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File: Crescent Adventure.png (152 KB, 1067x823)
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Welcome back to Crescent Adventures, a quest based on the 90s Sailor Moon universe. Things can go as that universe went or you can derail it with your actions or ignore it completely to just focus on the problems and issues that affect your character!

Who are you? You are Houseki Ruka, and you've been pretty busy the last few days. You rescued your penguin partner in crime from being stalked by Luna the cat and gained a new power. It made you go fast, so unnaturally fast it attracted the attention of your classmates.

Then off to Crown Games after school with Osaka Naru, Tsukino Usagi and Kagawa Aya for some fun. It was... not a smashing success. The annoying high schooler Chiba Mamoru was there to give your friends the wrong impression. Not even getting a high score on the new Sailor V game makes it all that much better. You confirm that Usagi is able to see Azul! And Aya is under the mistaken impression you were jealous of her giving Mamoru too much attention.

An embarrassing day.

But worse was yet to come, a Nightmare happened and you managed to leave it with Azul's help. Even looted a rather cursed tansu chest that looks like an exact copy of your mother's old tansu chest. Inside was the stuff of nightmares... It's hidden in the bedroom closet....

Another day of school happens, and you learn that your childhood friend Tomio might not be all too keen on romance or girls in general. It is not going to be fun to talk to Aya about this discovery. You'll have a chance after the club meeting which you are now attending...

Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/u/CrescentADV
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Crescent%20Adventures
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrescentDreamA1
You decide to share some info on your recent Sailor Moon encounter... with appropriate editing that is. No one has to know you committed a few crimes beforehand.

"Let's begin our meeting." Aya announces.

The meeting bursts into pure auditory chaos as everyone tries to talk at once. This was unsurprising in hindsight; the meetings held by Supernatural Research Club were small enough that there was no need for meeting rules. And the last meeting was not chaotic because all the members were excited to hear information from you directly regarding the strange Osaka Jewelry Incident.

But a group of 10 people all bursting at the seams to talk about what they found meant that some sort of speaking order was clearly needed.

Aya raises her hand for silence and the noise level drops immediately.

"Okay... let's try that again. We'll go clockwise, starting with Vice President Tadano."

Vice President Tadano Akira gets up from his chair to speak.

"Earliest report about Sailor V I could find is about a small bank robbery that had been stopped by her about a year ago. But everyone knows about that particular article, it's the very first report and we talked about it last time." Vice President Tadano Akira then gestures to Denda Arika and Kotani Miya who put up a large photocopy of an article on the blackboard. The title can clearly be seen as 'Mass Kidnapping Resolved by Girl Vigilante'.

"However, when working with Denda and Kotani, we did find this weird article from last year about a strange vigilante that sounds like it might be her. About 50 male students reported missing but a young girl wearing a sailor suit and mask found them. Moreover, those students were acting weird. They attacked the girl but after some weird light attack, they all stopped and came back to their senses. And get this, those boys claimed they didn't remember a thing that they were doing. Doesn't that sound similar to what happened here at our school?"

There's a burst of chattering but it comes to a swift end. The next speaker who gets up to speak is an unusual one. It was someone who never made it a habit to come to Supernatural Research Club meetings.

"Uh, you know Kamiya-kun, you barely come to meetings... So, uh, what changed?" The Vice President bravely broached the question that is on everyone's mind.

"Well, hmmm. I have a bone to pick with whoever caused the teachers to go on an 'anti-delinquent' campaign at this school. Stupid fuckers kept sassin' me, thinkin' I started a gang at this school or somethin'. Why the hell would I recruit uber nerd Umino of all people?" Irregular member Kamiya Jyon scratches the back of his head in anger. He didn't attend meetings very often but he liked popping by the Clubroom to read some of the tabloids.
He was also a student with a shady reputation; he liked smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. The teachers had all singled him out as 'trouble' and he didn't do much to dispel it. It was a strange sight to see him; he was out of place amongst more straight-laced students. His uniform was dishevelled and his hair was just a shade too long for school regulations on appearances.

"And if ya promise not to freak out, I'll tell you what I know..." There's an edge in his voice that promised consequences for anyone that made fun of him or criticize him.

"It's okay Kamiya-kun, we're members of the same club." Aya is at her soothing best as she coaxes the boy to speak.

He shoots a nasty smile of disbelief as he continues on, "it's somethin' I heard from my 'cousin' who is in the Aoyama Dreadmen..."

There is a silence from everyone.

"Wait, your cousin is in a gang?" Some stupid club member you don't know dared to speak. There's a furious look on Kamiya who barely restrains himself from doing something drastic.

"Look, I'm just reportin' somethin' I heard last year. He says some chick wearing a sailor suit and mask came between a gang rumble. There was this gang leader chick by the name of Vivian who got a buncha gangs together and lead them out to Aoyama for fights. The sailor girl fought Vivian and after this gang fight, Vivian disappeared. Like, bang, gone and never seen again. My 'cousin' swore it was some middle school girl callin' herself Sailor V. And that's all I got to say about it."

He sits down with a force that causes the floor to shake slightly. In true delinquent fashion, he leans back and rests his feet on the table.

The meeting continues but the next 3 members admitted they didn't find any info. You recognize the eighth person about to speak as one of the boys who had been brainwashed and gone crazy. His face is haggard with lack of sleep and stress.

"I'm Hosoda Kitaro from class 2-3... er... pleased to meet you." It is a voice lacking in confidence, the slightest force could rattle him into silence.

"I... I got kicked out of my club because of this. I... I went to get my fortune told, and then there's this black blank in my memory... When I finally came back to my senses, I was with a bunch of guys from our school... at the House of Fortune, and Sailor Moon was just leaving... And uh, Club Officer Houseki was there too when we started walking out of the place."

At this there's a burst of questions, it was hard to hear who was asking what.

It seems you need to start explaining yourself.
"I went to the House of Fortune because our classmates were going nuts at school. I snuck into the building after seeing Sailor Moon charge in. It seems she fought off whatever the heck was behind all the trouble. I did some investigation of the building, nothing was left in the place. Some evidence of a fight. I couldn't even find the fortune-teller anywhere in the building. Also... when I went outside, I saw that the big sign on the building had disappeared, and stuff inside the building also had faded away. Heck, you go right now and check out the building, you'll see that it was as if the business never existed in the first place!"

You get it out of you in one burst. The meeting devolves into chaos that not even President Aya and Vice President Akira could stop. There are questions being lobbed at you and Hosoda.

"Did you see any nifty powers from Sailor Moon?"
"What did the Fortune Teller do?"
"How did you get in without anyone noticing?!"


"SETTLE DA FUCK DOWN!" Kamiya slams his foot down hard on the table and brings silence back to the meeting.

Everyone meekly sits down in silence and waits for President Kagawa to set out the next task.

"I am going to write down rules on how to run the meeting more efficiently next time. In any case, Hosoda, as a new member can you write down what you can remember about you experience? It might be useful. Let's try to figure out what common elements are shared between each of these incidents we know of so far."

You are at the blackboard with a piece of chalk writing down what other members think are common elements.

The one thing that stood out was the victims. They were all school age students. It was creepy to note that middle schoolers and high schoolers seemed to be deliberately targeted from the information so far seen. Eventually the meeting winds down and members go straight home. The next meeting was Monday, there was plenty of time to think on what has been found so far and maybe start drafting a school newspaper article on it.

You intend to stay with Aya to clean up.

"Hey Houseki, try to stay chill. The teachers are keeping an extra sharp eye on you.... Also if I do start a gang, I am goin' to send you an invitation to join!" Kamiya calls out as he leaves.

"You have got to be kidding me!" You sigh with frustration.

You're left all alone now with Aya who is busying putting the meeting minutes in a folder.

What do you want to talk about with her?

>Explain what you really did at the House of Fortune
>Explain the Tomio situation to her, it's time to be direct
>Don't say anything, just clean up the new clubroom
>Talk about the weird information that's been found.
>write in
>>Explain the Tomio situation to her, it's time to be direct
It's not fair to her to let Tomio keep stringing her along, and it's not like what Ruka did is very important
>Explain the Tomio situation to her, it's time to be direct

She'll need some way to pique his interest or change his mind other than just making meals for him. Perhaps she might try a more direct approach, or just waiting until he has less on his mind other than how he's on thin ice at school and at home?
>Explain the Tomio situation to her, it's time to be direct
>>Explain the Tomio situation to her, it's time to be direct
Well it is time to explain the situation to our old friend
Whoa, it's a bit of a mess right now. Can't continue the thread at all until an emergency is dealt with.

I know we have people excited to play but right now it has to be put on hold.
wuh oh
be safe and well crescent!

Stay safe, Crescent! Hope everything works out for you.
Right... crisis over... I'm not sure if I can swing a post tonight or try for tomorrow. So stressed out.
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It was probably time to explain the situation to her about Tomio...

Oh god, why me?!

Chairs are stacked. Tables are cleared. Windows are closed so that the rain can't get in.

Why did your childhood friend have to be so clueless and just accept food from Aya without thinking? He has no brain; he just saw a simple opportunity to eat something that wasn't his mother's cooking.

There is nothing else to do that can help delay this conversation.

It would be easier if your Club President didn't have such an expressive face, it was quite astonishing at times how emotions transformed the elegant and beautiful girl into an almost borderline villainess plotting evil. It took about a year to get used to it, but there are still moments where it intimidates you.

"So Aya, we need to talk." The first opening shots for a conversation you really wish you didn't have to have.

"Oh? Is it about your little excursion to the House of Fortune?" The arch of her delicate eyebrow rises upwards in anticipation. The dark haired girl had been ready to leave and go back to the Clubroom. A bulging paper file is under her arm.

"It's about Tomio, uh, you probably won't like what I got to report?"

Ah yes, the look she's giving you. The suspicion bristling in her hair, the unamused dullness of her eyes, the slight downturn of her lips showing displeasure, the expressiveness is quite startling.

The continuing silence from her is probably a sign that you can proceed.

"So, um, er, giving him lunches is probably not going to win his heart. He practically admitted he'd accept food from anyone just so he can avoid what his mother made. Heck, he's shameless enough he even asked me to cook his favorite chicken fritters for him again." You can't help but squeak out the last bit out because the transformation you witness is startling.

Aya Kagawa, President of the Supernatural Research Club, 3rd year student, dark haired beauty of the school and your friend is giving you an eviscerating glare...

Oh shit.


In reaction, she just rests her head on the doorframe in frustration. You even hear a light hollow *tonk* as her forehead hits the wood.

"Ruka, if I heard this from anyone else but you..." The frustration in her voice is palpable.

The journey back to the Clubroom is awkward. It's hard to know what Aya is thinking, she must be thinking hard to change her tactics in getting Tomio's attention. You can hear some faint grumbling from her.

"Shameless... accept food from anyone... clueless..."

Eventually the older girl squares her shoulders with purpose and there's a fire in her eyes.

"Ruka, I am not giving up! One of the hottest guys in this school is unattached and needs to learn the magic of romance! I will be victorious!"
You can almost feel waves of heat roll off Aya as makes her announcement. To emphasize it, she dramatically clenches one of hands into a fist of determination and looks dramatically to the ceiling.

"... Good luck?" You aren't sure what to really say but at least Aya isn't mad at you.

Filing the paper away and locking up the clubroom is done in companionable silence. It is time to leave the school but realize you still don't have an umbrella and it's still raining.

Aya comes to the rescue with her gigantic umbrella and unfurls it. It opens up with a loud swish and click. She gestures with the generous coverage to show you can come under it.

"Come on Ruka, there's plenty of room."

Unlike this morning, you happily get under it to be nice and dry. Being taller, you also take up the task of holding the umbrella for the two of you. The walk together is great and you fall into easy conversation with the short girl. You can't help but talk about how nice it is to see the Club membership expanding.

It ends all too soon. You arrive at Aya's home, but she turns to you.

"Do you want to come in? I have to study for my high school exams but if you want to study in my room, you're more than welcome. If not, I can lend you my umbrella to go walk home with."

What do you want to do?

>Do schoolwork with Aya at her place.
>Go home to your apartment, you have things to do at home.
>Go to Cafe Leblanc to 'pick some flowers'.
>Go to Crown Games and play some Street Fighter.
>write in
>Go home to your apartment, you have things to do at home.
>Go to Cafe Leblanc to 'pick some flowers'.

Work on our security skill, we might need it in the future. But at the same time, I'm not sure if we should stay out for too long since that nightmare-box is in our room. It might be a good idea to investigate it further and figure out if Azul can help us figure it out, or at least have some way to hide/contain it so it won't start doing spooky nightmare stuff to Ruka's dad or anyone else nearby.
whoa, it seems that my unexpected abandonment a few days ago means that the players haven't come back. I'll be writing in a few hours for a new post.
>>Do schoolwork with Aya at her place.
>>Go to Cafe Leblanc to 'pick some flowers'.
welcome back
I'm fine with either of these options, they're both things that Ruka needs to be diligent with
I guess going to Cafe Leblanc wins out

Time to train a little.
File: lockpick.jpg (48 KB, 1086x543)
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You feel tempted to accept Aya's invitation and come in. It would be nice to be around people in general. And to spend more time with your friend who will soon be studying for high school exams full time. It will consume all her free time and cause her to resign her position as Club President in the near future.

Besides all you have waiting for you at the apartment is that creepy chest you dragged out from the Nightmare, hiding in your bedroom closet.

The pattering sound of rain hitting the umbrella fills your ears. Aya is waiting by the door and is waiting to hear your response.

You sigh. You have to decline.

"Sorry Aya, I have something I need to do. Maybe we can hang out on during the weekend?" You give a weak smile.

"Oh well, we do need to visit that reporter Kakutani of the Daily Report. We could spend some time visiting their offices." Aya says.

"Oh yeah, that's right. I don't have anything planned, we can definitely go together. I want to pick Kakutani's brain a bit too."

You part with a further promise to discuss it tomorrow. It is time to go to Cafe Leblanc and 'pick some flowers'. Lock picking is a skill that needs maintenance; you have to actually pick locks to remember the feel of it. How much tension in the wrench? How much force on the pins? Which one is the binding pin?

Thursday evening shouldn't be too busy at the Cafe Leblanc since it closes earlier tonight than usual. It doesn't bother you though, you can't really stay for long. You plan on getting in as much practice and on as many types of locks as you can before heading home. Maybe even borrow a book from the shop to review. You are still interested in that book that talked about 'shimming'.

The Cafe is quieter than you expected as you get in through the door. There's no music, as a result, the bell by the door announces your arrival loudly.

There is only two people inside you notice, a grey hair old grandfather at the bar nursing a coffee and Master Leblanc who is eyeing the man with wariness.

You can't help but notice that Master Leblanc isn't looking up to greet you. His attention is focused laser like on the old man. But the serene looking grandfather just turns on his barstool, spinning slowly to see who had come in.

"Ah welcome little missie. Why don't ya come up to the bar with us?" The old man calls out and pats one of the open bar stools near him.

Well, you are heading up to the bar anyway. The lock picks and practice locks are placed there. You shrug and sit down on the stool right next to the old man. The first thing you immediately notice is that he has piled all the locks close to him and he has a large kit of lock picks out that you have never seen before. It was a set with 34 pieces, and it clearly didn't belong to Cafe Leblanc. The cafe only provided a very basic set of 10 tools for patrons to try their hand at lock picking. You grab the basic lock pick set and open it up.
"Good evening sir. Could you pass me a five pin lock? I'm actually just here to practice, I'll be out of here when Master Leblanc tells me it's closing time." You place your school bag on the bar counter, the place was empty. It wasn't as if it was going to bother anyone.

"Huh? A little young to be playing around jiggers and jibbers ain't ya? Who is she? Some 'relative' of yours?" The grey haired man picks up a five pin lock to pass to you and looks up at Master Leblanc. The Frenchman shakes his head and starts lighting up a cigarette. He takes a slow drag and lets the smoke curl upward into the air before answering.

"No, just a very enthusiastic kid. Ruka, keep a sharp eye out. You said you wanted to learn more tricks of the trade. Well this man will definitely learn you through hard-earned experience. I'm not telling you his name but you can call him 'Uncle'... And 'Uncle', try not to be too mean."

The old man just smiles. Wrinkles crinkle and leave a weave of cracks on his face.

"I could ask her to pay a respectful visit somewhere. Heck, maybe I'd do the same too. That would be the quickest way to learn." He barks out laughing, and grabs a 10 pin lock.

"Hey now 'Uncle', this be a young lady of a good family. Not the sort to make a circle with. And you be too old to start going about being a one sheet man in this day and age." Master Leblanc states with amusement. You are startled, you recognized one of the words used by the coffee shop owner as a criminal slang term. 'Make a circle' was talk about the technicalities of a crime or heist. Just who the heck was this old man and how did Master Leblanc know him? The flash of recognition in your eyes at the term caught the attention of both men.

"Seems you be wrong. It's quite clear this little missie could make a circle and talk up and down with me. Though she reminds me a lot of young parrari punks from the ole days. Reckless, dumb and unable to know what she don't know."

The old man reaches into his breast pocket and sets down some coins on the bar. It is not much. Pocket change.

"I don't charge for lessons but I do like a flutter. You wanna learn, then put up some cash kid. I've got the 10 pin. You got the 5 pin. First person to crack wins. So what do you say?"

You are competitive, but you never competed against anyone to open a lock as fast as possible before. To be honest, you always picked locks in a slow methodical manner, feeling the pins with care since you can't afford to break any tools.

Your challenger is sitting before you and waiting to see if you'll pick up the gauntlet.

"Remember Ruka, you'll definitely learn... you might not like the lesson." Says Master Leblanc as he continues to smoke his cigarette. His eyes isn't on you, it is still on 'Uncle'.

Would you like to try?

>Set down your pocket change and try to win! Roll 3d6, DC???
>No, money is money... even if it's just pocket change/red]. Just practice at your own pace
Rolled 6, 1, 3 = 10 (3d6)

>Set down your pocket change and try to win! Roll 3d6, DC???

I doubt we'll win but we should still have some money to spare
>No, money is money... even if it's just pocket change/red]. Just practice at your own pace
Hm... if it's tie, I'll roll die but there's still plenty of time until tonight when I start writing.
Rolled 1 (1d2)

1 is bet
2 is not bet
Rolled 1, 6, 2 = 9 (3d6)

Here’s another roll for the bet, for what it’s worth.
Rolled 4, 6, 2 + 6 = 18 (3d6 + 6)

Rolling for 'Uncle'
Damn, we need to get a set of whatever dice that Mr. Uncle is packing.
You don't think you can win. In fact, you're pretty sure you can't win at all. There has to be an angle you're not seeing about this.

"What's the matter? Got no guts? Usually the young'uns jump to try and beat me. It's all because Frenchie here warned you off, ain't it?" The man that Master Leblanc dubbed as 'Uncle' doesn't sound mocking at all. In fact he sounds amused and shakes his fist at the Master Leblanc goodnaturedly. You can't help but look up and see that Master Leblanc is coolly smoking his cigarette and simply watching.

"To be honest. I don't think I can win against you, you got a bigger tool set than my dinky 10 lock pick set and it's clear you have more experience than me when it comes to lock picking. If I was smart, I'd say no and just practice at my own pace... but I want to learn. Even if it's the hard way." You open up your school bag and reach in grab the remaining bit of money you have left. It's only pocket change but it's all you got. You place it on the bar, right next to his bet. Then you grab the 5 pin lock into your hand.

"Hm, I'll give ya credit for assessing your chances of victory. The problem here is that you're still going for it. If ya know ya can't win or sense there's some sort of danger, a better and smarter move would be to 'listen to the flowers' and beat it. But whatever missie, it's your money... Ready your 'yoji' and... GO!"

At this the grandfatherly man turns away, his body looming over his tool kit and lock. You are caught off guard and begin scrambling to pick. It is too sudden, and also... what hell is a 'yoji'? was that some sort of criminal slang for lock pick? You immediately grab your tools and begin prodding your 5 pin lock. You are painfully slow in finding the holding pin. The old man is like greased lightning.

You are afraid to break the tool and leave it stuck in the lock. You guessed you were going to lose but never did you imagine that you'd be beaten this badly. You realize that you just lost your money, so you stop mid way and just watch the swiftness of Uncle as he raked the lock to push up its internal pins past the shear lines.

"Ahahaha. Told ya! Picking flowers takes effort and time, anyone can eventually learn how to do it. The more important skill is 'listening to the flowers'. You remind me of this young 'kid' of mine. He was a first timer who didn't 'enter the seeds' properly or 'sparrow' the place beforehand. Got caught and sent to the juvie." Uncle is using jargon that leaves you completely confused. It is clear, this man was an old school thief. You had never seen someone open a 10 pin lock so quickly, he is almost done.

"Um, Uncle... I have no idea what 'listening to the flowers', 'enter the seeds' or 'sparrow' means." You admit as you turn your attention back to your lock. You got 3 pins up past the shear line but Uncle is already finished. He sets down his 10 pin lock, now fully open. He watches your painfully slow progress and starts explaining.
"Ah, yes, missie didn't grow up in a 'family' to teach you the ropes. Right, 'Uncle' will let ya know some of the trade talk. 'Listening to the flowers' is ditching at the first sign of danger. You cased a house, and now you're about to make a 'visit' but something is off or ya see something that don't look good. So ya don't go ahead with the 'visit'. 'Enter the seeds' is selecting and putting your tools into your kit bag for a job. 'Sparrow' is a quick check around the street and alleyways of the place you want to 'visit'. Let me tell you, lots of punks don't 'sparrow' or 'listen to the flowers'. They just go and 'visit'. They might get lucky once or twice but one day they'll 'stars' and put behind bars."

You finally get the 5 pin lock open. Uncle laughs and reaches for your pocket change to claim. He puts it in his breast pocket and looks inordinately pleased. You are now completely out of money.

"Now, let's review. Missie guessed right, you were going to lose. But here's the thing, you're right but you didn't figure out the other reasons why you lost. Think real hard and tell 'Uncle' what comes to mind." The old man picks up your 5 pin lock with his left hand and puts it up to your eye level for your attention. Now you feel he is mocking you for real as he shakes the damn lock at your face. You sigh with frustration as you stare at the 5 pin lock for a bit and then grab it out of Uncle's hand.

"You lied about it being fair. You set me up... It's not just because you've got better tools and more experience. A 10 pin lock is stupidly hard to open blind, but you already knew how to open it because you were practicing earlier. You even tried to fool me into thinking I might win since I had a 5 pin lock, and if I had an overinflated opinion of my skill I would have been overconfident and taken the bait right away. Not that it matter, I still knew I was going to lose somehow and put up the money anyways."

This was your guess and you are incredibly confidant that this was the other hidden reasons for your loss

"That's right, it was a set up. I already knew my pretty little flower and how to make her bloom beautifully. The 5 pin lock normally makes my challenger overconfident about their chances of winning... You're still missing another reason why I won though." The smile on Uncle's face is even wider, the wrinkles on his face are deep and everywhere.


You are baffled, what other reason could there be? He cheated by already knowing how to open the lock, your tools were inferior to his and he had more skill in lock picking. He stacked the odds to his favor already with those 3 reasons, and he says there another thing he did to stack the situation further into his favor?

"Do you need a hint?" Uncle says when you remain silent too long.

You nod, you feel incredibly irritated.
"Ah, well, remember when I reached into my breast pocket to place my bet and then told ya to place yours?" This was the only thing Uncle says. You wait in vain to see if he would say more but he doesn't.

That was the hint? You try to remember that moment, you're observant but you weren't watching Uncle at that time so you don't know what he was doing when you went to grab your money.

"You had a head start on the picking too?! You guided my attention away from your hands. You began picking the lock when I grabbed the money. And when you talked to me, you disrupted my line of sight from your hands and took my attention off you further when you suddenly declared it was time to start. Uncle, that was overkill on a kid like me."

Master Leblanc and Uncle start laughing at you.

You look down at your 5 pin lock angrily. You realize something from being observant. Uncle had waved the lock right before your eyes with his left hand to distract your attention again. Why would he do that? The lock picking contest was over...

He stole something from you. He must have during that moment he guided your attention away from his right hand. He could reach your school bag...

What do you want to do?

>Get mad. Demand Uncle to return what he stole from you. Roll 3d6+2, dc???
>Get mad and get even. Try to steal back what he stole from you despite having no clue how to pick pockets, Roll 3d6-2, dc???
>Pretend that you didn't notice he stole something from you. You'll shadow him to get it back. Roll 3d6+2, DC???
>Let it go, you didn't have anything worth stealing and it's not worth getting it back.
Uncle is packing nothing, he assessed what type of person you were, rigged the contest and cheated to boot for massive bonuses. You weren't going to win even if you matched his roll or was higher, he could activate some of his skills and power that you haven't seen yet.
Rolled 5, 3, 3 + 2 = 13 (3d6 + 2)

>Pretend that you didn't notice he stole something from you. You'll shadow him to get it back. Roll 3d6+2, DC???

Seems like the choice that'll get us the most respect from "uncle" even if we fail, as long as we follow his advice
Rolled 5, 4, 2 + 2 = 13 (3d6 + 2)

>Pretend that you didn't notice he stole something from you. You'll shadow him to get it back. Roll 3d6+2, DC???
Rolled 1, 5, 2 + 2 = 10 (3d6 + 2)

>Pretend that you didn't notice he stole something from you. You'll shadow him to get it back. Roll 3d6+2, DC???
Keeping a cool head and playing your strongest hand, sneaky sneak.
we got a double 13 too
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The realization doesn't ignite a blazing fire of outrage within you. Instead, you coldly observe that what he did was no more than making a distraction and taking your attention away from the steal. You've done it to other people but for the intent of sneaking and hiding. Same principles, different results.

You don't know what he took, you don't where he hid it and you don't have the skill to steal it back like he did.... at least not at this moment.

"It's closing time, time to pack up folks. I think today's lesson was illuminating for the kid." Master Leblanc announces as he stubs out his cigarette.

Uncle gets up to stretch, his back cracks as he pushes his belly forward with both his hands behind him.

"Stealing pocket money from a kid is pretty easy. I should do it more often; I could make a living off it." With that Uncle packs up his tool kit and turns to leave. You ready yourself casually but the moment he touches the doorknob, you are already on your feet and ready to follow. You wait a few seconds as the door begins closing before walking.

"Hey Ruka, Uncle went and..." Mr. Leblanc begins speaking but you cut him off and finish his sentence for him.

"... stole something out of my school bag. I know, you said I might not like my lesson. I'm going after him."

You swiftly exit the cafe while checking your school bag at the same time, you think you heard Master Leblanc say something else but you are already out the door. You see what is missing from you school bag. It was your knife. He stole your knife. You sling the bag onto your back to get it out of your way.

Okay, you know what is missing. Now where the heck did Uncle hide it? Was it in his pocket? Did he shove it behind into the waistband of his pants? When he stretched, you didn't see anything bulging in the front of his waistband. One location eliminated.

Uncle ambles slowly down the street with his white umbrella up. The early evening crowd is not dense and allows you to see where the old man is heading. It is also a good screen for tailing and observation. You eliminate the back pockets and waistband as the likely hiding place. Later you watch from a safe distance as he goes to a corner store to buy an evening newspaper. So the knife wasn't in his front pockets either. His armpit isn't tight against the body, so it wasn't under there.

Was it possible the knife was up his right sleeve?

It is the easiest hiding place when he made the steal. You remember how Uncle's right hand was curiously faced palm upward on the bar. Was he balancing something on the flat surface of his forearm to prevent it from weighing down and sagging the sleeve back at the cafe?
You make your decision; you have to check to see if it's there. A light tap should suffice. You patiently wait for the crowd to get particularly dense and silently approach from behind. It is when you are immediately behind him and about to make the touch that Uncle makes an abrupt stop. You can't stop your momentum in time and bump face first into his back. You felt something in his back packet that had been hidden from sight with his coat.

"Hm, well missie, you aren't completely useless at this. But you take a shot at the king, best not to miss. Take a look at this neighbourhood and crowd you're in. Ya look mighty obvious as the only schoolgirl around, don't ya know?" The old thief is extremely calm. Startled you realize that you are definitely in a part of town where no kid would go to at night. The buildings are noticeably older as are the people around you. As you look to see where you are, he swiftly whirls around and trips you. The suddenness of the attack is enough to make you fall face first into a rain puddle.

"Well Uncle, an old man like you isn't above taking things from a schoolgirl." You sputter as you spit out water from your mouth. The front of the uniform is completely soaked. You glare up at him. His face is neutral as he looks down on you. The crowd studiously ignores and walks around to avoid you.

"Oh yeah, your razor. I passed it on to Frenchie. He was my man sticking close at the base for doing the crutch. He wouldn't have let me walk out of there if I was being nasty and mean to a kid." Amusement returns to his face swiftly when he realizes what you're here for.

... You feel like an idiot. You didn't even consider the possibility. The astonished look on your face at this revelation causes the small elderly man to shake with laughter.

"AHAHAH! Ah, nothing shows more than how blue ya be. Though, credit where credit is due. You caught on hella quick on the play from just a hint. A play like that is best done with a 'framework' to hustle the goods to. I saw into your school bag when you opened it up to grab your money. Then I used the 5 pin lock to 'raise the curtains' on you while making the grab and 'hugged' it up my sleeve. Then when you got mad and looked away, I did the crutch and passed it to Frenchie."

The explanation is incomplete. You stand up again and have your hand out to Uncle as though demanding he place something in your hand. There's a look of wary confusion on the old man's face this time.

"And when you did the crutch to pass my knife, you also swiped a lock. You stretched, placing your hands on your back so you could transfer it down your back pocket. Master Leblanc didn't notice."

"Ah, felt it back there when ya crashed into me." He brings out the lock, it is the 10 pin lock he had opened earlier in the rigged bet. You are wary and making sure you pay close attention where his hands are as he places the lock into your waiting hand.

"Kid, ya didn't grow up needing to make a living by picking flowers or picking up rocks like me. Word of friendly advice, if you're thinking of a career that's not 'in the sun', I don't think an outsider like you would do well." It is not a friendly voice despite dispensing 'friendly advice'.

"Good news Uncle, I'm not planning to make a living picking flowers or picking up rocks. I've got something else in mind."

There's a curious look on Uncle's face but it fades away quickly. He shrugs.

"Sure, whatever you say. Make sure to pass back the flower to Frenchie, I won myself another cup of fine coffee from him."

With that he walks away.

You learned more about the Trade. You'll need more practice though
You met 'Uncle' and now he knows you... you aren't sure if that's a good thing or not

You place the lock into your school bag and head home. You don't have time to go back to Cafe Leblanc, it will have to be another day. The rainwater is soaking your uniform; you got to get it dry for school tomorrow.

When you arrive at the apartment, you realize your father is home early. There's a bustle in the kitchen and a cheery voice greeting you.

"Welcome home Ruka, you're late today! Did you have an extra long club meeting?" Houseki Daisuke is cooking dinner and comes out from the kitchen to see you. He's surprised to see you so wet despite having an umbrella.

"Hey dad, uh, yeah, long day. I'll go get changed and we'll eat!" You're happy he's home. You change out and join him at the dinner table.

What do you want to talk about?

>Ask him about what happened yesterday.
>Tell him about school and Club
>Talk about a Nightmare you had
>Ask where the family album is (you can grab that picture from the cursed treasure chest and put it in if you want)
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My wife
>Ask him about what happened yesterday.
>Tell him about school and Club

Just talk about soft stuff. No need to burden dad about the spooky underbelly of recent events that we are now just beginning to comprehend.
>Ask him about what happened yesterday.
Seems we're going for light and easy conversations
Dinner is wonderful, your dad made chicken curry.

"Wow Dad, I thought you'd be coming home late again." You comment as you shovel the delicious curry into your mouth.

"I got sent home early with my coworkers today. I wasn't expecting it but I suppose it makes sense given what happened." At this Houseki Daisuke yawns a little and stretches. It's obvious he will take advantage of it by going to bed early.

"Is it because that lady collapsing at work? You mentioned you had to go to the hospital." You are done with your plate of curry and get up to wash the dishes with your dad.

"That's right, it took everyone off guard. Ms. Tatemichi had been reviewing an expense report with our team and then she collapsed. She's so young and healthy, her father and mother are devastated. She's still at the hospital, she's not waking up." Your dad shakes his head in bafflement and worry.

"Whoa, that's super serious." Working together with your father makes cleaning up super easy. There's even enough curry for breakfast.

"That reminds me Ruka, are you all right? I did get your message when I was at work. You sounded very odd though, had something happened last night?" You dad asks with a concerned voice. He is watching you carefully.

It seems you were not able to keep your voice calm for the voice mail message this morning. It goes to show how shaken up you were after the Nightmare.

"Um, er, I guess I was super surprised and worried when I heard something had happened at your work. I mean, you almost always come home." You feel guilty for hiding the fact you were scared out of your mind from a Nightmare but why make your dad worry needlessly?

"Well, if you say so. Oh that reminds me, we need to go to the hospital Sunday. The Doctor wants to check up on your ribs. I'm amazed how quickly you've recovered. Also, I'll be going to see how Ms. Tatemichi is doing at the same."

With that you bid your father good night. He is looking forward to getting a few extra hours of sleep.

What do you want to do before bed?

Choose one

>Study and do your homework, you can't always put it off.
>Crawl through the weird hole in your bedroom closet, Azul traveled through there...
>Open up the all drawers of the cursed chest again, roll 3d6, dc 11 to overcome your fear.
>Practice picking the 10 pin lock that Uncle stole
>Work out with Tomio's weights... you have to return these on Saturday
>write in
>Study and do your homework, you can't always put it off.
>Study and do your homework, you can't always put it off.

I suppose we can’t keep ignoring our academic obligations, even if we want to explore plot threads instead.
Responsible academic work
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When you enter your room, you can't help notice the absence of your buddy, Azul. You haven't seen him all day since this morning. You never imagined that a day's absence would make you miss a big blue mostly invisible penguin so much. You open your closet; push aside a few hanging jackets and pants to look down at the hole that seems to be the secret entrance of where ever he goes. You nickname it the 'Penguin Domain' since you have no idea just what is on the other side of the weird tunnel.

The strange swirling blue hole is mesmerizing; from where you stand, it is impossible to see what is in it or how far it goes. You're sad you don't have time to go and explore it, you have homework and studying to do.

Also... In your closet, very close to the entrance of the 'Penguin Domain' is a very familiar and very cursed tansu chest.

In the light of your bedroom lamp, it shines and sparkles with a rare beauty that would bring joy to any person who saw it. The chest was a thing of artistic beauty, it is no wonder that the British collector who bought the original and real chest would not part with it, even at double the price he paid. You know, your grandfather talked about how he tried to get it back.

But the beautiful chest does not bring you the warm pride of ownership or the spark of greed from its value. You know the true horrors hidden in its drawers, those teeth... your mother's voice...

You involuntarily shiver from the memory.

It is a good thing that your father has no reason to be in your room or fiddle with around in the closet. You quickly drop a coat over the damn thing to hide it better from view and close the closet door.

You hope that Azul will come back in the morning. And it'd be nice if you have no Nightmares, Memories or Dreams tonight.

It is now time to fulfill your academic obligations. You cannot always put off studying; you have to keep up with your studies since you have to take exams to get into a public high school one day. If you fail your high school exams, it means your dad has to shell out money to let you attend a private school. That was money the family could not afford to spend.

You take a break every now and again from studying to do push ups, squats, stretches, and other exercises. You can't help but let your eyes linger on the weights Tomio lent you. You'll have to drag those back on Saturday to return them.

Now that you think about it, you have a bit of a to do list. Friday, you'll be talking with Aya about visiting the offices of that reporter Kakutani, and maybe going back to Cafe Leblanc to get back your knife and pass the 10 pin lock to Master Leblanc. Saturday is a half day of school, so you need to get back those weights to Tomio and then go off with Aya to visit Kakutani. Sunday is going to the hospital with your dad for a check up.

There's still plenty of free time to do other things but that was the basic outline for the next few days. You just wish it wasn't raining during all that time.
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You have kept up with your schoolwork! You don't have to worry about Ms. Sakurada getting mad at you for not doing homework.

When you turn in to go to bed, you give a brief prayer that your sleep will peaceful. You are a little scared since the Nightmare tried to fool you into thinking you were awake. It is a bit of paranoia you could do without. Yet you don't feel overly afraid, you got Azul to watch your back.

Sleep comes to you uneasily but when it does, it is undisturbed. You don't recall having a Nightmare, Memory or Dream.

When you awaken, it is 7 a.m., you can hear your dad in the bathroom taking a brief shower. You stretch and look around your room.

A familiar blue penguin is sitting at your desk with an open newspaper and counting out money. It is the height of silliness; he even has a twisted white bandanna wrapped around his head to show off his seriousness.

'Good morning Azul, what are you looking at?' You mentally message him. At this the blue penguin shows the newspaper advertisement to you. It was about computers, a company called Compaq was selling at about 200,000 yen. There was also another advertisement for the latest NEC computer that was slightly more expensive. The small pile of yen that the supernatural flightless bird had been counting is completely lacking.

Even if the penguin did have enough money to buy it...

'If you get a computer... where are you exactly going to put it? It can't be my room, or this apartment. You do know that right? My dad will be asking hard questions where I got the money to buy a computer.' You mentally question Azul on the very obvious issues that need to be asked.

At this the penguin freezes and opens his beak in shock. It had never occurred to him. He slumps in defeat and shoves the money and newspaper into a suitcase before shoving it into the weird blue entrance of the 'Penguin Domain'. The entire suitcase disappears from view as though it never existed.

You wonder if you could shove other things into the 'Penguin Domain' to hide things. It was something you'll have to ask Azul later.

In any case, you have some time to get breakfast started. You had placed your uniform into the laundry last night and hung it up to dry. It should be dry and wearable, though a bit wrinkled.

Breakfast is reheated curry but it is delicious. Your father brews up a nice cup of coffee for the both of you and he reads the newspaper aloud as you wash up.

"Rainy weather continuing on to Sunday morning."
"Rash of strange break ins targeting jewelry, but jewelry always returned or found."
"Upcoming changes in civil servant workweek. Starting May 2nd, Saturday will be counted as a day off for..."

Oh yeah, that is exciting news for your dad. He was so lucky, he gets Saturday and Sunday off soon. You still have to attend at least half a Saturday of school except for the 2nd Saturday in a month. It was completely unfair.
It is time to go. Your father has made rice balls for lunch today, you needed to use up the last bit of rice left.

"I think I'll be back home early tonight. Given that a coworker of mine collapsed, everyone is assuming it is because we're being overworked. We can go and get a beef bowl or something for dinner." Your father says as he gets ready to go to leave.

"That's great! See you later dad, and stay safe!"

It is time to go to school. You have your umbrella today, so you can return the umbrella you borrowed from Aya.

What do you want to do while going to school?

>Walk by yourself to school, you'll see everyone at school
>Walk to Aya's place to return the umbrella and walk with her to school
>Walk to Tomio's place and walk with him
>write in
>Walk to Tomio's place and walk with him
I am of the opinion that we should lend him a sympathetic ear and try to cheer him up if his home life is still fairly rough from his tenure as an unwilling hooligan. Then we can give him the umbrella and tell him to return it to Aya.

We must help our friend feel better, and help sempai realize her romantic ambitions.
>Walk to Tomio's place and walk with him
Best make sure his mom doesn't see us though
all righty, let's go see Tomio this morning

I'll try to post later tonight.
Given that no one selects the 'get swole' option... it seems we'll be sneaky sneak, stabby stabby rather than wrestling bears in our spare time.
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You're up pretty early, you could probably go by Tomio's place and walk with him to school. You haven't done that for a little while.

The rain is steady and warm, it is a good thing to have a raincoat or umbrella in this weather. The entire street is full of pedestrians holding umbrellas over their head. You swear that in some places, rain could not possibly fall unimpeded onto the street without first hitting an umbrella.

Azul seems completely unbothered by the rain falling on him. Indeed, the wet weather makes him rather pleased and he takes opportunities to go through the largest puddles he can find. The only oddity is how no one seems to notice his obvious passage through puddles or the happy squawks he makes on occasion. Not one person takes any notice.

When you arrive close to the Harada residence, you slow down and wait at a corner that keeps you out of sight. Mrs. Harada is not a woman to be trifled with. You aren't sure how to make her change her opinion of you, you put in a lot of effort not to talk to her. It is awkward dealing with an adult that knows that your mother went off to join a cult. You hear the Harada residence door open and Tomio saying good bye.

You wait a little bit to make sure that Mrs. Harada has closed the door and gone back into the house before running after Tomio.

"Hey, Tomio! Wait up man!" You call out to your childhood friend.

The umbrella stops and he turns to face you as you run up to him. Tomio looks better than he did yesterday; there isn't any sign of exhaustion on his face. Clear evidence that he slept better last night.

"Hey Ruka!" He smiles and waves to you.

With that, you fall into easy conversation with him. You aren't surprised he's still grounded by parents for the next few days but it seems they had a long conversation about his behaviour.

"You told them that you got brainwashed by some weird fortune teller lady with a bunch of other boys!?" You are shocked he didn't just outright lie. The truth is outrageous.

"Don't remind me. My mother thinks we need to start having more family conversations because she's worried about my mental state and is telling me not to talk about it any more... while my dad can't decide if I'm making shit up or going crazy. I don't know what the other guys are saying to their parents but I'm not the type to lie to my parents." Tomio sounds miserable but resolute at his decision to tell his parents what he had experienced.

"No offense, but a lie is actually more believable than the truth in this situation." You can't help but marvel at... the idiotic honesty of your friend? The courage to talk about the outrageous truth? You wish he showed that same vein of forthrightness in his daily dealings with girls. Life would be easier for everyone.

Out of the corner of your eye, you can see Aya approaching you. It was time to start once more your attempts to get Tomio and Aya together.
"Here Tomio, could you hold this for me?" You don't wait for an answer and simply hand over the umbrella Aya had lent you yesterday to him. Without thinking, the tall boy accepts and holds on to it. The set up is complete, now for the hunter to make her move on the prey.

"Good morning Tomio-kun! Good morning Ruka-chan!" A cheery voice erupts from behind you. It takes Tomio completely off guard, he flinches and smiles nervously at Aya. As he does so, a flash of realization strikes him, and he starts staring down at the umbrella you passed on to him. In this interval, you make your exit and leave them. Or at least you try to, before you can make your strategic retreat, you feel someone grabbing your wrist and yanking you back. You didn't expect it but manage to keep on your feet as you take a step backwards.

"Oh no you don't, you can't just abandon me like last time." Tomio mutters. He reels you back so that you stand right by him for your walk to school.

He's learning. In hindsight you should have expected it. Tomio might be a bit dense but he isn't stupid. Aya is disappointed at your failure to escape but shrugs it off, it's not as if you weren't trying to give her chances.

The walk to school isn't bad. The three of you fall into an easy conversation about the strange events that had happened because of the Fortune Teller. Even going over details and comparing notes about the supernatural event.

"At this rate Tomio-kun, you might want to consider joining the Supernatural Research Club! We welcome new members all the time, any time." Aya slyly says as the three of you walk past the school gates.

"No way, I want to polish my trumpet playing and push Juuban Band Club into the Tokyo finals. I'm practicing on my own until my suspension from Club is lifted. They're already talking about lifting it early." Tomio quickly rejects the invitation.

You aren't really paying attention, your focus is elsewhere... The entrance of the school has a bunch of sport club members waiting to talk to you. It seems your rejection of the sport clubs was not firm enough.

What will you do?

>Grit your teeth and ignore the recruitment pitches, they'll give up eventually
>Ask Aya to do her thing, she's so much better at stopping this than you are
>Stand outside in the rain until the bell rings. You'll end up late for class, but you'll show how obviously fed up you are with the sport clubs
>Tell them off yourself, tell one and all in a loud voice you aren't interested.
>Grit your teeth and ignore the recruitment pitches, they'll give up eventually

They surely will not go to even greater lengths to try and recruit a deceptively strong and swift candidate to their team. Especially as the season goes on and one or more teams become desperate to seek out a trump card. This will not surely escalate to hilarious shenanigans later down the line.

Also, damn, Tomio is looking pretty bishounen there.
>Grit your teeth and ignore the recruitment pitches, they'll give up eventually
>>Grit your teeth and ignore the recruitment pitches, they'll give up eventually
the main reason we do that is because i japanese society you CANNOT afford to fall behind when it comes to grades, keep in mind it's not AS bad as south korea but still if we do not keep up in the matters of education we'll fall behind and the last things the anons(me ingluded) want to do is dissapoin't the MC's dad because of failing grades
They'll eventually leave you alone... right?
Oh yes, you might want to know what characters I'm using for Tomio and Aya.

I'm using Tachibana Makoto from Free! for Tomio.

Aya is just generic japanese beauty from both manga and anime I found randomly. I've been mostly using the from Villainess Level 99 lady Eumiella and a select number of Kakegurui's Yumeko Jabami reaction faces
I’d honestly like nothing more than to be able to have Ruka become a Daidouji expy while going full Star Platinum with a refined version of her water fists. It’d make a good contrast with what little I know of the SM universe too, since most of the villains and protags seem to be very agile and graceful fighters or ballerina blaster types.

Unfortunately, we are not up to par with the Scouts yet, and the enemies of the week can easily mess us up bad. We also want to keep a low profile; combine that with our existing skillset and being a sneeki breeki is our best bet for making an impact while keeping out of harm’s way. We can’t just brush off injuries like a JoJo or a Z-fighter, or use sheer power of stoic badassery to carry the day. But as we are, leveling up our stealth and subterfuge skills ensures that we can avoid injury while seeking out enemy weak points. Lifting weights on the other hand will take some time to yield appreciable results, and a strong human can’t do as much to monsters; in comparison, a sneaky human has a lot of utility.

If we ever breach a point where we don’t have to skulk about anymore, I would embrace the chance to become a Sailor Brawler or Sailor Tank instead of a Sailor Scout, so to speak.
I’m kind of hoping that the whole dream stuff with the puppets and penguins will pan out to give Ruka a unique source of power. That nightmare dude said that we’d be asking him for it soon enough, yet we’re seeing some Ruka gain some powers that aren’t quite similar to the Scouts. Who knows? Perhaps it might be something akin to the Force. Or maybe something entirely unique, in which harnessing the power of tranquil and ethereal dreams alongside of forceful and terror-inspiring nightmares will result in Ruka gaining a power set that’ll allow her to more directly defend herself and her family/friends and maybe even gain a better understanding of the forces that are at play here.
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You can't help but grimace at the number of sport club representatives waiting for you. You went through this back in your first year of middle school, and you did not enjoy it one bit. You had a reputation for physical fitness in your elementary school and it carried into middle school. So a number of clubs deliberately went out of their way to convince you to join them.

You rejected each and every one, and desperately searched for a low attendance and low intensity culture club that would let you go home most days. You didn't have the luxury of wasting time when you had household responsibilities like cooking and cleaning to do.

A sport club like 'Track and Field' had practice almost every day and required attendance at competitions. It costs an absurd amount of time and money to do. You first considered joining the Cooking Club or the Mahjong Club until the absurd lack of requirements of the Supernatural Research Club caught your eye.

Reading the recruitment sheet still sticks out in your memory. It was a white piece of paper with handwriting scrawled over it.

"Supernatural Research Club.... Meetings held on Monday and Thursday only. Compulsory attendance to first official meeting only, no further requirements. 3rd floor, Clubroom S."

You were so curious as to what ridiculous club could make such low demands on its members. You had to go and check it out.

It was your first time meeting Kagawa Aya-sempai. It was a very memorable meeting, she was the classic Japanese beauty: Elegant, petite and feminine, all the things that you were not. It made you very self-conscious of the fact at that time and cowed you. The other thing that took you off guard was how very expressive her face was. Like eyes that could nail you to the wall and force you to do things just to avoid angering her or make her happy. Somehow in that first meeting, you got roped into a Supernatural Research Club experiment involving cards and x-ray vision or something of that nature. You don't remember, all you remember is that you held cards while Aya looked at you with the most intense focused eyes as she tried to select the correct card.

A pretty girl like that having such demonic eyes should be a crime. The entire time you were frozen and trying to find some way to escape but it was too late. She intimidated you into joining the Club. It worked out in the end since it gave you exactly what you wanted, but still...

"Do you want me to get rid of them? It would be an easy task." Aya asks as she coolly eyes the rabble of jocks attempting to snatch away one of her club members.

"No, it's fine. If I ignore them, they'll leave me alone... eventually."

With that, you grit your teeth and heroically ignore the press. During this time, Azul waves good-bye and starts going up the stairs to the Clubroom. He needs to avoid Usagi since he knows that the clumsy girl is able to see him.
"Oi, Houseki-san, we have a practice today! I think you'd just love the girls' soccer club."
"We have room for another member on the track team! You'd be a great fit!"
"Please join our Basketball Club! You're tall, fast, and coordinated! You'll love it!"

You hurry up the stairs while Tomio stays behind a little to strategically block some of the more persistent recruiters by slowly going up the stairs. Aya gives off black waves of displeasure that intimidates the more timid recruiters into leaving.

It is a great tag team, and allows you to get to class without much trouble. Aya goes up to the third floor to her class, you'll be seeing her at lunch.

"I sure hope this isn't going to be an everyday thing." Tomio comments as he takes his seat behind you in class.

You can't help but groan at the thought. How long were these clubs going to pursue you?

With that, Ms. Sakurada comes in to take roll call and start class.

It is a good thing you did your homework and studied... It is obvious that Usagi didn't at all.

"WAAAAH! You're so mean Ms. Sakurada! Why are you picking on me!" The small girl wails in despair as she gets another question.

You try to not snicker at the exaggerated despair of the other girl. It's so entertaining though...

"Hmph, this is all because you didn't study hard enough Tsukino!" Ms Sakurada glowers at the total lack of preparation and study evident from Usagi. Then your teacher turns her attention on you and points at you.

"Houseki, answer the question. What is a kofun?" Ms. Sakurada asks you the question she had first asked Usagi.

"A kofun is a tomb mound that was built for members of the ruling class. In fact, the Kofun period is named after these monumental mounds." You answer easily because you had kept up with your studies.

Ms. Sakurada is satisfied by your answer and continues her history lesson.

By the time lunch rolls by, you are exhausted by listening to class. You can't wait to go and see Aya, you are heading to the cafeteria to meet up with her.

Do you want to invite someone else to join?

>Don't invite anyone, just go by yourself
>Invite Usagi and Naru, make it an all girl lunch meeting.
>Invite Tomio, you guess Aya probably made another extra lunch for him
>Go invite some Club members, they probably want to hear what is being planned.
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That reminds me, I haven't shown you what Ruka looks like. It is remarkably hard to find an anime girl with a very small and faint scar on her cheek. All of them have huge scars and aren't actually 'sukeban' looking at all.

The nearest equivalent I could find is this picture but it's not quite what I had in mind. But whatever, it'll have to do.
>>Invite Usagi and Naru, make it an all girl lunch meeting.
let aya be with her vuture boyfriend
>Invite Usagi and Naru, make it an all girl lunch meeting.
Perhaps we can create a study group to help Usagi out. It should work, so long as the gaps in her knowledge aren’t too big and foundational. It might save everyone some time too. Plus getting to know classmates etc would also be handy, can’t have too many friends.
seems you're going to drag Usagi and Naru to the meeting with Aya.
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It'd be boring to just eat lunch with only Aya. Having more people around would definitely perk things up.

"Hey Naru-chan, Usagi-chan! Why bother sticking around in class for lunch, why not go to the cafeteria with me? Aya-sempai is going to be there too." You call out to the two girls.

"That sounds great Ruka-chan!" Usagi happily agrees. The prospect of eating lunch has dragged her out of the doldrums of despair from earlier.

"Oh yes, I would love to talk with Kagawa-sempai! Got to talk to her about Midnight Zero! She would love it!" Naru enthusiastically says as she gets her lunch box.

You thought about inviting Tomio along but a guy who has a hard time dealing with girls joining an all girl lunch was cruel. The added awkwardness of being the only guy at the table would be too much for him... and besides, Aya wouldn't be able to flirt with him properly with other people hanging about.

"Did you make lots of food Ruka-chan? Maybe something you can share with me?" Usagi asks in a wheedling voice. You just laugh and mess up her hair a little in response.

"Sorry Usagi-chan, my dad made rice balls for me today. Not overly gourmet today."

The three of you walk to the cafeteria through a crowded hallway. No one can eat outside today with the rain, so students are milling about visiting classrooms to talk with friends in other grades and rooms. Juuban middle school is unusually forgiving about students walking around freely in between classes. You heard that other schools are much stricter, forcing students to eat only in their assigned classroom or cafeteria.

When you arrive at the cafeteria, you discovered it is packed. The students assigned to dish out the healthy free school lunch are busy while being overseen by teachers.

In a corner of the crowded cafeteria, you see Aya has claimed a small table for herself but she isn't sitting alone. Why was the Captain of the Girls' Track team Sasahara Miyuki also here?

You got a bad feeling about this.

The tall suntanned senior is smiling pleasantly at Aya who is glowering. A dark aura hovers above the diminutive Club President but Miyuki is completely immune to the crushing baleful presence. After all, Sasahara Miyuki has known Kagawa Aya since childhood, she's too used to it.

"Hello girls! Glad you could join us." The athletic girl waves to you as you approach the table.

"Don't you have something better to do?" Aya mutters to Miyuki discontentedly.

"Oh don't be like that Aya-chan. Your kouhai has always been an amazing physical specimen of an athlete. Ruka was so fast during the last gym class, my kouhai Takako can't stop talking about it."

Why couldn't Sasahara talk about you in a normal manner? It's as though she is describing you as a fascinating sort of animal that can go real fast.
"Don't you already have a formidable Track team already? Why bother with my minion?" Aya asks as she opens her lunch box with more force than expected. It is a larger than usual lunch box, she had made more in the expectation of feeding Tomio clearly. You had told Aya it was not an effective tactic but perhaps she had something in mind.

The lunch box is once again a strange mixture of things. Some look normal, some look outright weird and still others filled you with dread. Those blackened spicy peppers are in the lunch box too.

"You don't understand... Maybe I can find someone faster than Elsa Gray and Tenou Haruka! That's National level fast! Come on Ruka, just try out one race with us." Sasahara Miyuki is not above begging.

How do you respond?

>Change the subject, start eating lunch and remain quiet...
>Change the subject, ask Naru what this 'Midnight Zero' thing is about....
> Change the subject, ask Usagi about her poor academics. She needs to start doing a bit better...
> Change the subject, ask Aya if she's able to go Saturday right after school to see Kakutani Moromi...
>Agree to practice with the Track team once. As long as you don't use burst of speed they'll lose interest in recruiting you, you'll be too slow...
>write in
>Explain why you don't want to join any athletics club
>>Change the subject, ask Naru what this 'Midnight Zero' thing is about....
> Explain why you don't want to join any athletics club
>Change the subject, ask Naru what this 'Midnight Zero' thing is about....
> Change the subject, ask Usagi about her poor academics. She needs to start doing a bit better...
> Explain why you don't want to join any athletics club
>Change the subject, ask Naru what this 'Midnight Zero' thing is about....

seems we shall be forthright... and ask about Midnight Zero
Unfortunately, after tonight's update, I don't think we'll be seeing another update until next week due to circumstances.

The emergency that disrupted posting last week is a bit more long lasting than expected and brought on unexpected financial hardship so I've got to pick a bit more work.

We only just began hearing about Midnight Zero and getting into more energy draining weirdness.
See you then, QM. Hope everything turns out OK for you!
Yeah, definitely can't do anything tonight. See you next week everyone

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