Just so you know...
Then I realised - It's been ages since I was this inspired. I was genuinely so inspired I pushed myself to finish the comic even though I was exhausted from an entire week's lack of sleep. To be honest, even with fanfiction and all other things I like, I've never gone to this extent.
It both terrifies and exhilarates me.
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 63 kg
104th training unit -> Survey/Scouting Corps
Fighting Ability: 9
Outsmarting ability (頭脳戰 is the kanji, directly translated into Brain War. I think Intelligent Warfare is suitable, but...): 3
Keith Shardis's Ranking: A
Height: 170 cm
104th training unit -> Survey/Scouting Corps
Fighting Ability: 10
Outsmarting ability: 8
Familial Thinking: 10
Keith Shardis's Ranking: A+
Height: 163 cm
Weight: 55 kg
104th training unit -> Survey/Scouting Corps
Fighting Ability: 2
Outsmarting ability: 10
Inferring ability: 10
Keith Shardis's Ranking: A+ His thoughts are that Armin is suitable to be a strategy specialist despite his poor physical performance. (We can see intel is highly valued, hence the high rating for Armin.)
Will post the rest later, need to confirm some information first.
Story: Matoba's Letter
Fandom: Natsume Yuujinchou
Genre: Slice of Life, One-shot
Warnings: Slight spoilers for chapter 52, 53 and 54
Summary: In which we discover the state of mind Matoba was in when he wrote a letter to Natsume.
This was weighing on my mind ever since I started thinking about Matoba while hanging out on TVTropes's Natsume Yuujinchou Character page. I took liberties with Matoba's personality, considering we've only ever seen him behaving like the Matoba Clan head he is. Furthurmore the way he described the letter that we didn't manage to read no doubt intrigued everyone. There are no truly evil people, just misunderstood. I took this concept and applied it to this one-shot, which is how it turned out. This is in it's rawest and most completed form, so please forgive any mistakes you may find.
Stomp, stomp, stomp. Footsteps resounded down the corridor leading to the study room. The runner knelt before the open door, touching his head to the ground. He spoke calmly, the tone belying the rush in bring the news to the Matoba Clan head.
“Sir, another member of the clan has been attacked.”
Inside the cool study room, Matoba Seiji paused in his writing and placed his brush on to the brush rest. He turned to his subordinate. “This is the fifth victim from the clan this week. Have other exorcists from outside been attacked as well?”
“There are some reports of such cases, but majority of the attacks have been on the clan members.”
Matoba mulled over the news for a moment. Picking up his brush again, he continued writing. “We can conclude that the person responsible for the attacks have a grudge against us,” he stated. “However considering the amount of people against the clan, he will not be easily rooted out.”
“It is also possible that he is innocent and that the attacker has been possessed by an ayakashi meaing to do harm against us,” he continued. He paused for a moment, finishing the last strokes of his calligraphy practice and placed the brush away. “Given the occurrences of the attacks, the possibility of it being both is high as well.”
“Sir, what do you intend to do?”
“Call for an exorcists’ meeting at one of our branch houses. I’ll handle the rest myself.” Matoba stood from his position and left the room. “Please clean up the calligraphy tools.”
“Yes,” The subordinate bowed once more as Matoba left the room before entering to clear the table. As he picked up the brush to clean, a drop of ink fell on to the calligraphy paper that Matoba had been practicing on. Attention diverted, he glanced over the words and paused in his movements. Carefully picking up the paper, he looked at the words closely. “This is-?”
A piece of paper sat on the table, an envelope placed next to it. Matoba stared at the paper as he sat down. His eyes narrowed as he took a pen from the holder and wrote on the envelope: Natsume Takashi.
Matoba stopped. He was about to do something unorthodox for his position. Thoughts ran through his mind about the young boy he had met a few months ago. Things that he knew about the boy and things he had observed in him.
There was an awkward kindness in his eyes, though when it came to Matoba himself, they clouded over with dislike. Dislike about the way he treated ayakashi, no doubt, he mused. Matoba had witnessed firsthand how the silver haired youth treated the ayakashi around him, from protecting the Monkey Mask in the pot and the strange cat that followed him around. At the same time, he saw how much the ayakashi respected the boy. The large horse ayakashi he had seen descend into the Eastern Forest bearing Rokka had treated the boy with great reverence. While he had not heard the conversation the ayakashi had with Natsume, that such a powerful one had come to his rescue demonstrated the strength that the boy possessed and the respect that he had earned from them.
Matoba had not seen nor felt such strength within exorcists he knew. His interactions with the boy had stirred his curiosity and so Matoba investigated him. He found out that his power had been passed on through his grandmother, Natsume Reiko. He had heard the name a few times from passing ayakashi though all he found out was that she had been an extremely beautiful and spiritually powerful individual.
The ayakashi he had spoken to (used liberally) had said nothing more than that. Curiosity peaked again and he discovered that Natsume Takashi was an orphan. His mother had passed away shortly after he was born and his father a few years later. From then on, the boy had been passed through many families. He had changed hands so many times that Matoba was certain it was because of the boy’s ability to see ayakashi.
“Humph,” Matoba muttered. “Had he been born in an exorcist’s family, he’d have no problems with that.”
Yet, a small voice whispered in his head. It whispered of jealousy that Natsume had grown up rather well adjusted for someone who could see ayakashi. A kind child with friends who could understand him; almost as if he were a normal child who did not see the things they did.
The man had told Natsume that he had been lucky, for he was born into an exorcist’s family. Deep down, he did not feel so.
Natsume had not the burden of taking over a business that was dying. He had not the pressure of growing up knowing that he would lose his right eye and possibly his life due to a broken promise made by an ancestor. He did not have to constantly assert his presence as the head of a powerful exorcist clan with many enemies.
Back in his days of primary, middle and high school, his classmates avoided him, preferring not to associate with him. Thinking back, Matoba realised that he did seem strange to them. Odd things constantly happened around him and mysterious accidents that people who stoked his temper got involved in. They were mostly the doings of the clan’s shiki who protected him but no one else could see them, nor could they understand why those things happened.
Even then, Matoba held himself with an air of integrity that matched the rich and noble families. That alone drove people away from him. That he was also picked up from school in an expensive car and exempted from out of class activities created a space around him that no one filled.
The man was a skilled Kyudo practitioner as well as a calligraphist. He was well versed in the manners of Japanese etiquette. Had he grown up not destined to inherit the Matoba clan, he would have been a fine young man working for perhaps the government. Or maybe like Natori Shuuichi, he would have become a celebrity of sorts. Despite the distance he had with his schoolmates, the girls did not miss his comely features, though they did not openly admire him or approach him with confessions.
Returning to his letter, Matoba suppressed the sigh that was threatening to escape. He had his position as the head to consider; he could not let his guard down even against the clan’s shiki. Since his childhood he had guarded himself against the clan, both shiki and fellow exorcists alike. He had long since tired of putting up such a façade, but had no freedom to put it aside.
As he placed his pen to the paper, he allowed himself to express his true thoughts and feelings. Once he was done with the letter, he would return to his usual manners. Within the confines of his own room in the large Matoba mansion, he would expose his truest self, only to Natsume Takashi, the boy whom he most envied… and admired.
A bell sounded through the mansion. At the sound, the quiet mansion suddenly stirred with life and members of the Matoba clan gathered in the great hall. Matoba entered once they had all assembled in place. Speaking to them, he informed them of how he intended to expose the attacker. Following the announcement, he handed the letter he had written to a shiki near him. “Deliver this to Natsume Takashi,” he ordered and the shiki bowed deeply and left the hall.
The meeting ended, Matoba left, the same subordinate who had informed him of the attack following close behind.
“Sir,” came his hesitant voice. “If I may ask…”
“What is it?”
“…No, it’s nothing. My apologies for disturbing you.”
What Matoba had written on his calligraphy papers would remain a secret, he thought. The Matoba head that he dearly respected deserved that much at least, having to run such a large organisation without showing a sign of weakness or tire. His moment of weakness could be… no, would be overlooked.
Much later on, Natsume Takashi would receive the request letter that Matoba had written, though fate had dictated that the boy would not read it. The letter weighed heavily on Natsume’s mind for a while after the incident, though he eventually resigned to the fact that the letter would remain lost and unread.
I intentionally left what Matoba wrote on his calligraphy papers out. Personally, what do you think it could have been? For myself, I feel the word is "envy", which is the basis of this entire fic.
- Current Mood: accomplished
It's been more than half a year since I last posted. I must apologise, I got lazy. I'm not a maintaining kind of person and stuff like these tend to get thrashed after awhile. Now, I have accounts just about everywhere, tumblr and fc2.. which is not helping.
Basically over these past few months, I've been out of a job, rejected for a job offer (and badly), found a temporary job and finished my 3 months contract. I'm just not as broke as I should have been, but definitely out of money faster than I should be. The reason? I went to Kuala Lumpur for Comic Fiesta.
We missed the tickets to enter for the first day, 'cos we went down too late. We arrived at Ascott Hotel around 1000h, and started preparing around 1100h. By the time we were done (that means 2 cross dressers and 3 girls), it was already 1600h. Naturally, we missed the entry. So we simply queued up for the second day tickets. When it started raining, we got ushered into the other hall for cosplayers to camp at, so that's what we did after getting the tickets.
I was cosplaying as Minako/Hamuko or the Female Main Character from Persona 3 Portable and I spotted plenty of other Persona 4 cosplayers and one Minato. The rest of the cosplayers present, I couldn't identify what series they were from for the most part. But there were definitely Vocaloids (/facepalm) and I recognised some RO cosplayers. Archbishop and High Priest, both females. A pity, I liked the other 3rd classes too and would have died happy to see someone cosplaying the Biolabs 3rd Level monsters. Face it, those guys are awesome.
To my surprise, two people recognised me and asked me for photos. I'm now googling for photos of myself and it's searching for a needle in a haystack. I sure hope they add me soon, I'd love to have friends from overseas. We left around 6 that day, I think, 'cos we were tired (we did wake up early, for a flight to KL and we nearly missed it). We took a cab to Times Square, aka the shopping mall we visited the most and by golly, it's HUGE. I read that there were 66 malls in KL and I thought that wasn't much, until I saw the sheer size of it. When you have malls that big, you don't need many. We had dinner there and no offence to fellow Malaysian mates and Muslims, but.. I love my non-halal establishments. lllorz
We walked around and I was hit by a strong sense of deja vu. The whole time I was in KL, despite having not been there at all, I kept having this deja vu.. Mainly because I did dream about it before. Moving back to the topic, we hit the arcade after dinner and returned back to the hotel pretty late.
The next day, we were better prepared and left the hotel 3 hours earlier than the day before. We already had tickets, so we headed straight in. The organisation of the second day was much better, from what we heard from a friend who went in on the first day as well. As far as I could tell, crowd control is by far much better than Singapore's. Over here, we just push in people whether or not the location is full. So we got in, bought stuff (I also did, though not much) and ate at the cafe. The almond pie there saved me. I was getting really hungry by then..
The biggest surprise came when a friend wanted to turn back to get stuff and I decided to get the CHAM artbook. On the way to the booth that sold the artbook, someone called out to me. Naturally, being someone I didn't know, I was confused but approached them anyway. I was given a Persona 3 Portable fanwork and I asked them to sign it. That's when I found out that I was the only person in the whole of KL to cosplay Hamuko/Minako at Comic Fiesta. Believe me, there's a sort of pride you feel when you hear that. I'm so going to find more cosplays that I'd be the first to do. I'm also going to get that picture laminated and put it up on my wall.
We left the hall shortly after that and went to take some photos with the Twin Towers in the backdrop. We also got the crossdresser for the day to do some really girly-like poses! After having fun with photos, we headed back to the hotel to rest and left for dinner after changing out.
Hmm, for now I'll stop here, got to do some EMERGENCY Christmas shopping. OH LORD.
Which leads to the issue of finding a job. I've graduated, FUSION did nothing for me other than finding fellow graduates interested in my art and the diploma officially is given to us in May. And basically, no one's interested in my skills. Not that I can say much, given that my website is kinda crappy and I have few original works. And I refuse to put up my fanart because that's what they are. Fanart. I don't think people who want to hire you want to see non original works.
Speaking of fanart, we go back to RO. I really, really, really love the game. It's got in-depth plot, something that's a little hard to find in other MMORPGS. In short, yes, I found a plot that I adore, other than Kiel Hyre's Quest. The plot? Lighthalzen Somatology Laboratory, AKA Biolabs. The most awesome dungeon ever. I attribute my new found love for the quest (or not really a quest, more like background story) to TVTropes. After finding out that a tabletop RPG Jaslyn, myself and some other friends started playing was also on TVTropes, I decided to poke around on TVTropes to see if they had RO. Lo and behold, they did. Reading through the page, I found out some things that really started creeping me out. The Biolabs were one of these few things and I started searching through pages to find out more.
The result was me falling in love with each and every one of the monsters in the Biolabs. (Metallings, Removers and Gemini do not count. However, I continue to curse and swear since any three of the Level 3 monsters can kill my character in a few hits.. And Cecil and Katheryne still irritate me because they're so incredibly strong...) I left the official servers before this map was officially introduced, amusingly enough, right BEFORE it was introduced. But now, with me finding out some of the back story, I. Want. To. Cosplay. Them.
Plus, I found some really cute/cool new items/eq that would be awesome to have in real life. I want the Red Square Bag that's the official Alchemist Guild's item~ It would be fun to bring it around and watch people gawk at it. (And it makes sense for a designer too, even better! Maybe I should look into making one myself..)
Okay, enough about that. For those still paying attention to my Lunaescence account.. No, I'm not dead. I'm just stuck in a rut and lazy to write. A habit I need to kick.. Trouble Comes in Threes chapter two is still in progress, because I have second ideas about changing a certain character's personality, but if i change it, the story somehow can't progress...
- Current Mood: bored
Like I have many good friends, but I make such a bad one. Christmas tells me a lot. People get me stuff, but I don't always get stuff for them. But frankly in 2010, I wanted to make them. This year, I will make my presents special, especially for friends I really treasure/am very close to.
Right, so in 2011, I turn 20, on the 20th of November. 20112011. If I were Japanese, I'd be a legal adult. But in Singapore, apparently 18 makes you an adult. Hence my first sleepover on the last day of 2010. Although as to why I haven't legally bought alcohol, stepped into a club or bar, watched an M18 movie (much less NC16)... But I digress. We continue this talk no further.
2011 will also be a year of decisions. Whether or not I enter University or embark on my insane quest to do manga in Japan.
2011 will also be a year of changes for me. But I'm not making resolutions for them, because resolutions are expectations and expectations lead to disappointment. I will change this year, but what change, even I will have to wait and find out. Hell, I might make 2011 the last year I cosplay or something.
This is a whole year ahead of me and there are things to be done, things to be achieved, things to regret and things to be wished for. I will make stupid mistakes, do stupid things and probably even make you hate me. 2011 is possibility.
- Current Mood: calm
- Current Music:We Love Machine - Way Out West
Which is troublesome, because I really want to get to work on some stuff that I have in mind.. I'm sure the moderators of Luna will soon find out what it is. Problem is, it's something that requires quite a bit of research to pass it off as realistic. Me being me, I hopped onto the NLB's website to see what I can get as reference materials.
When you put your mind to it, you find out that the Lee Kong Chian library is worth more than it appears. I've found 8 books on the topic I was looking for and the Repository Used Research materials are far too much more trouble to get to. Which means.. Weekly trips to the library armed with a notebook and pen and a Cashcard full of money. I want to start on a Saturday, but of course, Saturday has to be a public holiday.. Right up till the start of the new year too. Damn. Not only that, the week after that, I have a photoshoot.................
Man. I've really lost it. Doing all these just for a fic I'm writing. I might as well go get myself a university major in this topic of study.. Except I probably need to leave Singapore to study it.
- Current Mood: restless
So back to school. The school network really sucks. I can't even load fanfiction. Mind you, the school might be blocking ff.net, but I sure as hell am sure they aren't blocking Luna or FOSFF. It's just that neither of the websites load and I get the "server is busy error". Very smart, school.
09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad
So, I fell back again. That's to be expected. I leave tomorrow night, 10.40PM.
Short Term Goals:
I can't say that I have any for this month, other than to get over my motion sickness, refrain from spending in Hokkaido and enjoying my holiday. It's been 6 years since I last got on a plane.
Something I'm proud of in the past few days:
......My attachment's ended?
Songs I listen to when I'm happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad..
...Can I say that I have no particular song that I listen to whenever I'm in the first 4 moods?
When I'm mad or annoyed though, I listen to V.I.P. Goblinz by SuG.
- Current Mood: busy