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[SKA] Scheduling Woes; Open to 1 Kendo Club Member
Topic Started: Sep 1 2017, 11:25 PM (364 Views)
Chizu
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Knight Radiant
On paper, Yukina was the president of the kendo club. On the mat, she might have been one of the lowest ranked people, and she might still be trying to wrap her head around how to even hold a sword, but off the mat, she was the club president. Keeping everything organized, making sure that the club had practice times, scheduling meetings and keeping an inventory of their equipment were her responsibility, and as uncertain as she was about the whole thing, Yukina made it a point to fulfill her responsibilities.

One of those responsibilities was making sure that the the Senki Academy kendo club and its Kaneshima High School counterpart could practice in the same dojo without any unpleasantness and scheduling conflicts. Which was why she was here, waiting inside an empty meeting room in the Student Building, for Fujita Keiji, the captain of the KHS kendo team, to arrive. She sat in her chair, her hands in her lap, trying to breathe and not appear as nervous as she actually was.

Ayane was supposed to come with her, but the other girl had dropped out at the last moment--something to do with her family. While Ayane had promised to send someone to come with her as back-up, that person had yet to arrive. Yukina drew in slow breaths as she kept a nervous eye on the door, telling herself that everything would be okay.

It was just a little meeting, nothing more. Everything would be okay...
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
A knock on the door and a turn would indicate the arrival of the backup.

"Oh, I guess I'm a bit early. Hello, Yukina-san. I came here on Ayane-san's request."

Edie looked calm and composed as she walked in. She always stood up for her friends, and Yukina wouldn't be an exception. Not when club activities were at stake.

Truth be told, Edie had found kendo something to take getting used to. By force of habit she was still too attached to the naginata, amd frankly she still found it superior as an instrument of power and strength in addition to its attributes as a weapon, compared to the bokken or shinai. As far as she was concerned, the naginata's elegance and practicality just made it better in her eyes.

In that sense, her decision to pick kendo up was an unusual move. But the fact was that she was always a learner who loved martial arts and wanted to learn as best she could, to strengthen her physical and mental discipline, and now that she had found an outlet through the club to learn with friends, she had no reason not to keep going.

So it was that after that...colourful first encounter with the KHS clique, she wanted to stand up for the club, and knew that this was where she could do it. She didn't want to leave Yukina or Ayane hanging, and felt like this was the best way she could pay them back for their hospitality.

She sat down on the chair next to Yukina and smiled. Was she a bit nervous? Admittedly, yes. But she was hardly going to let it show. After all, this was just a little meeting, nothing more.
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Yukina tensed as a knock sounded on the door, but visibly relaxed when it opened to reveal Edie. She let out a sigh of relief, slumping back into her seat."Hello, Edie-san," she said, giving her classmate a tired smile. "Th-Thank you for coming here for this."

In truth, she felt a little guilty about needing Edie to come help her with this at all. Technically, meeting with Fujita was her responsibility and no one else's. If she was a better president, no one would need to be inconvenienced to help her with this sort of thing. But she also knew that the thought of facing the Kaneshima kendo captain alone was terrifying, so she forced down the feelings of guilt and shame, accepting the help when it was given. She returned Edie's smile as the other girl sat down next to her, then jumped as another knock came at the door.

The door swung open, the tall figure of Fujita Keiji peering into the room. He stepped inside when he saw them seated there, and Yukina noticed that he wasn't alone either. A girl accompanied him, the silver-haired first year from the kendo team that Yukina had only heard referred to as Horie. The two of them took the chairs opposite Yukina and Edie.

"Sorry we're late," Fujita said. "It took us a while to find the right room." He gestured at his companion, who took the seat next to him with a notebook and pen in hand. "This is Horie Shiori, our club's secretary."

Shiori inclined her head politely towards Yukina and Edie. "It's nice to meet you," she said, her tone curt and formal. "I hope I'm not intruding by being here."

"Ah--of-of course not, Horie-san," said Yukina, "I-I'm Shiromizu Yukina, and th-this is Edie Masuda Sheridan. We're both f-first years at Senki Academy."
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Taking notice of the nervousness in Yukina's tone, Edie was ready to say something to reassure her. She wanted to say that it was no trouble for her and that everything would be alright. She could understand that she was nervous about this, and worried about the possibilities of if it were her alone against the others.

Then the door opened up before she could begin to speak. At the sound of the turning of the knob, she stood at attention to welcome the Kaneshima High team.

Letting Yukina introduce her, Edie nonetheless stood and gave a proper respectful bow. "It is a pleasure to meet you both. We appreciate you taking the time to discuss the matters between our clubs. I'm sure that we can work together to make sure we can co-exist with each other."

She gave an optimistic smile. Pleasantries aside, she wanted to make a good impression of the Senki Academy Kendo Association and its members, given the kerfuffle in the last days that might have coloured their rivals' opinions, so the least she could do was to remain cordial and warm to them. Besides that, she hoped that it projected a proper demeanour to them to give them some leverage and show off their credentials as being a genuine, no-nonsense club that wanted to pursue a common martial art together.
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Fujita nodded at Edie's introduction, letting out a tired sigh as she spoke about building a good relationship between their clubs. Yukina watched him from across the table, remembering how the captain had seemed out of patience with his teammates' behavior at the first session. She thumbed nervously at the corner of her notebook as she waited for the introductions to finish, wondering as she did what Fujita himself thought about their club, if he was just as irritated by them as some of his other teammates or if he truly thought that they could have a good relationship in the future. Everything that had happened between Kaneshima High School and Senki Academy before her arrival seemed beyond her, but she was under the impression that there was bad blood between the two institutions.

Still, Fujita at least looked like he was trying.

"That's what we hope," he said, although glance he shot Shiori as he spoke suggested that the rest of the team might not share his sentiments. For her part, Shiori sat perfectly straight, her expression unchanging. "You're going to have to excuse Souma and the others," Fujita went on. "They're not taking this merger thing well. The old dojo was home to a lot of them, and..."

He shrugged, trailing off. Yukina, who had heard from Itsuki about the destruction of the old Kaneshima High School campus, shuddered.

"I'm...sorry about what happened to your school," she said.

Fujita looked up, giving her a searching look. Yukina tensed, trying not to recoil under the scrutiny.

"Not your fault," he said, after what felt like forever. "It's not like you did anything to cause this, Shiromizu."

"Should we get started, captain?" Shiori asked, her words breaking sharply into the flow of conversation. Yukina looked up, noticing that she already had her notebook open and was watching Edie and Yukina warily. The atmosphere of the room, which had already started to feel relaxed, filled with tension again.
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
From Edie's observations, especially from the first class, Fujita had seemed like a good person. He seemed more willing to compromise and arbitrate than many of his compatriots and to defer to the authorities that be. But at the same time, she knew that he was far more experienced than either her or Yukina combined, so she knew that she needed to really watch herself around her.

True to those observations, she could clearly see the ways in which he exuded a no-nonsense, forthright air to his demeanour and words. Having sat back down and truly observed the KHS captain at level, she could tell that her beliefs on his character weren't that wrong. Even so, his willingness to play ball with his organisation's counterpart, even against the abundantly clear objections of his friends and partners, definitely afforded him a good standing in her eyes since he knew to respect the shared space of the dojo and the grounds as a whole.

Undeterred, she made sure to continue paying attention to what they were saying. But when the topic trailed into the matter of the destruction of the old campus, she visibly twitched and fidgeted, her stoic stance floundering momentarily. The memories of that time still left their scar on her, and although she had by and large shaken the facts off, there was still a part of her that felt guilt and shame over her failures to act, on top of the futility of the disaster that could have done the entire island in.

She didn't let that take her over though. Having conditioned herself to suppress the fact that that had happened as best as possible, she found herself able to move on reasonably well given a few seconds of recovery and refocusing. Instead, noticing Shiori pulling out her notebook, Edie instead reached into her bookbag and pulled out her 2-in-1 laptop, currently in the form of a tablet but with a lightweight keyboard attached. She was not one to let details go when going into a discussion like this.

Edie looked over at Yukina to see if she was alright with that. Whatever they could do to for each other she was willing to do, but Edie always wanted to make sure that she and her colleagues were on the same page. Looking back up, she caught Shiori's eye. She refused to flinch in the view of her sharp gaze as she opened up the document.
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Yukina turned towards Edie as the other girl pulled her laptop out of her bag, placing it on the table between them. In all honesty, she was a little surprised that Edie had come to the meeting so well-prepared. Yukina knew that she was only a last-minute stand-in for Ayane, and that Ayane had only meant to come to the meeting as moral support.

So she was surprised, and pleased, that Edie cared enough to actually participate. It reminded her that she wasn't the only person who cared about the kendo club and that reminder gave her strength. She gave Edie a nervous smile, but seemed to relax, some of the tension leaving her as she sat back in her seat and opened up the black notebook in front of her that held all of her notes for the kendo club.

"Our club practices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays," Fujita said without preamble, already sounding tired about this whole thing. "When training for competitions, the team has additional practices on Saturdays. Does that work for you?"

"We have the dojo booked for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays after class," Yukina said, checking her notes. "Um--I know it's an inconvenience but...c-could you practice on other days?"

"Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you mean?" Fujita asked, frowning in thought. "We could move team practice to Saturday night..."

Shiori looked up from her writing. "With all due respect, captain," she said. "That effectively gives us less practice days, and we'll be more tired during team practice if we've just finished coaching the kendo club on those days."

"You have a better idea?" Fujita asked.

Shiori shook her head. "Not one that solves this problem for everyone." She looked up from behind her glasses, eyeing Edie and Yukina. "Given that our club is more experienced and more decorated than yours, would you be willing to move your practice times?" she asked.

Yukina hesitated, looking down at the schedule in front of her. They could theoretically move the practice times to Tuesday and Thursday, but like Fujita, she and Ayane had been hoping to set aside Saturday for extra practices, maybe--if they could convince Rodrigues-sensei to allow it--practices that melded weapons training with powers. If they did move their schedule, they would be the ones to lose a practice day.

Unless they held their practices on the same days, just after the KHS practices. But that would mean practice started in the evening, after dinner. They were a struggling club without many dedicated members. How would they be able to recruit students if joining the kendo club required giving up their evenings? Shiori was right. Either way, no one was going to walk away from this happy.

She paused, conflicted, and looked over at Edie to see if the other girl had any suggestions or insights on how to proceed.
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Edie made sure to listen with an open ear as the KHS execs listed their grievances. She seemed to be listening and watching intently even behind the screen, as her fingers danced up and down the screen to scroll, type and delete as necessary.

Indeed, behind the screen was a series of tabs and files open for the matter at hand. The SKA chatroom, on which Edie had consulted with other members earlier in the day. Her own schedule, to ascertain her own availability. Notes of all the input of each of the members and what they had to say about changing their times.

Personally, Edie wanted to keep the schedule as it was currently now. She was very satisfied with keeping the days as they were now, and most of the other team members felt that way too. But of course that meant shifting the KHS time off when they were scheduled, which not only was very inconvenient, but also put them more at conflict. In that sense, Shiori did have a point.

But there was something to object to. She looked up and tilted the screen down as she looked at them.

"It is a consideration," she said choosing her words carefully, "but seniority should not be grounds for displacing practice time like that. I do not think that we have the capability to give you more days than we can afford to have."

She looked back down to her screen, and after a quick whirlwind of typing on her keyboard stopped, then nodded. Then she looked back up.

"On the basis of things, I don't think it's unfair to ask for alternating days. The problem, however, is that a fair number of our members are inflexible in their days and hours, and probably can't afford to practice at certain times." She glanced at Yukina. While she couldn't be entirely sure about the qualitative validity of that statement, she did know that most of the others were happy with the schedule as it was now and also probably had planned other things out in anticipation of that being the same.

"Frankly, I don't think we'll be entertaining shifting all of our practices to either the evening after you're done yours, or to shift to the alternating days since quite a number of them, myself included, have other things to work on."

With that, she turned the screen around to Yukina to show what she had been working on in the last couple of minutes.

"Here's what I have in mind," she said as she motioned all over the screen. "We will concede the Monday, Wednesday and Friday practices to the Kaneshima High club and shift our practices on those days to Tuesday and Thursday. Then come Saturday, we can use most of the day for ourselves unless they have a competition, in which case they can use part of our time to do it. Additionally, we may make provision for personal mentoring to help accommodate members who aren't able to make the practices I've outlined. These would probably happen in the evenings after their practices, but these would be entirely optional and would only happen on our own members' imperative. Do you think that this seems fair?"

Truth be told, it was a very imperfect proposal. Edie hardly wanted to take a step like this one, but as things were, this was probably the course of action to take if they were going to separate those who were just in the club for fun and those like herself who really wanted to make a lot of their time in the dojo, and also satisfy Kaneshima High's team. She had kept in mind the comments made by the others, and judging by the way they spoke of them, she had built a schedule for both of them that could hopefully be accommodating enough.

At least, that was the hope. She couldn't tell whether she had given too much or too little away, and she certainly wasn't going to put this proposal forward without enough consultation with the President first. Unfortunately though, that had to be done right here and right now. It must have looked very unprofessional in the eyes of the Kaneshima High executives.
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Yukina nodded as Edie looked at her for confirmation about their members' flexibility, although she didn't look at Fujita and Shiori as she did. The fact of the matter was that while their members might have been available at other dates and times, since they were a new club without a reputation, the odds were good that any serious change in their practice schedule might just cause some of their new members to vanish without warning. It wasn't the sort of thing that Yukina wanted to consider, but it was true.

That said, it would be unfair to take practice time away from the Kaneshima High School team, considering how much more established they were and how many more responsibilities they had. And while their first meeting might not have been the best, it wasn't their fault that their old dojo had broken down.

Was there really no other way to do this?

Yukina watched, quietly, as both Fujita and Shiori leaned in to look at the schedule.

"That looks good to me," Fujita said. "Horie?"

"I have no issues," said Shiori, adjusting her glasses. "If you were truly concerned about the missed practice time, you could lengthen your practice sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to make up for the loss of a weekday."

"Huh, that's right," said Fujita. "Good idea, Shiori. I hadn't really thought of that. You should take that into account."

The comment, Yukina noticed, had been addressed to Edie not to her. And although she tried not to let it get to her, it made her stomach churn uncertainly. This was supposed to be her club, and the discussion was going on without her. She couldn't blame them. Edie was so much more put-together than she was, so much better at this. But surely she should be doing something--something to make her worth being here.

"Um," she said, breaking into the conversation before she even realized what she was doing. "Would it be o-okay to check with our members first, to make sure they're alright with the new practice times?" she asked. She spoke to the tabletop, not to them, but the words did come out cleanly at least, even though her hands were gripping the fabric of her skirt tightly under the table. "Given that we haven't had an official practice yet, I don't think people would mind, but I'd like to check..."
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
The last thing Edie wanted to do was to usurp control over the club, and it was clear by the withering glance she gave Fujita and Shiori. This was an internal matter that was hardly their business to stick their nose into, and there was no way that would be something she'd let them put their input into until this had been finalised and decided on. "Could you please excuse us," she said curtly but respectfully. "We need to talk amongst ourselves for the moment."

Turning back to Yukina, she nodded to concede the point. "I think that's what we should to do," she said to the President in a much more deferential and softer tone. "Should we send a message over the group chat for that? I think, if we're going to send this sort of message, we might want to outline a few things for them."

She took a look back at the screen and thought of an idea to bring to her. "Maybe, with the time that we have, we could loosen hours and requirements?" she asked and explained slowly. "We'd all get only as much as we feel like we want to out of the club, so perhaps we shouldn't be regulating lessons for them. I'm thinking we send a message to them, but we also indicate that they can attend the classes on their own initiative and behest so we can give them some flexibility?"

It still wasn't the most ideal situation for all of them, but Edie hoped that she could give Yukina some input and control, and at the same time make the club much more inclusive and flexible so that the members could enjoy the activities according to what they could.
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Fujita and Shiori exchanged a glance with each other, Fujita's somewhat exasperated, Shiori's impatient and annoyed. But Fujita nodded anyway, conceding the point to Edie as he stood up. Shiori stood up only a beat after him, scooping up her notebook in a quick movement. "We'll be outside," he said.

The door closed behind them as they left, leaving Yukina and Edie alone. Yukina watched them as they left, somewhat uneasy about the whole thing. They didn't look happy to leave, and she could only imagine what they were talking about out in the hallway, but it couldn't be helped. She reminded herself that no matter what they were willing to concede, this was still their school, and it wasn't like Edie had asked for anything wrong. She listened carefully to Edie's ideas.

"I...think that all sounds good," she said. A thought occurred to her, and she looked up. "We should also check with sensei, to make sure that he's alright with teaching on different days. Maybe we can ask people on the group chat if they would be able to make it to a Tuesday or Thursday class, but either way, I, um, don't think this is a decision we can make right now, Edie-san..."

At least, not a final decision, not just the two of them. But she hoped that was the sort of thing the Kaneshima High School club would accept. Her eyes traveled warily to the closed door again.
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bonniecanuck
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"Hey, I didn't..."

Edie's voice trailed as the Kaneshima High members walked outside. Exasperated, she lowered her arm and rolled her eyes. "Some people..." she muttered under her breath. She didn't believe she had been too harsh. Still, at least it seemed to indicate to the others that she wasn't going to stand by and concede everything to them.

She sat down, rubbing her eyes, and turned to Yukina again. "Yeah, if one of us can try to contact sensei hopefully he'll be alright with that. I'll also send a message on the group chat right now, but I think for now we'll have to adjourn and talk to the people we need to about how they feel. If sensei says he can't though, I'll try to find an alternate arrangement."

With that, she detached the screen of her computer and tapped it once or twice, shifting it to its tablet form. Taking it under her shoulder, she asked Yukina, "Should I go and tell them to come back in? Or do we have some more to talk about just between us?"
Edited by bonniecanuck, Sep 15 2017, 06:21 AM.
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Yukina nodded. She had a feeling that this wasn't going to be the solution that Fujita and Shiori wanted to hear, and she was a little nervous about how they were going to react, but it was also the only thing they could do. They couldn't exactly make decisions about the club without first checking in with the other club members and Rodrigues-sensei after all.

"I'll check with sensei," she said. She had become very good at tracking down Rodrigues-sensei over the weeks she had spent putting the club together, and that wasn't a task that she could rightfully leave to someone else. "I think you're right about what we have to do next, Edie-san. You can call them back in."

"Um..."
she added, looking up from her seat before Edie could step out into the hallway. Yukina offered Edie a shy, nervous smile, tucking a strand of black hair back behind her ear. "Th-Thank you for being here for this, Edie-san. I don't know what I would have done alone."

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bonniecanuck
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Edie nodded, and got up and made for the door. But as her fingers rested on the doorknob, she looked up at Yukina when she spoke.

She smiled back. She had a lot of appreciation for the young lady for her work and her willingness to dedicate herself to making the club what it was. For all that she bore an apparent sense of weakness on the outside, deep down she had a strong heart that she remained true to, and that was something admirable in its own right.

She wondered what Yukina was like. Though they were in the same class, they weren't so close with each other. Edie felt like she really wanted to get to know her since she seemed quite an interesting person.

But that would probably have to come later. She turned the knob and opened the door. "Hey, sorry for the wait. You can come back in."
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Chizu
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Fujita and Shiori were standing on the opposite side of the hallway when Edie opened the door, leaning against the wall. From the looks of it, the two of them had been in conversation, their heads inclined towards each other in conference. They both looked up at Edie as she spoke to them. Fujita was the first to speak.

"Alright," he said, nodding at Shiori. "Let's finish this up."

Shiori nodded back, following the captain as he led the way into the meeting room. From her seat at the table, Yukina watched the two of them enter, taking their places across from her. She drew in a deep breath, trying to sit up and straighten her shoulders. It was hard when all she wanted to do was shrink down and hide behind her hair.

"Have you guys made any decisions?" Fujita asked, settling down into his seat and looking over the two of them.

Yukina drew in a deep breath, glancing over at Edie for support. "We--we have. We decided that we can't make any final de-decisions without first checking with Rodrigues-sensei and the rest of our club. S-So, Fujita-san, if you give me a few days to talk to everyone, I--I promise I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

Shiori frowned, sitting up straighter. She opened her mouth as if she was about to ask a question, but Fujita held out a placating hand towards her, turning to face Yukina and Edie. "That's fair," he said. "But what should we do in the meantime? We still have to practice."

"I-In the meantime..." Yukina said, "Since there aren't any classes yet...you can practice anytime the dojo is free."

Fujita held her gaze for a long moment. Beside him, Shiori didn't look quite content, but she didn't interject. At length, the captain shrugged. "It's your school," he said. "At the end of the day, we're both trying to figure out how to make this work. Fine. I'll talk to the others. Some of them might not be too happy, but that isn't your problem."

Yukina let out the breath she was holding, her posture visibly sagging from relief. "Thank you for your understanding..." It seemed like they were wrapping up. One task done, a handful of awkward conversations to go.
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bonniecanuck
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Returning to her seat after opening the door and letting the other two in, Edie made sure to let Yukina do the talking. Now that they had worked out what course of action they should take, the least she could do was let the president keep speaking, lest she dictate and impose on her. She didn't want that to happen.

Though that being said, she couldn't help but turn to her, smile, and nod every now and then to encourage her as she spoke. She knew that Ayane wanted her in this place now because she wanted to provide the support necessary for the president, and whatever she could do in that capacity, she would see it through. She wanted Yukina to know that someone was truly backing her up with this.

So, perhaps with cause, she visibly unwound as Fujita said his last words. They had done it. Well, not really since they still had a lot more to discuss with lots of other people in the coming days, not least some who would definitely dissent. But what had just happened was a huge leap, and it was clear that Edie was more than relieved by the agreement.

"Thank you very much,"
she said as she bowed to indicate her gratitude. "I know how much of a difficult decision this might have been, but I'm sure that this is more than a positive step to resolving our unfortunate quarrels."
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Chizu
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Fujita nodded, getting to his feet. "I'm looking forward to hearing from you," he said, returning Edie's bow with a short bow of his own. Yukina got awkwardly to her feet, giving Fujita a hurried bow as well. It seemed like they were done here, so she started closing her notebook, organizing her things into a neat pile that she could take with her back to her dorm room. Fujita stepped towards the door, away from the table as if he meant to leave, and there he paused, looking back at Shiori.

And there Yukina paused too, because she realized, looking over at the other girl, that Shiori hadn't moved.

Instead, she was sitting at her seat, her hands on her notebook in front of her as if she was contemplating putting it away, her eyes on Edie. They were a warm red color behind her glasses, her gaze quietly calculating as she looked over at the other girl.

"Horie?" Fujita asked.

"My apologies," Shiori said, Fujita's words jerking her back to reality. "Sheridan...san, was it? I saw you at your last naginata competition. You were quite good."

Yukina blinked, looking between Shiori and Edie.
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bonniecanuck
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Edie had raised an eyebrow at the fact that Shiori was still gazing and reading her, but the mention of naginata led her to cock her head and raise the other. "Oh, thank you very much," she said, somewhat flattered. "I didn't realise that you'd be following other martial arts too."

Though Edie had been quite open about her naginata practice, she hadn't expected that someone whom she had only seen twice would know of it. To be recognised like that, therefore, gave her pride and validation, especially considering who it was coming from.

"I expect that you know a thing or two about the naginata then?" she asked. "I was taught since I was young by my mother, as part of continuity of tradition in my family. It's something that I've grown up with and hope to continue within my lineage. But that immersion made me want to explore and learn new techniques and practices, and that's why I started dabbling in others. Like kendo now."

She smiled at the others sentimentally. "But I never forgot what I learned, and I've stayed true to my roots. Miyamoto Musashi wrote, “from one thing, know ten thousand things.” I suppose I've always been about living by such a philosophy, getting to know more about myself, others, and the beauty of the worlds and its changes and behaviours all over."
Edited by bonniecanuck, Sep 21 2017, 04:50 AM.
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Chizu
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"I've never personally practiced the naginata, but my older sister does," said Shiori. "It's quite the impressive art."

The way Shiori spoke made her difficult to read. She spoke without malice, but also without warmth, in a calm, matter-of-fact way. Her gaze was fixed on Edie and steady, her hands resting neatly on the table in front of her. Still, Fujita's attention remained on her, a frown on his face as if something was troubling him about this whole situation.

Edie's words about philosophy, however, seemed to spark something in the other girl. A light in her eyes, a quirk in the corner of her mouth that might have been a smile. "I agree," she said. "It seems we think in similar ways. Martial arts are somewhat of a tradition in my family as well. I wish you luck in your kendo studies. I look forward to meeting you on the mat someday."

She rose to her feet, taking her notebook with her. Shiori leaned forward in a crisp bow. "If you excuse me," she said, turning to follow Fujita out the door.

Once they were gone, Yukina let out the breath she was holding, turning towards Edie. Now that all the tension was gone, she felt like a marionette whose strings had been cut, and her shoulders slumped noticeably. She tucked a strand of dark hair behind her ear.

"H-Horie-san is very intense, isn't she...?" Yukina remarked. "It's hard to believe she's in our year..."
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bonniecanuck
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Edie afforded a respectable smile for Shiori as she left. Though serious, she seemed to give respect and acknowledgement for those she saw worth or potential in. She seemed the type to really take the art seriously. Knowing what the sort of upbringing and training she'd have gone through to hone herself, especially given the rigours of training, she could understand. Her mother had too been a tough mentor who had really done hard to drill such philosophy into her mind alongside the mindset and moves.

Turning to Yukina as the smile switched to a more serious expression, Edie said, "It's only natural considering what a master-level martial arts education leads to. Horie-san might be 1-dan or 2-dan, but those aren't ranks to take lightly, especially with a background like that. It's tough - it's not just the art of moving, attacking and defending that gets drilled in, but also the mentality to be challenged and go further and respect the art. Since we're just starting, Rodrigues-sensei is going pretty easy on us, but once we really get into the swing of things, I'm sure he'll really scale it up."

She wondered whether her words might be scaring Yukina. She could only imagine what the others might say or think if she said that. But she knew the reality of intensive training to really achieve perfection. She had at times had to deal with tens of minutes of hayasuburi with her naginata just so she could get her form perfect while also honing her endurance if she faltered - even without bogu it had been painful to the point where she had been reduced to a weeping, heaping wreck. But all of that had made her appreciate the need to work harder and put the effort in to achieve the necessary results. And so it seemed, Shiori and the other Kaneshima High competitors did too.
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