Don't Mind If I Do!

#26
>implying Motoko and Keitaro aren't flat-out going to be tied down and ravished by Tsuruko within a few chapters
 

Lord Raa

Exporter of Juice Tins
#27
Reposting for formatting.

Plus there's that whole bumping up the post count thing.


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Don’t Mind if I Do!


By Lord Raa


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Disclaim-me-do: I can’t believe it’s not Love Hina.


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“A-aneue, what are you doing here?” Motoko Aoyama asked, the blood draining from her face.

“I’m here to see you, Motoko-han. Now, what is it that keeps you here away from your family?” Tsuruko asked, a teasing smile on her face.

“…” As the younger sister started to panic, her brown eyes caught sight of Keitaro returning some of the cleaning supplies to the cupboard and she latched on to the first thing that popped into her head. “Keitaro!”

“Pardon?” Tsuruko asked in confusion as the bespectacled young man looked up in confusion.

“Keitaro, Aneue, is my fiancé,” Motoko answered in a voice loud enough for the man in question to hear.

“Is that so?” the visitor asked, eying the approaching man.

“Err, yeah,” Keitaro nodded. “So Motoko-chan, are you going to introduce us?”

“I am Motoko’s sister, Tsuruko,” the taller of the two girls said with a bow. “I must say that it’s nice to meet the man who has finally convinced my sister that men aren’t the inhuman monsters, incapable of controlling their primal urges.”

“Aneue!” Motoko blushed. “Do you have to embarrass me like that?”

“I don’t _have_ to, Motoko-han. I just choose to, they are your words, after all. So then, Keitaro-san, what is it about my sister that attracted you to her?”

“Err… I guess it was a lot of things. I mean, she’s cute, she’s strong, she stands up for what she believes in,” the ronin answered, his own cheeks filling with blood as he thought about the question.

“Yes, she is all those things, isn’t she?” Tsuruko asked rhetorically. “I don’t mean to be rude, but could we discuss this engagement inside? It’s not the sort of thing one discusses on the doorstep, after all.”

“You’re absolutely right, I’m so sorry, Aoyama-san,” Keitaro bowed. “Would you like any refreshments? Tea, coffee, juice?”

“Tea would be nice, Keitaro-san,” the older sister answered. When Keitaro had left them, she turned to her sister. “Motoko-han, could you please show me where the toilet is?”

“It’s this way, Aneue.”


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When Keitaro entered the common room, he was a little surprised to see that Kitsune was chatting with the Aoyama sisters.

“So then, Mitsune-san, how did Keitaro-san and Motoko-han meet? Was it love at first sight? Did it take them long before they decided to get engaged?”

“Err… it wasn’t the best of circumstances, to be honest,” the short haired girl replied with a wince. ‘Crap! Motoko, why did you have to say that you and Keitaro were engaged? Couldn’t you have said that you were just going out?’

“I see,” Tsuruko mused. “What happened?”

“Err, well, the thing is,” Kitsune stalled.

“There was a misunderstanding when I first arrived, Aoyama-san,” Keitaro replied as he set the tray down. “My grandmother owns this building and I was asked to manage it. However, I thought that it was still an inn and not the all girls’ dormitory that it is now.”

“How awkward for you.”

“Yes,” the ronin nodded. “Well, when we calmed down, we managed to sort things out and we’ve been happy with the arrangement. Well, barring a few accidents, that is.”

“I’m glad that things worked out for you, Keitaro-san. I was afraid that your presence here would unsettle Motoko-han. She never really socialised with the male species when she was younger,” Tsuruko explained. “It has left her… how should I put this? Unprepared for life in the wider world.”

Motoko was mortified by the way her sister was revealing all her quirks to Keitaro. “An-eue~~!”

The older sister laughed. “I’m sorry, Motoko-han. I didn’t mean to embarrass you like that. I just want to make sure that the man you’ve chosen understands what makes you ‘you’.”

“Oh,” the younger sister replied. It wasn’t that she was unfamiliar with the compassionate side of her sister; it was just that she thought Tsuruko was here “on business” and that she was going to take her back to Kyoto with her.

“Now, please don’t think that I intend to cause offence, Mitsune-san, but I want to speak with Keitaro-san and Motoko-han in private. There are things that we need to discuss,” Tsuruko replied in a business-like tone.

“Oh, ok. I’ll be in my room if you need me for anything,” the short haired girl replied with a shrug. “Try not to be too hard on them – they’re still kids in love.”

“I will be as fair as I can, Mitsune-san.”

When they were left alone, Keitaro poured three cups of tea and handed them out. “What was it that you wanted to talk to us about, Aoyama-san?”

“Please, call me ‘Tsuruko’,” the older kendoist smiled. “I want to know why it took Motoko-han so long to tell anyone about your relationship. Mitsune-san seemed rather surprised when I asked her about it.”

“We’re a private couple,” the ronin replied evasively.

“Yes,” Motoko agreed. “We’re taking things slowly because well, we’ve seen what happens when you rush into a relationship.”

“Kouji and I were married soon after we were engaged, and our marriage is a happy one,” Tsuruko countered before sipping her tea. “But yes, I can understand why you would want to proceed carefully.”

The younger sister let out a small sigh of relief. ‘I was worried that Aneue might make me kiss Keitaro…’

“Though, I must admit that I’m troubled by the clandestine nature of this relationship. It doesn’t seem quite right, if you know what I mean.”

Keitaro coughed as some of his tea went down his windpipe by accident.

“Yes, you seem know what I mean, Keitaro-san. But surely, you wouldn’t agree to deceive me like this, just to allow Motoko-han to avoid her responsibilities to her clan, would you?” Tsuruko asked, hiding her small smirk behind her cup of tea. “You don’t seem like the sort of person that would bring that sort of dishonour upon our family.”

“I would never do something like that!” the bespectacled youth insisted reflexively.

“That’s good to hear. I suppose that your attempts to shield my sister from gossiping tongues is the primary reason why you kept this engagement a secret.”

“Yes it is, Aneue,” Motoko nodded vigorously. “You know how reputations can be made or broken by the company a young woman keeps.”

“That I do, Motoko-han. Well, I’m happy that you’ve found love, but I must say that I would have appreciated you telling me that you had found a man,” the elder sister chided. “Still, at least Mother and Father will be happy.”

“What?”

“They were concerned that your…dislike of men was a sign that your tastes were, how should I put it?” Tsuruko mused. “Of the more feminine.”

Motoko’s eyes widened as she realised just what her sister was trying to say. “I’m not like that, Aneue!”

“Like what, Motoko-chan?” Keitaro asked with a clueless expression on his face.

The sisters turned to face the ronin, each of them unsure of what to make of that comment.

Tsuruko had decided that it meant that Keitaro was incredibly inexperienced, most likely a virgin.

Motoko thought that Keitaro was trying to embarrass her because of the way she had sprung this “engagement” on him.

It was the older sister that was correct, though if asked, Keitaro would have been reluctant to give that answer.

“Well, that’s not important right now,” Tsuruko smiled. “If it’s not too much trouble, may I stay for a few days? I would like to catch up with you, Motoko-han.”

“Of course, Tsuruko-san,” Keitaro nodded. “I’ll prepare a room for you now. Would you like to use the bath while you talk with Motoko-chan?”

“That would be perfect, Keitaro-san.”


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The Aoyama sisters let out contented sighs as she leant back into the hot water.

“I can see why you want stay here, Motoko-han.”

“Really?” Motoko asked, hoping that her ruse had worked.

“Yes,” Tsuruko replied, her eyes closed. “Keitaro-san seems to be a nice, polite young man and there is a chance that he could inherit this property. He would be able to support you and your children with ease.”

“C-c-c-children?”

“Yes, children,” the older sister nodded. “Mother and Father don’t want your children with Keitaro to be born out of wedlock.”

“C-c-children with Keitaro?” Motoko repeated, her face red with embarrassment.

“I’m sorry to break it to you, Motoko, but some people think that the primary reason for sex between married couples is to have children. You do plan to have children, right?”

“What about you, Aneue? You don’t have any children,” the younger kendoist countered.

“It’s not like we haven’t been trying, Motoko-han. But this makes me suspicious…” Tsuruko replied, finally opening her eyes to observe her sister. “How far have you progressed your relationship with Keitaro-san?”

“W-what do you mean, Aneue?”

“I mean, Motoko-chan, what have you and Keitaro-san done together? Have you gone on many dates?”

“No,” Motoko shook her head.

“Have you been to any love hotels?”

“NO!” the resident Aoyama shouted.

“So you’re able to find privacy here? I can see how you’d be able to do so, this is a large building after all.”

“Keitaro and I are not having sex, Aneue.”

“Oh,” the now deflated Tsuruko said.

Realising that things weren’t going her way, Motoko clutched at the only straw she could think of. “We’re saving ourselves for marriage!”

Tsuruko breathed a sigh of relief. “You know, that’s actually quite sweet, Motoko-han.”

“It is?”

“Yes, you see you don’t think you’re ready for sex and Keitaro-san respects that, and you, enough to not push things.”

Motoko allowed herself a small mental cheer for her quick thinking until her sister followed up with something that she didn’t expect her sister of all people to say.

“So what are you doing for him in the meantime?”

“What?”

“Keitaro-san, like most adults, has needs,” Tsuruko explained. “While I understand why you don’t want to have sex just yet, I would be surprised if he doesn’t have sexual thoughts about you. You are a rather attractive young woman, Motoko-han. Keitaro-san should be able to find some sort of release, don’t you think?”

“I guess,” Motoko shrugged, not really having considered that.

“Well, what do you, as his fiancée, do to help him? Do you hold hands under the table while you watch television? Do you make out in the back row of the cinema on your dates?”

The teenager’s face turned scarlet with embarrassment. “Aneue~~~~!”

“I’m serious, Motoko-han. If you don’t help him with these things, then how can he focus on his duties to the dormitory?”

When Motoko started to do a credible impersonation of a koi, Tsuruko realised what the truth of the situation was.

“I see. So you were lying to me. I’m extremely disappointed with you, Motoko. I should ask you to give me a good reason why I shouldn’t take you back to Kyoto with me.” Tsuruko stood up to leave the bath.

“Aneue!”

The older sister smiled as she turned to face Motoko, her full breasts swaying with the movement. “Don’t worry, Motoko-han, you can stay here with your fiancé.”

“B-b-but you said that you knew that I was lying…” Motoko panicked.

“You were lying to me, Motoko-han. But it’s not a lie anymore,” Tsuruko smiled.

“W-w-w-w-w-what? What do you mean, Aneue?”

“Get dressed, Motoko-han, you’re going to an omiai.”


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“Keitaro-san,” Tsuruko said as she approached the ronin. “I need to talk to you.”

“A-about what, Tsuruko-san?”

“About you and my sister.”

Keitaro gulped nervously. “W-what about us?”

“Motoko and I are from a traditionally minded family, and our parents would not consider the engagement to be valid if proper ceremonies were not observed,” Tsuruko explained. “And as such, there needs to be an omiai between our families. I will act on behalf of Motoko-han, but is there anyone that could represent you? A relative or someone who acted as a guardian for you?”

“… My Aunt Haruka, I guess.”

“Do you know when she will be able to get here? I would like to make this official as soon as I can.”

“I’ll go ask her now,” Keitaro smiled weakly.

“I shall await your return, Keitaro-san.”


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“You want me to do what?”

“Represent me in an omiai, Aunt Haruka.”

Keitaro winced as he was smacked on the top of his head. “Sorry, Haruka-san.”

“That’s better. Now who is it that you’re planning to marry?”

“Motoko-chan.”

Haruka blinked. “Care to run that by me again? I thought you liked Naru-chan, so why are you getting married to Motoko-chan?”

“Err, I’m not really sure what’s going on myself, but I think that if Motoko-chan’s sister thinks that we’re engaged, she won’t have to leave the inn.”

“What are you, some kind of beard? Keitaro, you really know how to get into awkward situations, don’t you?” the smoker sighed. “Still, I suppose that it could be worse.”

“H-how?” the ronin asked hesitantly. “On second thoughts, I don’t want to know.”

“Now you’re learning, Keitaro,” Haruka smirked. “So then, when Motoko’s sister leaves, how are you going to explain the return of the dowry?”

“I…I don’t know,” Keitaro admitted.

“This is another lesson for you and Motoko-chan to learn: think things through properly before you start shooting your mouth off. Now, I’ll help you as much as I can because you’re family and I like you, Keitaro. But,” Haruka said, her tone becoming stern, “I don’t know what I can do. I mean, if Motoko-chan’s sister decides to hold a shotgun wedding, then you’re in serious trouble.”

“D-do you really think that she’d do that?”

“I don’t know what she’s capable of, Keitaro.”


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That evening, the Aoyama sisters sat opposite the Urashimas as part of the omiai.

“Now, I realise that things aren’t as quite as they were for myself and Kouji, but seeing as we are all responsible adults, I don’t think that we require the services of a nakōdo,” Tsuruko said with a smile.

“We shall see,” Haruka smiled back. “Are you sure that this would be good match? I mean no disrespect to Keitaro, but he is a struggling student. Hopefully, he will be able to attend Toudai in the near future, but for the next few years at least, he won’t be able to provide much for his family.”

“Alas, that is true,” the elder Aoyama agreed, “I think that it would be a case of ‘short term loss for long term gain’ that would enable them to forge the bonds of their marriage. If all they have is each other, then perhaps they will not fall into the trap of believing that material goods are the route to happiness when they are financially secure.”

‘She’s good,’ the teashop proprietor thought. ‘She’s very good.’ “I hope that is the case, but, you seem unusually enthusiastic about this marriage, Tsuruko-san. Is there any particular reason for it?”

“Do I really give that impression? Well, I will admit that we were concerned that Motoko-han wasn’t ever going to get married, given her dislike of men in general. I’m honestly glad that we were mistaken,” Tsuruko said, a relieved smile on her face.

“That makes sense, we were getting a little worried about Keitaro.”

When she saw that Keitaro and Motoko felt humiliated at the exchange between herself and Haruka, Tsuruko’s face turned serious.

“Urashima-san, did you know that Motoko-han lied to me when she told me that she and Keitaro-san were engaged?”

“I will admit that it was a possibility,” Haruka replied in an even tone. “Why? What are you going to do to them?”

“Keitaro-san, were you coerced into helping my sister in this deception?” Tsuruko asked, her tone more in line with that of a police interrogator.

“N-no,” the ronin lied. “I like Motoko-chan.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes,” Keitaro replied, his voice finding strength from somewhere. “I told you earlier, I think that she’s cute, she’s strong and she stands up for what she believes in.”

The senior Aoyama leaned forward. “Do you like her enough to be married to her? Think carefully about your answer, as there is a lot riding on it.”

“W-what do you mean, Aneue?” Motoko asked, a sense of panic rising inside her gut.

“Motoko-han, I told you that while this engagement with Keitaro-san was fake, it is no longer the case. There are three options,” Tsuruko said. “Option one is that you get married as soon as possible – as in within the next 48 hours. Our parents would be sad if they missed the wedding, but they would understand if you two were in love. Option two is that you are in fact officially engaged, complete with a dowry changing hands. I realised that circumstances are not ideal for a marriage between Motoko-han and Keitaro-san, so I understand if you would prefer to wait a while.”

“A-and option three?” Keitaro asked, his whole body shaking nervously.

“One or both of you commit seppuku to atone for your deception with Motoko-han, if she does not take responsibility, returning with me to Kyoto.”

“Y-you’d force Motoko-chan to kill herself?” the ronin asked, not trusting his hearing.

“Our clan takes honour very seriously, Keitaro-san. Please, I beg you, do not force my sister to take such a drastic course of action,” Tsuruko pleaded as she bowed with her head touching the floor.

“No! I would never make Motoko-chan do something like that! I’d kill myself first!”

“And condemn her to a life of unhappiness in Kyoto?” the elder sister asked, her head rising enough for her to look the Urashimas in the eyes. “Because our parents would not let her have a fraction of the freedoms she has here.”

“What? No! I’ll do what it takes to make Motoko-chan happy!” Keitaro insisted. “I’ll be her fiancé! I’ll marry her when I graduate from Toudai! I’ll make her as happy as I can!”

“I apologise for giving you in such an unpleasant choice,” Tsuruko replied, her head once more touching the floor. “I thank you, Keitaro-san, for making what I would consider the right decision. I see that while my sister’s actions were less than honourable, her ability to judge character is excellent. I would be proud to call you my brother.”

“T-thank you,” Keitaro bowed back in response.

Motoko gulped nervously. “A-aneue, w-were you serious about this?”

“Yes, Motoko-han, I am serious. You are now engaged to Keitaro-san, however we still need to discuss the dowry.”

“What did you have in mind? Considering that you have caused us both a great deal or trouble with your actions,” Haruka commented, her arms folded across her chest.

“I would have to discuss things with our parents in order to find something suitable, but is there anything that you had in mind?” Tsuruko asked. “Is there anything that you feel would be appropriate restitution?”

“It’s something that would need to be discussed with family.”

“I understand entirely. We will meet again to work out the details. Thank you for your time, Urashima-san.”


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Tsuruko silently accompanied Motoko on the walk back to her room. Eventually, the elder sister decided that she needed to say something.

“Motoko-han, I know that you are upset with me, but did you really think that you were going to succeed with your plan?”

“I… err… I don’t know, Aneue. I didn’t want to lie to you, but I don’t want to go back with you to Kyoto just yet.”

“Motoko-han, I know that you were jealous of him, but Kouji hasn’t taken me away from you. I haven’t taken Kouji away from his friends and family, either. Far from it.”

“I realise that now, Aneue,” Motoko sighed. “But it’s just that, well, I saw something soon after you got married that made me feel uncomfortable.”

“What was that?” Tsuruko asked as she placed a reassuring hand on her sister’s shoulder.

“I…I thought that I saw you and Kouji with other people. You know, in your bedroom.”

“Ah, I see. And you thought that Kouji was up to something? Well, I can assure you that what happened on that night has happened several times since.”

Motoko looked shocked. “B-b-b-but he was with another woman!”

Looking around for witnesses, the elder sister pushed open the door to Motoko’s room. “Inside, I’ll explain it to you.”

Locking the door behind her, Motoko gave her sister the signal to continue.

“Motoko-han, your brother-in-law and I are swingers. We like to have sex with other people,” Tsuruko explained.

“What? But what about your marriage vows?”

“What about them? I love Kouji and he loves me, but there were times that have meant that we needed to find others for physical comfort.”

“Y-you mean that y-you were w-with o-other m-men?”

Tsuruko nodded. “Yes, Motoko-han. We did. And on several occasions, we took part in orgies.”

Motoko sank to her knees when she realised her sister had just confessed to adultery. “B-b-but why? Why would you do that?”

“It’s complicated, Motoko-han. It’s not something that I expected you to understand, but when you told me that you were engaged, I hoped that it meant that you were old enough to know about sexual relationships,” the older sister answered. “I’m sorry you had to find out like this.”

“Why did you insist that I get married to Keitaro!?”

“Look, Motoko-han,” Tsuruko sighed. “I love you dearly, but I needed to show you that your words and actions have consequences. If you had given me a legitimate reason not to return to Kyoto, I would have talked with our parents.”

“So I didn’t need to lie about Keitaro?” Motoko asked with a wince.

“No, you didn’t.”

The teenager started to sob softly, she was surprised to feel her sister embrace her. “A-aenue?”

“Keitaro-san is a good person and I think that he’ll do what he can to make you happy. Now, why don’t you get some rest? We’ll talk in the morning.”

“Ok, Aneue.”


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Haruka sighed as she pulled out her cigarettes. “You really know how to get yourself in odd situations, don’t you, Keitaro.”

“Sorry, Au-, Haruka-san. I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Keitaro insisted.

“I know, Keitaro, I know. But what now? What of your promise girl? What are you going to tell her when you finally get into to Toudai? ‘Oh, I’m sorry, we can’t go out because I’m already engaged to someone else’ isn’t going to cut it.”

“I’m an idiot,” the ronin said as he rapped his knuckles on his head.

“You know,” Haruka said as she sidled up to her nephew. “You don’t have to break your promise.”

“I don’t?”

“No,” the now smoking woman smiled. “If you think about it, you only promised that you’d meet her when you’re attending Toudai, not that you’d be lovers.”

“…” Keitaro sat still as he digested that piece of information.

“See,” Haruka said as she place a reassuring hand one her nephew’s shoulder, “things will work out if you let them. Ok, so they don’t always work out like you planned, but that’s life.”

“Thanks, Haruka-san. So now what do I do?” the ronin asked as he looked towards the heavens for inspiration. “How do I tell the others that I got engaged to Motoko-chan?”

“Tell them the truth – that it was the only way to allow Motoko to stay here,” the smoker replied. “Now come on, help me clear up.”


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As Motoko lay on her futon, she pondered her situation. While she didn’t want to leave her friends here in Hinata, she didn’t exactly want to marry Keitaro.

“He’s not worthy of you, is he, Motoko?” she asked herself. “You know what a weakling he is and a pervert!”

“Yet, he was willing to offer his life for yours…”

“He just thinks that he’ll be able to make use of that later!”

“Pfft, you don’t really believe that, do you? Plus Aneue approves of him.”

“Aneue sleeps around, she told me herself!”

“That just means that she knows what men are like! Remember, you don’t have to invite him into to your bed right away, he said that he would marry you after he graduates from Toudai, so you’ve got some time to warm up to him.”

“I don’t know…”

“Really? Well, whose hand is that on your right breast, Motoko?”

“Argh!” the kendoist screamed when she realised that her hands had wandered during her mental discussion about her new fiancé.

“Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!” Motoko berated herself as she slapped her cheeks in an attempt to purge her head from the thoughts of sharing her bed with Keitaro. “Why did Aneue have to start talking about that sort of thing?”

Sighing, she decided that she needed to talk a walk. As she pulled on her dressing gown, a thought occurred to her.

“Aneue wouldn’t try to… with Keitaro, would she?”


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“Perhaps I should ensure that Motoko-han’s fiancé is sufficiently knowledgeable about pleasuring women?” Tsuruko thought with a smile as she put down her pen in between the pages of her journal.

She had taken to writing a log of her more intimate thoughts soon after she started puberty, and some of her more interesting fantasies and ideas often came to her when she was away from home.

“Sure, she might not understand why it’s best if at least one of the newlyweds actually knows what they’re doing on the wedding night, but perhaps she will appreciate it if Keitaro-san knows that he must be gentle during their first encounter?”

Settling back in the chair, the first born Aoyama sister started to ponder the best way to get Keitaro alone for some hands on education.


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Elsewhere in the Hinata Sou, Keitaro Urashima was studying. While this was not an unusual occurrence given his lofty goals in life, his current field of research was not one of his normal subjects.

No, rather than English, maths, science, or Japanese literature, Keitaro was studying the rules governing arranged marriages.

“Damn it! Is there anyway out of this mess?” the ronin cursed as he flipped through book. Then he saw something that fanned the faint spark of hope in his heart.

“If the groom rejects the dowry, then the bride’s family may have to withdraw the offer of marriage in order to save face… That’s it! All I have to do to help Motoko-chan get out of this mess is to demand an outrageous dowry!”

Feeling pleased with himself, Keitaro allowed himself a celebratory arm pump. “Now to tell Motoko-chan the good news.”

Opening his door, he heard that someone else was still awake.

“Hello?” the ronin asked. “Who’s there?”

“It’s Motoko,” the voice answered.

“Motoko-chan! I need to speak with you, I’ve got some good news.”

“You have?” the kendoist replied.

“Yeah, if you’ll come wi-” Keitaro started.

“Perhaps we shouldn’t discuss things in your room, Keitaro-san?” Motoko winced. “I wouldn’t want Aneue to get the wrong idea.”

“What? Oh, yeah.” The Toudai aspirant slapped his forehead with the palm of his right hand. “Sorry about that, but I was just excited about finding a way out of this for you.”

“You can show me in the kitchen, I need a drink.”

When they were seated in the kitchen, Keitaro explained his plan.

“Now, I know that it’s going to sound insulting to you and your family, but if I say that the dowry your sister offers me and my family isn’t enough for me, then you should be able to withdraw the marriage offer.”

The kendoist managed to keep her first reaction under control – that of punishing Keitaro for his slight against her family – for long enough for her to consider the merits of his plan.

“It… could actually work. We just need to come up with some demands that she couldn’t possibly agree to.”

“Do you have any ideas, Motoko-chan?” the ronin asked as he sipped his drink.

“Not at the moment, but perhaps Kitsune can help us, seeing as she’s been listening in on our conversation,” Motoko replied dryly.

“Heheh, I guess that I need to work on my ninja skills, eh, Motoko-chan,” the ash blonde replied as she scratched the back of her head. “So, you two are trying to get out of this engagement? Why not tell her the truth – that you made it up?”

“I did. Unfortunately, Aneue decided to make it an official engagement earlier. We even had an omiai.”

“Oh,” Kitsune replied, her eyes open to their fullest extent. “So you guys are actually...?”

“Yes,” Keitaro nodded with a sigh. “So, what sort of thing should I demand as a dowry to let Motoko-chan out of the engagement?”

The ash blonde took a seat next to her friends. “I thought that you’d be jumping at the chance to be engaged to Motoko-chan, Keitaro. I mean you do like her and everything, right? So what’s brought this change of heart on?”

“It’s not that I don’t like Motoko-chan, I do! I think she’s really cute and she’s a good person,” the landlord insisted. “I really do, and if I thought she really wanted me like that, then I’d jump at the chance to be her fiancé. But I know that she doesn’t like me like that and being engaged to me isn’t what she wants.”

“You seem rather sure of this, Keitaro,” Kitsune mused. “What makes you say that?”

“It’s obvious isn’t it?” Keitaro asked rhetorically. “I mean, I was only chosen because I was the only available man. If it had someone else she knew, she’d have picked them. I don’t blame her not wanting to be engaged to me.”

The two girls looked at each other in disbelief. While it was true that he hadn’t made the best of impressions when he first arrived at the Hinata Sou, Keitaro had won the girls over with his “never say die” attitude and irrepressible nature. They all knew that if there was a task he put his mind to, it was only a matter of time before he completed it, regardless of how impossible it seemed.

“While I will admit that I had no intention of getting engaged to you, Keitaro-sempai, I would not consider it to be a disservice or dishonour to either of our families,” Motoko replied.

“R-really?”

“Yeah, Keitaro,” Kitsune nodded. “Sure, you’re not exactly Japan’s most eligible bachelor, but you’re a good person. If things were different, I’m sure that we could have at least gone out on a few dates.”

“Y-you really think so? You both would consider being my girlfriends?” Keitaro asked.

“You’re a presumptuous one, aren’t you Keitaro,” the ash blonde winked saucily. “I didn’t think you had it in you to suggest a threesome with Motoko-chan.”

The ronin’s face turned scarlet, with some of his blood trying to escape from his nostrils. “T-t-t-t-that’s n-not what I m-meant!”

“I should hope not,” Motoko replied icily. She turned to her friend. “Do you have any ideas for unacceptable dowry demands?”

“I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but if I do come up with anything, I’ll let you know as soon as I can,” Kitsune replied. “Actually, I’ve just thought of something. You could demand that I get a high paying job that requires nothing in the way of work on my part.”

“No, I don’t think that’s going to help us,” the kendoist replied with a tired sigh. “Anyway, I’m going back to bed. I’ll see you two in the morning.”

“Good night, Motoko-chan,” Keitaro smiled.

“Yeah, sweet dreams,” the drunkard winked. She turned to face the young man. “So, what are you going to do about this?”

“I’ve got no idea, Kitsune. Maybe something will come to me during the night? I’ll see you in the morning.”


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Lord Raa

Exporter of Juice Tins
#28
Don’t Mind if I Do!


By Lord Raa


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Disclaim-me-do: There’s a world of difference between throwing your food on the floor and stabbing a duke in the heart.


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Chapter 2


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Keitaro had not had a good night’s sleep. His mind had been filled with thoughts of Motoko. Even so, it wasn’t the first time that he’d spent a lot of time thinking about her. Sometimes it was being married to her and the duties that entailed, some of which would have earned him a beating from the kendoist.

Other times, he thought about the ways to get out of the engagement for Motoko’s sake; but the only way he could see to get out of the engagement was to make an outrageous dowry demand.

It wasn’t in Keitaro’s nature to think about large sums of money. He had always been able to appreciate it when he had some in his pocket, but it was just that money didn’t mean that much to him. It didn’t control him or his actions.

The alarm blared and Keitaro sighed as he turned it off.

“I have no idea how to deal with this engagement,” he muttered as he idly pondered the merits of staying in bed until the situation resolved itself.

There was a knock on the door.

“Keitaro, unless you’re sick or dying, get out of bed now,” the stern female voice instructed.

“What? Haruka? What are you doing here?”

“Sorting out your mess, Keitaro. Now get out of bed now!” Haruka demanded.


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Keitaro stumbled through the Inn in his semi-coherent manner looking for Haruka. As he walked past the TV room, he noticed that the two Aoyama sisters were sitting upright and listening intently to someone.

Upon entering the room, he saw that Haruka was the person the sisters were conversing with.

“Ah, so you’ve finally decided to join us,” the smoker drawled. “Sit down and listen to what Tsuruko-san has to say.”

“What? OK,” Keitaro nodded and took a seat next to his cousin.

“I’ve got some important news for you and Motoko-han,” the older sister said. “It seems that our parents have decided that Motoko-han is to be married, but not you, Keitaro-san.”

“What?” the ronin asked.

“I... I’m being courted by someone else,” Motoko answered, still clearly shocked by this latest development.

“Not only that, but he seems to be more suited to Motoko than you, Keitaro,” Haruka added. “Apparently, he’s some kind of rising star in the kendo world. Not only that, but he’s rich.”

“Oh,” was all Keitaro could say in reply.

“He’s not bad looking, either,” Tsuruko said. “All in all, he’s quite the catch.”

“So what’s the problem?” Haruka asked, sensing Keitaro’s question.

“He’s an idiot who lives in some sort of deranged samurai fantasy world,” Tsuruko answered. “He learned of Motoko’s coming of age and petitioned our parents for an arranged marriage. He offered quite the incentive to make it happen.”

“Wait, so Motoko has two fiancés?” Keitaro blurted out.

“That’s a good question, Keitaro-san. Do we count your fictitious engagement or not? Or does this second engagement not count because it happened after your engagement? One can’t be engaged to two people at the same time,” the married Aoyama commented.

“So what now?” Motoko asked in a quiet voice. She’d met this other suitor once before, and he was most definitely not her type.

“You could marry Keitaro in the next few hours, that would solve the issue, though our parents would be upset that you hid this relationship from them. Or you could dump Keitaro and go with Makoto Koizumi. Your life would be comfortable, but probably unfulfilling. Or you-”

The doorbell rang, interrupting Tsuruko’s listing of Motoko’s options.

“I’ll get that,” Keitaro said, unsure of what say or do to help the situation. Upon opening the door, the ronin was greeted by the sight of a young man with lustrous black hair.

“Can I help you?”

“I am Makoto Koizumi and I’m here to visit my fiancée, Motoko Aoyama. Who might you be?”

“I’m Keitaro Urashima, I’m landlord and manager of the Hinata Sou,” the bespectacled young man replied. He took in the details of the visitor.

Makoto was slightly taller than Keitaro; he also looked to be physically stronger and had a better wardrobe than the ronin.

On the face of things, there should be no reason why Motoko would reject Makoto in favour of Keitaro.

“What? A man staying under the same roof as Motoko Aoyama, sword-maiden of the Shinmeiryu? I cannot allow such a thing!”

Keitaro blinked as a bokken was suddenly centimetres away from his nose.

“I should cut you down where you stand, you fiend!” Makoto declared loudly.

Haruka approached the front door, curious as to what the commotion was. “Can we help you?”

“I’m here to protect my fiancée, Motoko Aoyama, from the unsavoury advances of this... this creature!”

“Unsavoury advances?” Haruka repeated. “Would those be the ones where Motoko makes up an engagement to Keitaro?”

“W-what? Motoko-sama is my fiancée, she is not engaged to this,” the kendoist said, gesturing to Keitaro with his bokken.

“You must be Makoto Koizumi,” the smoker commented.

“Once again my fame precedes me,” Makoto smiled arrogantly. He gave a small bow. “Yes, I am Makoto Koizumi.”

“You’re quite rude for a guest,” Haruka said, the young man’s charm having no effect on her. “Insulting Keitaro on his own doorstep like this is bad form. I’m not sure that Motoko would be impressed with this lack of manners...”

“I... I meant no disrespect,” the kendoist insisted unconvincingly. “I was just concerned for the well-being of my fiancée, as any proud samurai would be.”

From the doorway of the TV room, the Aoyama sisters observed the exchange between the Urashimas and Makoto.

“I can’t say that I like this Koizumi fellow, Motoko-han. Given the choice between the two, I think I’d go for Keitaro-san.”

Motoko nodded. Keitaro might not be as urbane, but he certainly wasn’t acting like some idiotic blowhard.

“I’ll see if I can sort something out, Motoko-han,” Tsuruko said as she straightened her gi before approaching the entrance to the Hinata Sou. “Ah, good morning, Koizumi-san, how can we help you today?”

“Good morning, Aoyama-san. It heartens me to see that my future sister-in-law is here to greet me on this visit to see my fiancée,” Koizumi said. His voice would have sounded charming to everyone there had they not heard his previous exchanges with Keitaro.

Instead, it sounded insincere and calculated.

“Alas, Koizumi-san, it seems that my sister has chosen another to be her fiancé,” Tsuruko apologised.

“But my family arranged this with your parents.”

“I only found out about her engagement to Keitaro-san late last night,” the married Aoyama explained. “I believe that it’s an engagement that was just made. Otherwise, our families would not have made other arrangements.”

Makoto was unconvinced. After all, this Urashima fellow hardly looked like the sort that could attract the likes of the beauteous Motoko Aoyama. What could Motoko see in such a pathetic looking man?

In Makoto’s opinion, Keitaro was untidy and looked barely capable of walking without tripping over his own feet.

No, in his mind, there must have been some coercion. But what could it be?

Koizumi caught a glimpse of Motoko hiding shyly and realised in horror what it was that had caused this “engagement”– Keitaro had sullied the poor girl.

“You fiend!”

“What?”

“You inhuman monster! I cannot allow you to go unpunished for your crimes!”

“What are you talking about?” Haruka asked, rapidly growing tired of the obnoxious young man.

“He sullied the pure Motoko Aoyama with his sordid behaviour and with his unchecked lusts!”

Tsuruko blinked. ‘Unchecked lusts, eh? Well, perhaps I had better... no, now is not the time for such things.’

Makoto gripped his bokken tightly. “I will avenge you, Motoko Aoyama, you have my word. This cur will taste the justice of the he-”

“Oh shut up, you idiot,” Haruka said, interrupting the tiresome tirade. “You turn up unannounced and insult your host, accusing him of sex crimes and threatening him with physical violence. And you really think that you’re the kind of man that Motoko would be interested in?

“Go away before I feed you that stupid wooden sword.”

The smoker slammed the door shut and turned to face Keitaro and the Aoyamas. “I think we all know which of the two suitors Motoko should pick.”

“Y-yes,” Motoko nodded. ‘Perhaps I’ve been a bit too harsh on Keitaro... He was willing to risk everything for me.’

The doorbell rang again and Haruka opened the door.

“You again?”

“How dare you slam your door in my face!?!” Koizumi demanded, his face like thunder.

“You are so very right, Koizumi-sama, how could I make such a faux-pas?” the smoker asked with a voice thick with sarcasm. “I clearly should have slammed my fist into your face.”

One right hook later and the would-be suitor was knocked out cold.

Motoko stood open mouthed. She’d seen Haruka annoyed with people before – she often hit Keitaro for calling her “Aunt Haruka”, but this was completely different league.

It had been a while since Keitaro had seen his cousin unleash her fury like that. He thought back to the last time it had happened and wondered if that molester on the train would ever eat solid food again.

Tsuruko, however, was thinking of something else. ‘Haruka-sama is an intimidating woman... Perhaps with the aid of some toys we could try a new scenario with Kouji?’

“Now then, shall we continue our discussion?” Haruka asked with a strained tone.

“Yes,” Keitaro insisted. “I’ll make some tea.”


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A few minutes later, Keitaro returned to the TV room with some tea. He was about to ask where Haruka was when she strolled in, looking considerably calmer than before.

“Right, now that we’ve all had a moment to collect our thoughts, shall we continue where we left off?” Haruka asked as she took her seat.

Tsuruko was the first to speak. “I do not think that we need to force the engagement between Keitaro-san and Motoko-han.”

“Nor do I,” Haruka agreed. She gestured for Keitaro to pour the tea.

“That said,” the married Aoyama added, “I have considered the potential suitors and I think that Keitaro-san is the best choice for Motoko-han. If they wish to be married, I would give the union my blessing.”

“T-thank you, Tsuruko-san,” Keitaro smiled nervously as he handed out the cups of tea.

Motoko had spent much of the last few minutes wondering if she could make a marriage with Keitaro work. He certainly wasn’t the inhuman monster everyone thought he was upon his arrival, and his selfless nature had caused him to go along with the lie about the engagement.

Even if the marriage eventually broke down, it would keep idiots like that Koizumi oaf off her back.

“I...” the younger sister started, “I think that I would like to be engaged to Keitaro.”

“You would?” the ronin asked, more than a little surprised by the admission. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. The more I think about it, the more I want to be your fiancée, Keitaro,” Motoko said, a smile forming on her face. “I’m not ready to be married yet, but I do know that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I let this opportunity slip away from me.”

“Keitaro, do you accept?” Haruka asked, her expression unreadable.

“I... yes, I accept.”

“Good,” Tsuruko smiled. There was still a chance for her to have some fun with the hapless ronin. If not today, then when things had settled down.


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Lord Raa

Exporter of Juice Tins
#30
Lyther said:
Wow, such a good story, keep it up.
:yay:
Why are you necroing my old story threads?

I will respond to PMs here if you have any questions.
 
#31
Lord Raa said:
Lyther said:
Wow, such a good story, keep it up.
:yay:
Why are you necroing my old story threads?

I will respond to PMs here if you have any questions.
Sorry, only joined up here recently, I liked it so much just wanted thanks.
 
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