especially in self-defense, you always find yourself in a situation where you change from a reserved behaviour to an aggressive one without hesitation. This can happen through an action or reaction. In a dance you usually don't change your speed so spontaneously. Normally it is a transition from slow to fast and back based on each other."

Reina nodded automatically. That sounded plausible, even if one thing was still not quite clear:

"What are we learning to fight for?"

Even Yuhane didn't know a direct answer. Instead Shiori remarked loudly:

"Martial arts should have a healthy effect on body and mind when they are performed. Maybe that's part of the therapy."

The others nodded approvingly. That sounded understandable.

Now Reina was even more excited than before. She had great desire to learn this fight dance. She would have liked to have started immediately. Even if of course a few remaining doubts rushed through her head. Was she even able to perform such rhythmic movements? Would they also be so expressive?

No! She wasn't allowed to think about it. Her hands instinctively clenched to fists. She didn't want to fail. She simply was not allowed to do that.

Suddenly a muffled knock echoed through the hall.

The experienced Kenshuusei stopped immediately with their exercises and looked around confused. The 26th generation also tried to locate the origin of the sound. Rin was the first to exclaim:

"Up there!"

Immediately all eyes turned to the terrace, which stretched in the heights over the spectator stands. On one side of the hall, bent over the metal railing, there were three shade-like figures. Two of them were relatively small. Reina estimated them to be about her own size. The third person was taller. More Dambaras and Kaedis format.

One of the smaller ones was the cause of the knocking. Apparently she had banged her finger bones against the metal wall above which the railing was erected.

"Why are the newcomers sitting around so lazily?"

The girl seemed to enjoy her own question. Her cheerful laughter resounded from the walls.

But for some reason, Icchan looked extremely sternly towards the trio.

"Murota, not today! They start their training tomorrow. So you don't have to try anything stupid."

Without going into it, the person named Murota suddenly jumped over the railing and recklessly landed on the yielding hall floor. A broad grin accompanied her, as did her two comrades, a girl with long, smooth, black hair and the other, the taller one, with an elegant short haircut.

"May I introduce myself? My name is Murota Mizuki. These are Kamiko", her thumb pointed behind her to the little girl, "and Rikako", a second hand movement directed at the biggest of the trio.

Then she said with joyful excitement:

"We aaaaaaaaare... ANGERME!!!"

Momohime shook her head and buried her face in her hand with second-hand embarrassment. Kurumi rolled her eyes. But Murota Mizuki ignored them. Her gaze was directed solely at the newcomers. They didn't know at all what was going on. That's why the cause for the chaos once again assumed the lead and addressed the 26th generation directly:

"Go newcomers! Enough lazing around! Move it!"

Without warning, Murota Mizuki pushed herself off the ground and raced towards the newcomer group at incredible speed that Reina had never experienced before. Only thanks to her instinct, which indicated obvious danger to her, Reina avoided the strange attack at the last second. With a powerful tug she pulled Shiori and Ayano with her, who otherwise would not have been able to move.

Yuhane had probably listened to the same uneasy sensation. She had immediately grabbed Rin and Marie and fled to the opposite side.

A terrible explosion followed right next to Reina. Her eyes widened in shock. Murota's fist dug itself into the foundation of the wall with a crack and bang. Stone boulders pelted on the ground. What kind of monstrous power was that?

But she had no time to think about it any further. A scream at her side demanded her attention.

The little black-haired girl who stood behind Murota earlier was right next to them. Reina's muscles cramped in panic. Where did she suddenly come from? This speed was impossible.

Without being able to do anything about it, Reina had to watch how the girl named Kamiko tore Shiori out of her arms and threw her with a strong swing towards the ceiling of the hall. Shiori's horrible cry struck Reina to the core.

Immediately her gaze rushed to Yuhane. The big young woman named Rikako had followed the divided group. Without even touching the girls' bodies, they were torn apart. Rin and Marie were dragged across the hall floor, while Yuhane just leaned against the wall behind her, thus prevented the hard impact. In return she received a surprised twitch of Rikako's eyebrows.

"You daydream a little too much. Take better care of yourself."

The words sounded directly at her ear. Someone was incredibly close behind her. Like in slow motion Reina turned her head. It was Murota, whose face was not even ten centimeters away from her own.

The last thing Reina heard was the cheerful laughter of the lunatic as she was completely smashed through the room by a brute force that seemed invisible to her. What was that? What was going on here? Who are the three?

Even as she hurried towards the wall at the other end of the hall, she thought about these questions. She really wanted to find out. She wanted answers to her questions. Now! NOW!

With an abrupt somersault in the air she threw her legs back and made a 180 degree turn. At almost the same moment her legs hit the wall in just time and Reina managed to keep her balance.

For a fraction of a second time stood still. It looked as if she was squatting sideways against the wall and as if all the laws of gravity had been suspended.

Everyone who witnessed the spectacle was completely taken by surprise by the situation. Icchan and Kurumi held their breath. Kaedi narrowed her eyes. Ayano, who fortunately remained untouched, turned pale as chalk. Murota Mizuki opened her mouth and eyes in joyful amazement.

For a brief moment Reina focused her eyes on Murota. Her gaze was deadly. At the same moment she pushed herself off the wall and flew towards her opponent at breathtaking speed.

Murota had never expected such a reaction. Nevertheless, she quickly took a defensive stance and waited excited for the collision with Reina.

A violent gust of wind shot over the area.

Both Murota and Reina were completely irritated. The ANGERME member was pushed back against the wall, while the newcomer promptly lost her balance in the air and hit the ground painfully.

Shortly before she collided, another person had intervened. It was Kaga Kaede, known among the Kenshuusei as Kaedi.

She had taken advantage of Reina's speed and neutralized it. At the same moment she used the energy of the generated momentum to knock Murota away. However, the chaos queen had blocked the reaction impact and had only been pushed back a little by the pressure wave.

Immediately the silent Kaede raised her voice:

"That's enough now, Murotan."

The addressee hesitated briefly. For a moment her gaze seemed to be fixed on her adversary. But then she suddenly regained her laughter.

"All right, all right. I already understand Kaedi. After all, this is important training time that you lose, isn't it? And time is precious."

She had pronounced the last set with a weaker undertone. But it had apparently created a desired effect on Kaede. She glared angrily at the chaot and walked towards her.

"Do you have something to say to me? ..."

Reina, who was still lying on the floor in surprise, looked at the two. Their faces almost touched. One could literally see the rage sparks spraying between them.

Suddenly the young girl began to laugh. Murotan and Kaede looked down at her in amazement. Reina laughed so loudly that everyone walked up to them. Icchan was even briefly worried that Reina had suffered a head injury.

But she continued to laugh. So heartily. So honest and cheerful. So naive and childish. She could not stop.

Kamiko carried Shiori to the scene. The little ANGERME member had only thrown Shiori a little, but left her unharmed. Finally the girl with the dimples was caught smiling by the experienced fighter. Ayano accompanied her.

Rikako had reached out her hand to Yuhane, Rin and Marie. She was especially enthusiastic about Yuhane.

They all gathered around Murotan, Kaede and Reina. The sight had to appear absolutely bizarre to any outsider. Two girls who almost wanted to smash their heads and a third girl who looked at them and laughed loudly.

The others could not help but join in the laughter at some point. Murotan regained her cheerfulness. And even Kaede let herself be tempted to smile. In the end, they all didn't even know why they were laughing. But it felt good. And it was this little dark-haired girl with the well-formed lips called Yokoyama Reina who made them all feel the joy.

After they had calmed down gradually, Murotan reached out her hand to the girl lying on the floor. Reina accepted the offer gratefully and was finally able to stand up. After a respectful nod, Murotan said:

"I've never met anyone like you before. I take the liberty of showing the newcomers to the academy what to expect. But usually these newcomers are scared to death or run away screaming. Chasing them across the hall is, how would you say ", she playfully tapped her lips with her index finger, "a hobby of mine".

Again a grin spread on her face.

"But I have to admit that it has never happened to me before that someone is so cheeky and actually resists me. I am impressed. Maybe you're even someone for ANGERME?"

With a strong punch to Reina's shoulder, Murotan made her understand her emerging respect for the girl. However, she immediately collapsed under the force. Shocked, everyone helped her up again. Reina's legs twitched and trembled as she spoke with her eyes closed:

"I think it was all a little too much today. All I really want is a warm bath and an even warmer bed."

Kurumi put on her loving smile again.

"No wonder! Not only did you endure a blow from a group member, you also wanted to counter it in the end. To absorb the impact with your legs has certainly done more harm than good to your body. But that's exactly what you're here for. To achieve the balance between your body and your mind."

Dambara Ruru, who had remained silent the whole time prior to this, also turned her attention to Reina.

"I've never seen a newcomer stand up to Murotan like that before. We should be on cautious of you."

Even though Reina didn't know if that was a well-intentioned compliment, she returned Ruru's smile. Somehow she felt it was a great honor.

Just as Goto Maki clapped her hands when greeting the newcomers, Ichioka Reina now copied her in the same way.

"Guys, it's already late. We finish the training for today. I think it's been an eventful day and we should be rested and excited for the next morning. Don't you think so?"

They all agreed. Murotan, Kamiko and Rikako said goodbye and were the first to leave.

Reina looked after them with determination. Yuhane and Ayano joined her side. The somewhat scatterbrained Kawamura was the first to speak:

"So that was one of those groups. They are really strong. Tomorrow we'll have a lot to do if we want to join them."

Reina nodded. She was absolutely right. This speed. Mobility. Power. Concentration. Murotan. Kamiko. Rikako. They were incredible. Reina's eyes sparkled.

Smiling, Yuhane put her hand on the girl's shoulder.

"I understand you. Tomorrow we'll show everyone what we're made of."

Reina could no longer wait for all that was to come. The feeling of joy, excitement and bliss flooded through her soul. She was ready. She was ready for the REHAB Academy.

Fullest determination the three stepped towards the exit. Soon her journey was to begin.

...

"Um..."

Shiori cleared her throat suddenly. Reina as well as Yuhane and Ayano turned to her in confusion.

"Do you know where we sleep?"

A bewildered silence spread. Completely perplexed and with a stunned look, the three stared at the questioner. She noticed the cluelessness and shouted half angry, half laughing:

"WHAT? YOU RUN QUITE DRAMATICALLY TO THE EXIT OF THE HALL AND DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE YOU HAVE TO GO AFTERWARDS?"

With the exception of the three and Shiori, everyone laughed. Snorting Icchan said:

"Don't worry. I'll show you everything. First where you sleep, second where you will eat with us tomorrow morning. Even if the castle is big, I have some nice advice for you, which can help you in some aisles."

Reina and Ayano were so relieved and grateful that they even burst into tears and threw themselves in front of Icchan's legs, until Kurumi gave them some solid head bumps and they calmed down.

All in all it was a harmonious group. And the new ones seemed to fit in perfectly, the older ones thought.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#5 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 20 May 2019 - 10:13 PM

Chapter 5: Tsunku

 

 

Yokoyama Reina lay in her bed with her arms crossed behind her head and looked up at the black ceiling. After everything she had experienced today, she must have been dog-tired. But instead countless thoughts shot through her head.

Goto Maki. The Haven. The 26th generation. ANGERME. The Kenshuusei.

A little further to her left Kawamura Ayano gave a loud snore. The rustling of the different blankets left Reina with a pleasant, familiar feeling. Unconsciously a smile stole on her young face.

Icchan had guided her from the training hall directly to the dormitories. While they had walked through the corridors, the older one had explained to them in the simplest way how they could easily follow the way themselves:

"You're not aware of it yet, but you'll find that the experience you've had implemented will actually prove extremely useful from time to time. For example, you will be able to understand some general Morse characters and give them yourself."

In this note, some of the newcomers were astounded to pull their eyebrows up. Icchan had continued without noticing them:

"As you may have noticed, we have now passed crossings many times," she had indicated with a grin. "On the way between our training hall and the Kenshuusei dormitories there are exactly six crossings. And for each of them you take the shortest walk. And you don't have to be afraid, because in any case it's unmistakable which continuing corridor isn't as long as the others".

Yuhane had argued confusedly:

"But what has the whole thing to do with the Morse code?"

As a result, Icchan's grin only grew wider when she replied:

"Between the first and last three short corridors there are exactly three more corridors, which are much longer than the previous ones. One will lead you to the main hall with the large marble staircase that you have already seen today. The second one is rather metaphorical, because it is the passage from one door of the main hall to the opposite door. The third passage leads out of the main hall and makes a strong left turn."

Even though Reina still hadn't understood what Icchan was trying to get at, it seemed that the mnemonic was slowly coming to an end. A very long-winded mnemonic as it looked, Reina thought in silence.

"So we have three short aisles, three long aisles and then three short aisles again. Do you notice anything?"

Yuhane had answered promptly:

"S.O.S."

Icchan had to laugh at this quick answer:

"Exactly! So if you doubt how to get from the dorm to the training hall or vice versa, just remember the Morse code for the S.O.S. command. Three short corridors. Three long corridors. Three short corridors. And if you still get lost, you'll at least know what to scream for someone to help you."

With this memory Reina had to grin involuntarily into her pillow. All the new acquaintances seemed so determined and cheerful. The young girl wanted to take this as an example.

Her eyes wandered through the blackness of the room. The gentle breathing sounds of her generation members echoed over to her. They all lay in single beds. They were not particularly wide, but the mattress felt like a cuddly cloud. It was not surprising that the others had disappeared into the realm of dreams after only a few minutes.

"... Reina? Are you still awake?"

Shiori's whispering voice reached her from a corner. Reina answered quietly:

"Yes. I am much too excited. I wonder what awaits us tomorrow."

The other girl was silent for a moment. Then she replied:

"The training didn't look like it was easy."

Reina clearly noticed the worried undertone. She tried to give Shiori a smile despite the darkness.

"When Goto Maki teaches us, it can only be cool, can it? And Icchan, Kurumi, Momohime and all the others will certainly support us actively. Then we'll soon be as strong as ANGERME."

Shiori laughed hoarse.

"We don't really know each other yet, but so far I've only heard positive words from your mouth, Reina."

The addressed one went red from embarrassment. Shiori couldn't actually see this, but she whispered with a grinning tone:

"I like that."

Without changing words anymore, the two girls turned to their favourite sleeping side and closed their eyes.

Some things went through Reina's head before she gradually slipped into sleep. But she gave a final word, subconsciously and already completely flown into another world of thoughts, with a pleasantly warm feeling of herself: friends.

 

 

 

 

"...na! ...Reina! ...REINA!"

The dark-haired girl scared the hell out of her bed. The blanket flew in a high arc towards the middle of the room, hit the surprised Ayano as she was putting on a shirt and mercilessly knocked her down.

Marie stood at Reina's bed and looked at her reproachfully.

"You sleepyhead! We were supposed to meet Icchan in the main hall in ten minutes."

The girl quickly turned away from the person she was talking to and ran into the bathroom next door. Meanwhile Reina tried to collect herself. Half asleep she looked at the cuckoo clock above the door. The owl, which shot out of the wooden structure every second and served as an alarm clock, looked at the tousled ball, consisting of hairs scattered to the winds, with a wrinkled forehead and pointed warningly with one finger at the dial. Ten to seven.

It took Reina a few seconds to realize the situation. Ayano had meanwhile brought her back the blanket with a slightly reddened face.

Fragmented memories penetrated into the heads of the fifteen-year-old. She had been dreaming. It was about a man in a white suit. He smiled. Suddenly she found herself on a huge chocolate iceberg. Feelings of happiness foamed up in her. Elegantly she surfed on the waves of cold food.

The longer she thought about it, the more she felt the desire to return to her dream.

"REIIIIINAAAAA!!!"

Yuhane and Marie had stuck their heads out of the bathroom at the same time and looked annoyed at the dreamer. She scared off from bed a second time and, how could it be otherwise, again threw the blanket towards the centre of the room exactly at the unsuspecting Ayano. The loud rumbling of her fall was heard throughout the dorm.

 

 

 

 

It was seven o'clock on the dot when the 26th generation arrived at the massive marble staircase in the main hall, gasping and gasping. Shiori put her hands on her knees and brought out with agonizing shortness of breath:

"I thought we were in a virtual world here. Then why is there such a thing as stitching and chest pain? It all feels very real."

From the top of the stairs they heard an amused laugh. Icchan and Kurumi stepped down to them. The leader of the Kenshuusei answered immediately:

"You forget that this is supposed to simulate therapy. Of course all efforts from the real world have to be taken over."

Rin moaned now:

"If we don't have any advantages anyway, why don't we do the therapy in the real world right away?"

After that Kurumi gave her a shrewd smile:

"Oh, you will notice that you enjoy some advantages in this world that you would not otherwise have."

The youngest of them grumbled:

"I hope so."

Without further comments, they started the walk together. Finally climbing up this gigantic staircase had something satisfying for Reina. It almost seemed as if this impressive rock form had waited for her, had literally called for her.

But what followed next Reina had never even dreamed of. At the end of the stairs a huge hall awaited her, which made the main corridor almost look like a broom closet. At least three times the size extended directly in front of their astonished faces. The orange shimmer of the morning sun penetrated in a thousand facets through the no less large lead glass windows that ran along the sides. White marble columns, at least 100 of them, spread over their entire field of vision. With their mouths wide open, the newcomers marvelled at the building, which had great similarities with the interior of a monstrous cathedral. The ceiling formed into an incredible dome, which also consisted of innumerable glasses.

Icchan spread her arms and turned in circles as she shouted joyfully:

"Welcome to the Haven! Our divine sanctuary!"

Reina's eyes began to water, so overwhelmed was she by everything around her. Quickly she wiped the wet from her cheeks with her elbow. She couldn't believe what was stretching in front of her. Ayano grabbed the hem of Reina's sleeve. She thought the taller one wanted to tell her something, but when she looked at her, Reina realized that Ayano was just as moved as she was and felt as if she just had to hold on somewhere.

Kurumi stretched out her arm and pointed with her index finger to the end of the Haven.

"See the enormous double door. This is the entrance to the throne room. Every morning, lunch and dinner is eaten there."

Yuhane became clairaudient. Then she noticed with an ironic undertone:

"Throne room? Is there a king waiting for us?"

Kurumi laughed.

"Not quite."

Without going into detail, the two older ones led them directly to the leaf door. It was a gap wide open, but that was enough for hundreds of people to fit through. A lively flow of figures entered and left the so-called throne room.

Reina asked in wonder:

"Who are all these people?"

Icchan's face darkened a bit.

"Most of them are vessels."

Shiori faltered.

"Vessels?"

The Kenshuusei leader nodded.

"We call them that. They are empty shells, living dolls, if you will, who do nothing but follow their daily habits. These can be simple works for the maintenance of the castle," she looked at a small group of men and women carrying brooms and wipes, "or large tasks that serve a higher purpose."

Yuhane pulled her eyebrows together.

"What do you mean by higher purpose?"

Icchan's lips formed a narrow line before answering:

"I am not sure. Some of them carry weapons with them. They leave the castle for a while and reappear after weeks. Others remain gone forever. If you ask them, you only get to hear the same answers, nothing informative."

Kurumi took the floor from here.

"Among us Kenshuusei it is said that the vessels serve to advance in the later Rehab degrees. But none of the groups has ever confirmed this to us. However, it can also be that they are obliged to keep quiet in order not to distract us from things we shouldn't be preoccupied with yet".

Her round face formed a mysterious expression. Apparently she loved this detective game.

Reina looked at the different people around her. Meanwhile they were directly in the crowd and were literally driven by the flow. She understood why the Kenshuusei called these strange creatures dolls, shells or vessels. Their movements seemed emotionless. No impulses appeared in their faces. Their steps followed a rhythm that a normal person could never translate into such simultaneous perfection. Then it dawned on her.

"They lack a soul."

The Kenshuusei looked at Reina in surprise. She had only whispered the words, but the extent of the statement seemed to be pressed through the entire hall like a shock wave. Even some of the vessels turned around and stared at the group for a moment.

As they stepped through the large double door and finally reached the throne room, Icchan and Kurumi tried to direct the unpleasant subject to more joyful things. So their immediate focus was on the countless rows of tables and chairs scattered throughout the hall. Reina counted at least 50 of them before she finally gave up.

The tables were filled with an infinite number of dishes and drinks for a breakfast as varied as no one had ever experienced before.

The pure anticipation literally electrified the new arrivals, so that they did not notice that the two older ones had already stepped at one of the many tables. Only after several shouts did the 26th generation succeed in stepping up to the familiar faces. There sat Kiyono Momohime, Dambara Ruru, Kaga Kaede and some other people Reina didn't know.

With a broad grin Icchan pointed to the newcomers.

"May I introduce: The 26th generation of Kenshuusei!"

The eyes of the unknown people widened. Marvel and joy spread at the table. Some of them even stood up, grabbed the hands of the newcomers and gave them a slight bow.

"It's nice to have you with us."

The words came from the mouth of Maeda Kokoro, who almost crushed Reina's hand with her nervousness. She swallowed the pain impulse quickly.

So the introduction went around and they also got to know the other members of the Kenshuusei.

Those were Inoue Hikaru, Kanatsu Mizuki, Noguchi Kurumi, Ono Kotomi, Kodama Sakiko and Yonemura Kirara. They all greeted the newcomers warmly, and soon it was a harmonious cooperation at the breakfast table.

Reina first stayed out of the conversation and lost herself in the perfect enjoyment of the freshly baked rolls, the dough of which felt so fluffy that Reina would have loved to make a blanket out of it. There were a variety of different jams. After she had more than tasted the rhubarb strawberry jam, she tried a mix of quince jelly and apricot spread. And when she put cheese on top of the roll as a topping and brought the whole product to her mouth with a broad grin, she noticed that Ayano was watching her with astonishment.

"How can you eat THAT?"

Ayano's gaze was frightened at the bread roll in Reina's hand. The girl held the meal up in amazement to get to the bottom of the confusion. After a short test, Momohime, who sat next to Ayano and had noticed the event amusedly, had to laugh. Gasping for breath she panted out:

"She means the bun, you dummy! How can you put so much stuff on it at the same time."

Relieved, Reina laughed now too.

"Oh so, you mean that."

And without hesitation she bit the jam and cheese roll heartily. She smiled joyfully at the two girls sitting opposite, who watched the scenery with their faces distorted with disgust.

Suddenly, Inoue Hikaru addressed the fifteen-year-old.

"Tell me, Reina, what are your hobbies?"

Immediately everyone followed the conversation curiously. Reina, on the other hand, who quickly pressed her gullet down the big bite and almost swallowed herself, was shocked that she suddenly stood in the center of all attention.

"Um, I don't know. I don't think I have any."

To her amazement, Hikaru shook her head laughing.

"Yes, yes, you did!"

Kokoro jumped explaining to the confused Reina.

"You have to understand that unfortunately we don't know much about our past. That was already explained to you by Goto Maki, the way I heard it", the newcomers nodded to her, whereupon she continued, "That's why we don't have much to differ from each other. Only the personalities and our areas of interest let us be an individual here. For example, I love listening to music and doing karate."

Reina understood. She closed her eyes briefly and thought sharply. What did she like? What were her hobbies? Deep in her heart there was certainly an answer.

Then she opened her eyes and a smile appeared on her face.

"Instruments. I like to play instruments".

There were isolated Wow's and Ohh's and the Kenshuusei looked at her admiringly. Reina looked at the ceiling of the old building.

"I also like histories. Stories from the past. I want to know everything that happened before. I want to share it with others and hear what they think about it."

When Takase Kurumi heard this, she nodded mischievously to Reina:

"Then you'll like our library."

With joyful surprise Reina looked at her comrade, but was not able to answer any more. Instead, the huge double door suddenly moved. It opened almost completely under powerful and scratching noises. Suddenly all the people in the room stood up and turned their eyes to the entrance. Reina and the other newcomers hastily followed the example without knowing what to expect.

For a short period of time, the throne room was permeated by an attentive silence. But then Reina heard footsteps. Steps that became louder and louder. Until they finally manifested to a person who was the center of all attention.

It was a man. He was taller than any person who Reina had ever met. His gait had something majestic. His clothing also revealed that his sovereign appearance could not be a coincidence. The black silk jacket and the shimmering black trousers had high-quality materials. Reina estimated him to be in his mid-forties, but the most impressive thing about him was the massive aura he radiated. It was even more stunning than that of Goto Maki.

Reina's legs began to tremble, as they did then. As the man walked right past her table, it became almost unbearable for her. Shortly before she collapsed, Icchan laid a hand on her shoulder to calm Reina. Thankfully, she looked into the sweetly smiling face and it actually helped her.

As the man with the blowing nut-brown hair passed by, Reina breathed deeply. She just heard Shiori whispering in her direction.

"Who was that?"

Kurumi whispered carefully back.

"That was Tsunku, headmaster of the Rehab Academy and head of internal observation for Hello!Project Online. He's in charge here. He's also our mouthpiece to the real world."

Now that Tsunku was a few meters away, Reina looked after the mighty man. For a short moment there was an impressive silence. For several seconds Reina looked at him closely. She followed his walk through the crowd to his place at the top of the hall. On a rise there was a festively decorated table for the teachers, at the front of which stood a large chair, which in turn possessed great similarities to the throne of a king. Tsunku sat on this very throne.

Yuhane said mockingly:

"Hence the throne room. I understand. He seems to think a lot of himself, doesn't he?"

Reina, on the other hand, still kept looking at the impressive man. He nodded to Goto Maki, who was sitting two chairs away from him, and took a roll. Apparently the two had started a conversation.

Ayano quietly produced:

"He's creepy already, isn't he?"

While the other newcomers nodded to her, Reina continued to look at him without making any effort to avert her eyes. Marie gave her a worried look.

"What's wrong with you Reina? Does he scare you too?

Before the addressed one answered, she narrowed her eyes to slits to see more clearly what was going on at the teacher's table. She was the only one still standing. Shiori pulled her shirt to draw her attention.

But then Reina discovered it. Tsunku had just put on his roll of quince jelly and apricot spread. Then the cheese followed on top and finally the smug grin which revealed the anticipation for the coming pleasure.

Immediately Reina sat down, packed her own half eaten roll and bit it again heartily.

Shiori, Marie and Ayano watched her with boundless confusion. Before they could ask anything, Reina grinned at both ears and finally said:

"He can't be evil at all."


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#6 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 27 May 2019 - 05:03 PM

Chapter 6: The three pillars of the Haven

 

 

After breakfast was over, all Kenshuusei made their way to their dormitories. Before they separated, Icchan warned them of a wooden clock on the wall of Kenshuusei headquarters, which was downstairs under the chambers. The dial indicated fifteen to nine.

"Hurry, your basic lesson begins in fifteen minutes. Our teachers don't like it at all when you're late."

Immediately all eyes of the 26th generation were uniformly on Yokoyama Reina. She stuttered to reply, but Icchan wouldn't let her speak.

"Go up to your dormitories. There, at the end of your bed, you'll find a metal chest for each of you. It contains clothes in your size for different occasions. Take your training clothes and keep them in the bags under your beds. Then you'll come down again. I'll take you to the classroom."

Without further ado, the newcomers immediately headed for the dormitories. Arriving at the top, each of them stepped towards the chest and opened it. Reina recognized many different shades of grey, green and black. She would have expected a little more colourfulness in her choice of clothes.

But as she wandered through the pieces, looking for the training gear, she noticed the high quality fabric. In the real world this would never have been possible. Expensive clothing. A monstrous fairytale castle. Premium food in almost infinite quantities.

All this was made possible by the virtual space they were in.

As she rummaged through the box, these thoughts went through her head. Finally she found the training set she was looking for. It consisted of a long grey sweatpants, two white socks with compression effect and a short-sleeved black T-shirt with the inscription 'Hello!Project Online'.

The outfit was very simple, Reina thought. Most likely it was just for the purpose of making comfortable movements and not to create distractions.

"Reina, go!"

The others were already waiting at the exit. Reina quickly packed all the necessary utensils into her bag, which was under her bed. The bag had also a dark grey tone with light blue stripes on the sides. The design clearly revealed that this bag was normally used by athletes.

After everything was packed, the 26th generation made their way to Icchan. She waved and gave them the signal to follow her.

Reina had a hard time remembering the branches and corridors, but the Kenshuusei leader reassured her by saying that after a few days they knew all the necessary paths by heart.

It didn't take long, in fact, and they were standing at the doors of their classroom. Icchan turned to the newcomers and smiled.

"So, here we are. I wish you lots of luck and fun with your first lesson. The teacher will explain everything else to you. See you later in the training session. Until then".

The six girls said goodbye thankfully and Icchan gave them a slight bow, which they all returned. After she had disappeared around a corner, the 26th generation looked at each other again with determination and then entered the classroom together.

As they looked inside the room, a strange intimacy wafted in Reina's mind. Her comrades seemed to feel the same way. They had been here before. This is the room where they first met.

Maybe all classrooms looked the same, Reina asked herself.

"You look right. This is the room where I introduced you to Hello!Project Online. Once again a warm welcome!"

The eyes of the newcomers instinctively wandered towards the podium on the other side of the room. Goto Maki stood there with a happy face.

Relief spread to Reina. She had hoped that her first lesson would be led by a familiar person. Even though Reina enjoyed meeting new people very much, she felt quite comfortable in the presence of her first acquaintance in the Haven.

Goto Maki instructed the six of them to sit in the front seats. After a little confusion and a lot of rustle Reina sat next to Ayano at a table. Yuhane had sat next to Shiori. And Marie joined Rin at her side.

The teacher folded her hands together and looked at her new disciples with an examining gaze. A soft smile adorned her face.

"I heard you had the pleasure of meeting a group yesterday. At least on a small part of it."

At the thought of yesterday and the meeting with ANGERME Reina felt a bit queasy. She could not yet imagine how she should be capable of such performances.

She felt the piercing aura of Goto Maki as she fixed Reina. The fifteen year old couldn't get rid of the feeling that the older one could read her mind. Above all the doubts.

"Don't let this discourage you. Otherwise you have already lost. Murota Mizuki, the person who attacked you, is not an evil person. Quite the opposite! She helps wherever she can and always seeks contact with her comrades. Sometimes", Goto Maki's face took on amused features, "she shoots a little over the target. But that's fine as long as nobody gets hurt."

The sharp scratching of a chair on the floor resounded through the room. Reina looked to the left. Yuhane had straightened up, bent over the table with both arms outstretched and Goto Maki staring excitedly.

"As long as nobody gets hurt?"

With a jerky gesture of her hand she pointed to the shocked Reina with outstretched index finger.

"If she hadn't avoided it so quickly, she would have been crushed by the blow of this Murota. The wall into which this lunatic crashed even crumbled. Reina would have been mashed by a hair's breadth."

Goto Maki clearly noticed Yuhane's angry words. But instead of answering, she focused all her attention on Reina. Slowly, she walked towards the young Kenshuusei. Her face had become unreadable. The eyes analyzed every single facet of the girl. Reina suddenly felt uncomfortable in her skin. How had she got into such a situation so abruptly?

Goto Maki bent over the table of Ayano and Reina and now came with her face very close to that of Reina. Her gaze seemed to pierce the deepest abysses of the soul, as if searching for something specific. Then she spoke with a thoughtful voice:

"Is that so? Murota attacked you with full force? And you dodged her? That is extremely interesting..."

Rin spoke from the side and asked anxiously:

"W-What's interesting, Mrs. Goto?"

The addressed person stayed with Reina for a short moment. Then she bowed her head to the youngest one and smiled again.

"It's all good", as she said that, she turned on the heel and stepped back to the desk, "A feeling tells me that your generation will accomplish great things".

Meanwhile she had let go of her sole focus on Reina and finally shone again on all newcomers equally. This caused Yuhane to sit down again. Goto Maki spoke cheerfully:

"But before you can do great things, you must first learn to deal with the little one. In the weeks to come, I'll give you an understanding of the theory behind our cornerstones."

She drew symbols in the air and already the screen was shining like yesterday and suddenly showed a picture out of nowhere.

Reina recognized a kind of triangle. At the respective corners letters were to be seen. 'C'. 'E'. 'M'. What did that mean?

The teacher seemed to have seen through the thoughts of her students in no time:

"If you remember what I told you yesterday, then you can surely tell me what is depicted here."

Goto Maki looked around with an impressive face. They all seemed petrified. Only Yuhane answers after a short silence:

"Clarity. Energy. Mind. The cornerstones of the Haven. Isn't it?"

Goto Maki once clapped her hands loudly and grinned.

"Very good! That's exactly right."

With a flick, the triangle changed into a straight line by connecting all three sides. The 'E' and the 'M' formed the respective ends of the line, while the 'C' was placed directly above the middle of the line.

The teacher's eyes wandered from one student to the next. Then she explained:

"In the Haven we live by these three virtues. The knowledge of the mind, as I have mentioned before, is my specialty, teaches you not to conflict with your inner being, your soul, and to draw your strength from it. All mental abilities that this world enables you to have can be controlled, manipulated and even expanded by your mind. If you are in total harmony with yourself, it will be no problem for you to do spiritual miracles, and thus provide your group, and ultimately yourselves, with the support that is needed. Selflessness, caring and empathy play a big role in clearing your mind."

As she spoke, the 'M' shimmered brighter than the other two letters. With a wipe of her hand, Goto Maki stopped the glaring glow. Instead, the 'E' began to radiate a strong light.

"Next, we talk about the knowledge of energy. This pillar is far more tangible than mind or clarity. Perhaps at this very moment you are wondering why?”

The teacher was mischievous about the 26th generation. They exchanged confused looks. Goto Maki's eyes were now on Yuhane.

"Well, you spoke earlier about a crumbling wall..."

A loud crash frightened all students deeply. Ayano almost tilted from her chair, so shocked by the sudden action.

Goto Maki had clenched her fist without warning and smashed it against the wall. When she pulled it back, a brutal imprint was visible. Shattering wallpaper fibres fell to the ground in droves.

"To strain the body beyond its human limits and thus make the impossible possible, that is precisely the knowledge of energy. You will learn how to direct the forces of your outer shell in exactly the ways your consciousness dictates. Ultimately it is about the perfect and flowing control of your being. Be it to create brute force, to master filigree movements or to reach remote places quickly and safely without much effort, for example by high jumps or unspeakable speed."

Shiori hesitantly raised her hand. When Goto Maki nodded to her, she began to speak uncertainly:

"Will our bodies in the outside world be able to stand it at all? I mean... it's possible that our head isn't even able to process that kind of information, is it?"

The teacher nodded thoughtfully.

"You're right, Shiori. A too fast advancement of one's own physical condition could have a bad end for you. That is why you only learn the basics so that we can assess how advanced you are in dealing with the resources you have been given. After each Rehab grade you will be integrated into more and more complex learning structures. This should guarantee that your body in the real world has enough time to get used to it. Since this takes different lengths of time for each person, the progress in the Rehab grades also has a different duration for each of you."

Marie raised her hand as well, though quite anxiously.

"I-i-is it possible that the body will never get used to this world?"

Goto Maki hesitated briefly. Reina immediately realized what the terrible answer was. That's why she knew that Goto Maki would have preferred not to answer the question at all. But as a teacher she had to face the unpleasant:

"Yes. That is indeed possible. If this is the case and the supercomputer doesn't notice any progress, it will reject you, which would mean the abortion and the failure of the therapy for you."

They all had to digest this answer. But Goto Maki raised her hands in reassurance.

"Don't worry about it. Many years pass before the supercomputer makes such a serious decision. You have all the time in the world to prove what's inside you. You should never forget that."

The encouraging smile warmed Reina's heart. But not all of them seemed to share that. Marie stared at her table with a chalky face. The fifteen-year-old was very worried about her comrade.

Goto Maki, on the other hand, continued her lecture. The 'E' went out and instead the hour of the 'C' struck. It shone brighter and stronger than the other two before.

"Let us now come to the most important knowledge. The knowledge of clarity.

For a long moment there was silence in the classroom. No one said a word. The clouds in the sky cast mighty shadows through the room. The new Kenshuusei felt the electrifying crackling in the air.

Goto Maki's body vibrated slightly. An inconceivable power dwelt within her. Reina felt how every single membrane of the woman formed purest energy. For the second time that day, the young girl's legs began to tremble strongly. Why did she react so sensitively?

She looked around the room in a flash. In the meantime one could even perceive a slight tremor. The chairs and tables wobbled incessantly. Reina's comrades were totally spellbound by the scenery. Shock, fear, wonder and curiosity could be seen on their faces. But nobody seemed to share Reina's feelings. What was wrong with her? Could she even complete the therapy in this state? Was it already over before it had even begun? Reina did not want to admit that. That simply could not be.

Shortly before it became unbearable for the fifteen-year-old, Goto Maki let all energy disappear into nothingness. The quake. The wobbly chairs and tables. The bright light that came from the teacher. Everything was suddenly gone.

Reina breathed hastily. Her hands clawed into the edges of the table. Sweat dripped onto the wooden plate. Her face seemed like a waterfall.

The others, no less frightened, didn't notice how much the performance had caused their classmate to struggle. They all fixed the person in front of them with a staring gaze. Goto Maki slowly opened her eyes and smiled.

"What I just showed you was the natural interplay between mind and energy. To make such a combination it needs a strong, stable connection between the two forces. If you are able to make your soul and your shell understand each other, interact and communicate in harmony, then you have the greatest power you can gain in Hello!Project Online. The knowledge of clarity."

As she looked around, her eyes were once again caught by Reina for a few seconds. Apparently, she had noticed that the girl was having trouble processing what she had seen. Nevertheless, she continued her lecture unperturbed:

"In your basic Kenshuusei training, you will primarily learn how to deal with your mind and your energy. In most cases it is already clear what kind of type you are.

99.99% of all patients here cannot create absolute harmony between the two knowledge. Instead, they make sure that they fundamentally control one party and focus all their training on the other party to master it to the best of their ability.

It is human not to be equal in everything. Therefore, do not grieve if you cannot apply one knowledge to the same extent as the other."

Ayano, who had briefly cast a worried glance towards Reina, who seemed to breathe harder and harder, came forward.

"Why do we focus mainly on energy and mind? Is it not possible for us to gain knowledge of clarity?"

Goto Maki grinned smugly.

"Oh yes! Everything is possible! However, clarity itself is the balance between mind and energy. If you dedicate yourself to these two knowledges, you are also well on the way to getting a basic understanding of clarity."

The teacher respectfully lifted her finger.

"But there is one thing I do not want to hide from you. It is rarely the case that there are patients who have such powerful clarity that they can tickle out the full potential of mind and energy. Hardly any generation has such a unique talent in its ranks. Even among the groupings, a Master of Clarity is an incredible and unimaginable phenomenon. These special people we call 'Ace'."

The room was filled with excited murmur. Yuhane's eyes were widened to the extreme. One could always hear her whispering the same word to herself:

"Ace... Ace... Ace... "

Rin and Marie whispered excitedly. Shiori literally stuck to Goto Maki's lips.

Reina, on the other hand, had completely lost the focus of the conversation. Her lungs were burning. Her muscles were tense until they burst. She didn't feel well at all. On the contrary! It was like pressing a truck weighing tons onto the middle of her body.

For a fraction of a second the world stopped for her. Then her eyes flickered. Everything around her turned black. She heard a horrified scream in the distance. It was Ayano. A dull impact into the void followed. Silence. Silence. Silence.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#7 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 04 June 2019 - 12:17 PM

Chapter 7: The Lounge

 

 

Urgent footsteps echoed through the corridor. Kamiko guessed that there had to be several people. Excited voices reached her ears.

"Continue! Go on! Quickly!"

The cat-like eyes of the little dark-haired person peered at the end of the corridor. Five presences were on highest alert and rushed directly towards her.

"Bring her to the Observer Room! Go! We must not lose any time!"

The shadowy figures formed clear outlines. Two men, obviously vessels, held a stretcher horizontally between themselves. On it lay a lifeless something. Goto Maki hurried ahead of them. Their commands sounded loud and forceful. She seemed extremely nervous. At the back two girls ran. They were Kenshuusei. Their horrified faces followed the scenery.

Kamiko's eyes suddenly narrowed into slits. She knew them both. These were the newcomers she had mixed up with Murotan and Rikako at the 'sightseeing tour'. Immediately her attention turned to the stretcher.

At the exact moment, as the column hurried past the ANGERME member, without even remotely noticing her, she caught a glimpse of the petite being. It was the young Kenshuusei who had defied Murotan. Her name was Yokoyama, thought Kamiko. Her skin was completely pale. She showed no sign of life. What had happened? Was she dead?

The group quickly moved away from Kamiko. Even as they walked around a corner of the aisle, you could still hear the command tone of Goto Maki and the spurred trudging of her companions for a long time.

Then it became quiet. The dark-haired girl stood on the spot for a while. Her eyes were directed into the distance. For a short moment she had to collect her thoughts.

Only when she had fully realized what had just happened her feet slowly began to move towards ANGERME headquarters. Second by second, their pace became faster and faster. Until she finally set off on a sprint that her comrades would have been proud of.

She chased through the corridors, turned sharply around every corner and opened door after door. Finally she was on the south side of the castle. Without further ado, she took four steps at a time on the spiral staircase. Jump after jump followed. And finally she reached her destination.

The space ANGERME had at her disposal was worth more than a quick glance. The Lounge, as the members lovingly called it, was the first room to be seen when entering. Kamiko would most likely compare the interior to a penthouse suite in a luxury hotel in Las Vegas. The size of the room also corresponded to this idea. Here one could definitely endure a good time of the day.

The girl noticed the two people sitting at the bar in the middle of the Lounge on chrome stools and having lively discussions. Kamiko recognized them as Takeuchi Akari, short Take, and Nakanishi Kana, called Kananan.

The young woman with the round face, full lips and fiery red hair interrupted the conversation and turned to the newcomer. Her greeting was very loud.

"Kamikooo! Why do you open the door so stormy? We still have time until we leave."

For a short moment the addressed person was confused. Time? Leaving? Then it occurred to her again. ANGERME had received an order. They went to the outside world.

Immediately she shook her head fiercely.

"What? No. No! That's not it. I have to talk to Murotan. Do you know where she is, Take?"

Take scratched her head at the question. Then she jumped up from the stool. Her red hair was literally whirling through the air. Without hesitation she formed a funnel shape in front of her mouth with her hands and screamed in the direction of the hallway:

"MUUUUUUROOOOOOTAAAAAAAAN! KAMIKO WANTS 'SOMETHING FROM YOU!!!"

The smaller girl was completely frightened. Even after half a year, she hadn't got used to the volume inherent in the ANGERME house. The black-haired girl with the wavy, shoulder-length hair called Kananan laughed heartily.

"Take, I think you scared the hell out of our little one. Besides, you're yelling like a gorilla."

The redhead immediately whirled around her own axis and stared at Kana in shock.

"Whaaaat? I'm not a gorilla, am I?"

But in the meantime Kana had also sat up. At least if you could have called what she did 'sat up'. She had turned her right arm so strangely that her hand touched her right armpit. The other hand she led to her mouth, which she in turn formed into an exaggerated kissing mouth. With her forefinger and middle finger she began to flick her lips and produced a strange, childish bubbling. She bent far forward and shouted with a deep voice:

"Mu-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-urotan! Kamiko-uh-uh-uh-uhh-uh wants 'something from you! Uh! Uh! Uh!"

The monkey-like noises and the corresponding movements Kananan could imitate excellently. And even if Take didn't sound a bit like it, it was always worth a laugh. Kamiko even forgot for a short moment why she was so excited. Instead she burst out laughing.

Take looked feigned desperately from one to the other. Until she finally joined in the laughter herself.

"Hey! What kind of party are you having? I want to be happy too. Tell the joke again."

Murotan had stepped into the Lounge and stared at them with big, enthusiastic eyes. The girls turned to the chaos queen, including Kananan with her monkey choreography. At this sight the brown-haired girl pressed her hand on her stomach and pointed with tears in her eyes at the 'actress'.

"Ha ha ha! The perfect Take imitation! Brilliant, Kana! Not even Take herself could play herself as well as you do."

Again Take scratched her head to realize what Murotan had said, while the others were already lying on the floor and hitting the wooden planks with their fists. Then she opened her eyes.

"HÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄH? Wait a minute... !"

It took a few minutes until everything had calmed down again. Only when the last tears were wiped from their faces they sat down together at the bar. Take distributed four glasses and poured fresh orange juice into each one. Murotan thanked and made a gulp. Then she looked into the round.

"So, now say already. Why did you call me? Is there something important?"

Instead of answering, Take and Kananan looked carefully at Kamiko. She suddenly remembered what she had seen before. She swallowed hard before she spoke.

"The little Kenshuusei of yesterday. The one you chose..."

Murotan smiled broadly.

"Oh yes, she was funny. We were supposed to visit her again today at the training session unannounced. Icchan would probably kill us, but no matter, it would be funny and..."

But while she was still chatting, she noticed that something was wrong. Kamiko's eyes looked wet and her face had taken on fearful features. Murotan's joy slowly subsided.

"What's the matter? Why are you pulling such a wry face?"

Even Take and Kananan, who had been silent so far, turned their full attention to Kamiko. She clawed her fingers at the table and broke out in horror:

"I've seen her. This Yokoyama! I think she had a seizure!"

Murotan's grin was now completely frozen. An eerie silence spread. The three girls sitting opposite Kamiko had their eyes wide open. Such a news was a shock for everyone.

Murotan tried to order their thoughts.

"How? When? What happened? Someone with her potential can't just..."

Kamiko shook her head desperately.

"I don't know. On the way here they passed me. There she lay motionless on a stretcher. You should have seen the faces of the other Kenshuusei. White as chalk! Something unforeseen must have happened."

The addressed person slowly got up. This information had to be processed by both her brain and her stomach. With thoughtful steps she walked thoughtfully through the room. The looks of the others accompanied her as if in a trance.

Then, although she was still turned away from the group, Murotan asked:

"Are the other newcomers all right?"

Kamiko frowned and thought. Finally she came to the conclusion that she had no idea how the other Kenshuusei were doing.

"I don't know. The two companions looked unscathed."

Suddenly the door of ANGERME headquarters opened. Immediately everyone turned there. Goto Maki quickly walked into the Lounge. Her analytical eye was first on Kamiko, then on the other three group members. The depressed mood in the room already gave her an idea of what the topic was. She immediately lost her austere face and warm words were directed at Kamiko.

"I'm sorry we ran past you so disrespectfully earlier, Kamikokuryo. We were in a hurry. And I see you could, smart as you are, put one and one together."

Before the young girl was able to answer, Murotan took the chance to speak.

"Mrs. Goto, what happened? How is she? Where is she?"

The teacher raised her arms reassuringly and then pointed to a bar stool.

"Calm down. The best thing is to sit down. We have to talk anyway. That's why I'm here."

Somewhat stubbornly Murotan returned to her place. Meanwhile Kana addressed the word to Goto Maki.

"Has it ever happened before that a newcomer collapsed right on the first day of her therapy? The Observer would never have chosen her if she had such a weak body, would he?"

Take had meanwhile offered the older woman her place next to Murotan. She accepted gratefully and at the same time answered thoughtfully:

"You're right, Nakanishi. It is impossible for the Observer to make such a mistake. I don't know of any case in which a Kenshuusei was eliminated on the very first day. That's really a novum."

Murotan nervously tapped her fingers on the tabletop.

"Now you're finally telling me what the current situation is. Don't keep us on the tenterhooks like that."

But instead of answering, Goto Maki suddenly looked interested at the youngest one at the table.

"What's your impression, Kamikokuryo? Do you think she has a chance?"

The person she was talking to retreated completely perplexed with her face. Kamiko hadn't even remotely expected HERSELF of all people to make a diagnosis.

"Uh... uh... I... uh..."

Take boxed her surprisingly on the arm.

"Don't be so nervous! We all know that you have something on the ball."

The black-haired girl was silent for a moment and looked panically from one person to the next. They all smiled encouragingly at her. That only made her more tense.

Somewhat cramped she narrowed her eyes and brought the image of Yokoyama's lifeless body back into her memory. It was this one moment. The second she gained complete insight.

She felt the weak life energy surrounding the young Kenshuusei. The flow of clarity directed Kamiko's consciousness into the girl's interior.

Heartbeat. Normal.

Brain waves. Normal.

Cellular development. Normal.

Balance between body and soul. Normal.

Suddenly she opened her eyes. A wondrous, intoxicating feeling accompanied her.

"She is well. She will completely recover... I think."

Goto Maki grinned broadly and gave Kamiko an appreciative look.

"You don't need to doubt. I'm sure you're absolutely right."

Kananan and Take clapped each other's hands with joy and immediately performed a jubilee dance. Murotan gave a deep sigh and touched her heart.

"Wow! That was the biggest shock this month. Another message like that and I'll have a seizure myself."

The teacher turned her attention amused to the chaos queen.

"You seem to be putting quite a lot of focus on this newcomer. The 26th generation arrived only yesterday."

Now that the situation was no longer quite so tense, Murotan leaned back a little and answered in a dignified manner:

"That may be so. But there were some very interesting characters in it."

Goto Maki now posed thoughtfully by pointing her index finger and thumb at her chin.

"While we're on the subject," her sharp gaze pierced the surprised Murotan without warning, "why did you attack the newcomers with such force? That's usually not your style. I even heard that Kaga had to stop you, otherwise little Yokoyama wouldn't have been with us yesterday."

Embarrassed, the caught girl scratched her back and grinned uncertainly.

"Well, I don't really know what I was ridden. I just wanted to frighten the newcomers, but then I felt such a fascinating presence in their midst. I just couldn't miss the opportunity."

Now it was Goto Maki who leaned back, smugly.

"And you think that this 'fascinating presence' was Yokoyama?"

Murotan laughed.

"Who knows. There were some cool guys there. This Yamazaki Yuhane should also be watched. She is a bit of all right, huh?"

Her winking gaze looked for confirmation from Kamiko, who nodded in agreement.

Without further ado Goto Maki stood up and addressed further words to Murotan.

"I have the feeling that you are hiding something from me", but although this was a reproachful remark, the teacher smiled, "But I think that I can trust you completely in this matter".

The addressed girl saluted and replied with a grin:

"You can, Mrs. Goto!"

Also laughing, the older woman walked to the door and turned around one last time. She looked around resolutely. Finally her eyes got caught on Kamiko, whereupon she said:

"Don't doubt yourself so much. You are something special. For ANGERME. For our entire academy. Don't forget that!"

The young girl stuttered a 'thank you' and before the group knew it, Goto Maki had already disappeared.

Immediately Take hit Kamiko's back hard with the palm of her hand, so she was thrown a bit forward with a surprised expression on her face.

"Man, Kamikokuryo Moe! You seem to be becoming one of the teachers' favorites. You're on a good way!"

With a twitching eye, the tormented girl looked at the redhead.

"Probably not. Yoshiko kills me every time I forget one of her choreographies."

Kana smiled motherly.

"Don't be so hard on yourself. After all, you impressed Goto Maki. That means something."

Before the younger one could say anything, all attention suddenly turned to the hallway. Somebody stood there.

The figure pressed her arms close to her body and had her hands folded into each other. Uncertainly, she gently waddled from one leg to the other. Her face looked so young and innocent. The long, brown hair was tied into a plait and fell over the girl's left shoulder.

"Momonaaaaa!"

Take's roar broke through the moment. The cheerful nature with the fiery red hair stepped with big steps to the newcomer.

"This is really great that you leave your room sometime. You don't want us to have all the fun on our own, do you?"

The person was visibly nervous and didn't know how to react. Looking for help she turned her attention to Kamiko. The adressed one vehemently avoided eye contact and instead looked at a purple beanbag in the corner of the Lounge.

Kana noticed this, smiled shaking her head and walked towards the new girl as well.

"Kassa, would you like to go to the castle park with Take and me before we leave?"

The girl named Kassa was immediately on fire.

"Oh yes! Gladly!"

Take grinned broadly.

"Well then, let's go!"

Without changing words, Take pressed her hand on Kassas back and pushed her towards the exit. Kana followed her. As she ran out, she winked at Kamiko mischievously.

The black-haired girl breathed deeply and then put her frustrated forehead on the tabletop. Murotan laughed and flicked her finger against Kamiko's shoulder.

"Oh man, that could be something with you two. You're having a hard time taking responsibility for her even though you're her mentor."

Kamiko closed her eyes disappointed.

"I just have no idea how to behave as a Senpai. As soon as Kasahara appears, I only have the feeling that I want to leave quickly. I can't get rid of the feeling that she's here because of me."

Murotan raised her eyebrows.

"What do you mean?"

Kamiko sighed.

"The teachers criticize me so often. I totally screwed up my first missions and almost put you in danger. The Observer is probably already looking for a replacement for me. And apparently he found it."

Murotan clapped her forehead, then she put her arm around Kamiko's shoulder, grinning.

"You really are a dumbass, you know that?"

Surprised, the girl stood up and looked at the chaos queen in amazement. Murotan flicked her finger again and winked, like Kana did before.

"You are a part of ANGERME! There's no substitute for anyone here!"

Without knowing exactly why, Kamiko seemed to cheer up these decisive words. And slowly the smile stepped back into her face.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#8 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 11 June 2019 - 09:44 AM

Chapter 8: In the Observer Room

 


Unpleasant noises reached the ears of Yokoyama Reina. A loud drilling. Shrill sounds. Different, excited voices of women and men.

White fog surrounded the girl. Her field of vision was blurred. She rubbed her eyes in panic, but her vision remained unclear.

Reina wanted to scream, but no sound came from her lips. Instead she gesticulated wildly with her arms. No reaction. The voices in the distance ignored any attempt by her to make herself felt.

She ran. Everything around her swirled in bright colors. Nothing wanted to get closer. Nothing moved away. Reina felt as if she was in an infinite sphere of complete emptiness.

Suddenly she stopped. Abrupt nausea overcame the young Kenshuusei. Groaning and panting she bent over her knees. Her choking echoed through the mixture of colours and clouds. Finally the whole environment began to rotate around the girl. Faster and faster. Her eyes could not stand this madness.  Reina wanted to call for help. But her throat was tied up. She was in the eye of a whirlwind of wobbling shreds of fog and various shades of red, blue and green that tried to smother her.

Feeling the absolute powerlessness, she finally fell to her knees...

A dull impact and sudden silence were the first things Reina realized. She bent over something hard wooden. Her hands palpated a square, no, cube-shaped object. Then she noticed that she was lying on soft material. A mattress. A bed!

Slowly her gaze cleared up. After a short time, the shimmering light of the newly discovered room bundled into a dimmed lighting on the ceiling. Outlines formed into white-grey walls and three to four bed frames. The cube on which she propped herself was a small bedside table. Reina was in a kind of hospital room.

Confused, the dark-haired woman looked around more closely. Her eyes had regained their usual focus. Immediately the panicked feeling of near blindness diminished. Instead, curiosity grew in her. What had happened to her? Had that just been a dream? And if so, why did she dream such strange stuff? All these questions shot into her head bit by bit. She remembered being in the classroom last. Goto Maki had introduced them to the three pillars of the academy and then... ? Yes, then what actually?

"Re-Reina"?

Slightly shocked, she turned to the voice that surprisingly crossed over from the other side of the bed. There were, sitting on two metal chairs, Kawamura Ayano and Nishida Shiori. Their chalky faces spoke clear volumes. They stared at their comrade as if she were a ghost.

Ayano got up immediately and walked around the sickbed. Only now did Reina notice that she was still holding the bedside table spasmodically. The taller one grabbed her shoulders, lovingly supported her and then gently pushed her back into bed. Reina felt more than weak and insecure. It was a strange feeling. Even if she had wanted to, she would not have been able to resist Ayano.

Shiori, however, leaned over the bed on the other side and thus over Reina. After her worried looks the logical question followed:

"How are you, Reina?"

The interviewee closed her eyes briefly and gathered strength. The quiet inhalation and exhalation did her good. Then, as her gaze turned to Shiori, she answered:

"Better than anything that had happened before..."

Scared, Reina faltered. Her voice was a single cawing. A stabbing pain twitched through her throat.

Ayano understood immediately and brought her a jug of water. Her companion thanked her with a quick nod, then took the jug and drank. And drank. And drank. Until nothing was left. Immediately her spirits were awakened as the cool wet flowed down her throat. Finally the familiar smile crept back onto the face of the cheerful nature. Even though it was weak, it was still a reassuring sight.

Shiori as well as Ayano sighed equally relieved. Apparently Reina was fit again for the time being. On the other hand Reina became curious.

"What actually happened?"

Shiori was immediately excited.

"We should ask you that!

Ayano nodded to the younger one agreeing and explained hastily:

"When Mrs. Goto demonstrated the knowledge of clarity, you suddenly began to tremble violently. Before I could react, you collapsed lifelessly and hit the ground. I am sorry. I should have caught you. I was not aware... I..."

Reina shook her head with a smile.

"You don't have to worry about it. I am grateful to both of you that you are here."

Still worry surrounded the facial features of her two comrades. Shiori was about to ask another question when they heard a throb at the door of the room. Irritated, all three turned towards the sound. Shortly after, one person stepped inside.

Shiori sucked the air in sharply. Ayano bibbered fearfully. Reina dropped her jaw in amazement.

At the door stood the man who had left such a striking impression in the throne room. The headmaster of the Rehab Academy, Tsunku.

He looked at each of them insistently. But when he realized that the Kenshuusei didn't know how to deal with this encounter, a friendly smile stepped on his face.

"Thank you both for taking such loving care of Miss Yokoyama."

His sudden bow to Ayano and Shiori surprised the girls. Shocked, they returned the gesture. Then Tsunku asked:

"May I take the right to speak to Miss Yokoyama alone?"

It took a short moment before the two of them realized what they were being asked. When Tsunku, expecting an answer, looked at them patiently, the Kenshuusei took a hasty bow a second time and said goodbye to Reina. Then they quickly walked towards the exit and stepped outside, not without throwing another doubtful glance at the tall man.

Tsunku quietly closed the door and walked to one of the metal chairs where Reina's confidants had been sitting a few minutes ago. He sat down in a strangely lanky way.

The young girl watched him closely. Her thoughts literally exploded. She just couldn't figure out what the headmaster was doing here. But she did not dare to ask the crucial question.

Tsunku, on the other hand, who took a few deep breaths, already seemed to know what the new academy student was thinking about.

"Your very first day and already you are preparing us to worry, Yokoyama Reina. With what was going on inside of you, it was bound to happen that we would meet sooner rather than later, don't you think?"

The man gave her an amused look. His relaxed posture had a calming effect on Reina. She asked out freely:

"What happens to me? Since yesterday I have had these strange convulsions and dizzy feelings all the time. Am I not suitable for therapy?"

Tsunku did not answer immediately. It seemed difficult for him to find the right words. His eyes roamed the room, slid to the ceiling and finally they attached themselves again to Reina. A loving smile surrounded his lips.

"No, don't worry, your therapy is not in danger. Quite the opposite! You seem to be an extremely strong patient."

Reina called promptly:

"But then what is it? Whether in the company of Goto Maki or yours... Mr. Tsunku..."

Tsunku interrupted her immediately.

"Let's stay without the 'Mr.'. I don't like the authority track very much, even though I don't like being yelled at by my students."

He winked at the girl. She held the palm of her hand in front of her mouth, frightened. She had understood the light tip against her loud tone. Tsunku laughed because of Reina's reaction. Finally he spoke:

"It was a decent piece of work to find out what was wrong with you. Even here, in the Observer Room, it took us a whole hour to get to the bottom of the source of your torment."

Reina looked confused.

"O-Observer Room?"

Tsunku pointed to the surrounding sick room.

"Yes, at the moment we are in the analysis center of our supercomputer, disguised as the emergency ward of a hospital. We chose this facility to simulate a familiar but sterile environment for the patients who stay here. Whoever came up with this stupid idea can hardly be said today. It was probably me."

The cheerful grin and the laughter lines on his eyes made him likeable for Reina. She felt a wondrous feeling of familiarity in his presence. So she asked without hesitation:

"What kind of room is this? Why am I here?"

The headmaster bent forward and folded his hands before answering.

"You must first understand what was going on inside you. You had a so-called seizure.

Reina frowned, but Tsunku continued:

"A seizure in our world means losing control of mind and body. In the worst case this can even be fatal. So you were very lucky.

Normally you learn the basics of our knowledge. Little by little you will gain the knowledge of your mind and your body. You broaden your horizon with every day that passes until you finally discover the power of Hello!Project Online: The communication with your own soul and the energy of the fleshly".

The man took a short break to give Reina time to understand what was being said. Then he continued:

"Actually, the Kenshuusei start from zero when they start their therapy. Nevertheless, there are cases from time to time", Tsunku nodded to the girl meaningfully, "in which a certain strength already shows itself in advance. One could call these cases 'early developers'."

Reina understood clearly nothing. This was probably also reflected in her face, because the headmaster had to laugh again when he looked at her.

"You, Yokoyama Reina, are such an 'early developer'. This means that you, up to certain limits, already know how to use your energy and your mind. However, you have not yet mastered the element of clarity in any way. That is why there is neither balance nor control in you."

The dark-haired one swallowed hefty. She hesitantly replied:

"But how can I exercise control if I don't know how to do it? And when it is shown to me, I immediately fold up again."

Tsunku's face took on confident features. His tone also revealed that he already had a solution.

"It is rarely the case that the concentration of mind and energy expresses itself as strongly as it did with you. This only shows that your potential is immense. Therefore, much earlier than is normal for members of this academy, we will instruct you in the knowledge of clarity."

Reina raised her eyebrows irritatedly.

"But I thought that Kenshuusei would not be trained in this teaching?"

The headmaster nodded.

"That's right. But with you we make an exception. Actually, knowledge of clarity does not require direct training. It develops together with attaining the other two pillars because it is the balance between them. The higher one stacks one's knowledge of mind and energy, the higher logically the clarity positions itself. But this only happens if one consciously attains this knowledge. In your case, it is both a blessing and a curse that your abilities have formed themselves without your direct involvement."

The girl asked:

"Mr. Tsu-... um... Tsunku, what do you mean by that?

Her opposite one scratched his cheek thoughtfully.

"Let's put it this way, you already have a definite knowledge advantage, which you are not even aware of yet. When we implant this consciousness in you, you make a huge leap forward in this academy."

The Kenshuusei truncated at this announcement.

"What happens to me if I don't live up to it? What if I don't manage to bring my body and mind into harmony?"

For a short moment there was nothing but the silence in the sick room. Finally Tsunku stood up, gently touched Reina's shoulder with his right hand and spoke determinedly:

"Never be afraid of your own strength. It is your instrument which you will master to play".

With the last words Reina's eyes widened. Had he chosen these words consciously? He could not have imagined that they would trigger such feelings of happiness in Reina. Or do he?

Before she could reply, Tsunku stepped towards the exit. On the way there he looked at the clock above the door and happily said:

"It's already thirteen o'clock. Unfortunately we both missed lunch. Too bad about the nice dessert. There would have been peach sorbet. Well, so be it. Get some rest and then I hope to hear about your activities with your comrades."

With his index finger he pointed to an object at the end of Reina's bed. She looked at the object in amazement. It was her training bag.

The man had already stepped outside when he called to her:

"In two hours you must be in the training hall. Don't be late."

And with these last words he had finally disappeared.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#9 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:47 AM

Chapter 9: Kaga Kaede

 

 

While the training, which the newcomers had attended the day before, seemed quite harmonious and beautiful under the command of Icchan, it left a completely opposite impression on the 26th generation when they did their own exercises. The first joy of the reunion with Reina and the excitement of finally getting started quickly yielded to sweat, shortness of breath, coordination problems and constant painful collisions after unrhythmic movements.

The new Kenshuusei had serious problems to fit into the rhythm of the more experienced ones. Reina noticed how she was consistently one step too late. The constant changes of tempo and direction did the rest.

But none of this would have been tragic at all if it hadn't been for one particular person monitoring the training: Mitsubachi Maki.

Sharing the same name with Goto Maki and the fact that they were teachers at the Academy already described all the similarities between the two mentors. Every other characteristic that Mitsubachi Maki possessed could not remotely be more different than the friendly, graceful and positive Goto Maki.

Her personality could best be illustrated with a swarm of bees. She worked efficiently, purposefully and did not waste any time with trifles. However, if something did not go as she liked to see it, or if a Kenshuusei often fell out of line in a conspicuously negative way, then woe betide her. Reina had never met anyone at this academy before who found such hard, demotivating and unpleasantly honest words as Mrs. Mitsubachi did. Therefore the girl found the comparison with the swarm of bees quite fitting. Should the teacher be angered, every single one of her tortures felt like painful stings.

"Faster! Faster! Slow down! Faster! Where are you with your thoughts? This is not a funny sports day. Your life is at stake if you don't even get such simple movements into your head."

The bossy calls of the teacher echoed through the training room. All Kenshuusei members were extremely eager to follow the tough demands. Even the pity of the older comrades was limited. Although they definitely noticed that the newcomers were neither physically nor mentally fit enough to copy their movements in time, they didn't seem to make any effort to slow down. They put all their energy into training.

A loud bell sounded. Mrs. Mitsubachi had struck strongly against a bronze bowl with the fan in her hand, which served to set the beat. That was the sign of a fifteen-minute break.

Moaning and groaning, the new Kenshuusei let themselves fall to the ground right where they had just stood. Shiori leaned backwards on her arms, lowered her head to the back and looked at the ceiling with a sweaty face. Her breathing was unspeakably heavy.

"What... kind... of... therapy... is... this... please? Mercy..."

Gasping for breath words came throatily out of her mouth. Little Rin even lay down completely, arms and legs stretched far from her, on the cool plain.

"I don't want any more. It should stop. My whole body is burning".

Reina, Ayano and Marie did the same as her. Even Yuhane showed first signs of weakness. She had pulled her legs to her body, put her elbows on her knees and buried her head in the palms of her hands. Only the shiny forehead could be seen.

Maeda Kokoro came over to them. She, too, seemed to be slightly tired, but her physical condition seemed to be from another world, the tormented ones thought in silence.

"How are you? Are you still holding out? The first days are the hardest. After that it will get better, believe me."

No newcomer answered her. Talking needed energy. And none of them had energy. Maeda scratched her head again, embarrassed. It was a small trademark of her. As if she had to apologize for something every time.

"I hope you don't hold it against us that we don't take consideration of you. Otherwise Mrs. Mitsubachi would give us hell."

Marie gave her a reproachful look.

"This woman only likes to torture people. Why do you let yourself be so harassed by her."

Surprised at this statement Maeda shook her head.

"No, no! These are the methods of Mrs. Mitsubachi. She's a nice person in herself."

Rin wiped the sweat off her nose and said in an angry beep:

"Methods? Nice? She is the devil! I don't want any more. That's too much."

Yuhane lifted her head slightly. Only her eyes were visible behind her arms. These were urgently directed at Maeda.

"It would be easier if you would show us what we are doing wrong. Stubbornly trying to imitate you is not profitable. I don't like to admit it, but I don't think much of the teacher's 'methods' either. She still puts us in our grave."

Suddenly Takase Kurumi joined the participants and took a close look around.

"The highest rule in the Haven is: Don't talk badly about your mentors. Hold them in honour. They're all here to help you. Mrs. Mitsubachi may be very strict, but her training has already produced many great talents for the groupings. Besides, you want to catch up with us as fast as possible. If you give up on the first day and don't even get it past us, how do you want to get a positive assessment from the Observer?"

A lively discussion followed. None of the newcomers wanted to see that this torture should really be a help.

Reina followed the debate quietly. Her body was not yet at one hundred percent. She felt that. No matter how hard she tried, it seemed to her that her movements were inhibited. Probably these were still the aftereffects of her seizure. She was definitely supposed to be careful not to let something like this happen to her again. She also had to admit, for better or for worse, that the training was actually more than hard. After being personally told by the headmaster that her skills had already developed by itself, she thought that she could quickly catch up with the older Kenshuusei. But now they were already practicing for two hours and every step, every move and every single change of direction was far too late or wrongly done by her.

The fifteen-year-old reached her lowest point when she accidentally stabbed Shiori in the eye during a spontaneous backward movement, proclaiming a five-minute forced break and getting an angrily reprimand by Mrs. Mitsubachi. Reina didn't feel at all special at that moment. But she did not want to be overcome by frustration.

Suddenly she fixed a single person. It was the girl with the short hairstyle named Kaga Kaede. Unlike all the other Kenshuusei, she hadn't gone into a sitting or otherwise relaxed position to enjoy the break. Instead, she had stepped in front of the big mirror and watched herself as she made the movements she was practicing. This self-sacrificing conscientiousness to strive for greater things impressed Reina.

With a jerky movement she stood up and interrupted the shocked Kurumi, who had just begun a longer talk about respect and companionship.

"Reina, that it is what I exactly mean when..."

But the girl with the shoulder-length, dark hair ignored her. Her entire concentration was on Kaedi. Slowly she stepped up to the diligently training girl. The older one paid no attention to the newcomer.

Reina smiled shyly.

"Can... Can you show the movements you just made again?"

The person addressed stopped irritatedly. With a frowned forehead she turned to the smaller person. The fixed gaze met large, hopefully shimmering eyes. Kaedi's corner of her mouth cramped.

"Um... of course... wait..."

Completely surprised by the innocent looking Reina Kaedi took the starting position of her fight choreography.

With her left fist she punched powerfully forward. Immediately followed a U-turn to the back. During the turn, the foot positions changed abruptly to ensure a firm stand. Then there was a kick. Finally two fast strokes again. A light push with the upper body. And another turn.

Because the older girl didn't know how much she was supposed to show, she took a quick look at her young companion in the middle of it. Then her eyes widened.

Reina hadn't just watched. She had tried to follow Kaedi's nimble movements in fractions of a second. But she failed and sweared quietly.

It wasn't just about simply imitating the sequences. Both physical balance and razor-sharp concentration were necessary to create the required tension. Mrs. Mitsubachi had mentioned at the beginning that in this world it is possible to shift whole mountains with one's body. It remains to be seen whether this is an exaggerated portrayal of the fact that one achieves great power with increasing energy and technique.

The girl with the short hair stopped her own movements, but the younger one immediately straightened her head and focused it on her.

"Please repeat it for me again."

Shaking her head, Kaedi went back to her position. She repeated the exercise, but this time she kept an eye on Reina from the beginning.

And in fact the little one tried to follow the steps as perfectly as possible. She did not succeed. But Kaedi had to admit that Reina improved from try to try. The flame of ambition was literally palpable inside the newcomer.

Reina bowed.

"Thank you for coaching me."

Perplex the older Kenshuusei stared at her counterpart.

"Coaching? I'm not practicing with you at all. You only asked me if..."

But Reina did not respond to her words. Instead she spoke:

"Could you repeat the movements again?"

Stunned, Kaedi took a step back. What was wrong with that girl? Was she still completely out of her mind? Slightly upset, she answered:

"Are you kidding me? I'm not a videotape that you can play back on demand."

But Yokoyama Reina still smiled as innocently and unyieldingly as ever.

"No. I don't want to kid you. Please repeat these movements for me. That would be very kind.

The older one could not surround herself with this situation. Therefore, and since she wanted to do the training for herself anyway, she gave in to the wish.

Secretly she watched her companion during the training, who became better and better. Meanwhile Reina managed to keep up with Kaedi almost synchronously. She felt how she was unintentionally impressed.

When they had finished the first sequences, Reina jumped happily, with her fist ahead, into the air and cheered. She was happy that she could follow her mentor.

Kaedi looked at her emotionlessly. All of a sudden, furrows formed under her eyes and she said.

"Why are you so happy? You now master a simple step sequence. Nothing more. You are still so far away from learning the really important things."

But the minds of the younger one still radiated pure happiness.

"That's good. That means you can still teach me so much. I definitely want to get better. Better than all the others."

The last remark was spoken with fullness of motivation that Kaga couldn't help looking at Reina surprised for a few seconds. But then she regained her composure and her stubborn features returned.

"You want to be better than everyone? Someone as naive and stupid as you will not even be able to join a group. No matter how diligent you are."

That had been done. Kaedi didn't want to be so hurtful, but she was an honest person. For a short moment there was silence.

In the meantime the other Kenshuusei had joined them. Icchan gave Kaga a reproachful look. Kurumi had laid her hand compassionately on Reina's shoulder, whose face lay hidden in the shadow. You couldn't tell what she was thinking or feeling after those words.

Just as the Kenshuusei leader was about to put her foot down, Reina raised her head. A laugh surrounded her lips.

"Let's be friends."

A complete shock spread through the hall after all those present realized Reina's words. Yuhane clapped her hand in front of her face. Shiori had her eyes and mouth open as never before. The older Kenshuusei swayed between embarrassing touch, pinched laughter and stunned expressions.

All eyes were fixed on Kaedi. How would she react to such a presumptuous response. Surely she would take Reina to pieces. It couldn't be any different.

Nobody moved. Kaga herself seemed petrified. Some weren't even sure if she was breathing at all.

The squeaking of the hall doors abruptly interrupted the bizarre scenario. Mrs. Mitsubachi entered and clapped her hands.

"It's time. We'll get right on with it. You still have an hour to go. Let's go!"

Kaedi immediately used the opportunity and fled out of the situation, took her place and turned her eyes stubbornly to Mrs. Mitsubachi. Ironically, it was Reina of all people who followed her without hesitation and, to the displeasure of the older one, placed herself right next to her. Her gaze was also focused on the teacher, accompanied by a playful grin.

The other Kenshuusei didn't know what to think of the whole action. They were still standing in a semicircle at the mirror watching the two protagonists of the incident.

"DIDN'T I TELL YOU IT WAS TIME TO GO ON, YOU SLEEPYHEADS?"

The assembled omes shocked and apologized in panic before finally taking their positions.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#10 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 24 June 2019 - 06:37 PM

Chapter 10: The most powerful grouping

 

 

Reina, Shiori, Yuhane and Ayano sat in the throne room and looked at pot roast with red cabbage and dumplings. They eagerly fell on the tasty food. Every single bite was a blessing for the hungry stomach.

Shiori gave a delightful squeak after she had taken a large piece of meat.

"Delicious! But we really deserved that."

Reina nodded her while grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"That's right! That's the first time I was allowed to go to lunch."

The others looked questioning for a short moment, then understood. Yuhane was the first to answer:

"It's been four days since our training started. It was really bitter for you that you had this seizure. Since then you had to go to the check-up every noon."

Reina scratched her head.

"After all, today's appointment was cancelled because Mrs. Goto was unable to come. That's why I can finally eat this great meal."

The glittering eyes streaked over the wide dining tables of the hall. Meanwhile Ayano leaned over to her and whispered quietly:

"What does Mrs. Goto actually do with you in these check-ups? You are sometimes away for hours and show up just before the start of the training sessions."

Reina's facial features took on an embarrassed expression.

"Oh well, they're looking for something in inside me. Something with mind and body and stuff. I don't understand that directly either. Um..."

The young girl was a horrible liar. With such statements she could not even have convinced herself, she thought quietly.

Fortunately Ayano left it there and the others were satisfied with this answer for the time being. Only Yuhane stared at her a few seconds longer than necessary. Reina quickly loaded a large portion of roast on her spoon and almost swallowed up.

As the attention was slowly diverted, the fifteen-year-old calmed down. She had been silenced by Goto Maki. She didn't like that at all. Lies just didn't stand up to her.

But the teacher had said that it could only be unpleasant among the Kenshuusei if Reina revealed that her powers had developed earlier than among the others. Once again the girl recalled the words of her mentor when she had taken her aside on the way home after the eventful first training day in the evening:

"It will be a hard time for you, but now we meet every day, after the theory lesson, at lunchtime, in the training hall. Then we have an hour or two before your actual training begins to bring you closer to the balance between body and mind. You will feel great exhaustion and pain in the evening, but you have to hold on. That is the most important thing!

And above all, under no circumstances should you tell your comrades what we are doing here."

Reina had looked at her in amazement and asked her:

"Why can't I tell them anything?"

Goto Maki then pulled her eyebrows up and put on a serious face.

"You already have a power that sets you apart from the others. And that even though you obviously haven't done anything for it yet. That won't put you in the right light for some ambitious competitors or comrades who train hard at the limit. For all of you, it's all about one thing: survival! So I can't say with certainty that each of the Kenshuusei is pure of heart and not begrudging you this massive advantage. It is best to hide the fact that you have already developed all the necessary powers so that you can live a normal life here."

The young girl had certain doubts:

"But doesn't it come to notice at some point when I already know skills in the exercises that go beyond the basics?"

But the teacher could calm her down with her mischievous smile:

"You just have to keep your head down for a few weeks, then your rapid progress won't matter. There are always Kenshuusei who learn faster than others. Either they recognize you as such. Or it could even happen that one of your comrades discovers her potential in the meantime and even competes with you. Then you wouldn't even be noticed anymore."

The smile of Goto Maki became wider.

"Besides, you shouldn't underestimate the basic training. I even assume, if you are not a natural, that you will have enough problems in the coming weeks to master the exercises of your new mentor. So you can trust me when I tell you that you won't be noticed. As long as you at least try a little hard not to talk yourself away."

Reina remembered the mischievous wink at the end of the conversation. Sometimes she had the feeling Goto Maki made fun of fooling around with the unsuspecting newcomers. But no doubt she was very helpful and self-sacrificing. She was also the one who rescued Reina and provided her with first aid when the girl had her seizure.

"What do you think about it, Reina?"

Shocked, the addressed one looked around. She had been so lost in thought that she hadn't even followed the topic that was currently at the table. Shiori looked at the dreamer expectantly. Reina stuttered:

"Uh-uh... what?"

Ayano reacted immediately with a slightly hasty undertone:

"Well, how long do you think we'll have to go through this terrible torture until Mrs. Mitsubachi finally stops treating us like slaves? We are already on our last legs."

Reina, who still looked a bit confused, answered with a whispering voice:

"I... uh... I don't think she's that bad."

Shiori's eyes stared at her excessively.

"What? You don't think she torments us?"

The fifteen-year-old mumbled thoughtfully:

" Of course I do... but... "

Ayano had now moved her face very close to Reina's face.

"What do you mean 'but'?"

The smaller one conjured up a charming smile and then said:

"Mrs. Mitsubachi certainly is so determined and inspired by the desire to make us better that she doesn't even notice that she sometimes goes over the top, doesn't she?"

Yuhane, who had been silent so far, joined in the laughter. Surprised, Shiori and Ayano turned to her. The girl with the pointed nose spoke:

"Of course, you can look at it that way. After all, she is a teacher and won't have gotten her job for nothing. I don't like her methods, but when she brings me into a group, I don't want to say anything."

No one could say anything to the contrary.

The four finished lunch and stepped into the huge hall with the mirror dome. Reina stretched out her arms and gave a loud yawn.

"I wish we could go to sleep now."

She felt the burning in her muscles. Due to the triple burden of theory, practice and additional lessons with Goto Maki, her whole body screamed out of fatigue. Every day she tried to carry it off well. Fortunately for her, the other newcomers had the same fate.

Ayano copied the movement of Reina.

"You said it, I don't feel like training at all."

They stomped merrily towards the training halls. Icchan had not lied. After only two days they knew the important connections of the corridors by heart. At least between dormitories, training halls, the classroom and the throne room, they were able to move relaxed without much fuss.

Shiori noted with concern:

"Hopefully Marie and Rin will make it in time. They seemed very powerless earlier. I don't know if it's a good thing they didn't eat."

Yuhane agreed with her.

"You're right. Going back to bed destroys the entire biorhythm of one's own body. I can't imagine that the resting phase will help them to get through the training. Hopefully they will hold out somehow."

Reina was worried about her two generation comrades. The dark haired woman felt Shiori's formulation 'powerless' was understated. Both Rin and Marie had almost been close to fainting after yesterday's exercises. Mrs. Mitsubachi showed no mercy, that was for sure.

Meanwhile they arrived in the entrance hall of the castle. They walked down the large stairs. On the way they noticed, however, that a small crowd had formed in front of the enormous gates. They recognized the other Kenshuusei and ran to them.

Kurumi, Icchan, Maeda Kokoro and Inoue Hikaru beckoned to them excitedly. Yuhane was the first to reach them.

"What's going on here?"

Her gaze wandered through the crowd, which had now formed a line on both sides of the large, red-golden carpet, creating a wide corridor from the entrance gates to the large staircase.

Kurumi turned to the new arrivals with big eyes and a hoarse voice.

"They are there. They are there. Unbelievable. We are allowed to see them. This is so unbelievable."

Reina closed her eyes, stood on her toes and tried to look over the heads of the others.

"Who is it? Who are we allowed to see?"

Kiyono Momohime did the same and returned stubbornly:

"You fool, don't you know? They finally come home. They were gone for months. They were thought to be dead."

Shiori jumped again and again to see something.

" Who? Who are you talking about?"

Finally the tall Kawamura Ayano took her on her shoulders. Icchan had been silent so far. Just as the first people began to cheer near the gates, the otherwise so tough Kenshuusei leader got tears in her eyes, which she wiped away without further ado. A narrow smile accompanied her reddened cheeks.

"Welcome home, °C-ute!"

Reina stared at her name sister in wonder for a short moment and repeated the words softly mumbling:

"°C-ute..."

Then thunderous applause broke out, and the young girl's attention focused entirely on the entrance.

Five people walked down the wide corridor one after the other. Their auras were overwhelming. Reina could feel the power of each of the young women. It felt like from another planet.

But not only the auras surrounding them were unique. No! The mere presence of the Five shone brightly throughout the hall.

The first, who passed by with a banner in her hand, on which a large, shimmering black embroidered C could be seen on a yellow ground, looked joyfully into the crowd. Her long, raven-black waving hair ran gracefully over her back. The silver armor plates she was wearing seemed damaged. It seemed similar to her silver-grey cape, which at the end only turned into silk shreds.

The clothing of the other four women also gave the impression that they had been on the road for many weeks and were continuously involved in fights. Who had attacked them?

The second of the squad had red blond, short hair and was the smallest in the group. Her self-confident look, however, revealed to Reina that this woman knew exactly what an incredible strength she possessed and that she could not be judged by her size.

Behind her followed a person with long dark brown hair that fell far over her shoulder. Her face looked exhausted, but her sweet, round face and full lips presented joy and contentment.

The fourth in the bunch stroked her long, thin fingers through the dark blonde hair, which reached down to the base of her neck. Her smile seemed weaker than that of the others, but this did not diminish the great charisma she sent to her surroundings.

Finally, a woman with long, dark hair entered the entrance hall. As soon as she came into most people's field of vision, the focus shifted directly to her and the cheering intensified many times more. The slender face was covered with cuts and wounds, but she was still enveloped by such beauty and radiance that even Reina could no longer detach her eyes from her.

Suddenly she heard Icchan whisper in awe:

"This is Suzuki Airi."

Reina had never heard that name before, but still she was surrounded by the feeling that she was familiar. Suzuki Airi. The aura was the same as that of Goto Maki and Tsunku. The young Kenshuusei was glad that the trembling of her legs had stopped. Apparently her additional lessons began to work.

Meanwhile Yuhane asks with a slight hiss:

"Who are these guys?"

Kurumi whispered back:

"This is °C-ute. One of the groupings. Or it's better to say..."

Inoue Hikaru interrupted her.

"°C-ute is the most powerful grouping of the Haven. They are incredible. Each of them is in the last Rehab Grade."

Stunned and absolutely impressed, the new Kenshuusei stared at the group members with their eyes wide open. Now they understood the march of all the people.

Yuhane had a very special look at the powerful people. Slight greed spoke from her words:

"They are a group. So it's possible to join them."

In the meantime, the observed ones slowly stepped up the great stairs towards the throne room.

Kurumi laughed amusedly.

"It's true that they're available for selection, so to speak. But, well..."

Yuhane's eyes flashed to the girl with the round face.

"What does 'so to speak' mean? Can you join them or not?"

Icchan gently laid her hand on Yuhane's shoulder and then said with a melancholic undertone:

"I can fully understand you. I think everyone would like to join °C-ute."

She took a short, dramatic break before continuing.

"However, no one has ever succeeded. And as it seems, no one will ever succeed."

The young Kenshuusei with the stub nose whirled around and looked at Icchan with a desperate look.

"Why not?"

For a long moment silence reigned. The group had already disappeared and the crowd was slowly disbanding. Icchan and Yuhane stared deep into each other's eyes. In the end, the older one answered with a matte tone:

"Because °C-ute themselves decided that they didn't want to accept any more members. Either they survive this therapy together... or they die together. Only the Five. None more. None less. That's what they decided. And so it will probably remain until the end."


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#11 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 01 July 2019 - 06:03 PM

Chapter 11: In the village

 

 

Although it was still a summery warm time, you could feel the first autumn winds blowing through the southern villages. The group called ANGERME enjoyed the gentle breeze as they watched the sunset. A vessel whose task it was to serve cold drinks and food came, with an empty tray under its arms, to the table where the eight girls were sitting.

"Would you like to order something?"

The voice was both friendly and polite, but Kamiko still hadn't got used to the indifferent undertone that all the vessels had.

Opposite her was Rikako, who reacted first:

"A peach juice, please!"

The waitress also accepted the order from the other members. Kamiko looked after the waitress before joining the conversation again, in which the troop was interrupted. Take took the word:

"We've been out here for three weeks now and still don't have a single hint. That's unbelievable."

Furious, she grabbed her hair, completely tousling the fiery red mane and spreading it to the winds. Murotan laughed and pointed the index finger at the older one.

"Now you look like Pumuckl. That looks really good on you."

While Take played offended and shouted incomprehensible words towards her tormentor, the leader of the group, Wada Ayaka, raised her voice:

"Here in the village we are finished with our interrogation. We should go east next. Maybe the forest dwellers saw something."

Sporadic, unmotivated nodding followed. Katsuta Rina, a girl with long brown hair, rubbed her eyes tiredly and yawned. Kamiko liked her sweet, round face. She was particularly attracted by her sweeping lips. Rikako did the same as the brown-haired one and stretched out before asking:

"We're not leaving today, are we? It'll be dark soon and we'll have to wait for Maho anyway."

Ayaka, whose long, narrow figure and clear-cut face were lying half in the shadow of the restaurant roof, scratched her head questioningly. Then she noticed:

"We're pretty much late with the job. If we don't send a report to the Haven, they might get the feeling that we're on holiday instead of concentrating on our job."

Murotan interfered in the conversation:

"What would be so bad about relaxing a while? We really deserved that."

Nakanishi Kana answered with a half grinning, half mocking tone:

"You of all people have to talk. You can be seen lazing around on the porch every two days."

The addressed one winked because she felt caught and stuck out her tongue as an answer. Kamiko smiled. Yes, that was ANGERME. Being part of this group felt so liberated. Even if they were hit on the head by the Haven's leaders because they had once again completed an order too late or not with the means provided, somehow the group managed again and again to successfully assert itself against all adversities. Here everyone was allowed to do and to be what she wanted. The only important thing was to have fun together. As long as this existed, the group structure was in harmony.

At the last thought her gaze automatically wandered to Kasahara Momona, who sat shyly next to Kana. For a short moment she looked at the newest ANGERME member.

When Kassa suddenly looked up and her eyes were on Kamiko, the older one was frightened with her whole body and accidentally tripped the arriving waitress up. A second later you heard the angry cry of Rikako.

"KAMIKOOOOOO!!!"

The short-haired one was covered with brown-yellow liquid. From top to bottom she had been splashed with sticky fruit juice by the accident. Murotan and Take crashed to the ground laughing and couldn't even hold back their tears. Ayaka offered her the napkins distributed on the table. Rina, Kana and Momona had instinctively distanced themselves from the scene of the event in order not to be randomly showered as well.

The waitress apologized to Rikako thousands of times. Kamiko did the same, while she had to deny herself the amused grin. Yes, that was ANGERME.

 

 

 

 

In the meantime the night had fallen. The girls had retreated to the nearby bar because there were enough beds available for them. The villagers were usually not used to serving so many guests at the same time. In addition, the new arrivals did not look at all like simple wanderers. Instead, they wore high-quality clothing and looked extremely well-groomed. Even rumours spread that the strangers were from the castle. And THIS was indeed a rarity in this area.

Kamiko didn't like the way the vessels talked about them when they thought the group wasn't listening. She always felt like an outsider who didn't fit into this world. Ayaka had advised her on her first journey not to pay attention to such harassing words. The leader claimed that this was part of the therapy. It was used to test their mental resilience. This sounded logical, but did not mean that Kamiko wanted to get used to it.

The straight, black hair fell in the girl's face as she bent over her bed. She gently stroked it behind her ears. She had already got rid of her main clothes and was now looking at the grey-white fabric with the black leopard points. She liked the outfit. On the one hand it looked rebellious, on the other it left behind an expression of dwindling tenderness. The latter, however, was probably due more to Kamiko herself, because she had a really small frame in relation to her physique.

In the meantime she had also removed the net gauntlets on her hands as well as the silver-black bracelet around her arm and carefully laid the accessories on the bed. All in all a beautiful outfit, the black-haired girl thought.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door and Kamiko turned around in shock. Before she reacted, she quickly looked down at herself. She only wore a silk white undershirt. She hesitantly stepped towards the door and asked:

"Who is it?"

For a short moment there was silence. Then a soft hissing voice answered:

"It is me. Murota. Let me in."

Kamiko let the chaos queen enter her room in irritation. She had also changed her clothes for the night. Since they all travelled only with light luggage, they did not have a large selection of clothing and were forced to wear the same stuff for several days or even weeks. Fortunately, they were in a virtual world. Here, the rules for worn laundry were different than in reality. Depending on which materials the clothes were made of, they had a different length of usability. Simple fabrics of the farmers and villagers had to be washed almost daily in order to avoid signs of wear or even unpleasant odours. The Haven's clothing was of unbelievably high quality. Thus it had a much longer and above all more stable durability. In addition, the negative characteristics of unwashed clothes only appeared after an immensely long wearing time. This was also necessary, since groupings could often be on the road for many days and would be hindered by a too large amount of unnecessary luggage.

Murotan sat down on the bed by the window and grinned at both ears.

"Watch out, Kamiko! I have the ultimate idea! You'll be thrilled."

The interviewee was absolutely sure that she would not be thrilled in any way if a suggestion was made by Murotan in the middle of the night. But she let her guest speak.

"I now know how we can get you and Kassa closer."

Immediately the black-haired one froze. Automatically she answered with a hasty

"No!"

She wanted to give the whole thing a little more emphasis:

"No, Murotan! No! No! No! Whatever you have in mind... No!"

Her comrade laughed heartily, jumped up and went straight to Kamiko. Grinning, Murotan laid both hands on the shoulder of her companion.

"We scare Kassa! This is going to be brilliant! I can see it right in front of me. As soon as she's on her way to the bathroom, we sneak after her. Operation Numero Uno: The bathroom door that suddenly snap shut on its own. It's going to be a big bang. In the truest sense of the word."

Kamiko couldn't help but shake her head all the time. She didn't want that. She didn't need it. The girl knew that Murotan was just trying to help her. But Kamiko was very sure that this kind of help would not solve the problem in any case.

The two comrades stared into each other's eyes for a long time. One, with an enthusiastic look, whose head bobbed affirmatively from top to bottom again and again. The other, completely desperate because of the hopeless situation and the pressure she was under at that exact moment.

But there was no need for an answer. Because once again there was a knock on Kamiko's door. Without waiting for an answer, Take, Kana and Rina stepped in, in full travel gear. Their faces spoke volumes. Excited, they began to whisper. Take made the beginning:

"Great, you're here too, Murotan."

Kana continued immediately:

"You must hurry. Get dressed quickly."

Rina, who seemed worried, looked at the exit and spoke with her soft voice:

"I think I hear something. We hardly have time left.

Murotan and Kamiko were looking confused. The brown-haired girl took her heart and asked curiously:

"What's going on?"

While Kamiko put on the carefully sorted clothes again, she heard Take answering:

"We were just down at the bar with Rikako, when we heard it. Apparently Hunters have come to the village. The bar guests tried to hide it from us, but they probably hadn't expected Rina's sharpened ears."

Kamiko put her hand in front of her mouth. Hunters? What were they doing here? Had they come for them?

Murotan was on fire through what was said.

"Finally something happens. Three weeks of aimless running around and now the action begins."

The joyful excitement was literally visible in her flashing eyes. She immediately ran to the opposite room to put on her own clothes. Kamiko, who had already done this, turned to Kana.

"Where is Rikako? You said that she was actually with you."

The older one answered quietly:

"She brings Ayacho and Kassa."

Kamiko frowned, then said with a cynical undertone:

"You need three people to get Murotan and me?"

The woman laughed quietly and winked with her eyes.

"We had all hoped to finally catch you sleeping."

The younger one didn't know how seriously she should take that answer. But there was no time left for further thoughts. The dressed Murotan entered the door together with Ayaka, Kassa and Rikako. The leader looked at each of them with a deadly serious face.

"Listen, people. If it's true that Hunters are in the village, we have to pull ourselves together."

With these words Murotan and Take began to grumble. But they remained silent. Ayaka continued their instructions:

"Even if the villagers are distant to us, we must not put them in immediate danger. So it is best if we leave the place unnoticed."

Rikako answered promptly:

"What if a villager called the Hunters? Then our silent leaving could be uncovered quickly, because we don't know who the snitch is. It could even be the landlord. He always gave me such evil looks."

Kana grinned and said smugly:

"But that was more because you didn't want to give a tip."

Ayaka raised her hands to silence the two of them. With a friendly nod towards Rikako she took the word again.

"You are right. We don't know who is friend or foe. But we can be sure that many of the villagers are unaware of the situation and don't want anything bad. We have to protect them. Even if it means that we will fall into a trap."

Kamiko swallowed heavily on this statement. Kassa, who joined next to her, which made the black-haired girl shiver, trembled. The older one wanted to do something for her comrade. She wanted to grab her hand. To exaggerate her courage. But she was too cowardly. She just couldn't do it. Helplessly Kamiko stood dumb and unable to move next to her protégé, which she had already exceeded by a few centimetres in size.

Ayaka stretched her hand into the middle of the group and smiled warmly at everyone.

"We can do this. The Hunters aren't here by accident. Even if they were after us, they could never have mobilized so spontaneously. So they were already focused on this area before. This in turn means that our goal may also be nearby. With a little luck, we'll start our journey home tomorrow. Sounds good, doesn't it?"

Kana returned the team gesture and hit the leader's hand with her own. Take followed her. So did Rina. Then Murota and Rikako. Finally Kamiko laid her hand on those of her comrades. And, after a short hesitation, Kassa did the same. The black-haired girl felt the innocent warmth of the youngest on the back of her hand. For a fraction of a second, as her eyes crossed again, Kamiko didn't feel she had to flee as quickly as possible. Instead, a smile formed on her face. As dwindling as the dawn, but just as existent at the same time. Kassas eyes widened slightly.

Suddenly Ayaka's words sounded loud and clear:

"We can handle everything. We are a family. We are..."

And everyone shouted joyfully in chorus:

"ANGERME!!!"


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.


#12 JAKOzZ

JAKOzZ

    8th gen member

  • Shinmem
  • 12 posts

Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:27 PM

Chapter 12: The forest and the night

 

The wooden staircase of the bar house creaked horribly. No noise was heard from downstairs. Nevertheless, the constantly flickering shimmer of the candlesticks revealed that at least the landlord was still in the immediate vicinity.

Kamiko and Murotan stood still and in a lurking position on the groaning steps.

They were the smallest and thus the lightest in the group. The plan was that they would sneak down the stairs, preferably without making any noise, and explore the situation in front of the bar house. Kamiko thought that this might have been done by now. The creaking stairs of this inn were the death of every secret campaign. Even the best thieves would have to give in to it.

Murotan, who nearly froze with every cracking of the wood and immediately paused in her movements, cursed quietly:

"We can run like clumsy oafs and shout to everyone that we're leaving now. It wouldn't make any difference."

Kamiko found it somewhat ironic to hear these words from the mouth of the chaos queen of all people. Nevertheless, she was right. Basically, her secretiveness had now been revealed.

Murotan stood up, grabbed the railing firmly with both hands, based herself on it and jumped over the barrier directly down to the bar. The hard impact signaled that this had to be heard by the residents of the house in any case.

Kamiko had looked after her in shock. Without moving, she glanced down, leaning over the railing. Murotan waved at her with a happy grin.

"You can come down. There's nobody here. Everything is empty."

Sighing, the black-haired one took the real path. Kamiko walked down the stairs with creaking and groaning, which did not cause such loud noises as the jump of Murotan.

As she stepped to her comrade's side, she looked around the room. In fact, no one was present. Even the landlord had flown out. It all seemed very suspect. Her neighbour took a few steps towards the exit. She opened the door quietly and peered out. Apparently nothing was to be seen, because after a short time she came back shrugging.

"There's no one on the streets. The village seems to be extinct. The bar house is the only one still with lights on. Otherwise it is pitch dark out there."

Kamiko closed her eyes. She focused on the surrounding structures and expanded her mind. A faintly shimmering glow encircled her body. Murotan asked mischievously smiling:

"Do you recognize anything?"

Neither of them spoke a word for several minutes. The chaos queen waited patiently while her partner did the work. Kamiko had sent a kind of shock wave of her spirit into every corner of the village. She searched for, as she called it, Black Souls.

The abilities of the young ANGERME member had crystallized on the second mission with her. It turned out that Kamiko had a special ability to apply the knowledge of the mind. On the one hand, she was able to expand her consciousness by a certain radius, and thus to grasp everything that came in front of her inner eye in this imposed circle. What was really impressive, however, was the additional possibility of being able to precisely illuminate the shell of focused targets. Vital states. Mental wellbeing. Even the existing balance between energy and mind was not hidden from her, which is why Goto Maki had already asked her twice for help with medical analyses. Most recently for the girl named Yokoyama Reina.

Since her team members did not understand exactly how this kind of consciousness expansion worked, they had all tried it one by one and had failed miserably, Kamiko had to fall back on the simple description of colors to express her sensations. Green souls, for example, have a positive aura. They have no evil intentions and are in balance with their surroundings. Yellow souls, on the other hand, indicate an inner conflict. Most of the time, such goals had recently been the subject of a life-critical event or were still thinking about it. The Red Souls were considered a potential danger. Their balance was disturbed and their thoughts seemed doubtful.

But the Black Souls she described were the worst thing that could happen. These individuals, carrying such a devilish aura, were out for death, ruin and chaos. Such targets had to be shunned or, unless there was no other way, neutralized as soon as possible.

Kamiko slowly opened her eyes. The gleam around her immediately diminished. Murotan looked at her expectantly, but the black-haired woman shook her head uncertainly.

"There is no Hunter in the immediate vicinity. This is strange. Has Rina perhaps misheard something?"

Her partner denied that with a smile.

"Rinapuu does not mishear. You two misfits may have different abilities, but so far both of you have always been reliable. I let Ayaka know that the coast is clear."

Murotan left the doubting Kamiko behind, while she herself jumped up the stairs with long steps.

The girl with the smooth, black hair bounced nervously from one leg to the other. What was going on here? Were they really in immediate danger? Hunters were usually cruel and occasionally extremely tactical. But ANGERME has always been able to avoid them, not at least because of Kamiko's ability. So if they found a way to hide from her on purpose, it would mean they knew about the girl and her special status. This thought scared Kamiko a lot.

She was so lost in thought that she almost didn't realize all her comrades came to her excitedly. Murotan said hastily:

"Kassa observed something from the window, Kamiko. You have to listen to that."

Slightly dazed, the person addressed turned to the youngest. She turned purple and mumbled:

"I-I don't know what I saw there. I could also be wrong..."

Take punched her gently against the shoulder and said:

" Blow it out! Better wrong information than no information at all."

Kassas full lips trembled terribly before she answered:

"Th-Th-There were two hooded people. Inside an alley. They pointed at our house and then they left."

Murotan asked:

"When exactly was that?"

The interviewee thought, but Ayaka came before her:

"About ten minutes ago Kassa noticed it. So it could have been theoretically possible for Kamiko to locate them."

Unsettled, the mentioned girl hung her head.

"I've checked every alley and couldn't find a black soul."

Kana lovingly nudged her.

"That only means that they have left the village. And that's exactly what we wanted to accomplish anyway."

Rikako, on the other hand, was not quite that confident.

"Nevertheless, we must assume that the enemies have developed a remedy against Kamiko's abilities or at least they know how to avoid them."

Ayaka nodded in agreement.

"We will now leave the place quietly. The forest should be our next target. We absolutely must meet Maho."

Rina spoke with an insecure voice:

"Into the woods? Now? What if they're waiting for us there?"

No one knew a weakening answer. Of course it was not a good idea to march through the forest at night. Especially not when Hunters were in the same area. However, staying here was not an option. And the forest would have been their next destination anyway.

Kana walked, as Murotan had done some time before, to the door and peered out. When she seemed certain that there was no stranger nearby, she waved the others to her.

"I think now is a good time to leave."

Take raised her thumb to concur and then whispered purposefully:

"Well, here we go! Let's go for a creepy night hike into the dark, dark forest."

Ayaka gave her one last reproachful look, then the group set off.

 

 

 

 

The girl with the fire-red hair hadn't promised too much. Between the sea of trees there was pitch black darkness. You couldn't even see your hand in front of your eyes. Again and again one could hear the whimpering of one of the girls. The constant cracking of branches in the distance and the subconscious feeling that they were walking blindly into a trap left each of them with an unpleasant shiver on their backs.

Kassa clung anxiously to Kana. Kamiko also held on to Rina. Murotan, on the other hand, who no longer seemed as tough as usual, took a courageous step forward. Take and Rikako followed her at some distance. Ayaka took the back guard.

For several hours they were already wandering through the thicket. At first she hadn't let go of the feeling of being watched. Her thoughts were focused on a sudden ambush. But nothing of that kind happened. It was the perfect opportunity for the Hunters. If there were any at all. Even Rina doubted what she had heard. Kamiko asked her whispering:

"And you're quite sure that the villagers spoke of Hunters?"

The older girl with the round face frowned.

"Actually, yes. But I would have been quite happy if I had been wrong. And at the moment it seems to be after that."

Nobody wanted to lose many words while they wandered through the forest. Everybody was busy with themselves and their thoughts of horror scenarios. Kamiko plagued past creepy stories of witches, kidnapped children and faceless men who never let you out of their grip again. Immediately it shook her with goose bumps.

Suddenly a glow broke into the scenery. They entered a clearing. The blue shimmer of the moonlight on the flat meadow could have left a beautiful impression if the group's situation had not been so tense.

The girls stepped into the center of the scene, which seemed so strange and unnatural to them. There was not a single soul to be seen. Nevertheless, they took one step after the other in an expectant posture. They anticipated an attack at any moment. For a short instant one could only hear the gentle sound of the wind blowing through the leaves.

"Northeast. One person. West. Two people."

Rinas high voice was quiet. Kamiko turned the gaze on her comrade. She had put her hands funnel-shaped to the auricles to enhance her sense of hearing. Ayaka gave the first orders:

"We form up. Stay in position until I tell you otherwise."

For Kamiko and the others, these commands were routine. They practiced it almost daily. Murotan and Rikako took over the front. They were pure movement artists. Behind them Take took her position. She assisted the front line. Since Kassa did not yet have a direct role in the ANGERME structure, she was positioned next to her mentor: Kamiko. Her task was to supervise the coordination of the attack, to constantly locate the enemy's positions and to anticipate their tactical plans. In addition, since they had no medical power in the group, the little black-haired girl was given the task of keeping an eye on the life energy of her comrades.

Rina, Kana and Ayaka took over the rearguard. Besides Take, the three had the most experience in fighting and could therefore assess the situation more cautiously and more effectively than the hot-headed Rikako and Murotan or even the youths. Should anything go wrong, they were able to intervene without any problems and fill the role of their foremen with bravura.

A rough voice sounded from the dark in front of them:

"Well, well, well! Who do we have here? Have a few little girls got lost in the woods?"

Kamiko faltered. That sounded like an ordinary person. Hunters didn't talk so chesty. They were almost perfect killing machines and had no interest in useless small talk.

A man appeared in the shadow of the clearing. He had grown tall, with a stubble beard and a grey mane, and was carrying a heavy club. The weapon was decorated with nails knocked into the lumber.

As announced by Rina, two men also appeared from the west. Their faces were first covered with hoods, but they took them off as they came out. These could have been the people Kassa had been watching from the window. Both had put on a devilish grin. The taller of the two, his face was completely scarred, spoke with a very deep, threatening voice:

"You brats from the castle have real guts entering our territory. You come here with your fine clothes and all your money, and you really think we' ll just let you pass."

Slowly the tension of ANGERME, which had built up so excessively over the last few hours, came to an end. Now that they knew who the immediate threat was, they couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. They were only vessels. Murotan, who had already lurked in combat posture, even had to grin continuously. Finally she said amused:

"Well, you're some jesters to me. And we already thought that Hunters are chasing us. That simplifies the whole thing, of course."

Their opponents reacted more than angrily to this presumption. The grey haired man threateningly lifted his club into the air and stepped slowly towards the group. The scarred man and his partner growled aggressively and did the same.

"You spoiled brat shouldn't talk that big. Now give us all your possessions, including your precious clothes."

The men laughed maliciously and had come very close in the meantime. Kamiko relaxed her features and scratched her cheek in a somewhat irritated way. How had they got into such an unpleasant situation?

The smallest of the men noticed the gesture and immediately adopted it as a provocation. His shrill, angry tone echoed across the clearing:

"We'll start with you, dearie! Drop the cloth. If you're lucky, we'll be very gentle with you."

Rikako stepped between the speaker and Kamiko. Annoyed, she answered:

"That's enough now. None of us wants to take anything off here. If you really want to see naked skin, I would suggest that you just look at each other. Even though I can understand that this would not be a pleasant sight for any of you."

Although Kamiko didn't need the protection, she was happy that her friend defended her. The scarred one screamed angrily:

"You dare..."

Murotan put her index finger on her lips:

"Psst! You'll wake up Bambi."

With this the Chaos Queen had overstepped the mark. Out of rage the bandits ran towards the group. Everything went quickly.

Murotan had started to move forward at lightning speed. Her punch shot through the air in an incredible speed, so that one could only hear, but not see, the collision with the body of her opponent. The grey haired one slipped over the ground of the clearing and tore whole clumps of meadow balls with him.

At the same time Rikako had jumped into the air and had knocked out the scarred one with a well-directed kick, by accomplishing a full hit at his temple.

Next to Kamiko, the smaller man suddenly appeared. His wide open eyes showed the greed of his soul. At that very moment, Kamiko was about to defend herself, but suddenly her tormentor groaned painfully and collapsed on the spot. A girl had given him a massive headbutt.

At first Kamiko thought it was Kassa. But younger one still stood completely motionless behind her and held on to the hem of her mentor's top. So Kamiko took a closer look at the girl next to her. Even Murotan, who clapped her hands as if she had got it dirty somewhere, came to them laughing.

"Well, this is a surprise. You're up early, Maho."

Then Kamiko recognized her too. The interaction of light and shadow on the clearing had made it difficult to identify her: Aikawa Maho, the ninth member of ANGERME. Now the grouping was finally complete again.

Her black hair was tied back to a strict plait. Her face had a funny shape to Kamiko. The position of the eyes, which were so far apart, always had a certain resemblance to an alien, Kamiko thought.

The new girl scratched her head with embarrassment, turned to Kamiko and apologized with a smile:

"I'm sorry, little Moe. You could have knocked him out, but I thought his hair was so unattractive I had to hit him."

The addressed one stared at Maho in astonishment. THAT was her reason for intervening?

The group formed a circle. They had tied the men to a nearby tree and now had to discuss how to proceed. Ayaka addressed the newcomer:

"Aiai, it's good to have you back. You were with the forest dwellers. Did you get anything out of them?"

Maho smiled and shook her head.

"I had heard loud voices, so I wanted to see what was going on. But no, Ayacho, unfortunately they don't have enough beds for us to spend the night there".

Ayaka stared confusedly at her, Murotan slapped his hand in front of her face laughing and Take hit Maho against the back of her head and shouted loudly:

"Man, that wasn't the question. Did you find out if our target was there?"

Maho's face brightened.

"Ah, yes! Of course! Yes, the woman with the mask was there for a visit."

Kana's eyes widened with excitement.

"Did you meet her?"

The interviewee shook her head.

"No, not that. But the locals told me that a few days ago a woman with a mask had settled down there. She wanted to help the locals with their monkey problem."

Rina frowned.

"Monkey problem?"

Maho nodded hastily.

"Yes! Their berry pickers were repeatedly attacked by giant monkeys. That's what they told the masked woman. She had taken care of the problem and since then there are berries again in the forest village. But after the monkeys were done..."

Take finished the sentence:

"...the woman disappeared, too, didn't she?"

The plait bearer nodded again.

"Exactly! Crazy, right?"

Ayaka's face took on thoughtful features. For a long moment no one spoke a word. Then the leader sighed resignedly and looked at the bandits hanging motionless in their ropes.

"Okay, then we've lost our track for now. It would be a waste of time if we wandered around without a plan. The forest village was our last clue. We take these guys with us and hand them over to the wardens. They should take care of them. We'll tell the heads of the castle what we've found out so far."

Rikako said with a mocking undertone:

"So... nothing?"

Ayaka smiled.

"How often did we come back empty-handed?"

Take, who together with Murotan, Kamiko and Kassa freed the bandits to slowly bring them out of their unconsciousness, replied amused:

"Much too often!"

Ayaka grinned smugly.

"Exactly! And how often were we punished for that?"

Kana nudged her in the side before she laughed:

"Never before. Because we have a fantastic leader."

The group laughed heartily and soon a good mood spread among them. Only Kamiko turned to Rina on the way towards the forest village, where they wanted to stay the rest of the night before finally going home. One last time she whispered quietly to her companion:

" So there were no Hunters after all?"

Her comrade thought for a moment and then answered with her clear voice:

"It's really strange. I'm still sure that the villagers were talking about Hunters. But maybe they just meant the bandits."

Kamiko nodded hesitantly. Her eyes narrowed to slits. Finally she mumbled:

"That is probably the case. I didn't perceive a black soul. These weird guys are bad people, but they don't have the evil aura I fear. And yet I had a strange feeling in the village..."

Rina smiled softly.

"Don't worry about it. Well, then we were wrong. Now it is only important that we sit at a cosy campfire, eat something and close our eyes."

The black haired one happily agreed with her. But the dark premonition didn't want to leave her after all.


Kishi kaisei - Wake from death, return to life. /// Aanakorobi yaoki - Fall seven times, get up eight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nito o ou mono wa itto o mo ezu - One who chases after two hares won't catch even one

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu - A frog in a well doesn't know the ocean.





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