Cold Rain


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What does this button do? Incidentally, the way I learned English.
Disclaimer: Standard legalese talk - do not own, the ownership belongs to, playing with their ideas, etc.

Chapter 1.

"I don't know how you put up with them," the voice said on the phone. "I've heard a lot of stuff from your aunt Haruka, but she's not as good as she thinks she is when it comes to lying me." Ever since he aced his Tokyo U exams and finally secured a spot for the prestigious university these phones had become a frequent occurrence.

"Mom," Keitaro said, rolling his eyes, "There's nothing for you to worry, I'm OK, the girls aren't some sort of ogres and they're not leading me on either." His right hand was starting to get numb from holding the receiver for so long. "Look, you should just meet the girls and see them for yourself. You'll see that they're not that bad."

"Keitaro... sweetie," his mother said, "I know that they're quite lovely young girls, your 'auntie' does keep me informed, but that's just it, they're just girls, don't you think that..." she stopped, taking a huge breath of air, "Don't you think that you need someone more mature?"

"Mom, we've been over this before, I'm not going to change my mind, I like Naru and I think she likes me too. We're still young. We'll grow up eventually and maybe one day she'll be your daughter in law. Don't you think..."

"I see. We'll talk about this," with these words, his mother cut off the conversation, leaving Keitaro to sigh in desperation as he nervously rubbed his forehead. There was something odd with his mother lately. His father wasn't behaving exactly normal either, but at least the elder Urashima didn't have the time to badger him with phone after phone.

"Why can't she understand," he said, turning towards his room.

"She probably has her reasons," a voice said from behind, startling the young Urashima. Behind him, his aunt Haruka stood with a small smile on her face. She was sporting quite a bit of tan and there was a strange glow surrounding the woman. "You mother never was one to do things without reason."

"Aunt Haruka!" Keitaro said, rushing to hug the woman, "When did you get back?! How was the honeymoon? Where's Seta - sensei?"

"It's Haruka-san," she replied, forgoing the usual ritual of clobbering her nephew on the head for his lack of manners, "And I got back a bit earlier, Seta's down at the tea house to settle in."

"That's great news!" Keitaro said, opening his mouth to ask another question only to be stopped by Haruka's hand.

"Now,” she started, "I know you and the girls probably have a lot of questions, but I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't let them know until tomorrow. We're quite a bit tired and we need our rest."

"I understand," Keitaro said disappointed, "But the girls might find on their own and Sarah's not going to be happy about this."

"I know," Haruka smiled, "But she'll understand when I'll explain it to her."With this the woman turned her back and headed towards the exit. Just as she opened the door, she stopped and turned towards the smiling Keitaro.

"And Keitaro, your mother does have her reasons," she slipped outside before the young Urashima could stop her.

"Great. Talk about a conspiracy," he said, a half smile forming on his lips. "And mom isn't even an Urashima by birth." He had noticed, ever since granny Hina dumped him in a dorm filled with girls, young, beautiful girls at that, that there was somewhat of a mischievous streak in all his female relatives. At least Naru was too much of a spitfire for that.

The thought of the young girl brought a smile to his face, it always did, and he moved towards his room dragging his cast behind him. Still, it wouldn't do Naru any ill to learn something from his female relatives. He shook his head at the thought, there was something to be said about Urashima men and women that kept them on their toes.

"Perhaps it's something in the water?" he said, collapsing on his futon, "But still..."

On the slopes of the hill upon which the Hina Inn was placed, Haruka rushed towards the phone as her nephew rested. There was a scowl on her face and a focused look in her eyes.

"Honey," Seta said, pausing from unpacking a strange totem with three eyes, "Is everything all right?"

"Not quite," she answered, dialling a number and waiting impatiently for the person at the other end to answer her call. Seta nodded, and continued with unwrapping the totem, examining each symbol on the wooden artefact as he did so.

"Hello?" a voice said from the speaker and Haruka seated herself in preparation for a long conversation.

"Hello sister," she said, biting her lips as she spoke, "It's me, you know what I'm calling about, I've heard you talking about it with Keitaro earlier."

"Straight to the point as always," the other older woman said with a chuckle, "You didn't even allow me to pester you with questions about your honeymoon! I bet you and Seta caught up on all the time you lost, with interest!"

"We can... talk about that later," Haruka said, realising that the other woman wasn't going to let her off the hook lightly, "For now we've got other issues to talk about. I think something's going to happen soon. There's something different about Keitaro."

"I've noticed," the voice from the speaker said, "He's behaving differently, there's a confidence in his words that wasn't there before, and I think it's more than just his acceptance to Tokyo U."

"If he continues like that," Haruka said, "I think it's only a matter of time before one of the girls makes a move. Naru in particular always had a thing for mature men," she threw her eyes upon her husband who, like any smart male, pretended he wasn't listening, "She even had a crush on my immature bed warmer for quite some time." Seta made an expression of mock hurt whilst his right hand was placed over his heart.

"And here I thought she loved me!" he said, whimpering as a mademoiselle from an old black and white movie, "Alas it was not to be!"

"Quiet you!" Haruka said as she grabbed the phone book and threatened him with it.

"Haruka, should I call the police in for spousal abuse?" Keitaro's mom said, "Or should I hang up and leave you to your games?"

"There's no need for that," Haruka replied, keeping her cool, "As I was saying, I think Naru might make a move on Keitaro. The girl's confused and immature, but even an immature little brat like her can see what a great catch he'll be, never mind that..."

"Is it that bad?" the other woman said, "I knew there was quite a messy situation over there. but I thought that with all the girls around, none of them would make any real progress with Keitaro, stepping on each other's toes and all that."

"It's a bit more complicated than that," the former Urashima said, passing a hand through her hair, "You know Keitaro, he's nice enough that every girl here wants him to be happy and sooner or later they'll realise that the only way for that to happen is for them to renounce their claims. There's no cat fight in the making here."

"And Naru came out on top? Wasn't the girl a self proclaimed man hater?" Keitaro's mother said, grasping at straws.

"I'm pretty sure she still is one," Haruka sighed, "But she won the game. Mitsune stepped aside, as she always does when it concerns Naru, Mutsumi feels bound by a stupid promise they made when they were children not old enough to know left or right, Motoko's not willing to be true to herself and the others are too young to be of any importance in the matter."

"At least it's not Motoko," the other woman said, "I wouldn't want to be the one explaining that to the Aoyama's and Tsuruko."

"Thank the gods for little mercies?" Haruka said, "Even so, Motoko's bound to figure it out sooner or later, but she's too late, no matter how much she feels for Keitaro."

"We'll have to make sure we're not too late as well," Keitaro's mother said, "I've been silent for too long, gods forbid, but he probably thinks me to be an awful mother!"

Haruka shifted uncomfortably as the other woman expressed her insecurities. It had always been a sour spot for the older woman to know that her son thought he had been thrown in the world with no support from his parents just because he had failed the entrance exam to Tokyo U, having to rely on other relatives to make a living.

"He doesn't think like that, and you know it," Haruka said to prevent any further comments, "He hasn't got a mean bone in his body, although sometimes I wish that were the case. He's just too kind to think about things like that."

"He will," the woman said after a brief silence, "He will after he finds out what I did, after he finds out what I'll do. I just hope he'll understand why."

There was a lost look on Haruka's face after the conversation. Events were finally coming to a head and she wasn't exactly sure she was going to like the outcome. there had been a lot of discussion on what to do when Keitaro moved to the inn, but a fragile status quo had been established then, with granny Hina coming slightly on top. Now, with Keitaro's mother looking to involve herself into things again...

She felt a pair of hands wrapped around her and a light kiss on her cheek. Seta had abandoned his attempts to properly unpack his totem and had moved to comfort his wife.

"Naru had plenty of time. They all did," Seta said, proving that he was indeed listening to her conversation, "It's going to hurt them, but not as much as the alternative."

"I just hope they'll understand. I hope he'll understand... meddling old woman," she said, further comments on the subject set aside as Seta turned her around for a kiss.

At the inn, Keitaro mulled over his latest conversation with his relatives. Once in the comfort of his futon, it had been a trying day and the cast on his leg did little to help him, his mind focused solely on this subject.

"Forget it!" he finally said in frustration, "I'll only get another headache." He didn't want to get the girls worried, and he had already seen Shinobu throwing concerned glances at him every time he had a phone call from home. His frustration was probably showing, even though Naru said nothing on the subject. She probably didn't know that his mother, her future mother in law if he allowed himself to dream, was dead set against the match for some reason only by herself known.

As always when his thoughts wandered on the topic of the red haired beauty, his eyes wandered towards the hole in the ceiling. It had been a connection between Naru and Granny Hina, but now it was something shared between the two of them. He smiled at the thought only to frown as he remembered how many times he managed to screw things up by using that hole at the worst possible moments.

"That's it!" he said, pumping his fist in the air, "From now on, no more accidents!" Even he knew that while an easy boast to make, his accident prone nature would work against him, as it always did, but Naru's reactions, as his friends called them 'over the top through the other side', were not something he enjoyed. If there was any progress to be made, then a bit of maturity on his part would be good. He couldn't afford to goof around anymore, not now, not after entering Tokyo U and achieving one of his most ardent dreams, fulfilling one of the promises that had plagued his life.

He didn't realise it, but there was a small frown on his face as he fell asleep, out of sync with his thoughts, only one, tiny little line betraying the reason, 'I wonder if Granny Hina knew this was going to happen.'

That night, Keitaro had a dream.

He recognized the scene at once, it was Tokyo U and the image of the University was deeply engraved in his mind. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was sunny, remarkably so. He noted that he found himself in a waiting room and that he carried a stack of papers, all were blank except for one. He recognized on it the mirrored logo of Today and realized it was the application that finally made him a student after his Molmolian adventures. Then, slowly, the paper started vanishing and he felt panic only to relax when it was replaced with a student's ID. His ID.

"Congratulations," a voice he recognized as his father's said, much as he had done in real life when he heard the news. But something was wrong. His father wasn't inside the waiting room with him when he submitted the final paperwork. The man was as he always was, freshly shaved, not a hair outside his usual haircut, clear face and even cut fingernails. But there was something unnatural about the man and Keitaro could feel himself straining to understand.

The man started walking towards the exit slowly, waiting for him, and Keitaro started to move. He noticed that was no damage to his legs, no cast to impede his steps. At the threshold, his father stopped, looked back at him and then opened the door. There was a feeling of panic as his father did so, something he couldn't understand. He focused his eyes on the older man, only to follow his gaze.

Outside, the wind was blowing and ominous clouds were hanging over the University. He took a look back to the window inside the waiting room. It was still sunny there, but he could feel the chill at the door.

"What's..." he tried asking, only for the other man to silence him with a stare.

"What about your other promises?"

He woke up sweating, his laboured breath betraying the ordeal his subconscious had submitted him to. Outside, he could already see the first sun rays and there was a muffled sound coming from the kitchen. Shinobu was already up, probably working to fix everyone their breakfast. If nothing else, he could at least help the diminutive chef.

Shinobu moved around the kitchen happily, murmuring a song only by her known. She was the queen of the domain and she knew it. Mornings like these, peaceful, quiet, were her favourite time of the day. She rummaged through the cupboards, retrieving ingredients from places other tenants wouldn't even think of searching through, with the exception of her manager and Su, but only when it came to bananas.

Her happy murmur was interrupted as she heard a small noise repeating itself, 'toc, toc'. This was another reason why she enjoyed the mornings as she did. She could always dream about her sempai during the day, but during the morning she had him all to herself. No other tenant, with the exception of Motoko, who used the mornings for training, got up early enough to help her with breakfast. But not her sempai, whenever he could, he would help her cook.

"Good morning," she heard his voice and turned around to greet him.

"Good morning sempai!" she said, a huge smile threatening to overtake her face. She didn't like what she saw. There was a frown on Keitaro's face. "Did you sleep well sempai?" she asked.

"Yes!" Keitaro said, a bit too quickly. Shinobu wanted to insist, but the shy girl didn't have it in her to start questioning the older man as others at the inn would've have done. "Can I help you anything?" Keitaro continued, having learned enough to know that silence was never good.

"The vegetables need chopping," Shinobu said, seemingly forgetting about her earlier question, "I've already washed them so..."

Even as the young girl spoke, Keitaro moved around the table for the vegetables. It was something Shinobu always left for him to do. He was quite certain that the young chef moved well enough around the kitchen to be able to take care of all things on her own, but for some reason she often left such minor titbit undone for him to help her with. So focused he was on the vegetables that he never noticed the concerned looks Shinobu sent his way as she repeated her clumsy morning ritual of trying to pretend she wasn't looking at him.

"Done!" he said as he finished his assigned task with expert skill. "What do you want me to do with them?"

"Well, I was thinking about trying some stir fry for a change," Shinobu said, smiling at her sempai. They still had some time until the first of the girls would come rambling in the kitchen, searching for some kind of subsistence fuel. In the distance, they could hear faint sound of a bokken splitting the air, Motoko doing her usual repetitions mid practice, but the house, with the exception of their tinkering in the kitchen, was still quiet.

Keitaro could imagine what each of the sleeping tenants was up to. Kitsune was most likely lost in foggy dream lands induced by alcohol, although lately the fox of the house started diminishing her alcohol intake. Su was probably rumbling in her sleep, waiting for the moment her stomach would inform her that it was time to wake up, Mutsumi would be dreaming of watermelons whilst Naru did battle with her drowsiness after a long night studying for her courses. Any time now, one of them would barge in asking for breakfast. The rest of the girls, Shinobu would have to collect from their rooms after she laid down the finishing touches on breakfast.

"Sempai?" Said Shinobu, interrupting his reverie, "Could you take care of the teapot? I'm going to fetch the others."

"Sure, go ahead," Keitaro said, smiling at the petite chef. Most of his tenants had a cup of tea to go with their breakfasts, but sometimes they also enjoyed a hot mug of coffee. Kitsune especially found it impossible to lift her head from the ground on certain mornings without the elixir of the gods extending its aromatic tendrils to her nostrils.

As Shinobu left for the stairs, Keitaro made his way towards the stove, keeping an eye half focused on the door leading towards the hallway. Any moment now Motoko would make her appearance from her practice. Sometimes, he joked that he could set a clock after her, but then the girl threw him one look and he withdrew meekly towards the closest door. For some odd reason, he always had the sensation that the swordswoman should enjoy that joke, but perhaps Motoko had no sense of humour. He was rather certain that she had a beautiful laugh, but he wasn't sure he'd ever get to hear it.

"Urashima," the raven haired swordswoman acknowledged the former ronin, having entered the house exactly at the same time she did every day. She accompanied her words with only the slightest of nods, but knowing her, and having spent quite a lot of time with the Aoyama, he knew that this was a huge progress from her usual 'Urashima!', this almost sounded respectful for a change.

"Good morning Motoko-chan!" he said in return, beaming at her with his usual smile, "How was practice today?"

"Good," Motoko said, suddenly turning on her heels and away from the kitchen. Keitaro always thought that she looked as if she was running away, but what reason would Motoko have to run away from him? If anything, he should be the one running from her if he managed somehow to offend one of the girls.

The teapot's whistle interrupted the silence that followed Motoko's departure and Keitaro moved to take care of the beverages for the morning.

In order to wake up the inn's residents, there was a certain order required. For example, waking up Su before Motoko was back was generally considered to be a bad idea. The Molmolian princess was a handful even with Motoko present, but without Motoko and her quick reflexes it was worse, much worse. That, and the fact that the girl was always a hyperactive little typhoon meant that she was the last one to be woke up. The same applied for Sarah as the foreign girl would usually be quick to wake up her friend. This meant, given the fact that most residents woke up when told to, that the first to hear the wakeup call was Kitsune. It took her the longest to get out of bed.

As always, Shinobu approached Kitsune's door on light feet. She knew that the resident party girl hated loud noises in the morning and, with the exceptions of a few knocks, the young girl tried to avoid any other offense towards Kitsune's headaches.

"Kitsune-san," she said, knocking on the door, "Breakfast's ready," her voice was light and she was fully prepared to try again when a reply came from the other end of the door.

"I'll be there, thank you Shinobu-chan," Kitsune's voice sounded unusually vibrant for this time of the day and Shinobu stopped for a moment or two before moving on to her next stop. This was about the time she'd greet Motoko.

"Good Morning Shinobu-chan," the sword-mistress startled her from behind just a fraction of a second before the young girl turned around.

"Good Morning, Motoko-sempai," she replied, "Breakfast is almost ready, I'm going to wake up Su-chan soon."

"I see," the older girl said with a slight nod of the head. With that out of the way, the Aoyama girl started moving with a little more spring in her step, she also knew what was going to happen when Su woke up, if she was lucky, she'd manage to get ready before the hurricane unleashed within the walls of the Hinata Inn.

There was only the slightest of smile on Shinobu's face as she saw the rush with which her sempai moved at the mention of Su's name. It had been a long established fact that Motoko was in a way the keeper of her not so normal friend. Whilst things had gotten better, much better, after Keitaro arrived at the inn, if all the stories were to be believed, there were still mornings when Zombie Motoko made an appearance.

With both Motoko and Kitsune awake, the next resident on the list had to be woken up.

Without knowing exactly why, Shinobu always had a moment of hesitation before knocking on Naru Narusegawa's door. A little, tiny, part of her caused this hesitation. Perhaps sempai would like a little more sleep, or perhaps she'd like to eat breakfast inside her room. But such thoughts were easily squished by the young chef, even though at times they returned as she saw the way sempai looked at the older girl.

"Naru-san," as in every other morning, she defeated that small reluctance and knocked on Naru's door, "Breakfast's ready." A few muffled sounds came from the other side of the door. If Shinobu knew Naru well, and she did, then the other girl wasted another night studying and was now struggling to wake up.

"I'll be there Shinobu-chan," the reply finally came and Shinobu turned away from the door, intent on completing the last item on her list.

The small girl smiled as she reached Su's door. She knew what lay behind the small wooden frame. An ever changing jungle was waiting for explorers and in the middle of it rested her friend.

"Su-chan," she started, rapping gently at the door, "Breakfast's ready." There was no reply, and if Shinobu focused really hard, a faint sound of snoring could be heard from the other side of the door.

"Su-chan?" she knocked again, a little harder, hoping to wake up the foreign princess. There was no reply and Shinobu knew she had to resort to her secret weapon.

"Su-chan," she started, her voice going lower, as if she was telling a secret, "Bananas."

"I'm up! Where's the bananas!" the reply came almost instantly from the other side of the door and she could already hear Su stomping out of bed.

"Breakfast's ready ," she delivered her initial message and headed towards the kitchen.

"Aw! No fair," Su's complaints could be heard with ease even from between the walls of her own room, "You tricked me again!" No matter how many times she used that tactic, for Shinobu it was clear that it would never fail to be effective against her friend. If Su were Achilles, then bananas would be her Achilles heel. She waved that out of her mind as she headed towards the kitchen. There were a few more moments she would have sempai all to herself, before the others joined them at the table.

To her surprise, her sempai wasn't alone. Kitsune, the fourth of the residents to have woken up, was already dressed and ready for breakfast, a rarity, she usually came in last, even though she was amongst the first to be woken up. Usually, this meant no good.

It didn't take long after he was left alone for Keitaro's mind to drift back to the dream. His usual happy expression was replaced by a frown, a rare occurrence as the ever optimistic student couldn't exactly enter that state of mind with ease. He couldn't exactly remember the entire dream, but he felt disturbed, in a way that he didn't quite recall feeling before.

"What was that all about?" he said as he made sure each of the residents had their favourite drink ready to go with their food.

"What was what about?" he was interrupted by the resident fox's voice.

"Kitsune, you?" he couldn't hide his surprise at the sight. "You're awake?"

"Hey," the fox replied playfully, "What are you trying to say? That I'm the sort of slob that can't ever get up early?" she punched him lightly in the arm, compared to Motoko's slashes and Naru's 'love taps' this was no more than a tickle.

"No, no!" Keitaro said, shaking his head in denial. "It's just that..." he froze, trying to find the proper words to add to the sentence. Kitsune started laughing at his distress.

"Just that?"

It was weird. It was a weird conversation he was having with Kitsune. She was awake at an ungodly hour for her, dressed in decent clothes, a rarity when she woke up this early, and to top it all, she didn't seem to want anything from him as was usually the norm when they engaged in a lengthier conversation. In fact, Kitsune wasn't acting like herself, at all.

"Nothing," he could feel his ears reddening.

"Are you sure?" Kitsune pressed on, a knowing smirk forming on her lips.

It was then that Shinobu charged in to the rescue of her beloved Sempai.

"Kitsune-san!" the young girl said, all smile, "I've made your favourite!"

Throwing one last look at Keitaro, Kitsune turned around towards the resident cook with a different sort of smile. Shinobu always put a lot of effort in her cooking and she took great pride in making the best foods for the tenants. She knew that there was one resident in particular that the young girl was trying to impress, and from time to time, such as now, she liked to allow Shinobu her little victories as a reward.

"Why, thank you Shinobu-chan!" she said, "I can't wait to dig right in!"

As soon as Kitsune took a seat the other residents started to trickle in. First was Motoko, the swordswoman quick to make her preparations once her training was done, then Su, who searched the table high and low for bananas, always disappointed when she didn't find them, and finally Naru, the other resident morning zombie. Even though she was already a student at Tokyo U, nobody could exactly figure out exactly what she wasted her nights studying. Sometimes, the set was completed with Mutsumi's presence, but at the moment, the Okinawan wasn't present at the inn.

"Enjoy!" with everybody seated, Shinobu gave the go ahead for the customary morning stuffing.

"This is good!" Kitsune was the first to comment on the little chef's effort, "This is really good Shinobu-chan!" Others at the table nodded their endorsement for the opinion between bites, but there was one person that Shinobu wanted to like her food most.

With what Shinobu considered a great attempt at stealth, she took a glance at her sempai, only from the corner of her eye, but enough for the manager to catch her and offer a small smile. As usual, this little gesture was sufficient for Shinobu to blush. Kitsune, as one more observant of the bunch, as opposed to the one track minds of Naru and Motoko, chuckled at the sight. It was misfortune indeed for Shinobu that she wasn't a few years older. But there was something else that the resident party girl noticed.

Keitaro's frown was back. Despite the fact that he obviously enjoyed breakfast, Keitaro wasn't saying anything, not even his usual clumsy remarks that only served to land him into trouble, and those were almost second nature to the boy. Instead, the manager kept to himself, chewing on his food as if it would provide the answer to life, the universe, everything. It didn't fit him.

A/N:Text preread by Lord Raa, I assume ownership over all mistakes encountered.


Well-Known Member
I keep wondering about those "other promises" and why they are dragging Kei down so much.
Which Hina girl will find out first? And will she keep the secret?

Keep up the good work Mosh!

Meinos Kaen

Well-Known Member
This is... Intriguing. There's a subtle air of wrongness underneath it all, like something dark and rotten is slowly coming to the surface. What kind of secret are they keeping from Keitaro?

Prince Charon

Well-Known Member
Hmm. I wonder if this has anything to do with Kanako.


Beware of Dog. Cat not trustworthy either.
I'm looking forward to seeing what the secrets are. Good story.

My only recommendation is:
There was only the slightest of smile on Shinobu's face as she saw the rush with which her sempai moved at the mention of Su's name. It had been a long established fact that Motoko was in a way the keeper of her not so normal friend. Whilst things had gotten better, much better, after Keitaro came at the inn, if all the stories were to be believed, there were still mornings when Zombie Motoko made an appearance.
came to, or, arrived at
Your wording implies... other... things, especially with a guy in a house full of women.
This was interesting. One thing, though...

"And mom isn't even an Urashima by birth."
Yes, she is. The name descended through the female line.

(Bugger, did that ever turn out fail)

Sum up. Haruka and Keitaro are cousins whose mothers are sisters; Hina adopted Haruka when she was a child because Yoko (her mom) either died or just wouldn't raise her. Keitaro is the family heir because Hina only had daughters, and the name is important. It is accepted that a man will take his wife's name if that name has high status.


Well-Known Member
NDF, I think Mosh is playing around with the Urashima Family tree for effects of his planned plot ;)


Well-Known Member
Is the timeline different here? I mean, they've been to molmol, but Motoko hasn't confessed yet, and Naru and Keitaro aren't engaged.

Are you meaning Paraclese? It's after that trip where he gets into university. Granted, Shinobu shouldn't know Su's a princess at that point in time, nor should Haruka be married.
Is the timeline different here? I mean, they've been to molmol, but Motoko hasn't confessed yet, and Naru and Keitaro aren't engaged.

Are you meaning Paraclese? It's after that trip where he gets into university. Granted, Shinobu shouldn't know Su's a princess at that point in time, nor should Haruka be married.


Well-Known Member
The time-line's pretty similar to canon, with just a couple of key differences, ripples caused by events that shaped this particular 'reality'. Suffice to say, Meinos has the gist of it.

Fixed that sentence, rather unfortunate choice of wording that was.