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Joined: 25-December 15
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Local Time: Aug 18 2017, 11:21 PM
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May 19 2017, 08:01 AM
The confession of what had seemed like a huge secret had ended up leading to the strangest of things. Not rejection by one friend of another but of dressing up. Both Bugei students had gotten dressed up in fairly nice clothing for an outing together. Shinsuke had typed the shop information into his phone to help them get to their destination expediently. Which was probably a good thing since he was wearing a full furisode kimono with a flower shaped hair ribbon hand tied by Junko. Long distance walking wasn't the sort of thing that you did in this kind of attire.
As they arrived in the right area he looked over at Junko and smiled. Just getting to go out as he was, expressing this side of himself was very relaxing. Having his friend with him was even better. With the weather sunny but not hot in the slightest, it was looking to be quite a nice day. Using the suggestions his sister had given him for places with good manly clothing, he was sure that Junko would be happy today too.
From the looks of it there were a ton of shops in this shopping arcade, though. All along a walkway with a high vaulted roof to protect shoppers from any elements that might threaten their enjoyment of the experience. Apparently a nice affordable place with a wide selection of men's and women's clothing was just down the path to the left. As Shinsuke lead the way he was all too aware of the fact that they were drawing a bit of attention to themselves. Probably the fancy kimono, he reasoned.
"Jun-kun, I think I may need to change out of this after all. We're kind of getting noticed by.. well, everyone," he remarked, smiling nervously at that fact.
Mar 31 2017, 09:56 PM
Things had gotten better with the passage of time, all things considered. Edo had gotten rebuilt by the combined efforts of the leading clans and government, the lost had been properly mourned and school was back in session. It would be a lie to have said that things hadn't been rough for Todo Shinsuke in that time. Losing a sister to the earthquake, possibly losing a friend over his decision to admit a crush on the friend's sister and the ongoing demands of classwork hadn't been easy. Probably thanks to his other sister now attending Bugei and some new friends he'd made, Shinsuke was doing all right.
He still hadn't talked to Nobuyori after the blow up between them. Inori had helped him calm down after his soon-to-be-aunt had lectured him. Things were much more in day-to-day mode than panicking over the potential troubles of the future. Still he didn't want to lose what friends he'd made like he might have with Nobuyori. His own thoughts had drifted to his identity again, and there was really only one of those friends he could turn to for that kind of discussion.
So he'd sent a text ahead to Junko, asking to meet up and hang out. Oddly it turned out that Junko's room was in fact in the men's side of the dorm building. Maybe his interpretation of the Matsudaira clan student's identity had been off? Regardless Shinsuke went with a leather school bag over his shoulder and his hair still resembling the feminine style he'd gotten during their last meeting. A bit more grown out and tied back in a loose ponytail, but still present. He wasn't sure how he'd break the full truth about himself, but he thought of anyone he knew that Junko would understand the most. It would be the first time that his friend had seen Shinsuke and not Todo-chan as well.
Once at the door he took a deep breath, then knocked twice, "Jun-kun, I'm here!"
Mar 10 2017, 12:31 PM
Hi everyone! Tomorrow I'm beginning the odyssey of moving overseas (Japan) for work, and as such my presence online may be spotty for a little while. My lodgings for the first couple of weeks have WiFi, so I anticipate being able to get online at least sporadically as soon as a couple of days after I leave the US. At worst I may be out of commission for a couple of weeks before moving into my apartment which has internet service provided as part of the rent.
I hope to be back on SH soon to keep threading, but I wanted everyone to be aware I may disappear for a little while. If you need me and I'm not around, PM my account or send a private chat message and I'll pick it up ASAP. Thanks for your patience, I'll be back soon!
Jan 9 2017, 05:52 PM
The Great Kanto Earthquake seemed as if it were already well into the past, if the state of Edo were to be believed. At face value most of the capital appeared to have barely been affected by the disaster mere months before. Gargantuan efforts had been made by the leading families of the nation to restore their capital to its rightful glory. Here and there remained traces of the devastation which the traumatic event had wrought, though. Among them were a saddening number of children who had lost family in the earthquake, far too many losing both parents. While an organization had been set up by a combination of community members and charitable workers, it was always in need of funding to assist those most in need.
Thus had been born an idea to bring more attention, more publicity to their cause while simultaneously raising those needed funds. Public appeals went a certain ways toward that, but the organization wished to boost its signal to younger people as well. In Edo one of the trendier districts with young people included a newer development in the city's business landscape: small cafes where patrons were served by.. maids. Or rather employees dressed like maids. Through some familial connections the organization had set up a special arrangement – one which needed one last component to really attract attention to the cause and the cafes: star power.
Luckily an employee had the foresight to suggest reaching out to Edo Bugei Academy. Its presence in the community after the earthquake had been of great note, and its students were encouraged to undergo missions all over the country. After some discussion with faculty they pinpointed a pair of students who might work well for the plan. Rather, responsibility had been passed off on someone who didn't have all the information and the event had ended up with two Bugei students who wanted to help out the orphans. Earning some extra money on the side would be nice too!
So it was that the two students, siblings, arrived in Akihabara for some part time and somewhat charitable work. One of them was Todo Inori, a brand new student at Edo Bugei who'd jumped at the chance to help out. While she hadn't been in Edo all that long she had quickly found it to be a fascinating place worthy of a lot of exploration and study. Helping out some kids and getting pocket money would be pretty nifty too. She stood in the office of the organization – the Greater Edo Childrens' Foundation – and listened as the whole set up was explained. Next to her was her older brother Shinsuke, who looked a bit more reserved than her at the moment.
“So you see, we thought that it would be wise to help promote both of these businesses in exchange for their assistance with fund raising efforts. Since that's the case you'll both be competing to bring in more customers and create more sales than the other. A healthy portion of all sales will go to our Foundation, of course,” the woman, in her mid thirties and wearing a fairly conservative western suit explained, “Please do your best to serve as many customers as well as you can. I'm sure that your family's reputation for diplomacy will serve you both well in these positions. Now, on to the uniforms..”
A pair of other Foundation workers brought one uniform from each cafe. Inori started laughing when she noticed that both were not really what she had expected at all. They were both maid uniforms, which wasn't really what a Todo princess would normally wear. The one that was presented to her was a bit more colorful than usual: a tan dress with short poofy sleeves and navy trim on the cuffs, collar and apron pockets. More of the blue had been used for a necktie that was fastened in place with a red hart shaped decoration as well as the apron ties. Navy tights were included to complete the look, which was a far bit cuter than Inori's typical style. Not that she was averse to cuteness.
Before either sibling could protest they were rushed into separate rooms to change. Inori was pretty surprised that hers fit so well even though she'd only just met these folks. Granted their measurements had been taken before hand, as well as some pictures (to promote the campaign she guessed). Nothing to complain about, other than she wasn't really sure what to do as a maid. Somehow she got the feeling that just acting the way she always did might not be totally what they'd want. As she finished dressing she gave a little twirl in front of a small mirror in the room. Not her favored style but it seemed nice! As soon as she arrived back in the office she spotted something on the woman's desk that she also hadn't expected.
Inori rushed over, took the object in her hand and grinned, “No way, keychains?! Get out of here! I didn't know we were getting keychains of ourselves!”
In her hand was a mascot keychain for the cafe she was going to work for, but it wasn't some generic mascot. That brown hair in a braid, the grin on the maid's face – it was her! So that's what they were using the pictures for! Better still there was another one of a maid in the more traditional black and white with long brown hair. Judging by the eye color and shape of the face, it was... her brother. This was awesome! She held both keychains up and admired them, as she was wont to do with any mascot keychains she came across.
“They're special promotional items for customers who donate an extra 1,000 yen to the Foundation on top of their regular bill. Please ensure they know about the opportunity to buy them,” the woman explained further, smiling at the brunette's enthusiasm.
“Can I take a couple? These are gonna be perfect for my collection!” she exclaimed. When the woman nodded she pocketed the pair of keychains in her apron.. just as another maid appeared. Grinning, Inori rushed over and hugged them tight. She knew it could be hard for Shinsuke to put up with this but it was for a good cause and he looked pretty cute.
“Lookin' good! Heck, I think you're way cuter than me,” she told her cafe's competitor.
The other 'maid' blushed a little, “Uh, thanks Inori.. um.. I still have to get makeup done too.”
“Oh yeah,” Inori replied, as if only just realizing the fact.
“If you'll follow me, I'll get you situated,” one of the foundation members told her.
“Okay,” she nodded, then let go of her brother and winked, “Good luck! Knock 'em dead out there!”
Soon she was in her assigned cafe, which was a bit more modern and trendy than she'd thought such a place could be. Warm lighting illuminated a western style coffee house with a mixture of tables and booths. Replications of movie posters and other popular media decorated the walls, and already a few girls in maid outfits were preparing the place to open. Inori waved to them all, the scent of coffee filling the air and seeming to give her some residual energy. This was going to be great! Once it was finally open, she put on a half-grin half-smile and bowed as she'd seen such girls do at other places.
“Welcome to Coffee Haus Maid! I'm Inorin, nice to meethca!” she gleefully greeted her first customer. So it began..
Dec 27 2016, 02:55 PM
Many things had changed, evolved since the shocking events which had rocked the shogunate in recent months. The Great Kanto Earthquake had claimed many lives and devastated the nation's capital. Then the stunning attack on the Shogun himself along with his family and the Tokugawa clan shrine had sent shockwaves through the nation. Something that had also happened in those recent months was that the great clans had rallied to support those affected by both crises. Together they'd rebuilt Edo and reinforced the Shogun, together they stood ready for what may or may not come in the future. Such had been the things which Todo Hiroaki spoke at length about when he hadn't been busy with various negotiations and visitations.
The Todo had seen their fair share of loss in those events as well. They'd laid one daughter who'd perished in the quakr to rest during the Higan-e festival, which had caused the clan heir to be away from the latter events. In light of all the destruction they had decided to make a show of the promise which the future held. Though negotiations had been fairly far along before, they had taken on a renewed purpose in recent weeks. Now that those talks with the Azai had concluded all that remained was to break the news to the world. Some happy news to counteract the negative events of the recent past.
Their messenger: the only remaining daughter of the Todo Clan's lord, one Todo Inori. She had been chosen as she was familiar with the individuals which the announcement would most directly affect. At least those who were not in Omi or Agata at the moment. More over she had been sent due to the fact that she had been granted permission to enter Edo Bugei Academy as a first year student. Since she was headed to Edo by ship anyhow it simply made sense to have her deliver their message along the way. Nobody outside of the clan lords of the Todo and Azai knew of the news just yet. Soon it would become public but Inori would be the one to break it to anyone outside of those who had been negotiating. Actually Azai Kaori almost certainly knew, as it affected her. Politics were not exactly Inori's cup of tea despite her family's reputation with such things.
She did think herself particularly clever today though. Amid the festive lights and general gaiety of southern Edo's multicultural winter celebration, she had set up her own method of delivering the message. Oh yes, she was brilliant come to think of it. With her handy cell phone - covered in scuff marks and an actual dent from rough treatment - she'd messaged her brother Shinsuke and his friend Azai Nobuyori. It'd been a brief message asking rather strongly that both of them meet her at a European restaurant for lunch. Mostly because that restaurant had a large decoration of a rotund guy in red and white who possessed great physical strength (how else could he carry such a big bag in one hand?) in their window. No way you could miss that, at least not with how elaborately detailed the decoration was.
Though she knew she'd heard the character's name before somewhere, it'd slipped her mind. No matter. The boys would be here soon - she'd told them she had something big to tell them. Really she felt kind of uncomfortable dressed as formally as she was in a new kimono with floral patterning her mother had bought for her. Her hair done up about as nice as you could get it, what with its insistence on getting out of hand. On the table she'd taken a seat at were a pair of envelopes, each containing the announcement
she'd been asked to deliver. As she tugged at her collar a little - it felt extra stiff - she wondered how the boys would take it.
"Inori-hime, might I ask you a question?" came the voice of the woman who'd accompanied her despite Inori's insistence that she was fine on her own. Lord Todo was so concerned about her that he'd sent Lady Suzume
, her mentor and childhood bodyguard, to ensure Inori arrived safely at her new school.
"Huh? Oh, sure," Inori shrugged, taking her hand away from the stiff (and itchy!) collar.
"Isn't it burdensome to carry so many keychains?" the samurai woman asked, nodding to the impractical bundle of mascot keychains that also rested on the table.
Inori had been going through them to pass the time. She grinned, "Nah, it's fine! It's not like anyone's here to complain anyway. They're way too cute to offend anyone too, so there's no problem."
Rolling her eyes, Suzume acquiesced, "Very well. I shall be at hand if you need me."
With those words the woman took a seat at a table nearby, picking up a newspaper and pretending to read it. Every now and then she'd shoot daggers at unfamiliar people who stepped too close to Inori's table. Inori for her part just went back to waiting.. and then soon enough thumbing through her keychains. All while she wondered who'd get there first and.. really, what Nobuyori looked like these days. It'd been a while since she'd seen her brother's friend in person.