RoseIII—Changing Hands—A Little Game of Life (PG-13ish) [Book Five]

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  1. #1
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Default RoseIII—Changing Hands—A Little Game of Life (PG-13ish) [Book Five]

    I'm a busy little Beedrill, arren' I? ;B

    Anyway, this is a great place to pick up again if you haven't read the first four books, because, everything has to be re-explained in the exposition of Game anyway. However, the target audience of this comment probably will never read it, so I'll just shut up now and post. ;B~

    And, as always, book order:
    The Right Hand of the Dragon:
    I: The Story of the Roses (1-17)
    II: The Antics of the Roses (18-34)
    III: Tokyo (35-48)
    IV: Ecruteak (49-80)

    Changing Hands:
    V: A Little Game of Life (1-10)

    The Left Hand of the Dragon:
    VI: 2436 (1)
    VII: The Cimmerian
    VIII: The Bamboo Dragon
    IX: Fade to Black
    X: Epilogue (Rose-X)

    ==============================================


    Chapter One: Razor Leaves or Knives?

    "Rr, take that! And that! Haha!" The barrage flew at the fiendish Kangaskan and it fell over after three hits. "Haha!"

    I laughed to myself, getting up to set my Pokémon toys back up and pick up the Razor Leaves from my toy Oddish. Target practice is fun, especially when you compete with your friends during recess. I may not have the greatest success in knocking my targets down, but I can still hit them nine times out of ten.

    "Whatcha doing?" Matt called in through the cracked door. He saw the melée and chuckled, inviting himself in. "You're having another competition during recess this Friday, aren't you?"

    "Maybe..." I mumbled. He was going to try to talk me out of it again, I knew it.

    "You're not betting anything this time, are you?"

    "Just my next evolution kit for my Oddish...."

    He flopped down on the bed and his blond hair fell from his shoulders to hang freely to the sides of his face. He looked at me, his bright green eyes smiling at me. "You know very well that wagers like that always get you mixed up in trouble, T.K.," he chided.

    He mussed my brown hair and I squealed, wriggling away from him. "It's my allowance, and it's my game. Why should it be business of yours?" I pouted.

    "You're my little bro," he replied. "It's my job to look out for ya."

    "Could you not do your job so well?" I whined.

    He laughed. "Just make sure you weigh your chances before you wager anything as important to you as that. Don't make yourself regret it later."

    I sighed. "You always take the fun out of it, you know that?"

    "It's my job," he chuckled, standing up again.

    "But you said that looking out for me was your job," I complained, putting my Oddish and other Pokémon toys up.

    "So I have more than one job. Sue me." He mussed my hair again and I pushed his hand off my head, grumbling with a frown. "It's almost dinnertime. Go get washed up."

    "What're we having?"

    "Fish."

    "Ooh," I smiled, running to the bathroom sink to wash my hands.

    ~*~*~

    Matt and I came downstairs, our noses following the awesome smell of dinner.

    "Don't just stand there," Mom muttered, tending to mashed potatoes. "Set the table, you two." She paused. "Your father won't be eating with us, though, so it'll be the three of us tonight."

    "Why not?" I chirped, digging out the utensils from the drawer.

    "He... doesn't feel well..." she replied, slightly upset.

    "Will he be okay?" I continued.

    From the uneasiness I sensed that my questions only made it worse.

    "He'll be fine, T.K.," Matt explained solemnly, pulling plates out of the cabinet.

    I didn't ask anything else, knowing that I could just ask them when we sat down.

    ~*~*~

    "Pass the salad, please," I asked, then received. "Thanks." Getting a few forksful, I topped it with a cherry tomato and set the bowl to the side of me, then covered it in Ranch dressing, smiling contentedly.

    Matt and Mom both were quiet and tended only to their plates. Though they seemed only to be picking at their meal, their mouths sure seemed too full of something.

    "How was your day at school, Matt?" Mom began, knowing that their silence was making me as uneasy as the two of them were.

    "It made me wonder just how much Uncle Toshi hates me," he replied, stabbing the tomato in his salad. It squirted his potatoes and he mumbled. "The first thing he said to me today was 'Paper. Friday.'"

    "What did you do?" she began, complaintive.

    "All I did was catch him by surprise. He was so happy to see me today that he accidentally spilled his coffee on him. Hehe...." He laughed nervously.

    "What have I told you about not sneaking up on your uncle?" she whined. "He's got enough problems as it is dealing with all those kids at Tech." She sighed, looking to me. "How was your day, Takeru?"

    "Well..." I began, piddling with my fish, "me an' the guys have been playing with our figurines a lot lately...."

    She made a face. "Don't tell me you boys have been betting again."

    "Mom, it's part of playing! You're supposed to wager money on a Pokémon battle; why not get into the tradition before I'm given my Pokémon?"

    "Just because betting on the outcome of battles is customary doesn't mean that I'm going to let my eight-year-old son bet all his allowance on some silly games."

    "Aw Mom, they're not silly!"

    "You know that I disprove of any toys that teach children to want to battle Pokémon."

    I pouted. "They're battling creatures by nature, Mom! You can't deny that fact!"

    "The concept of battling Pokémon in such manners is a human concept, not the Pokémon's. Most Pokémon don't even battle unless they're testosterone-driven males trying to show off or prove themselves." She snorted. "Pokémon trainers exist for the same reasons—kids love to brag that their Pokémon are the best in the world."

    "If it's one thing you've got going for you, Mom, it's your ability to win debates," Matt smiled, knowing he'd gotten his job done.

    A silence passed that ate me alive. "I want to know what's wrong with Daddy," I began, giving them a serious look.

    They ignored me.

    "Tell me why he's not eating with us!" I continued, leaning on the table.

    "He isn't himself tonight, Takeru," Mom stated quietly. "Please calm down."

    "What's that supposed to mean?!" I squeaked.

    "He isn't physically ill, T.K.," Matt replied, sighing solemnly. "He has problems that he can't deal with sometimes. He's just... sorting through them right now."

    "I should have known that he'd be like this," Mom remarked. "It's been too long since his last breakdown."

    "So you're telling me that Daddy's just upset over something, and that he can't seem to quit being upset over it?"

    "That's one way of putting it," Matt uttered.

    "Can't we do something to cheer him up...?"

    "No, sweetie," Mom replied. "He needs to be alone when he gets like this. Bothering him endangers both himself and us."

    She squirmed at the confession she'd just made to her young son and nervously tried to change the subject. "Your ninth birthday's coming up, Takeru.... Have you thought what you want?"

    I ignored her question for a moment, finishing the meal set out on my plate. Pushing it away, trying to contain my anger, I stood quietly, not looking to either of them. "Yes."

    "What might that be?"

    ".... The truth." With that, I left the dining room table in silence and went upstairs to my room, laid down, and slept.

    ~*~*~

    I woke up later that night at the sound of the door creaking open slightly. The room was completely dark except the moonlight from the window, so I figured it had to be around midnight; Matt was asleep above me on the top bunk of the bed, so it wasn't him, and nothing was stirring downstairs, so I figured Mom had gone to bed, too. Thinking upon these things, I wondered if Dad was still awake and watched the crack in the door to see if someone were there, or if it had just been the air conditioning.

    After staring into the hall for a moment, the door opened just a bit wider, and a shuffle of clothing was heard. I saw a pair of golden, glowing eyes in the hall and took in a scared breath, pulling myself away from the bedroom door as possible. Whatever was there had heard I was awake and freaked. Not a moment later it was gone. I didn't hear any footsteps leading away from the door, nor did I hear any foosteps trailing down the staircase.

    I thought the situation over for a time before considering that it might have just been my imagination. Then I shook the notion and badgered myself for trying to deny what I'd seen, getting out of bed quietly as not to wake Matt up. I slowly creeped out into the upstairs hall, then slunk silently down the stairs and turned the corner to the left to find that Dad's studio door was indeed closed; however, upon trying to open the door, it was unlocked; I saw a light from beneath the door. It had never been unlocked before, at least to my knowledge.

    I heard quiet mumbling from inside; the voice was dark and deep, and its owner seemed to have something on his mind. "Kirei," he whispered. "Atashi o aishiteiru.... Atashi no bondo o kitsuku.... Mata... atashi no kao o kiru.... Nn, hai...." He sighed contentedly.

    I opened the door slowly to discover a dark figure looming over a doll on the desk, a single lamp illuminating his work. The pale female porcelain doll, proudly in the shape of a woman, wore straight black hair, though roughly half of it, in patches, had been ripped out in distress. The doll's eyes had one been pulled out, the other glued shut, the sockets of which had been crushed in. It didn't wear much aside from an outfit made of leather straps, and had been thus strapped down to the desk by her own clothing. The artist wielded in his left hand a paintbrush, his right, a knife. With one he inflicted deep cuts upon the poor doll, while, with the other, he added, with shocking realism, the look of blood flowing from the wounds.

    He saw me watching him and whirled to face me, dropping the brush in an instant and stabbing the doll through the chest with great vehemence, shattering her torso. His shining glare matched what I'd seen from my bed minutes earlier.

    A silence passed in my fright. This man looked as though he were one of the living dead, his complexion paler than any I'd ever seen. His long black hair was scraggly and thinned, streaked with a mad silver that mirrored his body movements; he wore a sleeveless black gown and binding leather straps similar to his victim's; as he stood, I saw his hands wielded sharp clawlike fingernails, and, as he opened his mouth to speak, I knew he must have been a vampire from his long fangs.

    In the instant before he spoke, I felt a sense of impending doom wash over me, seeing that he had pierced ears and a pierced right eyebrow like my father's.

    My father... was a monster....
    Last edited by Kurai; 8th October 2003 at 12:39 AM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  2. #2
    Man With No Name Karate's Avatar
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    After reading the end of Ecruteak, I must say this: I HATE YOU AND YOU ARE AN IDIOT AND I WANT YOU TO DIE. >_>

    But um. o_o This is a good fic, I must say.

    I especially like how you jumped ahead in time. n___n Keep me informed on when you put out chapters, since I'm trying my darndest to follow this, but I keep forgetting to check to see if it's been updated or not. o_o!

  3. #3
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Gasp. I had to kill her off. Er, I mean—Keiji had to. ^^;; She was the only true threat to his authority (despite the ironic absence of power she held over him), and thus he had to get her out of the picture. Also, killing her off fixed several plotholes, be they already existant or potential. So yeah. I had more reason in doing it than "Ooh, Tacky-sama got mad!" =/

    As for stuff about Game. Sixteen years have passed since the last scene of Ecruteak. Yes, Yamato is the egg from the Ecruteak arc. And yes, you read properly; however, this is Takeru the Second. He doesn't know yet that he was named after anybody, though. XP (Sure is about to find out abruptly, though, isn't he?)

    —Kurai the Evil One HAHAHA!

    Philo: Chapter 77 had me in stitches. I don't think it's normal to laugh at stuff like that.
    Nick: Double-Scythe had Keiji in stitches, too.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  4. #4
    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Hmmm. Not bad at all. I like how you've developed the whole thing with Keiji - he's certainly an...interesting...character. And of course one can't help but agree just a weeeeee bit with Yamato and Takeru's mother on pokemon battling - she has, after all, very in depth knowledge on the subject matter .
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  5. #5
    Virus equals very yes Kinglerlord2's Avatar
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    Hey, now this is a very intriguing story.

    I'm guessing though that to fully understand it I'm going to need to read the first four books?
    Don't wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Go down there and light the bloody thing yourself!


    WEASLEY IS OUR KINGLER!

  6. #6
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Either read the first four books or wait for the events to tell Takeru what's going on. ^^;;

    And if you choose to read the fist 80 chapters, I'm sure you'll be more than happy to know you'll be one of the elite few. ^^;;

    —Kurai the Proliff

    [Edit: On second thought, completely recanting the exposition would weigh it down.... But the read isn't a hard one, Kingler. It may consist of 80 chapters, but it most certainly isn't as descript and long as the typical classic gothic authors from whom I so dearly attempt to stencil my opus. XP]
    Last edited by Kurai; 26th August 2003 at 09:05 PM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  7. #7
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Is it just me, or does this chapter feel like nothing more than foreshadow-fluff? o_O; It wasn't intentional, but I couldn't figure out a way to ease into telling T.K. in any other way than beating around the bush.... Stupid fluff. Gonna eat you. -_-;

    .... Ugh. It's been so long since I've actually written any scenes with a normal Keiji that I don't know whether I'll avoid the next chapter like the plague or not.... o_o;

    Anyway....


    Chapter Two: Sliced Wide Open

    The instant before the monster spoke, a cold hand was placed upon my shoulder; I whirled around to find Matt standing there, half-asleep and worried sick. However, he looked to the monster, not me.

    "I apologise, Takeru," Matt whispered. "I should have caught him before he came downstairs."

    Eyes wide, I looked to the monster, mouthing the name 'Takeru' in bewilderment.

    "It's not your fault he's wondered;" he replied, "it's mine." Though his voice was extremely low and rich, I could tell by the tone of his voice that this creature was indeed my father. His gaze fell upon me and I stepped back from him, practically hyperventilating. "I'm sorry you had to find me in this condition," he continued, grieving that he'd frightened his son so.

    "Wh—what condition would this be...?" I gagged, petrified.

    He sighed. "I suppose that there's no better way of explaining it than to tell you the roots of the family."

    'Are you sure he should be told so young?' Matt uttered in another language, grief in his eyes. I practically fainted when I realised that I'd understood him.

    'You were his age when you found out,' 'Takeru' spat.

    'You forget that I found out because you had to explain to me why my little brother had come out of an egg instead of normal means of birth.'

    I could take no more and choked, "Wh—" I then wailed quietly, collapsing to my knees in complete confusion.

    When I'd wanted the truth, this most certainly wasn't what I'd meant....

    ~*~*~

    To make it easier on me, we moved into the living room to sit, turning on the corner lamp by the staircase.

    "Why don't you change back?" Matt muttered.

    "It's not as easy as that, and you know it, Yamato," he growled, digging his fingernails into the arm of the couch. I yelped, seeing just how sharp they were when he dragged his hand along the arm and his nails shredded the fabric to pieces.

    Matt chuckled nervously, also on edge from the demonstration. "Mom would be so angry at you for taking your anger out on the furniture...."

    "It's not like it can't be mended," he snapped. "I think it's better that she's not awake."

    "She shouldn't know you told him?"

    "You act like she wun' know in the morning," he mumbled, grimacing.

    The two of them looked to me and I smiled anxiously. "H—hi...?"

    "How to begin...." His golden gaze fell disdainfully upon the floor as he thought.

    "Maybe with how I apparently came from an egg?" I ground, upset.

    The two of them choked up.

    "Y—you understood us...?" Matt uttered. "Took me weeks to get used to Eevish...."

    "E—Eevish...?"

    "Yes, we were speaking in a Pokémon tongue," Dad explained.

    "H—how...?"

    He sighed, looking out the window. "Well...." While his face stretched out to take on the shape of a dog muzzle, his ears stretched away from his face, tapering into foxlike black ears, his pale complexion quickly becoming pitch black with fur. His gold eyes gained a completely demonic red fire lit behind them. He readjusted himself in the chair at finding himself sitting on his tail. In that final moment of the transformation, golden rings patterned in his fur glowed faintly. He moaned softly, crinkling his nose and gritting his teeth as he shut his eyes in enjoyment of the sensation of the alter form.

    He looked to me and sighed in awe that I hadn't run, holding his left hand out in my direction lovingly. In unison with the movements of his hand, I felt some invisible force caress my face. As the moments passed, he picked his right hand up, and, in unison with his right hand, I felt the force push me towards him. I fell to my knees in front of him, staring straight up at him in total fright. He was eyeing me as though I were some prey. His left hand twisted to the side and I felt the force on my face move from my cheek to my neck; I squealed.

    "Dad...?" Matt uttered, worried.

    He ignored the invocation.

    "Keiji, snap out of it!" Mom growled. My exclamation had woken her up.

    Lucky me.

    He looked as though a part of his train of thought fell out of him and he jerked involuntarily; in that instantaneous motion he lost the Umbreon features he'd gained not moments ago. He stared at me then, grief in his eyes. In that moment the monstrosity he'd recently become vanished, and again he was the father I new.

    "Why cann' I stop myself from acting like this?" he wailed, hugging me fiercely.

    "Because you insist upon keeping the Umbreon strand," Mom retorted, terse. She fiddled frustratedly with the ties of her robe, then stamped her foot, fed up.

    "I guess none of us are going to be getting much sleep tonight," Matt observed, trying to lighten the mood a bit.

    "Have you told him yet?" she asked, biting her lip angrily.

    Dad shook his head. "Havvun had the chance to tell him outright."

    "Tell me what...?" I began to worry.

    Mom sat down and patted her lap, to which I sat with her. "Sweetie, you know the stories you hear at school about a group of people that have the abilities of Pokémon?" she began.

    The question burned in my mind, connecting it quickly to the metamorphosis Dad had just taken on moments before. "They're called Roses, right?"

    She nodded. "They aren't myth, sweetie." She took on a similar transformation, this time becoming half-Espeon.

    I practically leapt from her lap in scrambling away from her.

    As I stared up at her, she explained, "In fact, they're quite real."
    Last edited by Kurai; 25th August 2003 at 08:48 PM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  8. #8
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    I find the Frankenstein quote in your sig quite fitting.

    But forgive me if a part of me cannot get past the names Yamato and Takeru.

  9. #9
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    *chuckles* Yes, no matter how much I try, I can't seem to break the names from the original characters. The names just fit the two so perfectly.... XP

    And thanks. I appreciate people who see the immense levels of allusion and symbolism in my stuff. I try. u_u

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  10. #10
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    *cries happily, connecting her current state of mind to Keiji's at the end of this chapter* It's been so long since I've been able to keep up a pace like this.... At first my pace was erratic, ranging from a month (or three) between chapters to once a week, an now I just turned out two chapters in one night. So many cherished memories returning.... So many....

    .... Maybe if I keep up this pace for long enough, the chapters won't be short and primarily consisting of dialogue. XP


    Chapter Three: Emerald Green

    ::Keiji::

    Takeru wailed, feeling as though he were surrounded by a bunch of freaks. His frightened glare shifted rapidly from one of us to the next, wary.

    "Sweetie, calm down," Eve cooed, leaning to get up and go to him. This only made him feel more cornered, and he squirmed back in the chair as far as he could. "Aw...."

    "Quit acting like we're not family," Matt sneered, upset by his reaction to us.

    "S—how am I supposed to react?!"

    We suppressed our inital urge to complain.

    Matt was the one to continue. "You shouldn't be upset by your heritage, Tacky. It's the most amazing gift you could possibly be given."

    "You think that not being human is awesome?" Tak uttered, taking a huge breath.

    "It has its pros and cons, just like everything else," I muttered. "Though you have all the power in the world in your reach, it does you no good when it comes to social acceptance." I sighed uneasily, feeling my stomach churn. "Humans really dun *like* Roses...." My body was still trying to realign to the Permutation, and the conversation was doing me little to no good in surpressing the severe urge to rip the couch to pieces. I felt faint and laid back on the couch.

    "You okay?" Matt asked.

    I stared up at the ceiling. "The topic of isolation's just getting to me. Dun mind me...."

    He sighed, then explained, "You shouldn't be worried that you'll lose your friends, though, T.K. If you don't tell them, they won't know."

    ".... I just... don't get it..." he mumbled, hanging his head and slumping down in the chair, suddenly depressed. "I don't see how you guys could possibly keep it a secret...."

    "It may be hard once you grow accustomed to using your abilities to restrain yourself in the company of humans," he replied, "but you have us to help you with that."

    "I guess it's a good thing, then," he remarked, "that you finally told me... who I am...." He grimaced distantly. "I've always felt like I didn't belong. Now I know why."

    Matt made a face. "Just because you're different from the rest doesn't mean you don't belong, silly."

    "Well, it does when it will probably be the only thing I'll be able to think about for a long time," he pouted.

    "Quit acting like you just got sentenced to bearing the worst burden in the world," I griped. My stomach tied itself in knots with unease when I realised that my voice had fallen back. I couldn't take it anymore and cried out, letting the Umbreon strand permutate my body again, becoming the beast my family had come to know as the Bamboo Dragon. "Sixteen years of dealing with this accursed permutation...." I cursed under my breath.

    "Why won't you just get rid of it?!" Eve shrieked, Teleporting into the kitchen at seeing I'd reverted again.

    "It wonn' let me," I snivelled, digging my claws into the couch cushion and ripping four large gouges in it, stuffing flying with the vehemence which I'd put into the act. I glared at my wife. "You of all people should know the binding pact of a Penumbreon, Eve."

    Takeru made a face in confusion. "I thought your name was Dante, Mom...."

    She laughed nervously, now feeling as cornered as he had. "It's a legality, sweetie.... I don't really have a name...."

    "Eight years old and already introduced to bestiality," Matt muttered. "What an exemplary little kid you are, T.K....."

    I shot a hateful glare at Matt, and he abruptly dropped the bemused façade. "Never talk about your mother and I like that. Never."

    He freaked and shed his human shell in favour of his Espeon-type side. "I—I didn't mean it—"

    Takeru whimpered, feeling it was his fault that everyone was angry with each other. "Matt and I aren't going to end up like you, are we, Daddy?"

    I twitched, struck deep by the comment. ".... Matt's already shown signs of feeding off fear," I replied, not having taken my eyes off the Espeon once. He squirmed as I used my Kinesis to play with a lock of his shoulder-length blond hair; I ripped it out and he screamed, holding his head and whimpering. "That condition is not so easily remedied, however. It takes fear to cancel out fear." I snorted. "'Swhy I cann' seem to find a way to cure myself of it—I'm not afraid of anything when I'm like this."

    Silence befell the conversation.

    "Daddy?"

    "Hn."

    "Why did Matt call you 'Takeru' earlier?"

    "So naïve you are, chiisai...." I smiled bittersweetly. "Takeru has always been the name I've given my alter ego, been that way since I was your age. It's a Japanese name meaning 'Bamboo Dragon.'"

    "Then why did you call me 'Takeru?'"

    Silence as I thought upon how to tell him. "You were born half-Ditto, unlike your brother, who was born half-Eevee. I've always put the abilities I gained from my Ditto strand at fault for how I ended up."

    ".... Does that mean you didn't want me?" He had tears in his eyes.

    "No... nono...." The look he gave me melted the malicious side of me and I sighed. "It was a reference to your Ditto side, not the feelings I associate with mine."

    "It's why I call you T.K.," Matt offered, having gotten over the loss of the patch of hair. "I knew the train of thought that had been put into the name...."

    "Sesh used to call me T.K.," I remarked, reminiscing. "Tacky, even." Memories of a kinder, happier time brought a cheerful smile crossed my dark countenance for the first time in sixteen years.

    It shocked Eve at first, but she then saw that my condition was authentic and teleported to my side, hugging me tight.

    "I've missed that smile so much," she cried.

    I hugged back, embracing the silence instead of breaking it. Why couldn't it have just stayed so simple as it was in Sunny...? I uttered solemnly, staring off into the darkness of the house.
    Last edited by Kurai; 26th August 2003 at 12:35 AM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  11. #11
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Wow. Three chapters in one night, and I got a humour piece out in the mix. Raburii~

    Mine passion hast returneth....


    Chapter Four: Take-ryuu; or The Gentle Boy

    ::T.K.::

    It had been two years since I'd discovered my heritage and my family's expectations of me. I'd grown accustomed to the burdens of being the son of a Rose, and even derived an ease of depression from it from time to time. I had indeed inherited my father's passion for fear; however, instead of being downtrodden by it as a reluctant vampire, it seemed to be one of the few things that then guaranteed a pick-me-up.

    I had asked my parents to change my name from Takeru to Take-ryuu, so that it didn't reflect my father's condition. They complied and I was contented by my existance, and no longer really sought to battle Pokémon, but merely coincide with them and learn from them. Such sage wisdom granted to so young a boy was unheard of, let alone to a boy with such... unique circumstances.

    The school year had recently picked up, and, since I was the only ten-year-old boy that didn't immediately leap upon the opportunity to travel the world on a trainer journey, I was skipped ahead to be a freshman in high school so that I could take actual courses as opposed to didactic battling classes. However, I was still given a starter Pokémon, as a training license and at least one Pokémon were required for enrollment at any Technical University.

    And you'd never guess that Uncle Toshi had gone out of his way just to make sure that I got the perfect partner—a Ditto.

    ~*~*~

    I walked into Uncle Toshi's classroom the morning of the first day of school with a reserved smile upon my face. The eerie calm about me, combined with my youth and my appearance, set many of the students in the class on edge. It only made Uncle happier to see me.

    I'd grown my tawny brown hair out over the summer; it now fell in waves to tickle the bottom of my ears. The halcyon, muted tones in my hazel eyes, were my secondary creep-out factour. I wasn't tan in the slightest, the result of not being fond of social recreation in general. Though I was only ten years old, I was already 4'8", a sign that I was sure to be a tall one. However, despite the calmness about me, the primary source of anxiety from others was the brooch with which I affixed my ascot.

    Tech uniform consisted of a white blazer and slacks, an ashen black button-down, and a white ascot. Most used the brooch for their ascot to ostentate their individuality, or to show that they were of a well-to-do ancient family with more numbers in its tree than a tax form. As for mine, I'd inherited it from my father, true, but it was much more than that.

    It was the true Bamboo Dragon.

    A filigree gold dragon had been encaptured in this solid palm-sized piece of emerald. Granted that the jewel was heavy, its weight didn't detract from my wearing it. The Take-ryuu was the penultimate symbol of who I was, and I wore it with more pride and duty than Hester Prynne her letter.

    "Good morning, Take-ryuu," Uncle Toshi greeted, shuffling through some papers as I walked by his desk. He seemed to be rather scattered.

    "Morning," I returned. "Do you need any help?"

    "I seem to have misplaced my glasses." He made a face, then put his hand on his head to find the spectacles affixed atop his head. "Apparently first days have and always will get to me," he jested, smiling.

    "Heh." I sat on the stool by his desk and watched him setting out his materials for class, fiddling with a paper-clip.

    "What's that squirt doing in here?" I heard one of the students whisper to another, practically laughing at me. "Shouldn't he be at home or something?"

    "I think he's the prof's nephew," another told the two guys.

    I got off the stool and walked over to them. "That I am. Have a problem with my being in your class?"

    "Y—you're in Behavioural Studies...?" the first uttered. "You can't be more than ten years old...."

    "I am ten," I replied. "I forwent the formalities of a trainer journey in order to get an actual education."

    "Is this kid for real?" the third whispered. "Nobody doesn't want to train for at least a year.... It's a freebie year out of school!"

    I chuckled. "Unlike most people," I remarked, taking my seat in the front, "I'm all for education. Without an understanding of the world around you, there's no point in even trying to convince a Pokémon you know what you're talking about."

    "If you're so smart, what species is your starter?" the second sneered. "I've got a Hitmonlee. We've been with each other since he was a Tyrogue," he grinned.

    "Really?" I echoed, partially mocking him. "Interesting that it favoured attack over defence in its life path...."

    It floored them that I knew something as arcane as an evolution path for a rare Pokémon.

    "Y—you still didn't say what your starter is," he stammered, intimidated.

    "It's unimportant what mine is; my strength lies in what you use."

    "Quit speaking in riddles, kid, and tell us!" the third muttered, rubbing his head in confusion.

    "Ah, but riddles are mind's best friend," I grinned, highly amused both by the stupidity of my fellow classmates and the terrible pun I'd made.

    The bell rang for class to begin and Uncle Toshi stood. One last student rushed in; Uncle motioned at her and she closed the door.

    You'll have them eating out of your hand by the end of the first week, Take, he told me telepathically, laughing happily at how I'd handled the misfits.

    You're welcome.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  12. #12
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Longer chapter this time. Yippee. :B~

    Oh, and read Hawthorne's "The Gentle Boy." Seriously. You'll understand just exactly why Take-ryuu gets so freaked out in relating himself to Ilbrahim. XP


    Chapter Five: Chalk

    "'I thank thee, friend, but though I be hungry and shivering with cold, thou wilt not give me food nor lodging....My father was of the people whom men hate. They have laid him under this heap of earth, and here is my home.... I ate of bread and water with my father in the prison... but they brought him none neither yesterday nor to-day, saying that he had eaten enough to bear him to his journey's end. Trouble not thyself for my hunger, kind friend, for I have lacked food many times ere now.'"
    I sighed in awe at the shocking parallelism between my existance and that of Ilbrahim's, closing the book in shaken silence. It did and always would creep me out how often Hawthorne's works reflect upon the darkened reality of humanity.

    Shaking my head of the line of thoughts associated with "The Gentle Boy," I rose from the bed and stood, deciding to draw respite from elsewhere, as I felt confined indoors all of a sudden. As I was about to walk downstairs, I noticed Matt was in the upstairs studio and poked my head in to see what he was doing. He was hunched over a mirror, intent upon something.

    I craned my head over his shoulder to look into the mirror and he noticed my presence, instantly returning his face to the way it was intended. Then he saw mine and yelped, falling backwards out of the chair.

    "I do so enjoy mocking you," I mused, putting my face back as well after having helped him up.

    "Gawd, you're so much like Dad it's creepy," he shuddered, squinting his eyes shut in disgust. "He *always* used to freak people out by turning into them...."

    I chuckled. "Whatcha doing?" I smiled.

    "N—nothing...."

    "You can't tell me you're doing nothing when it's a week now before Halloween," I sang.

    "Okay okay, I'm working on a face," he admitted, somehow ashamed by having been caught by his little brother in the act of the genesis of a façade.

    "What're you going for?"

    "Well," he mumbled, his face and lightened tone of voice showing how proud he was of thinking of it, "I don't see why we should have to dress up for Halloween, T.K."

    I stumbled upon the revelation, grinning. "That's so brilliant it just might work," I laughed. I let out an uplifted sigh and smiled again. "I'll let you return to your machinations, then, onii-san."

    As I walked off, I heard him shudder again and chuckled lightly to myself.

    ~*~*~

    It was three months into my first year high school, and still I hadn't adjusted myself to pulling pranks on the school staff and the students. The entire scene had changed, as had my perspective on the matter of alleviating my boredom and depression at the expenses of unsuspecting humans.

    The prey had become bigger, bumbling, and would most likely be a far greater derivative of fear.

    But I would have to plan well to get the most out of it. For now, I'd just have to scope out the school.

    "Where you off to, Take?" Mom began, not looking up from her sewing.

    It set me at an immensely awkward unease to know that an Eevee had taught herself, of all things, how to sew.

    "I'm just going for a short walk," I replied nonchalantly, slipping my shoes on as I stood at the door.

    "Be back before dinner," she advised, "and don't get yourself into any trouble."

    "'Kay...."

    ~*~*~

    I strolled happily down the street, my mind drawn up from its dolour at being outside. I don't know what it was about being cooped up indoors, but whatever it was, it practically made me take ill if I were confined for too long.

    The frail chill of autumn caressed my face and I smiled, looking up to find a flock of migrating Pidgey heading South to the Mikan Islands. Something deep within me burned in pleasure of seeing such a thing; I stood there in awe of the beautiful sight for quite a time. I was snapped out of my daze by one of the guys from my Behaviour class.

    "Enthralled by a flock of Pidgey," the brown-haired Meirou muttered from behind me. "You will never cease to confuse me, Take-kun."

    I turned to look at him temporarily before returning to marvell in the sight abovehead. "Imagine how it must be like to be up there-the first in the 'V'. The wind you bear carries the entire flock, all of them dependent upon your ability to fly." I chuckled, "And, of course, your ability to navigate."

    He laughed nervously with me, not understanding how I understood so much about existance. "Uh, yeah, hehe, I don't know that I'd be able to be that first Pidgey...." He coughed. "Why're you out here all by yourself? It's almost five." His change of subject brought me back to earth.

    "I'm just taking a walk," I replied, smiling. "It's too nice a day to pass up, no matter how late in the day it is."

    "Just be careful, Take-kun..." he began. "Something could happen to you."

    "Oh, I doubt that," I mumbled under my breath.

    "Hm?"

    "Oh, nothing." I began to leave. "See you tomorrow, I suppose."

    "I guess...."

    I paused, but didn't turn around. "Say, have you made plans for this Halloween?"

    "Everyone's planning to go to Katie Kaymia's party," he told me. "You didn't know about that?"

    "Katie?" I echoed, blushing.

    "Yeah. She always has parties like that. Why?"

    "Just wondering how many high school students still Trick-or-Treat."

    "Hehe, can't pass up free candy, dude. All the freshman class still goes." He paused. "This year, though, it'll be a lot later 'cause of the party...."

    "Ah, lovely." A late party. Heh....

    "Hm?"

    "Oh, nothing..." I remarked again, walking off with a sliver of an impish smirk upon my face.

    ~*~*~

    I walked up the stairs to the school building and waltzed down the halls; no one seemed to be left but a few teachers. Taking no caution due to the lack of audience, I phased into invisibility and poked my head around the corner to see that Uncle Toshi was working diligently, his head bowed in concentration. Still at school at five o'clock.

    I picked a piece of chalk up and began to scrawl on the board, refraining from snickering. He jerked at hearing the sound of chalk grating upon the coarse surface and whirled around in wonder.

    From the look upon his face, I could tell his ears rang with the severest annoyance. "'Boo,'" he read, unamused. "Not funny."

    I snickered.

    "What do you want?" he grumbled.

    Becoming visible again, I put the chalk down and smiled. "I just wanted to see what you were up to...."

    He seemed shocked by the fact that it had been me. "Oh, it's you, Take...." He grew a bit uneasy all of a sudden and removed himself from talking, resuming the flurry of typing on his laptop.

    "What'd I do now?" I frowned, coming up to his desk.

    "It's nothing..." he replied, pausing to speak. "I'm just fearful of how much more you resemble your father day by day."

    "It worries me, too, that I might have similar problems. I did, afterall, inherit all his strands, so the hormonal imbalances might as well follow suit...."

    He sighed, stopping his work again. "Your brother still has yet to show any real signs of a permutation.... The only thing that shows any chance of causing it is your and Matt's passion for scaring the daylights out of people."

    "It's no consolation that the evidence against me is circumstantial," I mulled, sitting on the corner of his desk.

    "You shouldn't have to worry about anything, Take. You have a few years to go before you hit puberty."

    "Ah, but that's what worries me—what will become of me when I enter my teenage years?"

    "I'm not sure," he replied. "None of us can be. We haven't had such a circumstance before in dealing with a permutation...." He looked to me solemnly. "You came up here because you sought counsel."

    "It was not my original intention when I took my walk today, but yes." I sighed. "I became entranced by the mere sight of a flock of migrating Pidgey earlier.... I don't understand why it snared my attentions, but it gave me some sort of twisted longing."

    His pale eyes shot wide in shock and he coughed loudly, now highly anxious. "Erhm, I don't feel comfortable explaining that fascination to you. It's more your father's place...."

    I arched an eyebrow. "If it's a topic that causes that much unease, maybe I shouldn't ask him...."

    "You should ask him," he insisted, twitching slightly, bringing his multitude of earrings to jingle from beneath his thick, long reddish-blond hair. ".... It's probably just my imagination, but his other side had similar delight in Pidgeys."

    "Okay, enough of that," I worried, uneasy myself. "Are you letting Karui come to Katie Kaymia's party?"

    "Only if your brother's not going. He wreaks so much havoc on her nerves...." He growled lightly. "I'm sure it's just that you two inherited your father's impish personality, but if my gut feelings are right, you two both...." He muttered something inaudible under his breath, then sighed.

    "It'll be okay, Uncle," I reassured. "Even if Matt and I are forced to deal with a permutation, we'll get through it." I smiled, walking out. "Thanks for making me feel better about my situation," I told him.

    I'm not so much worried that you'll survive it, but that we will....

    [Edit: Unintentionally used the ancient name for Karui. =X]
    Last edited by Kurai; 29th August 2003 at 06:06 PM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  13. #13
    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    There's still little to say, other than that it's still quite good - but one thing I can't help but note is that this story doesn't seem to "draw in" as efficiently as others. This is your "start again" point, it should start strong, somehow, and it just doesn'T really do that, given that the only strong hook in the first chapter is explained right away in the second one.

    Your mileage may varry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  14. #14
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    You'll see, my friend, that each book of RoseIII has at least three tinyplots within the main point of its plot. (Trying to be as vague as possible without losing the edge in this, but....)

    Story is the only one I can't really think of having tinyplots rather than multiple layers of plot, unless, of course, you consider each addition to the clan a tinyplot in and of itself.

    Antics: the aftermath of the understanding of their pedaishi (necklaces), the battles with each of the Yamis, the pruning of the Roses (heehee), and the hook that leads into the next book.

    Tokyo: getting Tane well, adjusting to Tokyo life, the threat to Keiji's life due to his body's need to have his Eevee strand evolve, understanding the aftermath of killing off the Yamis, the wedding proposal, and the hook that leads into the next book.

    Ecruteak: readjusting to life on Gaea, contemplating returning home, returning home seeking acceptance, convincing families and friends that the Pandora Gate Incident was not intentional, Eve, and the Umbreon permutation, which breaks into four levels—the Kuraitenshi strand, Keiji's assertation of his love for Eve, Keiji's sadomasochism, and Keiji's removal of the single threat to his authority.

    Game: Take-ryuu's discovery of his heritage, and his and Matt's various pranks on humans. I won't tell where I'm going with this, but you should know if you read the second draft of this book (back when it was told by Matt, not Take). However, I will say that I do intend to incorporate some past ideas....

    And yes, I suppose you're right, Damian. This is a new arc, and should be treated as such; however, there's another arc after this. The main justification I can give for the lack of explanation and exposition is that this is a buffer between Right Hand of the Dragon and Left Hand of the Dragon. Changing Hands begins with the resolvement of the Right Hand arc, and aspires to conclude itself, leaving the beginning to Left Hand open to pure exposition. And yes, I already have the first chapter of 2436 written up (though some things need to be fixed from all the stuff that's changed since I wrote it), so I can safely say that Left Hand will start off with a complete re-explanation exposition. Of course, it will have a different twist or two in how it's told, seeing as it's been about a century between Game and 2436....

    .... *cough* >>;;

    —"What are you talking about?!?!!" Kurai

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  15. #15
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    And now that I think about it, I should have held off until October to begin this, as I intend to finish it in a month's time. =X

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

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