Akamatsuverse Contract Labor


Well-Known Member
What if Keitaro actually stood up for himself? What put the steel in his spine?

Note: This story is to be considered AU. If stories of that type, or stories where the main character does not act in canon fashion are not to your liking, you will probably not enjoy this story.

Thanks to AZ for his advice and counsel on this story.

Contract Labor

Ch 1

ôFunny how I never remembered this part of the propertyàö

Standing at the foot of the hill, a young man looked at the stairway leading upwards. Set in a zig-zag pattern, the stairs ended at the base of a large residence set at the top of the hill. Giving an audible sigh, the man resettled the duffle bag on his shoulders before starting the long climb.

ôThis better be worth it, Granny.ö

The young man was not out of shape û far from it. In his not so distant past adventures, the man had sprinted through jungles, clawed his way up rocky mountainsides, and swam through ocean currents and riptides. And while he was quietly proud of what he had overcome in his life, it was not something he had enjoyed at the time û especially now, with a bag containing most of his worldly possessions on his back as he made the climb.

Coming up to the crest of the hill, the man stopped for a breather, looking at the house from a closer prospective. While it matched the memories of his youth, the grand old residence was looking a bit worn, with peeling paint showing weathered wood in various locations and overgrown shrubbery surrounding the house.

Hesitating at the front door, the young man finally thumbed the latch on the door and pushed it open. Stepping in, he looked around at the empty living room, seeing the signs of people living in the residence as well as similar signs of benign neglect; sofa cushions askew, books scattered on shelves and tables, dust apparent throughout.

ôGranny, are you home? ItÆs Keitaro û is anyone home?ö Calling out in a loud voice, he bent down and pulled off his boots, not wanting to track dirt into the house. Straightening up, Keitaro Urashima picked up his boots and looked about, not hearing any response to his call.

ôOk, this is starting to get a little creepy.ö Searching through his childhood memories, Keitaro turned and located the hallway leading to his GrannyÆs room. But once he found the managerÆs room, he found that the door was locked and no one answering his knock.

Moving back to the living room, Keitaro dropped his duffle bag and boots beside the sofa. Deciding to look around the old inn, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Catching the faint whiff of sulfur, Keitaro turned in that direction. ôThe hot springs it is.

Finding the double doors marked with the sign ôThe Renown Hinata Inn Hot Springs û Mixed Bathingö, Keitaro slowly pushed the door open. After calling out and getting no response again, Keitaro walked through the scrub down area and found himself outside next to a large steaming pool edged with large uneven rocks, the vapor rising from the water almost obscuring his vision. Only a faint breeze keep the steam moving.

Sore not only from the long climb, but from the lengthy train and trolley trip from the airport to get to the Hinata-Sou, Keitaro decided he needed to rest some, and soaking in the hot spring sounded like a capital idea. Going back to his duffle to dig out his swim trunks (the sign on the door did say mixed bathing after all), Keitaro promptly scrubbed off the sweat and grime of the trip, and was shortly relaxing in the spring, letting the just short of scalding water soak into his aching muscles and joints.

Keitaro had heard of the dangers of falling asleep in the baths, especially if you were by yourself. He had always thought it was a pretty dumb way to die, at least compared to other methods of accidental domestic mortality û falls, electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning. That said, Keitaro was getting a little too relaxed in the bath, which explained why he did not hear the sounds of movement in the rest of the house, including the scrub room door opening, until a decidedly young female voice spoke up fairly close to him.

ôI was looking forward to this all day, Kitsune. Cram school is driving me out of my mind, especially with all the perverts leering at me.ö

Keitaro came to full consciousness with a slight jerk; moving his wristwatch close to his face, the luminous dial showed he had been in the bath for half an hour. About to speak up to announce himself, the girlÆs next words brought his greeting to an abrupt halt.

ôThose perverts keep staring at my chest even though IÆm dressing down for class. What do you think Kitsune, are my boobs getting bigger?ö

Out of the mist rising from the spring stepped a girlà a very attractiveà very undressed girl, wearing only a towel wrapped around her hips, her long brown hair spilling over her shoulders and partially covering her ample chest. A chest he got up close and personal with when the girl stepped up, and taking hold of his hand, which he still had above the water from when he checked his watch, she pressed against her chest.

In shock Keitaro instinctively squeezed the firm yet soft skinned mound, the girl giving a slight moan when she said, ôKitsune, your hand has gotten biggeràö Pausing for a moment, she squeezed her hand on top of his, which caused his hand to slightly clench as well. ôAnd rougheràö Stepping closer, the girl squinted at Keitaro before somehow producing from somewhere a pair of fairly thick lens horn-rimmed eyeglasses and sliding them on. ôJust likeàö The girl was almost nose to nose with him when she shrieked ôà A MAN!!!ö

Throwing himself backwards, Keitaro was able to heave himself from the spring and away the girl when she unleashed a monster haymaker, her fist missing his nose by less than a centimeter. Scrabbling backwards, Keitaro would have started to try and explain himself when the girl kept screaming at him. ôPEEPER! LECH! PERVERT! DEGENERATE!ö

Deciding that retreat would be a wise idea at this time, Keitaro somehow got his feet under him and launched himself toward the scrub room door, the girl pulling herself out of the pool and giving chase, holding her towel closed with one hand while waving her fist at him. ôIÆM GOING TO KILL YOU!ö

Barely getting the sliding door open without ripping it off itÆs tracks, Keitaro ran into a younger girl standing on the other side holding a basket of laundry. Angling himself, he was able to keep from falling onto the girl, however, the basket flew up and spilled itÆs contents on his head, leaving his head and shoulders strewn withà girls undergarments. Wonderful.

Hearing the door he had just through coming crashing off itÆs tracks, Keitaro looked over his shoulder, the rather nice lacy black bra hanging off part of his glasses not obstructing his view of his pursuerÆs eyes widening at his current mode of dress before almost literally turning red and having hair strands spring up forming demon horns. ôYOUÆRE DEAD!!!ö

Launching himself out of the room again, Keitaro started running toward the living room and the front door, pulling the various undies off himself as he ran. Starting to skid as his wet feet slid along the waxed wooded floor, he came to a stop at the hall intersection, carefully pulling the lacy bra off his glasses, which for some reason had gotten tangled on the hinge.

Looking up, Keitaro saw there was another girl standing in the hallway. About the same age as himself and the first girl, she had short ash-blonde hair and partially closed eyes, lending a look of mischief to her features.

Behind him, the angry girlÆs voice bellowed out, ôKITSUNE! THEREÆS A PERVERT IN THE HOUSE! HELP ME CATCH HIM!ö

With a feeling of dread, Keitaro watched as the mischief on the girlÆs face turned into a full smirk as she yelled out, ôHEÆS RIGHT HERE, NARU! AND HEÆS GOT YOUR FANCY LACE BRA ON HIS FACE!ö

Almost choking at the implication, Keitaro spun around as he heard feet pounding in the hall behind him. Skidding around the corner, the girl came to a stop, now wearing a belted bathing robe but the anger on her face unchanging. Looking around quickly, and seeing that the Kitsune girl (given her fox-like features and demeanor, it was no surprise) was blocking his way to the living room, and the angry Naru girl was blocking the hall back to the springs, Keitaro turned and bolted up the stairs at the end of the hall.

Which turned out to be not such a good idea, as the first thing he saw once he got to the head of the stairs was a turtleà a giant mechanical turtleà with a young tanned blonde girl astride itÆs back, a wide grin on her face. But what stopped Keitaro dead in his tracks was the question she cried out in a loud voice; ôNaru, whatÆs a pervert??? Is it good to eat???ö

Keitaro cringed when the angry voice from below yelled in reply, ôNo Su, itÆs a bad man!!! DonÆt let him get near you!!!ö

ôOK! IÆll use MechaTamaÆs new weapons to stop him!ö With a new feeling of dread, Keitaro watched as the grinning girl started rapidly punching the controls before her, resulting in a pair of rocket pods unfolding out the turtleÆs shell. ôAnti-personnel rockets armed and ready!ö

Keitaro did not need to hear anything else; spinning around he dove down the stairway he had just come up, knocking over the angry bath girl as she was coming up û which was a good thing, as with twin roars the mecha-turtle launched two mini-rockets which detonated at the end of the hallway at the head of the stairs. There was little damage to the building, but the blasts knocked Keitaro and the girl down the stairs until they wound up in a crumpled heap, with Keitaro on top of the girl, his legs between her open ones, his hands pressing down on her boobs.

Hearing a low growl come from her throat that would not have been out of place from a rabid Rottweiler, Keitaro did not even try to explain or excuse himself. Pushing himself away from her (which resulted in a yelp from the girl as his weight pressed against her chest), Keitaro started to run again, recognizing the hallway as the one leading to the living room, where hopefully he could grab his bag and boots on the way out the door. Alas, that was not to be.

Standing right next to his bag in the middle of the living room was a swordsmanà no, a swordswoman. Dressed in a white gi and black hakama, long black hair streaming down her back, a furious expression on her face, she was holding a real live steel katana at the ready in her hands. Seeing him skid to a stop in front of her, her face got even more angry.

ôFoul creature! Your days of depravity end here!!! Rock Splitting Sword!!!ö Wide eyed, Keitaro watched as energy formed on the blade as she swung the sword around to aim it at him. Not taking any chances, he dove for the floor as an energy blast roared over his back, feeling the heat on his bare back.

Seeing that the blast had missed him, the swordswoman snarled in anger. ôYou wonÆt get away that easily, defiler of women! Evil Splitting Blade!ö Seeing a new energy attack forming on her blade, Keitaro frantically rolled to the right, seeing the blast tear up the wooden floor boards he had just been laying on.

Keitaro realized he had gone into tachypsychia as everything had slowed to half speed. He could see that the swordswoman was bringing her weapon around for another attack, and that he would not be able to get around her before she launched it at him. Plus, the angry bath girl was still coming up behind him. Fighting against someone hand to hand was one thing, but going up against an armed opponent changed the rules completely. Spinning around on the floor so he was facing the swordswoman, he planted his feet under him and launched himself at her.


Motoko Aoyama was getting angrier than she had ever been. Dealing with the perverts at school was one thing. Their behavior could be dealt with a light (for her) tap with her boken practice sword. The perverts in public places such as the infamously crowded trains were another; gropers were usually taken care of with a broken finger or wrist. But now they were invading the sanctity of the Hinata Inn to inflict their depravities on the residents of the all-girls dorm. What was even worse was that the half-naked pervert before her had already dodged two of her special attacks.

Bringing her sword around to prepare for another attack, Motoko was surprised to see that the lecherous male was throwing himself at her, and her sword was out of position to strike at him. At most she could use the sword as a high guard, but the man was going low toward her legs.

Spinning around and away from him, Motoko felt the maleÆs shoulder strike her left thigh, knocking her away from him and almost costing her balance. Staggering for a moment, she rapidly turned back to face her opponent when she was shocked to see him holding the sheath of her sword in his hands, gripping it at one end like it was a boken. He must have snatched it from her belt when he collided with her.

Snapping her eyes up to his, Motoko saw his facial expression had changed. Where as before he had confusion and uncertainty in his eyes, now there was a cold confidence, as though he no longer feared the outcome of this battle.

ôI donÆt want to fight you. I can explain myself if you let me talk.ö The manÆs flat voice was a perfect compliment to the expression on his face.

ôThere is nothing to explain here, foul demon. Perhaps the police will be interested in hearing your lies once I am done with you!ö Motoko dropped into the standard ready position of the GodÆs Cry School of Swordsmanship, her katana at the ready.

ôSo be it. It is on your head.ö The man dropped into his own guard position, one that looked familiar but she could not call to mind. He did not wait for long before Motoko made her first attack.

Instead of attacking her blade dead on, the male instead whipped the wooden sheath at the flat of the blade, knocking it away from itÆs deadly arc toward his shoulder. Instead of either locking up with the sheath or hitting itÆs target at shoulder level, the blade went past his arm and toward the floor, leaving her off balance. The male instantly took advantage of this, stepping past the staggering swordswoman and while tripping her leg and throwing her to the floor, swung the sheath at the upper part of her right arm, hitting her funny bone and to her horror causing her to drop her sword.

Landing face-down on the floor, Motoko was barely able to roll over before the male was stepping toward her and bending down. Seeing the look of anger on her face, and that she was not going to give up the fight, the male said something in English that even though she understood what he said, she did not know what he meant by it.

ôSay Goodnight, Gracie.ö Whipping the sheath around with one hand, it hit Motoko above and behind her left ear. Darkness crashed down upon her.


ôàI donÆt care who you are, you donÆt belong here. This is an all-girls dorm!ö The voice sounded like NaruÆs, but now the piercing quality of it did not help with the throbbing headache she was now feeling.

ôAnd I keep telling you, IÆm just here to see my grandmother. I have the letter in my bag if you want to see it.ö Male voice, medium pitched, but still annoying.

ôWho cares if your granny told you to come here, this is an ALL-GIRLS DORMATORY! You canÆt stay here! Especially if you are going to be hiding in the hot springs to peep on us!!!ö NaruÆs voice was getting higher and higher.

ôThe sign on the springs door said MIXED BATHING! I had used it before as a kid, and since there was no one there I decided to take a soak. I even put on shorts. You are the one that came into the spring in only a towel.ö

ôYeah, and you groped me!!!ö

ôOnly after you thought I was your friend Kitsune and grabbed my hand and put it on your chest! WhatÆs the matter, upset it wasnÆt your girlfriend with her hand on your boob?ö

ôItÆs different for friends, you PERVERT!ö

Motoko was finally able to force her eyes open, wincing at the daylight in the living room. Looking around, she saw that she was laying on the couch, while Naru, Kitsune, Shinobu, and Su were standing at one end of the couch in a group by the door, while the young male was standing facing them at the other end of the couch, holding her sword and her sheath in his hands.

It took a moment for Motoko to realize what was wrong with that picture, and it was not the young male or his state of undress. He was holding the sword in his left hand in a reverse grip, the blade come out the bottom of his fist. Unless he was very skilled, it was not a fighting position. It was more to show that the holder was deliberately not ready to fight with the sword. However, the sheath to the sword was held in the maleÆs right hand, and that one was in a proper fighting grip. While strikes with a sheath were not overly dangerous, they would still take someone out, as Motoko would attest to.

However, while a trained sword fighter could tell that the male was in as unthreatening a position as could be done while holding a sword, most people would only see that the person was armed with a sword. Which explained why Naru had not attacked the male even though they were arguing so vehemently.

ôSo it would be OK for me grab a male friendÆs hand, say, æOh, I think my pecs are bigger, feel me,Æ and put it to my chest? I donÆt think so, lady.ö The male flicked his eyes over and saw that Motoko was now watching them argue. ôBy the way, your friend is awake.ö

The girls rushed over to Motoko and while they fussed over her, the male stepped further from them. After a moment, she was able to sit up on the couch. The other girls circled around her and faced back toward the male, who was standing in a stance that was a little too casual to be real, especially for a person wearing only swim shorts.

ôLook Miss, IÆm sorry I had to strike you, but you and your friends werenÆt giving me a chance to explain myself. Once you passed out, the girls were finally willing to talk things out.ö The maleÆs eyes were flicking between Motoko and Naru, presumably because he thought they were the most dangerous to him.

ôYeah, after you assaulted poor Motoko! You could have cracked her head open!ö Naru was standing with her hands on her hips, leaning forward and practically screaming aggressiveness with her stance.

ôPoor Motoko,ö the sarcasm was almost dripping from the maleÆs words, ônot only was armed with a real sword, she was launching energy attacks at me with it, something I didnÆt think was possible anymore! IÆm not going to let myself be barbequed because some girls in a blind rage wonÆt listen to me.ö The male shifted his feet, angling himself into a position where Motoko could see that he could block any attack upon him with the bared sword, either with the flat of the blade, or the razor sharp edge.

Thankfully, while Naru was short-tempered and impulsive, she was not stupid. Even though it was unconscious, the sight of the gleaming sword was enough to keep her from attacking for now.

ôWhat are you doing at this place? As Naru told you, this is a dorm for school aged girls.ö Motoko was still woozy, but her head was starting to clear. Lightly touching the side of her head, she winced slightly at the tender welt she could feel under her hair.

ôI was told to come see my grandmother here. This used to be an inn, so I didnÆt think there would be a problem.ö The maleÆs eyes were flicking over all the girls now. ôI got here, no one was home, I decided to use the hot spring, and then Ms. æAre My Boobs Bigger Now?Æ came in and took exception to the fact I was there. She swung on me, I started running, and the rest I think you know.ö

ôWell, now I know you are lying, because we are the only people living here! This place hasnÆt been an inn for five years!ö Naru had a snarling expression on her face.

ôYou are not the only people living here, Narusegawa.ö Hearing a new voice coming from the doorway, everyone turned to see an older female wearing a teahouse apron, looking to be in her thirties, with short dark hair, a bored expression on her face, and a lit cigarette in hand. ôHina and I live here too.ö Looking over toward the male, her lips moved into a half-smirk. ôLooking good there, Kei.ö

ôYeah, well, my bath got interrupted. Good to see you too, Aunt Haruka.ö

The smirk on HarukaÆs face turned into a frown. Moving faster than expected, she stopped in front of him and abruptly flicked him on the nose, causing him to flinch. ôIÆm your cousin, not your aunt. That makes me sound too old.ö There was a note of warning in her voice.

If he heard the warning in her voice, the male decided to ignore it. ôYou were my cousin, then you were adopted by Granny, that makes you my aunt. Unless you prefer another title, like Christmas Cake-san.ö

The younger girls seemed to stop breathing. Calling a Japanese woman a æChristmas CakeÆ was a low blow, coming from the joke that unmarried women were like the traditional cake eaten for Christmas û not much good after the 25th. Haruka was in her early thirties and defiantly single. So even though she was a successful businesswoman in her own right, there were many people that would think there was something wrong if she was unmarried.

Looking back and forth between the scowl on HarukaÆs face and the semi-innocent look on the maleÆs, the girls did not know what would happen. Which is why they were surprised to see Haruka give a sigh, then have a rueful smile form on her lips. ôStill not taking crap from people, huh Keitaro?ö

ôLearned about that the hard way.ö Shocking everyone, he leaned forward and gave her a kiss on the cheek. ôSo where is the old bat, Aunt Haru?ö

Rueful smile still on her face, Haruka shook her head. ôTook off yesterday, something about a tour of the worldÆs hot springs.ö

It was now the maleÆs turn to look surprised. ôThe hell? I know she asked me to be here today, why would she leave a day early?ö

ôMaybe this has something to do with it.ö Haruka produced a legal sized manila envelope folded long-ways from her apron and handed it to him. She in turn took MotokoÆs sword and sheathed it so that he would be able to go through the envelope.

ôHaruka-san? Who is this man?ö The question came from Naru, who could not keep her silence any longer.

ôThis is my cousin slash nephew, Kei-kun.ö The smirk had come back on HarukaÆs face.

ôOh ha ha.ö The male looked up from the envelope he was unsealing. ôI was last called that when I was 12 years old.ö Giving an abbreviated bow, he kept his eyes on the girls. ôMy name is Keitaro Urashima, grandson of Hina Urashima, owner of the Hinata Inn... and I guess dorm now.ö

ôHow long has it been since you came here last? You didnÆt even know this was a dorm.ö This question came from Kitsune, who had been quiet until now.

ôBack when I was fourteen, before I started senior high school. I was too busy studying and practicing to come visit here, and Granny would come to my familyÆs house to visit.ö Keitaro had broken the seal on the envelope and pulled some legal looking documents out. ôAll I know is that I got a message from Granny saying to be here by today, that it was important family business. Luckily I just got back to Tokyo, so I was able to make it.ö Looking over Haruka he asked, ôDo you know what this is all about?ö

ôYeah, but why ruin the surprise?ö Haruka seemed grimly eager for something.

ôThis is a girlÆs dorm, Haruka-san, this male can not stay here, even if he is a family member of the owner.ö Motoko spoke up finally.

ôYou would be surprised, Motoko.ö HarukaÆs eyes were now focused on Keitaro, who was now reading the documents rapidly û and maybe even frantically.

Finally, his eyes snapped up to Haruka. ôYou have got to be shitting me.ö KeitaroÆs words were in English, his voice was flat, with a hint of incredulousness.

ôI shit you not, nephew.ö Haruka was now smirking again as she replied in English before switching back to Japanese. ôYou are now the proud future owner and current manager of the Hinata Inn and the surrounding lands and properties.ö

The silence lasted for a few seconds before all Hell broke loose.



Well-Known Member
It's definitely interesting ...but where are you going with this?


Well-Known Member
I think it fair to warn you, there have been stories that have tried this and failed. The reason they fail is very simple: the protagonist is unrecognizable. May be named Keitaro, but could just as likely be Al Capone with all that the writer has done.

Most "give the protagonist a spine" stories are like that. The writer replaces a character with someone who will not even vaguely resemble the source material, in personality or general description.


Well-Known Member
FinalMax said:
I think it fair to warn you, there have been stories that have tried this and failed. The reason they fail is very simple: the protagonist is unrecognizable. May be named Keitaro, but could just as likely be Al Capone with all that the writer has done.

Most "give the protagonist a spine" stories are like that. The writer replaces a character with someone who will not even vaguely resemble the source material, in personality or general description.
Since when has "in name only" not happened before? It can be done well. Just because it's different doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.

Besides, it's just one character that's changed. It's still a LH story. Just the attitude of the protagonist has changed.


Well-Known Member
Wait, why is Mecha tama here, when Tama isn't due to show up for several months according to Canon.

Prince Charon

Well-Known Member
Interesting start. I wonder why no-one ever took down the 'mixed bathing' sign, but I guess it didn't occur to them that a man would ever see it.

Perhaps this Keitaro will add 'between the hours of X and Y' to the sign, so the girls don't have the excuse.

Antimatter said:
Wait, why is Mecha tama here, when Tama isn't due to show up for several months according to Canon.
This story is not canon, and we don't know how much has been changed, yet.


Well-Known Member
ragnarok1337 said:
FinalMax said:
I think it fair to warn you, there have been stories that have tried this and failed.á The reason they fail is very simple:á the protagonist is unrecognizable.á May be named Keitaro, but could just as likely be Al Capone with all that the writer has done.

Most "give the protagonist a spine" stories are like that.á The writer replaces a character with someone who will not even vaguely resemble the source material, in personality or general description.
Since when has "in name only" not happened before? It can be done well. Just because it's different doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.

Besides, it's just one character that's changed. It's still a LH story. Just the attitude of the protagonist has changed.
That's how the justifications begin. "It's just one character that's changed. Nothing that big." Except, it's the protagonist. That's a pretty big character to change, and that will affect the rest eventually. There's not even a question of "if" on this one. Only "how soon" and "how much" the rest will change can be asked.

It's a recent peeve that's been showing up lately. People seem to think you need to make characters "more awesome" or something. It falls flat too many times, given that the means to "improve" upon the character tend to fall under similar circumstances. You end up changing a point in the character's past to make them either end up emulating some form of media (S&WH40K) or be trained by some person or organization (too many fics to count).

Hell, even the argument that "in name only" can work doesn't help. Those are exceptions, not the rule. In fact, let's settle this in a civilized fashion. We'll ask the writer.

Greydon, are you certain that you can write this story and these characters in such a way that someone won't feel the urge to take a 12-gauge to them? Are you sure that your Keitaro will not end up some kind of colossal asshole that should be put down, or if you do at least make that eventuality make sense?


The Sentient Fanfic Search Engine mk II
Guys... we are only looking at the intro so far...

No need to fight yet, let him write more and we can judge. So far it seems ok. only spotted two oddities...

1st... as far as know, Motoko was not present in canon. I have not read novel continuity, so she may be present in that. An explanation why might be needed.

2nd... is the dreaded cousin vs. aunt bit... and that is tolerable to me as long as I keep in mind this is either based on the novels, or story is going AU on that plot point. Since it never comes up in manga pages or anime scenes there is nothing to say she is his cousin there, and everything to say she is his aunt. In either case it is minor.

Most everything else still falls in line or close enough.

Kitsune was a bit quiet, but nothing out of the ordinary yet.

Motoko/Naru in character.

Granny is still the deliberate betrayer and backstabber to all parties except Haruka.

Keitaro still clueless to the reason being called and subject to being setup by family.

Haruka comes across as going with the flow... She certainly is amused at his situation, having visibly shown such, I would expect a Keitaro with a spine to not nesscarily trust her if she may be in on future betrayals.

Shinobu is present, so it is not anime continuity.

As a note, since this is a Keitaro with spine, I would hope his attitude toward granny over this double betrayal she pulled might be a bit more harsh than canon. I certainly will look forward to that.



Well-Known Member
FinalMax said:
Greydon, are you certain that you can write this story and these characters in such a way that someone won't feel the urge to take a 12-gauge to them?á Are you sure that your Keitaro will not end up some kind of colossal asshole that should be put down, or if you do at least make that eventuality make sense?
Well, I like to think that I am a fairly good writer, so hopefully yes? :)

I hear what you are saying about some AU stories having rewrites of characters so extensive that all they have in common with the canon character is the name. However, I do believe that most if not all fan fiction is by definition AU since they are doing stuff that did not happen in the canon story. So every time a character gets involved with a different character or goes off in another direction the story is AU.

That being said, my premise in this story is that Keitaro is more likely to stand up for himself. Think about it, most people are NOT going to let other people beat the living hell out of them. Keitaro's fabled immortality is just a joke that was made due to the fact that he was routinely subjected to physical abuse that would have severely injured, if not killed any other person. Keitaro was never given the benefit of the doubt, it was always 'You groped me, you pervert!' *POW* In real life most people would realize that someone in Keitaro's situation is either extremely clumsy and therefore somewhat excusable or he really is a pervert and have nothing to do with him.

Keep in mind, Keitaro is in canon at least the legal manager/landlord and maybe even owner of the Hinata Inn/Dorm. No real landlord, especially in Japan, is going to let themselves get abused like that. Most relatives would not let a loved one get walked all over (ie Aunt Haruka let it happen in canon, Kanako didn't). If you really did think your landlord was a lech and a pervert, you would not be able to force him off the property, not unless it is one of those really dark stories where Naru, Kitsune, and Motoko falsify charges against Keitaro to get him thrown out of the Hinata Inn.

The girls of the Hinata Inn are about to learn some hard truths of their situation; while they were letting the Inn run into benign neglect, that has changed now. There are going to be new rules put into place - *reasonable* rules, and if certain tenants don't like it, well, there is the door. Good Luck on finding a cheap residence in Metro Tokyo. Either that or Hina, Keitaro, and Haruka can find a better use for *prime Tokyo real estate* than run a cheap girls dorm there.

Wrapping this up, Keitaro is still the promise-keeping goof from before, someone that has clumsy social skills but he is going to be standing up for himself more along the way that a real person would. Sure, there is aspects of his back story that are different from canon to explain this, and there are going to be some action-y/fight scenes that come up later (this story will have some flashbacks and a minor cross-over with another anime series, but I am keeping it close to the vest for now). So in conclusion, Keitaro is not going to turn into a major bad ass in this story... maybe a minor bad ass though, when the situation calls for it. :D

Hope you enjoy the story.


Well-Known Member
ragnarok1337 said:
Besides, it's just one character that's changed. It's still a LH story. Just the attitude of the protagonist has changed.

I have nothing to say about the story but would urge caution about this attitude. I'm all for giving a character a different expierence but I admit that sometimes the resulting characterization dosen't 'ring true'


Well-Known Member
Ordo said:
ragnarok1337 said:
Besides, it's just one character that's changed. It's still a LH story. Just the attitude of the protagonist has changed.
*IMG Picard Facepalm*

I have nothing to say about the story but would urge caution about this attitude. I'm all for giving a character a different expierence but I admit that sometimes the resulting characterization dosen't 'ring true'
I think the Picard Facepalm is a bit too extreme for a comment that mild.


Well-Known Member
Consider it a warning of how bad things can get when people lose sight of the person they are writing about. I recall one story that just started out with Keitaro being more confident, then had him using 'The Raging Demon' to beat Motoko in a fight. This is a slippery slope, I should know I've bobbsled down it a few times myself.

Prince Charon

Well-Known Member
PCHeintz72 said:
1st... as far as know, Motoko was not present in canon. I have not read novel continuity, so she may be present in that. An explanation why might be needed.
In the manga, she was there, in the anime she was at a kendo camp.


Well-Known Member
Ch 2

The bedlam in the Hinata living room lasted for a couple of minutes, despite attempts by Haruka to quiet things down. Finally, Haruka put two fingers to her lips and let loose a long piercing whistle that cut through the ravings of Naru and Motoko.

ôI knew you werenÆt going take this well girls, but jeezàö Haruka tried to make light of the situation, but the scowls on the faces of the older girls were unchanging. Looking over at Keitaro, she could see the stunned look was still in his eyes. ôThereÆs more about this I have to tell you, but it might be a good idea for you two to get dressed first.ö Naru flushed as she was reminded of her state of apparel. Keitaro just nodded. ôKei-kun, there is a washroom though that doorway, go there and put some clothes on, Naru you have your own room, be back here in five minutes.ö

After the allotted time had passed everyone reassembled in the living room, Naru wearing jeans and a high school athletics sweatshirt while Keitaro was wearing jeans and a faded black tee shirt with a stylized red æMÆ symbol and the word æMagPulÆ below it. ôSince you all donÆt know my nephew here, please introduce yourselves.ö Haruka gestured toward the girls, who were standing in a rough line facing Haruka and Keitaro.

After a moment the ash blonde girl at the end of the line stepped forward. ôMy name is Mitsume Konno, but you can call me Kitsune.ö The nickname was apt; with her half closed eyes and a sly expression on her face, she indeed resembled the trickster fox of legend. With her curvy body and her height at about 160 cm, she looked to be about KeitaroÆs age. ôI just finished school and am working as a freelance magazine writer.ö

Switching places with her, the young tanned blonde girl jumped forward, and flashing a æVÆ hand sign, she exclaimed, ôHi, my name is Kaolla Su! IÆm a princess from the island of MolMol, and I go to school with Shinobu-chan!ö The girl looked to be about 14 or 15 years old and was wearing a schoolgirl uniform, the hem of which kept almost flipping up as she was bouncing in place. If there was ever a poster child for hyperactivity, she was it.

Jumping back, her place was taken by another girl who looked to be her age but otherwise would not look more different. With shoulder length black hair, a rounded face, and what looked to be a permanent blush, she clasped her hands in front of the apron she was wearing and gave a deep bow. ôMy name isà Shinobuà Maehara. I attend schoolà with Kaolla-chanà and I work hereà to help with my rent.ö Keitaro gave her a small smile and returned her bow with a slightly less deep one, bringing frowns anew to the faces of the last two girls.

Stepping forward, Naru planted her fists on her hips and scowled. ôMy name is Naru Narusegawa, I graduated from high school last year, and IÆm studying at prep school to take the Todai exam. I donÆt like men, and I HATE perverts!ö Naru looked to be about KeitaroÆs age and height of 170 cm, with a slender yet curvy build. Her long honey blond hair was pulled back in a pony tail

Stepping next to her the last girl spoke up. ôI am Motoko Aoyama, heir to the GodÆs Cry School of Swordfighting. I am in my last year of high school and I plan to study afterwards to attend Kyoto University.ö This girl looked to be slightly younger than Keitaro was, but she was about 5 cm taller was with a slender athletic build. Her long black hair was worn swept back behind her ears and down to about the middle of her back, with bangs cut across her forehead.

Seeing the last girl step back, Keitaro took a step forward and gave a brief bow, yet kept his eyes up and focused on the girls. ôAs you already know, my name is Keitaro Urashima, and I am the grandson of Hina and the nephew of Haruka. I graduated from high school a year ago and went to do some work overseas after that. My goal is to attend Todai as well, so I studied while I was working last year, and I plan to study some more before retaking it this year.ö

ôRetake the test? You took the Todai test before, right out of high school?ö The tone of NaruÆs voice wavered between surprise and disbelief. The exam to enter Todai (the University of Tokyo) was so difficult, most applicants took a full year to study after graduating high school before attempting it. ôHow badly did you mess up?ö

Keitaro and Haruka both gave a faint scowl at the rudeness of NaruÆs question. ôI had a preliminary score in the 95th percentile, but then I had some bad things happen in my life, and I was in no way mentally ready to take the test when I did. I only did it because of a promise I had made. I barely missed making the reserve list.ö The reserve list were people who had passed the test but did not get a high enough score to get immediately admitted to the school. Instead, they waited in a form of limbo for accepted students to not enter for one reason or another to take their place. About 100 students made the reserve list; less than ten got picked from it to enter Todai.

Haruka looked from the frowning Keitaro to the outright scowling look on NaruÆs face. Sighing, she dug under her apron and pulled out another envelope, this one of the type that usually contained letters. ôIÆm guessing that Granny knew that you werenÆt going to see her today, so she left me this letter to give to you.ö She handed it over to Keitaro, who slid a finger under the flap and opened it.

ôWhen did she give you this?ö Keitaro pulled a couple of sheets of paper, which were covered with hand-written ideograms.

ôDay before yesterday,ö Haruka replied, wincing slightly at the look Keitaro gave at her. The timing pretty much proved that Hina had no intention of meeting with him when she had summoned him.

As Keitaro settled himself on his feet to read the letter, Haruka dug into an apron pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Shaking one out into her mouth, she raised the lighter up and was about to spark it up when without looking up from the letter Keitaro said one word. ôDonÆt.ö

ôHuh?ö Haruka and the older girls looked shocked at hearing the command.

ôThere are children present, and I hate the smell of cigarettes. You want to poison yourself, you can go outside.ö Keitaro kept reading the letter.

ôYou didnÆt care about me smoking before, Kei-kun.ö Haru kept her lighter near the cigarette.

ôI cared, I just didnÆt say anything before. ItÆs something I learned overseas û smoking kills.ö A pair of brown eyes behind squared off glasses locked onto a pair of darker eyes. ôPlease donÆt.ö

After a moment, Haruka sighed. Leaving the smoke between her lips, she tucked the lighter away, bringing a look of surprise to the girls, who would have never thought that the erstwhile housemother would take orders regarding her vice like that.

After a minute of near silence Keitaro gave a low growl as he finished reading the letter. Abruptly handing the letter back to Haruka, he walked over to the large window facing Tokyo Bay and leaned his head forward, his forehead against the cool glass, eyes closed. ôYou know whatÆs in that letter, Haru?ö

Haruka looked from Keitaro to the loose sheets in her hand. ôNo, Granny just told me that it would tell you about taking over the Hinata Inn.ö

ôGo ahead and read it; read it out loud. These girls need to know.ö Keitaro stepped back, but kept facing the window.

ôIf youÆre sure,ö Haruka had a sudden feeling of foreboding. Straightening the papers in her hand, she faced the suddenly rapt faces of the tenants of the Hinata and began to read.

Dearest Keitaro,

As you now realize, I left before you were to arrive from overseas even though I am the one who summoned you here. Please forgive an old woman her weaknesses; I knew that if I were to speak face to face with you about this, I would not be able to continue with this course of action.

The Hinata-sou has been the ancestral home the Urashima family for almost two centuries. At first it was a keep of a family of hatamoto (samurai retainers who directly served the Shogun), then after the Meiji Reformation, of scholars and researchers in the scientific arts. Those advisors and teachers were also warriors, who even though they were not widely known, were almost always closely trusted by those who they served.

As the family got larger and married off into various families, the number of family increased, even as the number of people who bore the proud name of Urashima decreased. Now the only direct descendents of that family are myself, my son and your father Kouji, Haruka, and yourself.

As time passed, the holdings the Hinata-sou decreased. From an initial holding of 20,000 koku (which encompassed what is now Hinata City and almost a quarter of the prefecture) to the now ten hectares of the hill and lands surrounding what is now the Hinata Inn. However, since this land was given to the Urashima family under an Imperial grant at the request of the Shogun (who a Urashima had given his life to protect in a coup attempt involving members of the ShogunÆs family) it is under a special tax exemption so long as it held by a direct descendant bearing the name of the family. Should there no longer be a direct descendant, the property owners would be taxed at current rates or the owners can let the property revert to Imperial control; the remaining descendants would be paid fair market value and the property would stay under Imperial control (not government ownership; since the land had been the property of the Emperor when it was given our family, it would be the property of the Chrysanthemum Throne. If that is the case, the property would probably be made into a park or nature preserve).

Why this long explanation? Simply put Keitaro, you are the only direct descendent left who can hold the property. Your father has his pastry and bakery business, and Haruka has the Hinata Teahouse. I could ask either of them to take over the Hinata-sou, but it would probably require them to shut down their own business. As the Hinata-sou was never was a great generator of income (the Inn was set up to pay the taxes and expenses of the property, and it does not produce much more than that), it would cause a hardship to your family to do so, and Haruka can not really run the property by herself.

You are the only hope of the Hinata-sou, Keitaro. I know that you are still working to keep your promise to enter Todai, and that you planned to study this year to do so. But with the help of the tenants you have now met, and hopefully are doing well with, and with HarukaÆs and KanakoÆs help, you will be able to continue operating the Hinata-sou, either as a dorm or reopening it as a hot springs resort inn, while still studying for and attending Todai.

Therefore, I have made you my heir, both of the property of the Urashima family in Hinata City and of the family itself. When I pass into the next world (not that I am planning to do so anytime soon, there are still a few things this old woman wants to do!) you will become the head of the Urashima family; I have already spoken with Kouji and Haruka and they agree.

I know you always keep your promises, my beloved grandson, and that you have always had a stronger will than most people give you credit for. It is this strength I am hoping you will use to work to protect our family home. You have made me proud of your intelligence, your strength of will, and your physical courage (I heard from the government about what had happened during the expedition you were with in Thailand when you and your companions were evacuated back to Japan). It is this confidence in you that made me realize you were the one who could take on this giri (duty) for your family.

By my own hand, and with all my love,

Hinata Urashima

After hearing nothing for more than a few moments, Keitaro turned away from the window and back toward the others in the room. The girls could see that his shoulders were slightly slumped before he straightened up and looked from one face to another.

The two younger girls were quiet, Kaolla abnormally so. She had stopped bouncing around and was looking somewhat solemn. Shinobu looked to almost have tears in her eyes.

Naru looked almost the same as before, although her anger had substantially decreased. Kitsune had a calculating look as she eyed Keitaro. Haruka had a slight look of sorrow.

However, the biggest change was on the face of Motoko. She was wide-eyed, as the revelation of KeitaroÆs lineage and of the family duty he had just been given had changed the way she had looked upon the new male in their home. Not that she trusted him, but it opened her eyes to new possibilities.

ôI still donÆt want him here,ö Naru muttered in a low tone of voice; although not low enough as everyone turned to look at her. Anything they would have said was cut off by the male among them.

ôThat makes two of us, Naru-san.ö Everyone looked back at Keitaro. Walking up to Haruka, he took back GrannyÆs letter and put it back in the envelope, then picked up his duffle bag. ôShow me where IÆm going to be staying, then lets go back to your teahouse. I need a drink or two of the good stuff you have stashed there.ö Haruka raised an eyebrow but nodded and lead Keitaro toward the stairs.

A thin female voice spoke up before they started climbing the stairs. ôIà will haveà dinnerà ready inà an hourà Keitaro-sempai.ö

The two adults paused and looked back at Shinobu, who was blushing and poking her fingers together. Smiling slightly, Keitaro replied, ôThanks Shinobu-chan, I look forward to it.ö Seeing scowls form on NaruÆs and MotokoÆs faces, he merely turned away and continued walking up the stairs.


Lord Raa

Exporter of Juice Tins
Not entirely convinced with this one.

I understand that you don't want to explain why Keitaro is different straight off the bat, but I'm not seeing why this male character is Keitaro Urashima and not Geoff McBiscuits indulging in a little identity fraud.

Also, why are there explanatory notes in the text of the letter?

They should not be in italics, otherwise it looks like Granny Hina is explaining what giri is to Japanese people.

Unless you're talking to very young children, it makes no sense.

It would be analogous to explaining Black Friday to American high school seniors.

Better to have marks indicating that any foreign words would be explained at the end of the chapter. You probably don't even need to have the asterisks or other symbols.

Overall, I can't say I'll shed any tears if I don't get to read any more of this one because:

1) I don't see anything funny in it. If I want drama, I'll revisit recent family developments.
/b/ I don't see any potential sexiness here.

Tl;dr version: No lulz, no faps means I probably won't be sticking around in this thread.


Well-Known Member
I hear what you are saying about some AU stories having rewrites of characters so extensive that all they have in common with the canon character is the name. However, I do believe that most if not all fan fiction is by definition AU since they are doing stuff that did not happen in the canon story. So every time a character gets involved with a different character or goes off in another direction the story is AU.
When I first read this, I felt trepidation, and now that IÆve read chapter Two IÆm a bit more concerned. I personally feel that if a writer is trying to maintain the spirit of the characters, then one can not use this as an excuse to justify the changes to their personality. A good example of an AU character that rings true without becoming a different person is Shinji Ikari from æRebuild of EvangelionÆ. HeÆs more stable (as is most of the caste) and so far his actions make sense for who he is and his place in the series.

An example of Bad AU is one where an author used this exact same excuse to turn Ranma Saotome into an abusive, controlling, psycho from who Ryoga needed to rescue Akane.

I donÆt, yet, dislike this story, but I am picking up on æwarning signsÆ.


Well-Known Member
To be fair, the explanation of giri is probably for the non-japanese readers, without using an author's note. It is also integrated rather seamlessly, and more explains some history that Keitaro wasn't aware of instead of just looking like a simple explanation of giri.

That said, I was hoping for something more humorou. But I think Lord Raa's comment about looking at family problems is too extreme. It's certainly not that level of drama, and it's only the second chapter besides.


The Sentient Fanfic Search Engine mk II
Hmmm... A few idle observations...

You changed their ages and grades. Unlesss this is their ages and grades in the novels.

Granny was referring to his abilities to keep promises... actually irrelevent in this situation, he made no promises in regardss to the inn/dorm.

At least Granny admits to setting him up, even if not to outright betraying him and the girls. But... by this setup so far, she still manages to get away with everything, and scott free without manageing to be there for the fallout.

As for explanations and/or humor. I'm willing to wait longer for a explanation of what occured in his background to change him. And since this is only the 2nd chapter, did not expect much in way of humor as yet.

Did not notice much in way of errors in grammar or spelling, but was not looking for them, seems to read well enough.


Well-Known Member
I actually enjoyed the letter portion. It creates an actual reason on why Keitaro should be in charge of the Hinata Dorm instead of in the manga and anime where his grandmother pretty much leaves him it with no explanation.

Prince Charon

Well-Known Member
MTing said:
I actually enjoyed the letter portion. It creates an actual reason on why Keitaro should be in charge of the Hinata Dorm instead of in the manga and anime where his grandmother pretty much leaves him it with no explanation.
Agreed. I'd still prefer to have the explanations for the Japanese words separated from the text of the letter. Maybe use small numbers, like so:

'It is this confidence in you that made me realize you were the one who could take on this giri1 for your family.'

With the definition at the bottom of the post.

1: duty


Well-Known Member
Lord Raa said:
1) I don't see anything funny in it. If I want drama, I'll revisit recent family developments.
/b/ I don't see any potential sexiness here.

Tl;dr version: No lulz, no faps means I probably won't be sticking around in this thread.
It's just the beginning of the story. And how many LH fanfics have you read? Per Sturgeon's Law, 90% of them don't have much fapping or lulz. Even the good ones often don't have much of that. If you're looking for high standards, you're looking in the wrong place.

PCHeintz72 said:
Granny was referring to his abilities to keep promises...? actually irrelevent in this situation, he made no promises in regardss to the inn/dorm.

At least Granny admits to setting him up, even if not to outright betraying him and the girls.? But...? by this setup so far, she still manages to get away with everything, and scott free without manageing to be there for the fallout.
I do want to see her get what's coming to her. Even if she had better reasons that canon(for the lulz), I still can't muster up any sympathy for her. Please, Greydon, let her suffer from the fallout.


Well-Known Member
I want to thank the people who have read and feedback'd on this story, it helping me with the writing process.

To the people that say that this version on Love Hina isn't very humorous or sexy, I have to admit that that is true. Then again, I think that most of the humor in LH was from either the impossible situations Keitaro found himself in, or sometimes just falling on a female the wrong way and getting pounded/punted for it. It was almost like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football... you always knew it was not going to turn out well. Especially the Keitaro/Naru romance angle - I seem to remember a scene from the manga where the two were standing right in front of each other eye to eye, Keitaro slowly leans in and kisses her, Naru sees it coming and lets it happen, and then she still pounds him! Not really a fan of tsundere/yandere romance, I guess.

So to clarify, this story will be categorized as a drama, with some humorous lines/one-liners thrown in, and some action scenes with cross-overs from other series. These sequences will be further down the line, in Keitaro's recent past. I keep hinting at it, but you will learn more about Keitaro's Not-So Excellent Adventures the same way the girls of the Hinata Inn will - gradually, but hopefully not too long.

I am going to take the advice about the definitions of the terms used in Hina's letter, but one of my pet peeves about author footnotes is that with a long chapter you have to keep bouncing between the end of the story and where you are currently reading. In this case I'm going to split the difference; I'll put the definitions at the end of the letter (which is where all the terms are anyway) rather than the end of the chapter - less jumping that way. Some of the terms are kinda archaic anyway, unless you have knowledge about feudal Japan, but I'm going to have to go into some detail about giri, since that concept and Keitaro's insistence of keeping the promises that he makes are closely tied together.

I'm juking things around about ages and years at school, since I want to get rid of some of the squick factor from the series. Seriously, it's bad enough when a young girl has a crush on an older guy, but for the guy to be 20 y/o and the girl to be 12? No thank you. Even Motoko is a little too young at the canon age of 15 y/o to plausibly get involved with someone like Keitaro, who in canon is about 20. BTW, I'm still not sure if I'm going to throw a romance into this story, at least past the unrequited stage.

I am going to go into some detail about the quagmire Hina threw Keitaro into by making him the manager of the Hinata-sou. Yes, Hina is playing games here with the real situation she is faced with, but unless characters are thrown into sink or swim situations, there really isn't much drama to write about, eh?

I'm halfway done with Chapter 3 - Keitaro and Haruka's talk at the teahouse. Now what's left is Naru, Kitsune, and Motoko's talk in the Inn. Hopefully, I'll be able to post it before tomorrow.


Well-Known Member
Ch 3

After dropping off KeitaroÆs bag in GrannyÆs room, and Haruka grabbing a loose-leaf binder from the desk in the room, the two walked out of the house and down the stairs toward the Teahouse. Almost as soon as Haruka cleared the doorway, she lit the cigarette still dangling from her lips and took a deep breath of nicotine goodness. Keitaro gave her a sideways glance but otherwise stayed silent as they walked down the steps and reached the teahouse.

Pointing Keitaro to a table in the empty shop, Haruka started puttering around behind the counter. After a couple of minutes, she returned to the table Keitaro was sitting at, holding a ceramic flask of liquor in one hand and two small cups in the other. Placing the cups next to the binder sitting unopened in front of Keitaro, Haruka sat down and then poured the liquor.

Picking up and holding the cup for a moment until Keitaro did the same, Haruka raised her cup slightly and gave the traditional drinking salute. ôKampai.ö

Keitaro murmured ôKampaiö in reply, then shot down the drink in one gulp. Haruka almost expected Keitaro to start choking or coughing. But except for giving a loud exhale and his eyes watering some, Keitaro gave no other reaction to the potent drink.

After a moment of eyeing the unmarked flask the drink had come from, Keitaro looked back at a slightly disappointed Haruka. ôIÆm guessing thatÆs not sake.ö

Haruka shook her head. ôShochu. Twice the punch. Warmed it up like sake though.ö

ôNot bad.ö Keitaro gestured toward the flask, and Haruka refilled his cup. Holding it so the heated liquor warmed up his hand, Keitaro fixed his gaze on Haruka, who was sipping from her cup.

ôGoddamn it, Grannyàö Keitaro took a sip of his drink before putting it down.

ôYeah. I knew that she was going make you the heir and landlord, but I didnÆt think she was going to do it like this.ö Haruka was swirling the drink in her cup before glancing back at her nephew.

ôI wouldnÆt have minded if Granny had just asked me to help her run the place, but this is BS. She knows I have to study for the Todai exam, and she dumps *this* in my lap? The work will be bad enough, especially since it looks like things have be sliding around here, but IÆm going to have to deal with *those* tenants?ö Keitaro looked like he wanted to shoot his drink again, but instead took another sip.

ôMaybe she just wanted to fix you up with them?ö Haruka was semi-joking as she said this, so she was surprised that Keitaro took her seriously.

ôThat would work out well. Two junior high girls, a trickster, a short-tempered man-hater, and a homicidal swordswoman that can throw energy blasts. And then there is me, a 20 year old ronin (1) with issues. Uh-huh, thatÆs going to work out really well.ö Keitaro looked down at his half-empty cup before tossing down the rest of the drink.

ôWell, it looks like you got past most of your issues. You did pretty well against the girls when they were after you.ö Haruka was looking from Keitaro to his empty cup, visibly considering if she should refill it or not.

ôIf you can call running for my life dealing with it. And one more, itÆs going to be the last.ö Nodding Haruka refilled KeitaroÆs cup, then her own.

After putting down the flask, Haruka pushed the binder over to in front of Keitaro. ôThatÆs the tenant book from GrannyÆs desk. It gives you the details about the girls, you might want to go through it before you face off with them again.ö

Opening the book, Keitaro began to rapidly read the varied entries. Along with basic personal information on the tenants, there were notations about rent paid and due, repairs both done and needed, and at the end of the book a list of current Inn income, expenses, and bills.

After reading for twenty minutes Keitaro gave a sigh as he flipped the book shut. Finishing the last sip of the drink he had, he took off his glasses and started massaging the bridge of his nose.

ôIs it that bad Keitaro?ö Since Haruka was the de facto assistant manager of the Inn, she had worked with the books before, so she knew the current financial situation.

ôNo, itÆs not. But what Granny has been doing is just treading water. Just enough is done so the Hinata-sou can pay its bills. Granny herself did not have a lot of expenses, so the lack of income was not a problem for her. But asking someone to do as much work as is needed to fix this place up for room and board is a bit much, even if they are going to inherit it down the line.ö Keitaro put his glasses back on and looked back at his aunt.

ôSo youÆre going to turn the Sou back into a hot-springs resort? What about the dorm and the girls? They really donÆt have anywhere else to go.ö

ôYeah, and thatÆs the other problem. Most of those girls have problems that would need a social worker to help with, not a ronin-turned-manager. I just *know* Narusegawa is going to be giving me flak just for breathing, Aoyama isnÆt going to be far behind, and judging from how late Konno usually is in making her rent payments, the amount she is in arrears and what IÆve seen of her, IÆm pretty sure she is either going to try and scam me, or worse. That plus there are two freaking 14 year old girls with problems of their own in there; having a 20 year old male as their landlord is just going to look bad, period.ö Keitaro looked down at his empty cup before pushing it aside in disgust.

ôWell, Granny already suggested one part of the solution in her letter. How hard would it be to get Kanako here?ö Haruka was trying to look on the bright side of things, and latched onto the first thing she could think of.

ôHow hard to get her here? Not very. How hard it is to convince her that she is my adopted sister and not my designated bed warmer? Much more difficult.ö Keitaro dropped his head to the table and left it there.

ôWell, it least you arenÆt blood related.ö The look Keitaro threw at his aunt would have curdled milk. ôYou know why Kanako feels the way she does.ö

ôOh yes, indeed-y. I was there for most of it. Problem is Kanako has picked up some of my traits along the way, one of which is about keeping promises, and you know the one she made.ö Keitaro dropped his head back to the table.

ôShe promised that she would take care of you, not that she would marry you or some such.ö Haruka rested her face on top of her hand, her arm braced against the tabletop.

ôAnd if you can convince her of that, I would be *so* grateful. At least we got her past the whole æHow you say æHelloÆ in JapanÆ phase.ö Keitaro gave a shudder at the memory. It was bad enough that someone would literally throw themselves at you with less than wholesome intentions in mind; it was worse when it was a 14 year old girl.

ôSo what are you going to do now? I mean in general.ö Haruka put a cigarette in her mouth, but due to the glare Keitaro shot her she did not light it for now.

Keitaro sighed. ôTonight I need to get some sleep, so as soon as dinner is done IÆm hitting the rack. Tomorrow IÆll do a top-to-bottom walkthrough of the Sou, see what need to be fixed up. From what IÆve seen, there is a lot of routine maintenance that need to be caught up with, so if the gods are willing, I can get it done before I have to start seriously studying for the Todai exam. It wonÆt be such a big deal to re-open the place as a resort after that. The big problem is going to be personnel; I canÆt run a resort with only one or two people, so I may have to downscale the idea some, like making it a bed-and-breakfast and have some help from the tenants.ö

Haruka half-smiled. ôWell, you wonÆt have to look far if you are looking for a chef; Shinobu-chan cooks better than some restaurants around here.ö

ôYeah, and sheÆs 14 years old. I canÆt depend on a minor going to school to do the amount of work needed.ö Raising his head from the table and looking at his wristwatch, Keitaro put his hands on the table and pushed himself up and off his chair. ôTime to go and put Shinobu-chanÆs cooking to the test.ö

ôAs long as that is the only thing you put to the test.ö Haruka had a smirk on her face as she stood up as well.

ôOh hah hah. SheÆs way too young for me. I prefer girls to be able to buy the booze and pay for the hotel room without illegal ID.ö Keitaro shook his head. ôAnd donÆt make jokes like that around the girls, especially Aoyama and Narusegawa. They are going to attack first and maybe ask questions later.ö

Keitaro turned and started walking toward the door when HarukaÆs next question brought him to a halt. ôYou know, you havenÆt told me about Thailand. When is that going to happen?ö

Standing facing away, Keitaro asked a question of his own. ôHow much do you know?ö

ôNot much. Just that the expedition you were on was attacked, and that you, Seta and his daughter Sarah made it back. Seta was badly injured, but heÆs expected to make a full recovery.ö

ôYouÆre curious about what happened?ö Keitaro glanced back at his aunt.

ôYeah, but IÆve seen that look on your face before. It can wait, but I do want to hear about it.ö

After a moment Keitaro replied, ôIn a few days. We would need a lot more time and booze for me to talk it.ö Stepping forward again, he headed for the steps up to the house while Haruka locked the door behind her and hurried to catch up.


It was a council of war, if the term could be applied to three teen girls.

Sitting cross-legged around the heated kotatsu table in NaruÆs room, it would be hard to take them seriously, except for the fact that one girl was minutely examining a katana for damage and another girl was almost glowing in anger. The third girl was looking from one to the other, sipping from an unmarked bottle that the other girls were careful not to ask the contents of.

After a few moments of silence, the black haired sword girl finally sighed and wiped her blade with a silk cloth she had produced from the belt of her hakama. In one slow motion she sheathed the sword and leaned it against her lap next to her.

ôSatisfied, Motoko?ö The honey blonde knew better than to mock MotokoÆs sword or her skill with it; she had seen what happened to the upperclassman at the high school who had not only made fun of the girl but tried to snatch the blade away from her. The boy had wound up have to finish the school year in traction.

ôYou can never be too careful, especially when you do not know the person that wielded your sword last.ö

ôWhat do you think the skill level is of our new dorm manager, Motoko?ö Kitsune knew how touchy the swordswoman was about her skills, but she was genuinely curious about the newcomer.

Motoko scowled. ôThat would be difficult to say. While he was able to defeat me, it was by means of unconventional tactics and methods. I do not know what his true skill level is until I spar with him. I do know that he is not an opponent to underestimate.ö She paused for a moment. ôHis appearance is what is disconcerting to myself. He does not look very different from the males we deal daily around here, but there is one thing I have noticed that is unusual about him. His eyes.ö

Kitsune looked from the resident swordswoman to the glowering girl and back again. ôWell, donÆt keep us in suspense, Motoko.ö

ôThis maleÆs eyes do not stay still. It is not that obvious because he is only looking with his eyes and not turning his head while doing so, but his eyes do not stay on the same thing for very long. He is always aware of his surroundings, and he tends to focus onàö MotokoÆs voice trailed off. ôThreats.ö

ôWhat do you mean, threats?ö Naru was starting to look interested in the conversation now.

ôThis male pays attention to those he considers threats. When you and I were standing before him, he kept looking mostly between the two of us. Even when he talking with someone else, his eyes kept coming back to us, and there was nothing perverted or lecherous in his gaze. He is a fighter that must be taken seriously.ö

ôWait, he was facing away from us when Haruka was reading the letter out loud, how is that keeping an eye on us?ö Naru protested.

ôI could see that he had angled himself so that he could see us in the reflection of the glass of the window he was in front of.ö Motoko had the slightest hint of admiration in her voice for the tactic.

ôSo, you sizing him up to be the next Mr. Aoyama?ö Kitsune knew she should not tease her roommate in such a way, but what was life without a little risk?

Motoko stiffened in outrage. ôBe serious, Kitsune! We know nothing about this male except what we just learned from his own lips and from his grandmotherÆs letter. And that is something that should be of serious concern to us all.ö

ôWhat, that heÆs a pervert? ThatÆs obvious, Motoko.ö NaruÆs expression had changed from a glower to a frown.

ôNo, I am referring to his lineage and his duty as given to him by Granny Hina. How much do you remember of your school studies of the feudal era, especially the shoguns?ö

Naru shrugged. ôJust the basics. The shoguns were the military leaders of feudal Japan, the true power behind the Imperial throne. They tended to pass down their position father to son, when the succession wasnÆt clear it tended to get messy.ö

Motoko nodded. ôThat is correct. The shoguns were the true heads of government, and therefore they had advisors around them, men of great power and responsibilities. These men were very much trusted, as they frequently worked closely with the leaders they served. These retainers were known as hatamoto, those under the banner. These samurai were always lords, and they were paid with grants of land or with a salary. For a family to be awarded 20,000 koku of land and promoted to the ranks of the closest advisors due to the actions of one of their members was almost unheard of in the Tokugawa era.ö

ôSo youÆre ready to have this guyÆs babies because of something that happened a couple hundred years ago?ö Kitsune was finishing off her bottle, so she missed seeing MotokoÆs hand moving over to the hilt of her sword. It was not until she lowered the bottle that she saw the tip of the sword sheath just in front of her eyes. She barely had time to blink before the sheath tapped her on the forehead, causing her to jerk her head back in shock.

ôIt would do you well to remember where the line of propriety is, Kitsune. A line you have passed a while ago.ö MotokoÆs sword was back alongside her, the swordswoman sitting straight and calm as though there was nothing bothering her.

Kitsune looked over to Naru, but the look on her best friendÆs face showed that while she was not happy about MotokoÆs corrective action, she was not about to complain about it. Swallowing the lump in the throat, Kitsune resolved to cut back on the risquÚ jokes about the touchy kendoist.

Naru did however share the fox girlÆs curiosity about the new male. ôSo you want to cut the pervert a break because of who he is descended from?ö

Motoko hesitated for a moment. ôThat is not what I intended, although you may see it that way. You heard that Granny Hina made it a giri for Urashima-sanàö MotokoÆs face twisted slightly as she said the honorific, ôto take over the Hinata Inn.ö The two other girls nodded. ôIt is now a matter of family honor for him to do as his grandmother asks.ö

ôSo whatÆs the big deal? He can always say no.ö Kitsune flinched back slightly as MotokoÆs eyes hardened and bored into her.

ôNo offense, Konno-san,ö Naru winced slightly as MotokoÆs voice became even more cold and formal as she spoke to her friend, ôbut since you come from a family of common lineage and no longer have any close family members, you do not understand what it means to have family obligations, especially of this seriousness. Urashima-san has been charged with protecting his family lands, and he strikes me as someone who takes his honor seriously.ö

ôWhat do you mean, lose the family lands? Worse comes to worse, the government buys his property. This is prime real estate here, they are going to get a pile of money for it.ö Kitsune squirmed at the look Motoko was continuing to direct at her.

ôLike I said, you are of common lineage, Kitsune. Given what you know about Hina and Haruka, and how Urashima-san was spoken about in Granny HinaÆs letter, does he really strike you as someone who does NOT take honor seriously? Both he and Granny referred to promises he is trying to keep, and that is closely tied to personal and family honor. He is going to do his utmost to protect what has been in his family for over two centuries.ö

Naru spoke up. ôLook Motoko, this guy may be the modern day equivalent of a samurai warrior, but IÆm not going to let him perv and assault us girls here at the Hinata-sou. Especially with poor Shinobu and Su around!ö

Motoko nodded. ôAgreed. This is what troubles me the most about what Granny Hina has done. We are familiar with the lecherous nature of males,ö here the other girls nodded in concurrence, ôbut we have to take into account that Granny Hina would not deliberately put us tenants in a position of imminent harm either.ö

The girls pondered. Granny Hina was more than a little flaky - really, a zero-notice world tour of the worldÆs hot springs at her age! - but she would not want the girls living at the Hinata-sou to be in the clutches of some pervert either.

ôAlso, keep in mind that Urashima-san is within his rights to shut down the dorm and reopen the Sou as a hotel or resort again. There is little we can do about that.ö

The other girls winced. Short of moving in with non-existent family in the Tokyo area, there was literally no other place to move to at the rates charged by the Hinata-sou; any other place would charge double or triple what they paid now. If they did lose their places at the Sou, they would have to either move back home away from Tokyo, or in the instance of Kitsune, she would have no place to go back to.

ôNo, what we must do is be on guard around our new manager, and try not to be in a position to where he can take advantage of us. Especially the younger girls.ö Naru nodded vehemently in agreement with the kendoist.

The fox girl just nodded slightly in acknowledgement before posing a question of her own. ôSo what do we do if Manager-san does try and take advantage of us, Motoko? Like you said, heÆs a serious fighter.ö

ôI have confidence in both you and Naru to hold off a perverted male long enough to cause an outcry. We will also be keeping an eye on the younger tenants to do the same.ö Motoko responded.

ôMotoko, even if we cause an outcry, so what? We canÆt fight him off for long,ö asked the ash blonde girl, finally serious.

ôHopefully I will hear what is happening. Then Manager-san will learn that I will take my duty to protect the tenants of this Sou even more seriously than he does his own promises.ö A grim look was now set on the kendoistÆs face.

Before Naru or Kitsune could ask what Motoko meant by that, there was a soft knock on the door. ôNaru-sempai, dinner is ready. Are Kitsune-sempai and Motoko-sempai there with you?ö ShinobuÆs voice traveled through the door.

Motoko stood in one smooth motion. ôWe are all here, Shinobu-chan. We will be downstairs shortly.ö Moving to the door, she cradled her sword in her off-arm and left the other two girls sitting behind her, blinking at each other while the swordswomanÆs last statement prior to the interruption hung in the air.


1 - ronin - originally referred to a samurai without a master. Now used to refer to secondary school graduates who have not yet been accepted to a university. Not a desired status.


Well-Known Member
Slight point to make here: Mitsune is roughly the same age as Keitaro. If memory serves correctly, she would be at most a few months younger than him. So we either have her a few months before she turns 20, or you're forgetting a little of your source material.


Well-Known Member
FinalMax said:
Slight point to make here: Mitsune is roughly the same age as Keitaro. If memory serves correctly, she would be at most a few months younger than him. So we either have her a few months before she turns 20, or you're forgetting a little of your source material.
In chapter 2, Kitsune is described as being around Keitaro's age, already have graduated from school, and working as a magazine writer. If she is not Keitaro's exact age, she's pretty close.

I do know that in the manga Naru was a year behind Kitsune at school. Naru, Kitsune, and Keitaro are at their canon ages in this story, the ones I made older are Motoko, Shinobu and Su. Motoko is now a senior in high school, Shinobu and Su are freshmen.

Naru has just graduated from high school and is in cram/prep school, Kitsune graduated from HS a year before.

Keitaro graduated HS and took the Todai test at the same time, and failed to get admitted. He spent a little less than a year working as 'contract labor' overseas and has come back to study to take the exam again. That is when Granny Hina sprung her little surprise on everyone.