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Writing Tougenkyou (An Original Story) [PG]


Lady Maiya
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Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, and as I was browsing I immediately noticed this forum. I am glad there is something like this, because I have always wanted to improve my work to be reviewed and given constructive criticism. Anyways, here is the first chapter of an original story I'm currently working on.

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[CENTER][I][B]TOUGENKYOU[/I]
CHAPTER ONE:
The Angels of Tougenkyou High[/B][/CENTER]

Saeki Chie tucked the loose strands of her hair behind her ear as a sudden breeze blew around her. It was early in the morning, but already she could see some people coming out of their houses, to head off to either work or school. This was a sight typical of Akita, and one that had recently become familiar to her, ever since she and her grandmother transferred here from Tokyo.

"Wow, I can't believe Obaa-chan and I have already been here for one year..." Chie said to herself, as she started to walk. As always, she took time in making her way to school, taking in the scenery. Along and across her side of the street stood rows of houses, some were small and simple like hers, and others were big enough to hold families of five or more. She passed through a couple of blocks before arriving at a busy intersection on the road, telling her that she was already out of the residential area and into the town proper.

As Chie waited for the green light, a familiar soft and gentle voice sounded beside her. "Good morning, Saeki-san."

She turned, and though she was surprised, she smiled back at her classmate. "Good morning, Obinata-kun." The warm smile he had given her made her almost forget how to breathe. It made her feel silly, but who could ever resist the charming smile and the gentle emerald eyes of Tougenkyou High's Light Angel, Obinata Naoya?

Chie immediately tore her gaze away from him and stared at the ground, obviously embarrassed. She wished that the green light would hurry up.

She was trying to keep her large glasses from slipping off her nose when a hand suddenly caught her arm.

"There's the green light, Saeki-san."

Chie looked up and true enough, the red light had already switched to green. "Oh, uh..y-yes..." She stammered, while staring down at Naoya's hand holding her arm as he pulled her across the street. When they reached the other side, Naoya released her. He looked at her and grinned sheepishly. "I'm sorry I had to do that. It seemed like you didn't notice the green light??

Chie felt a light blush coming onto her cheeks. "I-it's alright, Obinata-kun. I would have stood there all day if it weren't for you. Thank you."

He chuckled and that made her blush even more. "Your humor amazes me, Saeki-san." Then he looked on ahead. "Anyways, I think we

should head over to school now, or we might be late."

Chie nodded. "Yes, I agree." As she started to walk, her eyes fastened themselves either ahead or on the ground. She couldn't believe that she was right here, WALKING with Naoya, which was something that had never happened before.

Hrm, something about that last thought struck her curiousity.

"...It's the first time I've seen you around here, Obinata-kun..." She said quietly.

"Hrm?" Naoya glanced at her briefly, before looking on ahead. "...oh, well I live nearby. Though I'm very much surprised myself to see you at that intersection. Do you live around here, Saeki-san?"

She nodded in reply. "Obaa-chan and I live at the residential area past the intersection."

"...just the two of you?"

"Yes. My parents....died long ago."

"Oh," Naoya fidgeted slightly, and turned towards her with a concerned look. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up such a painful topic.."

Chie shook her head. "Not your fault at all, Obinata-kun." She glanced at him and gave him a reassuring smile. "I've gone past the depression stage already."

His face showed an unreadable expression before he smiled and looked back on the road ahead.

Naoya and Chie walked the rest of the way in silence, though it amazed her that the silence between them was She had imagined it to be quite opposite, since Naoya seemed to be an unreachable person, what with his beautiful features, great talent in sports, popularity, kindness, and gentleness. He had also just recently won the seat of presidency in the student council in last year's elections, and of course he is known for his intelligence and diligence in studies. Obinata Naoya had the second highest grade point average in the whole of Tougenkyou High, and has been consistent in that rank since his first year in high school, she had heard.

But their walk now had led Chie to think otherwise. In the past year, the only way she got to talk to him was through class projects, class presentations, and other academic whatnots, but perhaps this year...

...perhaps this year, she could be his friend?

They soon reached a quiet river, one that Chie was now familiar with, and along the end of the path stood the school campus. Though a public school, Tougenkyou High had the most unique and beautiful campus in Akita. Besides a crystal clear river greeting its students at the entrance, it was situated within the recesses of a forest. Just a few ways behind the campus, is a lake where the river ends.

It was no wonder that to be able to go to this high school has been a source of pride for its students as well as a dream of every elementary school student. And it was no wonder that to be able to go to this high school, a student must shed his blood and sweat in order to pass its entrance exam which was known for its utmost difficulty. Even more bloodcurdling, was the exam for transferree students. Chie felt thankful and lucky enough to be able to get into the school last year.

"...earth to Saeki-san. Earth to Saeki-san."

The sudden wave of a hand in front of her face made her jerk back to reality. She blinked twice, and turned her head to stare at the hand's owner. "Obinata-kun! Were you calling me?"

Naoya grinned. "Yes, I was, for a good five minutes."

Her eyes widened and her hand flew to her mouth in surprise. "Oh! I'm so sorry! I was thinking about something, and..and I didn't realize that you were calling and..and um...er......"

There it was--that endearing sound which was Naoya's chuckling. He waved a hand carelessly. "It's alright, don't worry about it. Though it made me wonder...just what IS going through that head of yours, Saeki-san?"

The abruptness of that question as well as feeling him moving close to her made her cheeks burn a bright crimson. "A-a-ah..!! I was just admiring you---I mean the trees around you! And uh..the river! Notice how it's so clear today? And uh..the frog that just crossed the path! It's so green and slimy and uh...forget I said anything."

Chie looked away, really embarrassed now. A frog? Just how dumb can she get?!

For the third time, Naoya chuckled. He paused on his step, and was about to say something when...

"Eeeeeeeee!!!!! It's him!!! He's arrived!! The Light Angel has arrived!!!"

In less than two seconds, a mob of excited and squealing school girls have rushed over to where they were. Chie almost suffocated from lack of air and almost fell into the river as she struggled to get herself away from the swooning girls. Finally, she made it to safety. She looked back at the crowd looking for her classmate, and saw that he seemed to be trapped in the middle of them all.

...and he was still nodding and smiling like a gentleman.

[I]Poor Obinata-kun,[/I] She thought to herself. Just then, she felt herself being shoved to the side by a girl.

"Step aside, person of no importance!" The girl glared at Chie rudely, before joining the crowd. "Naoya-kun! Look my way, Naoya-kun!!!"

Chie shook her head and sighed. "Yesterday it was 'Girl with Big Glasses', today it's 'Person of No Importance'...they sure are getting more and more creative with names everyday..."

She turned around, and was about to resume walking when she felt her bumped into someone "Ouch!" She exclaimed, and held a hand up to her nose. That chest she had bumped into must have been made of steel! She thought that she actually heard her nose crack...

"Watch it, Four Eyes!"

Chie bit her lip, the feeling of impending doom creeping upon her as she recognized that voice. She slowly lifted her head up to stare at the baby blue eyes of Daishi Ichiro.

"Hey hey hey, Ichi-kun. It's only Chie-chan. No need to kill someone this early."

Chie sighed in relief as another voice entered the conversation/potential humiliation. She looked up gratefully at another boy whose blue eyes showed humor and kindness instead of coldness like Ichiro's. Thank God for Sadaharu!

Ichiro glowered down at her for a moment, before turning away abruptly, causing his long flowing red hair to flip to his back.

As if on cue, roars and shrieks sounded throughout the area.

"Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!"

"Don't his blue eyes make you melt?!"

"God, I love his hair!

"God, I love ALL OF HIM!!!"

"He's so hot!!"

"He's so cool!"

"I love you, Daishi Ichiro-sama!!!!"

Chie saw Ichiro's form stiffen and his fingers clenching tightly into fists. She could almost see his anger veins popping out of his head. It was rather relieving though, that Ichiro's fans--one half of the student female population (the other half being Naoya's fans)--love to admire him from afar and not glomp him, unlike Naoya's fans. She looked away, barely stiffling a giggle as she heard as them cry out their declarations of undying love for him. And just why, would many girls fawn over this young man? He was the other most popular guy in school, and why wouldn't he be? He had [B]extremely[/B] handsome features, [B]extremely[/B] famous parents, is [B]extremely[/B] rich, and an [B]extremely[/B] talented musician. And of course, who could ever forget that he owned Tougenkyou High's top academic rank, having the highest grade point average in the whole school? Just as Obinata Naoya was Tougenkyou High's Light Angel, Daishi Ichiro was its Dark Angel. He was called "dark" because of his cold and rude demeanor, but for some reason that only endeared him to his fans all the more.

This must be really humiliating for him. Chie thought to herself. She felt sorry for him...well, ALMOST. [I]Serves him right for being so rude all the time![/I]

It's not that she actually hated rude people, but this particular person was not only rude but also seemed to have some kind of hatred for her. There was never a day that passes by without him throwing glares or insults at her.

?All because of one little [B]UNINTENTIONAL MISTAKE[/B] the day Obaa-chan and I moved here.?

A year ago?

[I]Chie and her grandmother were standing at an intersection, and the young girl was looking around for any sign that would tell her where they should be. A certain store nearby caught her attention, and she immediately perked up.

"A music store!!" She grinned giddily.

"You might want to take a look at that store later, WHEN we have settled down in our house, don't you think, Chie-chan?" A soft laugh

sounded by her side, and Chie turned to face her grandmother with a sheepish smile on her face. "Sorry about that, Obaa-chan. You know how I get whenever I see a music store."

Her grandmother nodded. "Yes, you forget everything."

"Obaa-chan! It's not as bad as that!"

Her grandmother only grinned. That's what Chie loved about her grandmother. She was so unlike other old women. She was rather young, still in her early sixties in fact. She was also strong enough to clean and cook. But what she loved most about her grandmother was that she always had a smile on her face, no matter what the circumstances are. "And as an apology, I'd like you to go up to that nice young lady over there by the music store and ask her where the residential area is."

"Alright, alright." Chie stuck her tongue playfully at her grandmother, before walking up to a woman with unbelievably long and beautiful

red hair who was currently absorbed with reading a magazine. She tapped lightly on the woman's shoulder.

"Excuse me, Miss....."[/I]

"How was I supposed to know that woman was actually as HE? Oh man, if I knew that it was HIM standing there I would have stayed as far away as possible." She said to herself.

"Tch. You have four eyes and you still are blind." Ichiro said over his shoulder, as he and Sadaharu walked away from her.

Chie groaned, though she had followed the two inside the school gates. "It has already been one year and he STILL hasn't let me live it down...."

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[B]Author's Notes: [/B]

Hi everyone! I was looking through the files in my laptop when I came across this story that I wrote last year. It doesn't look too bad in my opinion, so I decided to post this here and see how everyone thinks of it. Unlike my other story, Angel Chronicles, this one has a Japanese setting.

As usual, I do have some things to clear up:

1. [B]Tougenkyou[/B] - this is Chie's high school, the main setting of the whole story. When translated to English, it means "Eden".

2. [B]Akita[/B] - it is a prefecture (province) in Japan that is known for its abundance of nature

3. I'm sure most of you, if not all, are familiar with Japanese honorrific suffixes such as "-chan", "-san", etc, right?

4. Words in [B]bold[/B] or CAPS are emphasized; words in [I]italics[/I] can either be a character's thoughts or flashbacks from his or her memory.

5. [B]Obaa-chan[/B] - for those of you who aren't familiar, this is what Chie calls her grandmother, somewhat like "Grandma" or "Granny".

Well, that's all I could think of for now. I hope you will all enjoy reading this!

Till the next chapter!

[CENTER][B]CHAPTER TWO:

The Principal of Tougenkyou High[/B][/CENTER]

"Chie-chan! Over here!"

Chie jogged over to the source of the call, her friend Nagai Yae.

"What took you so long?! We've been waiting for an hour already!" Her pretty friend demanded.

"Don't mind her, Chie. She's just exaggerating. It's only been fifteen minutes." Another of her friends, Obuchi Eiichi, said.

"I am [B]not[/B] exaggerating! It felt like an hour to me!!!"

Eiichi cowered under Yae's glare, but refused to give in. "That's because you don't like to wait, Baka!"

...and he was then rewarded with a punch in the jaw.

Chie chuckled. It didn't worry her to see this, as she had already gotten used to the two childhood friends bicker and fight almost every day. It was even rather amusing to watch, so long as things didn't go too far.

"Good morning, Chie-kun." Said a voice from behind her.

Chie turned around to smile at the girl. "...good morning, Rei-chan."

Unlike Eiichi and Yae, Yakuta Rei was a quiet girl who once preferred to be alone. Chie liked her and became her friend because they both shared a fondness for reading.

Rei handed a small book towards Chie. "I've just finished it last night. Thank you."

Chie nodded, taking the book. "How did you like it?"

Rei paused for a moment, tilting her head thoughtfully. "It's rather sad. The manager of the band should have told the lead singer how she felt about him."

"Oh, you mean Yuka? Yes, I agree. I'd rather have her to be Sakuya's partner rather than Aine." Chie closed her eyes and clasped her hands together. "Sakuya and Yuka [B]belong[/B] together. I wonder why he didn't pair them up?"

"I think the author purposely made it that way."

Chie gasped. "So you're for the Sakuya and Aine pairing?!"

Rei only took ahold her bag and started to walk into the building. However, as she walked past Chie, she looked at her and smiled slightly. "Who said I was?" She looked up at the sound of the school bell. Then it was followed by the sound of a voice over some loudspeakers. "Attention all students. Please proceed to the auditorium immediately."

The message was repeated before they heard Eiichi say "Meh".

"That weirdo and his speeches scare me to death, especially the 'start-of-the-year ones'. I'd rather light someone's ass on fire than listen to him."

That comment earned him a punch to the face by his lovely childhood friend. "I'll light [B]your[/B] ass on fire if you don't stop that! What if the principal hears you? You'll immediately be expelled!"

"That would be good! That way I would be far, far away from you!"

"Why you little--!!!"

Chie was confused. "What are you talking about, Ei-kun?" She crouched down a little, to look at her friend who was currently in a headlock by Yae.

"You'll see Chie-chan. Once he gets up on stage, there's no turning back... you'll get sucked into his strange world and run the danger of becoming like him...urk!" He gulped as Yae's arm tightened around his neck.

"Ignore the dork, Chie-chan," Yae looked at her friend and grinned. "Tanaka-kouchou may be somewhat odd, but he was always amusing. And at least this time there's something at the end that would be worth it."

Chie blinked in confusion. "What?"

"The announcement of the Top Ten," Rei said from behind Chie.

"The Top Ten?" Chie turned towards her friend in interest.

"Oh come [B]on[/B]," Eiichi said, massaging his neck when Yae had finally released him. "That happens every year too."

"But this time, the top ten from [B]our[/B] batch will get up on stage." Yae said.

"It's something that's exclusively for seniors," Rei explained to Chie. "The lowerclassmen do get their ranks, but they're only posted on the bulletin boards. For the seniors however, the top ten will go up to the stage and be recognized by the whole school. It's a way to encourage them to maintain their status, so that they will be able to get scholarships from the best universities."

"Really?!" Chie said, struggling to suppress her excitement.

Yae laughed. "Don't even try to hide it, Chie-chan. I know you're already hooked on it."

Chie blushed, waving her hands in front of her to hide her embarrassment. "I didn't..I mean, I wasn't...!!"

"I think Chie-kun will be one of them."

Chie turned to look at Rei in surprise. But the normally quiet girl only smiled, "I have heard the teachers say that you've done very well last year, even though you were a tranferree."

Chie felt hope grow and swell within her. She opened her mouth to say something but couldn't, for fear it might make her sound boastful. 'But I hope...I really do hope.....even the tenth place would be good enough for me, just so I can get a scholarship...'

Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a snort coming from Eiichi. "Sorry to burst your bubbles, ladies, but we need to go in now before we get locked out." He was answered by nods coming from the girls (with a slight punch from Yae), and soon the four went inside the auditorium.

[CENTER]---[/CENTER]

When Chie stepped inside, she was greeted by loud buzzes of excitement (and boredom for some). As she followed her friends down the steps, she could hear bits of conversation from the students around her.

"So, who do you think will be in the magic ten?"

"I think it will be the same as the ranking from last year."

"Oh, I hope Naoya-sama will get first place this time!"

"No way girl, Ichiro-sama will never let anyone take his throne!"

"Ochiai Naisen-san will most likely get the fourth place."

"I heard the teachers debating on whether the tenth place should be given to Ebisawa Tadako-san or Hachiborei Oharu-san...."

"Hm..that's actually a tough one. They've both worked hard last year..."

Hearing all of this made Chie's confidence drop. Of course she hadn't thought of all the other competition she might be having. Of course she hadn't thought of the other students who had also given their best performance in the last year. Of course she hadn't thought that there will most probably ten other people more deserving to be in the Top Ten than her. As she sat down on her seat, she sighed in resignation. "Guess I was too optimistic...."

"...too optimistic about what?"

Chie nearly jumped out of her seat as she heard a familiar voice snap her out of her reverie. "O-Obinata-kun!" She gasped out, looking at the one seated to her right. "I..I didn't realize you were seated there!" But instead of Naoya answering her, she felt herself being pinned down by the angered gazes of the LAFC (Light Angel Fan Club) surrounding her.

"What are [B]you[/B] doing seated there like you belonged?!" One girl said, hovering her frowning face above Chie's.

"[B]No one[/B] ever sits next to our Light Angel!!" Another girl cried, pointing to the empty seat on Naoya's right for emphasis.

Chie bit her lip, blushing at being in that embarrassing state. "Oh..I'm..I'm sorry..I'll move to another seat then..." She started to stand, but was suddenly held back by a grip on her wrist. She looked back, and was surprised to see that it was Naoya.


"Obinata-kun..."

"I think her current position is just fine." Naoya ignored the girls' cries of woe as he looked at Chie kindly. "You don't have to change seats, Saeki-san."

Chie looked down at him, and couldn't help but blush at his beautiful and kind face. She didn't know why, but it felt uncomfortable and yet welcome at the same time. She considered shaking her head no and walk away, but before she could do that she found herself sitting back down on that seat next to him.

"This is your first orientation, isn't it?" Naoya asked.

Chie nodded. "Yes, and most probably my last." She smiled slightly.

Naoya chuckled (much to the dismay of his fangirls!). "Oh, that's right."

"My friends told me that the principal will announce last year's Top Ten...."

Chie saw the boy nod in reply, but her gaze was soon cut off when one of the girls from the row behind them stuck her face next to hers. "Naoya-sama will take the first place, and don't you dare refute that, Person-of-No-Importance!" Oh joy, it was the girl who had pushed her aside earlier.

"Please stop doing that, Uboshita-san."

The girl squealed giddily. "Eee!!! He talked to me! Naoya-sama actually TALKED to me! He even said my name!!"

The other girls beside her clapped. "Congratulations Uboshita-san! We wish we were you!"

Naoya shook his head in exasperation, then looked apologetically at Chie. "Don't mind them, Saeki-san..." To his surprise though, he saw that she was smiling back at him.

"They're right."

The boy's eyes widened in shock. "Saeki-san?"

"Obinata-kun is surely going to be in first place."

Naoya paused in his place, not expecting that at all. It was only after a short while that he finally found his voice again. "You're a pretty smart person yourself, Saeki-san. You will likely have a place up there on stage."

"To tell you the truth, Obinata-kun...I'd really be happy if I could make it to tenth place..." Chie said quietly, looking down at her fingers that were fidgeting nervously upon her lap. She gasped in surprise however, as she felt a hand upon hers. She looked up, and almost melted at the smile he made at her.

"Who knows, Saeki-san. Perhaps you will."

It was only then that she had actually gotten a close look at Naoya's face. The short, golden brown hair was obvious, but the eyes that were almost always hidden behind his bangs needed further scrutiny. They seem like the ocean with an emerald green color, deep and yet lustrous at the same time.

Chie blushed as she realized that she was staring at him. So to push away her embarrasment, she started to say something...only to be interrupted by a snort.

"Tch. She'd never make top anything."

Chie and Naoya looked ahead, and saw Ichiro staring at them lazily from the seat directly in front of them. He was leaning his elbow against the top of the backrest, and his chin upon the back of his hand.

The girl felt Naoya's hand shake a bit, and soon she heard him speak again. "Ignore him, Saeki-san." His voice was still soft, but this time it was icy instead of the usual warmth she felt from it. She looked up, towards Ichiro, and saw that his gaze held the same coldness that was present on Naoya's voice. Suddenly, she felt uncomfortable. Tougenkyou's Angels, in their four-year-long race to the top, obviously do not hold any positive feelings towards each other. In fact, she thought that if she didn't get away right now, she would freeze to death because of the icy demeanor that hung in the air.

"Erm...well....." Chie struggled to say something that would break the ice, but was saved from doing so by the sound of someone onstage clearing his throat.

"Ahem, good morning to all of you, dear students." A sweet sounding alto voice sounded all over the room. It belonged to a tall woman, wearing a red vest over white shirt with matching red skirt. She was beautiful, with her long blonde hair held up in a bun and dark eyes hidden behind her eye glasses. Unfortunately though, she seemed to lack confidence while facing the students--more often she would fidget in her place and stare down towards the podium instead of her audience.

"Good morning, ahem, dear students. For those of you, ahem, who don't know me, ahem, I am Sato Machi, your, ahem, vice principal. It is my pleasure, ahem, to welcome you all back to Tougenkyou High."

Roars and hoots of admiration came from the boys from the front row seats. Three of them even had a [B]?Sato-sama is the BEST![/B]? banner waving around. It may have been a bit too much, but then from a school with a LAFC and a DAFC (Dark Angel Fan Club), there is no such thing as ?too much?.

"And now, ahem, to formally welcome you all, ahem, I give you, ahem, your principal, ahem, Principal Tanaka Ichirou."

Suddenly, everything happened dramatically. A loud drum roll sounded across the auditorium . A spotlight shone on the center stage. An orchestra played an overture. Cherry blossoms, roses, and daisies fell from above the stage. Finally, a there was a laugh. "[B]OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!!![/B]"

Most, if not all, of the students cringed at this.

[B]"GOOOOOOOOOOD MORRRRRRRNIIIIINGGGGGGG
MMMMMMMMYYYYYYY PPPPRRRREEEEETTTTTTIIIIEEEESSS!!!![/B]"

The scent of cherry blossoms filled the air, and a man with long purple hair wearing a bright yellow overcoat twirled from the backstage towards the center. He stopped and posed, one hand upon his hip and the other hand holding the stem of a rose which he was also biting with his teeth. "I am your principal!" He winked, and threw a daisy towards the students.

Unfortunately, it just landed on the floor. The boys in front just stared at it, the freshmen were either shocked, speechless or unconscious already, and the older students either rolled their eyes or have fallen asleep. Even after more than a year of studying in this high school, the poor students still couldn't make any sense out of their strange principal. It was a wonder how he kept this school together and manage a prestigious reputation across the country.

Sadaharu was laughing in his seat. "Oh boy, your namesake sure is getting funnier every year, Ichi-kun!"

Ichiro crossed his arms, closing his eyes in annoyance. "He is [B]not[/B] my namesake. My name is Ichiro. Not Ichirou.

Principal Tanaka blew kisses to his audience. "Oh thank you, thank you all!!! I know you're all very happy to see me!!! I'm very happy to see you too!!!" He laid a hand on his cheek and posed 'shyly'. "Oh stop it, I know I'm very beautiful...but you're making me blush!!!"

Sweatdrops appeared at the students' heads.

He then placed his hand over his eyes, looking over at the students. "I see many familiar faces...but I'm happy to see new faces as well!" He then stopped, then grinned, then waved. "Yoohoo!!!! Ichiro-chan!!! My nephew!!! I'm so happy to see you here!!!"

Sadaharu chuckled harder. "Hahaha!! 'Ichiro-chan'!!!!!"

The boy turned his head away, an anger vein popping against his temple. "I am [B]not[/B] related to him."

The principal straightened himself, and cleared his throat, but he retained his grin and held the rose with his hand. "I am proud and happy to formally welcome you to a brand new school year! I am sure that...."

Chie was trying very hard to suppress a giggle. Of course she didn't want to appear rude in front of Naoya, and bit her lip instead. 'Hahahahahaha!!!! Serves him right!'

However, she didn't know that Naoya was inwardly laughing as well.

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Author's Notes:

Hi everyone! Here's the second chapter, and as usual, here are some clear-ups:

1. baka - "stupid"

2. Sakuya and Aine - the two main characters of one of the anime shows that I liked, "Kaikan Phrase".

3. -kouchou - a suffix that is attached when one talks to a school principal (ex. Tanaka-kouchou)

[CENTER][B]CHAPTER THREE:

Hana no Tougenkyou (Part One)[/B][/CENTER]

"I am very happy to say that we still are one of the best high schools in the country. Last year, our senior students were..."

Thirty minutes later...

"...last summer, I had the priviledge to go on an overseas trip to Europe. My! There are so many flowers there! I was very happy..."

Another thirty minutes later...

"She said, 'You have very beautiful hair, Tanaka-san,', and I said, 'Why thank you! I'm so happy you noticed! You know, I'll let you in on a secret...I'm the most beautiful man in Japan! Not that I'm bragging or anything, of course.'" He looked proudly at the students. "I was very humble, wasn't I?"

The boys in front were peering at computers and car magazines. The girls were either filing their nails, or gossiping with each other about the latest volumes of the Obinata Naoya/Daishi Ichiro newsletters.

"I got a six and a one," Yae said, placing down her set of cards.

"Ha! I win!" Eiichi exclaimed triumphantly. "A five and a two!"

"Don't be so sure of yourself," Yae warned, then turned to Rei. "What have you got, Rei-chan?"

The quiet girl put down her own cards. "An eight and an ace."

"Ha! Rei-chan wins!" Yae exclaimed triumphantly. She grinned even more at Eiichi's sour face. "Sore loser!"

"Well, I'd rather have Rei-chan winning than you, Kaijuu..." He murmured

"WHAT. DID. YOU. SAY?!" The poor boy was suddenly pulled into a headlock again.

At the other block of seats, Ichiro and Sadaharu were both sleeping. Sadaharu was snoring loudly, and the DAFC journalists were taking this opportunity to photograph Ichiro, to be published for next week's newsletter.

Behind them, Chie was also trying her hardest not to fall asleep. "Tanaka-kouchou likes to talk, doesn't he?"

She commented to Naoya offhandedly. "And he always mentions the word 'happy'..."

The boy beside her nodded. "He has always been this way since I first came here."

"...and so I said...." Principal Tanaka stopped, as Vice Principal Sato walked up to him and whispered something to his ear.

"Oh!" He said, waving the rose in his hand. "Unfortunately, my pretties, I have to cut this short. But since I am so sure that you want to hear more, I invite you all to come to my office. I'll finish my speech for you! But no pushing, alright? And make sure to fall in line!" He twirled around, and posed once more. "And now, for

the part that you've all been waiting for (next to my speech, of course), I am going to announce this year's TOP TEN!"

It was interesting to see how the students reacted at this. The boys in front immediately closed their magazines. The girls had stopped talking and instead were shouting at the top of their lungs and raising their respective LAFC/DAFC banners. The girls at the left block of the auditorium had an "NAOYA-SAMA IS NUMBER ONE!" and the girls on the other side had an "ICHIRO-SAMA IS OUR KING!". Chie stared in awe at the people around her. "Wow...it's as if we're in a championship basketball game..."

Naoya smiled. "An interesting analogy, Saeki-san. It's been like this for the past years."

"But this year will be different. Because this would be the year Naoya-kun would be crowned Top One!" The girl called Uboshita butted in, but was immediately hit in the face by a flying shoe.

Her followers quickly huddled over their fallen LAFC president. "Uboshita-sama!"

At the other side of the auditorium, with a foot on a backrest, and the other supported by the hands of two other LAFC members, stood a proud girl, laughing triumphantly. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

Chie cringed at this. As if her ears weren't damaged enough from the principal's laughter. "Is she related to Tanaka-kouchou?" She whispered to Naoya.

"I thought so at first, but apparently she isn't," He whispered back. With a whoosh, she extended her pointer finger towards the girl. "You white boneheads don't know right from wrong as usual! But not to worry, I, Matsushita Aemi, the vice president of the Dark Angel Fan Club, in the absence of the president, will correct you, pathetic people!" She snapped her fingers.

Two other DAFC members shone their flashlights upon her. A girl sat upon a backrest and a strummed a guitar chord once.

"Are you sure she isn't related to him?" Chie asked again.

Aemi brought up a microphone to her lips, and started singing. "Ahhhh....There is only one king, and he is the only one! There is only one number one, and he is the one! There is only one angel, and he is the one!" Then the other members joined in, "DAISHI ICHIRO-SAMA IS OUR ONLY ONNNNNEEEEE!!!"

Oh. My. God. Chie thought, her jaw hung open, her tone-sensitive ears ringing. That was the worst singing I've ever heard! She glanced ahead at the boy in front of her. "I wonder how that guy puts up with it?"

Sadaharu was shaking Ichiro's shoulder. "Yo Ichi-kun! They're singing that horrible song again!"

The shaking caused two plugs to pop from the redhead's ears. "Huh? What?" He picked up the plugs and placed it in his ears again.

Oh. Chie thought.

The LAFC president stood up, and opened her mouth to say something, when a dozen roses was suddenly thrown into her mouth. The DAFC vice president had a dozen daisies inside hers too.

"OHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!" Came a laugh from onstage, drawing all attention back to the principal. "I'm sure all of you children have your own reservations about who's going to be top what, but let's get on to the announcement so we could find out who the real top ranking students are!"

Then the orchestra played Pachelbel's "Canon in D" as the lights went out, leaving only a couple of colorful spotlights dancing on the stage. The spotlights focused on a large screen as it came down from above the stage. The screen flashed, showing a beautiful garden--with lots of glistening flowers and trees, a small bridge, a pond, and a small fountain at the middle.

Principal Tanaka raised the microphone up to his lips and spoke in a more serious tone this time. "This is Tougenkyou, so named after the most famous and most beautiful garden of heaven, where many lovely flowers are in bloom." Then he faced the audience, his expression matching that of his voice. "Here on earth, I am proud and happy to say that we have our own Tougenkyou, with our own beautiful flowers. But of course, there are those in full bloom, those who stand above the rest. These treasures, we honor today."

The piece stopped playing. Again, a drum roll sounded throughout the auditorium, and Principal Tanaka went back to his perky self. "And now, presenting.....the few and the chosen...the most qualified and the most diligent.....the Hana no Tougenkyou!!!"

Chie gazed in awe at the stage. "Wow...."

Naoya chuckled softly at the girl's reaction. "Tanaka-kouchou really likes to make this event special for everyone."

Chie turned back at him, her expression still awed. "It's working for me, at least."

Naoya smiled, and both he and Chie turned their attention at the screen. On it, was the picture of a babyfaced girl with wide golden eyes and dark brown hair.

Chie sighed. There goes my dream... But then she smiled at the girl in the picture. "How cute..."

"The tenth place, the Ajisai, goes to Ebisawa Tadako-chan!!"

Along the seats to the right, Chie saw a small girl stand up shyly. Chie thought that the blush which formed on her cheeks made her even cuter.

One of the boys on the front, punched his seat in frustration. "Dammit!!!"

Principal Tanaka waved a finger at the boy. "Now, now...Hachiborei-chan, no need to get violent." He straightened up. "And surely there's no need for frustration because the ninth place, the Hasu...goes to you, Hachiborei Oharu-chan!!!"

Oharu looked up incredulously at first, then he stood up shooting a triumphant fist into the air. "Alright!!!!" He rushed on stage, all this time grinning widely. He was a tall boy, with gray eyes and long black hair tied into a low ponytail, and some long bangs hung about his forehead.

"Now for the eighth place, Tsutsuji, goes to Ito Ai-chan!"

A mature-looking girl stood up and flipped her long silver hair, her equally silver eyes shining with confidence.

Most of the boys, including Sadaharu, howled and hooted. The girl smiled and blew a kiss towards the boys, and winked at both Ichiro and Naoya.

Ichiro rolled his eyes and turned to Sadaharu. "Shut up, you're hurting my ears."

"Aww, can't a boy show his appreciation for beauty?" His friend said. "And you wasted a good opportunity, man. She winked at you!"

Ichiro looked back towards the stage in disinterest. "So?"

"She's like the most sought-after girl in this school, man!"

"So?"

"Grr!!! Never mind!" Sadaharu threw his hands up in exasperation. Then he gasped, as if realizing something.

He turned back to Ichiro with a questioning look. "Are you gay?"

He was immediately rewarded with a punch on the face.

Chie gazed at the girl as she walked up to the stage. Her strides were smooth, her shoulders were straight, and her head was held high. She was the image of a princess. "She's very beautiful...."

Naoya nodded in agreement. "Undoubtedly."

She turned towards Naoya, with a questioning look. "Why didn't you respond to her?"

He smiled. "I don't like her that way."

"Oh." She said, looking away from him. That last sentence made her think. Who does he like? What kind of girl does he like? Perhaps a quiet and amiable girl like Rei? Or a perky and cheerful one like Yae? A fragile and cute girl like Tadako? Or, more likely, a confident and regal one like Ai?

She sighed. How could a thorn like her fit within a sea of beautiful flowers?
Author's Notes:

Hi everyone! Here's the third chapter! I'm sorry it took awhile to finish this, school has already started and I've gotten busy already. Anyways, I know I've got a lot of stuff to explain in this chapter, and here they are:

1. Kaijuu - Eiichi's nickname for Yae. It's not a very nice one though, because it means "monster". Hehehe.

2. Canon in D - One of my favorite classical pieces. Some of you may know that this piece is also featured in Neon Genesis Evangelion (one of my favorite animes, btw).

3. Hana no Tougenkyou - Tougenkyou's ten most outstanding students. It means "Flowers of Tougenkyou". I found it suitable, since Tougenkyou means "Eden", and Eden is almost always associated with a garden.

The following are the Japanese names of flowers, and their English counterparts:.

4. Ajisai - Hydrangea

5. Hasu - Lotus

6. Tsutsuji - Azalia


[CENTER][B]CHAPTER FOUR:

Hana no Tougenkyou (Part Two)[/B][/CENTER]

How could a thorn like her fit in a sea of flowers?

This was a question that she had often asked herself, but unlike all other instances, it did not stay within her mind for a long time.

The cheers of the girls, the hollers of the boys, the banners waving in the air, the lively voice of Principal Tanaka...it drew that very thought away. This event affected Chie in such a way that had never happened before.

As the number of students onstage increased, so did the excitement of the whole student body. Even the shy Vice Principal Sato was clapping and grinning widely next to the principal.

Principal Tanaka wiggled animatedly in his place. "Ooooohhh! We are having an epidemic of excitement here, my pretties! I feel so happy!! We are getting closer and closer to the top!!!"

"Wow..." Chie breathed, "I've never experienced something like this before...not even in my old school..."

Naoya turned to her and smiled. "Welcome to Tougenkyou, Saeki-san."

Chie smiled back. "Well, I can't help but think how lucky I am to get into this school." Truly, she felt what Principal Tanaka always mentions...happy.

"And now for the seventh place...the [B]Momo[/B]...goes to Obuchi Eiichi-chan!!!"

"WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!" The said boy jumped up and threw his fists into the air.

"Congratulations, Ei-kun." Rei said, smiling slightly.

"Oh yeah, uhuh! Who's the man?! Uhuh!! That's me, alright!" He did a little dance (though seriously he looked like he was stomping on a dead cockroach).

"Yeah, you!" Yae interrupted, standing up and crossing her arms. "What're you so excited about? You're in the same place as you were last year! Now get your ass up on that stage before we all turn sixty!" She literally kicked his behind to get him moving.

"Owwwwwww!!!" Eiichi rubbed his sore spot and glared at Yae. "Damn Kaijuu, why did you have to do that?

Here, in all places!" Then he turned around, and started walking towards the stage. "Now I know you want me bad."

That caused all of the girl's anger veins to pop. "LIKE HELL I WOULD!!!" She was about to march towards him when Rei pulled on her hand.

Eiichi turned around and winked at her. "Yeah, I love you too, Yae-chan." He quickly turned back, and jogged up the stairs to take his place next to Ai.

"Hrmph! Conceited, selfish jerk!" She sat down and looked away, to hide her contempt AND the huge blush that was coming onto her cheeks.

In the meantime, Chie was also cheering loudly for her friend. "YAY!!!!!! Go Ei-kun!!! I knew you could do it!!!" She had stood up from her seat and was clapping hard. She even joined in his little victory song by answering "You're the man!" everytime he shouted "Who's the man?".

Unfortunately, when she stopped she realized that she was the only one doing this, and that everyone--including the two Angels, were staring up at her.

She immediately turned tomato red, and slid down her seat. "Erm, yeah...go Ei-kun.."

"And now," said Principal Tanaka, while twirling the microphone around like a baton, "For the sixth place...the [B]Yuki Yanagi[/B]...goes to Yakuta Rei-chan!"

Unlike her previous reaction, Yae squealed in delight and hugged her friend. "You did it, Rei-chan! Congratulations!"

Rei hugged the girl back, squeezing her slightly to show her happiness. A long year's work rewarded by two steps up the rank? Not bad at all.

Chie was also showing her delight, though it was a bit quieter than before. She didn't want to embarrass herself anymore than she did.

It was then that Ichiro turned around, once again leaning his elbow upon the backrest. "You know Four Eyes, you don't have to hold back. You're less of an annoyance than them anyways." He said, jerking a thumb towards the LAFC.

Chie stared at the boy incredulously. I can't believe it! She thought it shock. He actually said something NICE to me! Then she looked down as she felt someone patting her hand.

"Yeah Saeki-san," Naoya said, smiling. "There's nothing wrong with cheering for your friend."

Chie nodded slowly. "Y-yes..."

"Naoya-sama...." The girl Uboshita began.

"Ichiro-sama...." Aemi continued.

"...ACTUALLY AGREED!!!!!!" The two finished together.

Suddenly the whole auditorium became silent, and it was only after five minutes that the students came out of their shock.

"WHAT?!"

"THEY DID?!"

"It's a miracle!"

"No, it's doom!"

"I never thought they would actually...!!!"

"This is going to make front page news!"

The buzzing and gasping continued on for awhile, until Principal Tanaka threw bouquets into everyone's mouths. He twirled around in his place, still grinning. "Oh my pretties, as interesting as the happening was, we shouldn't divert! We have to finish on time, so that we can start our classes!"

"Awwwww......." Came a unified groan from the audience.

"Tut tut tut," The principals said, wagging his finger. "Remember my pretties, I want you all to leave this school with a secure future!" He held his arms up dramatically.

"And now where were we?" He held the microphone up to his lips again. "Aha! The fifth place! The [B]Kinofuji[/B]...goes to...Watanabe Sadaharu-chan!!!"

Sadaharu stood up. "Well, that's me. See you onstage, Ichi-kun." Hands on his pockets, he walked up on stage. He tilted his head towards Rei, eyes twinkling, as he took his place next to her. "Hi there."

She did not answer.

He shrugged, placing his hands inside his pockets again. "Quiet, as usual."

"Only four places until the top, my pretties!!" Banners were put up. Flags were waved. The screams of "ICHIRO-SAMA!" and "NAOYA-SAMA!" became louder and louder by the minute. Once again, excitement filled the auditorium.

"Now for the fourth place! The[B] Mokuren[/B]...goes to Ochiai Naisen-chan!!"

Along with Tadako and Oharu, this was also someone Chie did not know. Curious as to who it was, she waited for someone to stand up. But no one did. Confused, she looked back at Naoya. "Where is Ochiai-san, Obinata-kun?"

"Right now he's at the hospital, Saeki-san," Naoya said, his expression serious this time.

"Oh..."

"Since Naisen-chan can't make it today, let's wish for him to get well soon, alright my pretties?" Chie found herself nodding with the other students in agreement.

Principal Tanaka closed his eyes and became silent for a moment. Then when he opened them, he was back again to his usual self. "And now.......the moment you have all been REALLY waiting for....the last three Hana...drum roll please!"

The drum beat sounded, and so did the hearts of many inside the auditorium. Who will be at the top three?

"As you all know, the three highest positions are very special both to me and to Tougenkyou. Special to me because they hold the names of my three favorite flowers, the daisy, the cherry blossom, and the rose. Special to the school because they will carry the name of Tougenkyou in competitions and conventions. Also, if they maintain their status at their senior year, they will have the opportunity to be recruited into the most prestigious universities in the country, such as Tokyo University."

"So first, I am proud and happy to present to you all...in third place, with an average of 97.5...the [B]Hinagiku[/B]...goes to Obinata Naoya-chan!"

The whole auditorium went silent.

Chie looked sideways at the boy next to her, and saw that he had somehow stiffened. There was shock in his eyes.

"Naoya-chan? Hello, Naoya-chan?" Principal Tanaka said, "Come on up now, Naoya-chan!"

Chie laid a hand upon his, hoping to gently shake him back to reality. But he blinked, and before her hand could touch his, he pulled it back and stood up.

Was it just her? Or did he just pull his hand back a bit too quickly?

The auditorium was still silent.

"Now this person is second place is very interesting. She is new, but I am happy to see her make a big jump...and so in second place, with an average of 98...the Sakura...goes to Saeki Chie-chan!"

That announcement froze Chie in her seat. What?! Me?! In second place?! Her thoughts went blank, and it was as if all systems within her brain had shut down.

It was not only after Principal Tanaka's tenth calling, did Chie snap out of her reverie. She blinked once, took a deep breath, then stood up and walked towards the stage. She found herself slowly smiling as she did.

The auditorium was still silent, save for the clapping of Yae, Rei, and Eiichi.

"And last, but certainly NOT the least...in first place, with an average of 98.5...the Hana no Bara...goes to Daishi Ichiro-chan!"

With his eyes closed, the long haired boy stood up and walked up towards the stage.

"Now normally," Principal Tanaka began, "I'd clap for you Ichiro-chan, but I don't want to appear biased, so I won't. I'll clap for all of you instead!!" He, together with Vice Principal Sato, put their hands together in an applause.

But despite it all, the auditorium was still silent.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[B]Author's Notes:[/B]

Well, that's the fourth chapter! As you might have all noticed, I threw in an extra segmant so I can interact actively with you guys. Also, your opinions and ideas are going to be my sources of inspiration, so that I can make this story better.

Anyways, as usual these are the stuff to clear up:

Hana no Tougenkyou

1. Momo - Peach

2. Yuki Yanagi - Snow Willow

3. Kinofuji - Spiketail

4. Mokuren - Magnolia

5. Hinagiku - Daisy

6. Sakura - Cherry Blossom

7. Hana no Bara - Rose


[CENTER][B]CHAPTER FIVE:

When the Light fades?[/B][/CENTER]

The silence of the auditorium was only broken when there was a spectacled-boy raising and waving his hand.

"Alright everyone! Please pose for the school paper!"

"Oh goodie, media!" Principal Tanaka clapped his hands gleefully. He jogged over to Ichiro's side. "I'll be right here, next to my lovely nephew! Machi-chan, you stay over there, next to Tadako-chan!" He wrapped one arm around Ichiro's shoulder, as Vice Principal Sato shyly walked over next to Tadako.

"Alright, smile everyone!"

A couple of clicks, then the principal held up the microphone once again. "And now, I give the floor to your elected student council president, Obinata Naoya-chan!!!" A roar rose throughout the auditorium (mostly coming from the LAFC side), as Naoya gracefully bowed at the principal and took center stage.

"Good morning, my fellow students!"

High pitched shrieks answered him, coupled with waving the LAFC banner. "Good morning, Naoya-sama!"

"During the break, we of the Student Council have worked hard to plan the school activities for this year, of course with the approval of Tanaka-kouchou. And I am proud to tell you that there is a whole lot of activities in store for you. We made sure that these are events everyone can participate in. For example, students who have acting talent can participate in the school play..."

"Yaaaayyyyyyy!!!"

"Our athletes can participate in the school olympics..."

"Ooooh yeahh!!!"

"And this year, we'll be putting up a musical production for our student musicians!"

Chie was definitely thrilled upon hearing this, and clapped loudly. [I]Obinata-kun really is a good leader...[/I]

"There are many other activities, and I'll be posting them on the school bulletin board, so please make sure to pass by there. That's all. Thank you very much for listening!"

A loud applause from the audience, as well as with those onstage, ensued. The student council president smiled and bowed, before handing the microphone back to the principal.

"So we end here, my pretties! Today is the start of a new year, (the last year for some of you) and with it comes countless opportunities, possibilities, and responsibilities. Let's make the most out of it!"

There was a final applause from the audience, before the teachers started to usher the students out of the auditorium. The other ten onstage began to move as well. Ichiro and Sadaharu were among the first ones to leave, but Chie was surprised when Naoya left his place without saying anything to her. Thinking that there was only probably something on his mind, she followed him down the stairs. "Obinata-kun!"

He didn't seem to hear her, and kept on walking, making his way towards a girl standing by the aisle.

"Obinata-kun!" Chie said again. She was able to catch up to him, but when she was about to lay a hand on his shoulder he turned to her abruptly. "What is it, Saeki-san?"

The girl was taken aback. Instead of the sweet and kind voice he had earlier, it was replaced by the same icy demeanor that she had encountered earlier. The look he gave her was very much different too. His eyes were slightly furrowed, and his eyes were a bit narrowed.

Suddenly, Chie found herself stammering. "I--I....Obinata-k-kun..."

"If you do not have anything to say, please leave. I have to talk with Vice President Nakamura."

She could only stare at his back, which was turned to her as abruptly as when he faced her. Feeling utterly confused, ashamed, and saddened, she left the scene, failing to notice the triumphant grin of the Student Council Vice President.

---

The first day of school was finally done, but Naoya was still in a bad mood. True, he might have expected getting the second place again, but the third place?! That thought did not even cross his mind! And what's more, that [B]girl[/B] had outranked him!

Talking to her was a huge mistake, He thought to himself. When he opened the door to his locker, a computerized letter and a piece of notebook paper fell at his feet. He picked both up, but focused his attention to the letter, remembering the talk he had with Principal Tanaka a year before...

[I]"Naoya-chan," Principal Tanaka began, leaning back against his chair with a serious look on his face. "I am pleased with your performances in the past two years. Not only did you manage to stay in second place in the academic ranks, you also were active in the Student Council as well as in the Basketball Varsity. Truly you are an achiever, which is why Tougenkyou is willing to finance your studies at the University of Tokyo."

Naoya sucked in a breath in surprise, his eyes widening. "Tanaka-kouchou...I..I don't know what to say...T-thank you, I..."

The principal shook his head. "Oh don't be so assuming, Naoya-chan. You haven't got the scholarship yet."

The boy immediately closed his mouth.

"Paying for a student's stay at one of the country's top universities would be quite a feat for this school, which is why you have yet to prove your worth. You have two more years to maintain that good performance. You graduate with at least the Salutatorian title, and I will make sure you will have your scholarship. Anything less than that, it's goodbye Tokyo U for you, understand?"

Naoya bowed and nodded humbly. "Yes, Tanaka-kouchou..."[/I]

The boy clenched his fist, gritting his teeth angrily. [I]She's going to rob me of my scholarship! I have to do something![/I] He stopped as he heard what sounded like crumpling paper. He looked down at his fist, and saw the notebook paper from earlier.

"What's this?" He asked himself, uncrumpling the paper with both hands. On it was a familiar handwriting that had always triggered an anger spark within him, though that spark was overrun by the surprise and curiousity brought about by the 2 simple sentences written there:

[CENTER][B][I]If you value your scholarship, meet me by the lake after school. Do not be late.[/I][/B][/CENTER]

Naoya knew that this would probably amount to trouble, but he knew that maintaining his rank takes precedence above all others. Crumpling the letter and putting it into his pocket, he went out of the building.

[I]What is he planning?[/I] He thought to himself, as he rounded the corner towards the back of the building. Hundreds of trees loomed around, but he knew that in between two of these was a partly hidden and narrow road towards the lake. Inwardly glad that there were no other students in the area, he entered the forest, taking the narrow pathway.

The huge trees hovered on top of him, causing the sunlight to slowly fade away. But it didn?t take long for his vision to brighten again, as he entered the lake area.

And there he was, true to his word, standing by the edge of the lake with his hands inside his pockets. He turned around, hair flailing wildly against the gush of wind which suddenly blew around them.

?You?re late, Obinata.?

?Your note was hardly noticeable, Daishi.?

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[B]Author's Notes:[/B]

Booya! Here's the fifth chapter everyone! It's a rather chapter I know, but I hope it made the impact I intended on you guys. Anyways, there is just one thing to clear up here:

1. [B]University of Tokyo[/B] - also known as Tokyo U, is the highest ranking university in Japan and is also the highest ranking university in Asia.

[size=1][color=red]Edited thread to merge the double post. ^_^[/color][/size]
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[size=2][font=arial narrow]Welcome to OB, Lady Maiya! Unfortunately, Otakuboards dos not allow double posting. If you check out [url=http://otakuboards.com/rules.php?][b]The Rules[/b][/url], it'll tell you what isn't allowed on these Boards. In the future, just edit your first post to include the new message.

I've posted rather than editing your story so that you'll be able to post more without double posting. ^_^

Your story seems very interesting, and I hope you continue to share it with us.^_^"[/font][/size]
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