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Initial D World - Discussion Board / Forums > Initial D Fanfiction > [FANFIC] Destiny Shift


Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Mar 18 2008, 04:06 AM
After hearing N1's Shuffle! review, I just HAD to go ahead and make this. This also serves as backstory for Kaede's character in a Wangan RP that she's involved in, so this kind of canonizes her racing background there.

I blame HashiriyaR32 for this. I utterly, utterly do. I also blame Nomake, but I blame HashiriyaR32 more. laugh.gif Props go to them for help in car selection and proofreading.

Just a few things about this fanfic before I begin:
1.) Because this intertwines directly with the Initial D and Wangan Midnight universes, everyone here is human. So sorry guys, but Nerine loses her delicious long ears. Though she does gain an uncanny ability to wiggle them at will... but that's another issue. That also means no magic powers, lol, so this effectively treats Shuffle! as an alternate universe, though events in the anime still somewhat happened.
2.) It's the same regarding Asa and Primula, but there's something about them that get different treatment. That depends though on how the story goes, and while I have a general idea of how it ends, I'm not sure about how they get characterized in the long run.
3.) This also references another author's clan. So Glocker, please don't hate me too much. blink.gif
4.) Either way, I hope you guys enjoy the story.

And so, without further ado...

Destiny Shift - Prologue

[Day: Monday, March 14, 2005]
[Location: En Route to Rin's apartment]
[Time: 4:00 PM]

"Congratulations, Rin-kun!" Kaede cheerily said she walked down the path along with Rin, Sia, Nerine and Primula. She and the first three were now officially High School graduates, while Primula was about to enter her senior year at Verbena High School.
"Hey, I should say the same with you as well..." Rin chuckled. "We ARE in the same year, after all."
"That’s true..." she said.” So, what are you going to do now?"
Rin sighed. "Honestly, I have no clue. I couldn’t pass the entrance exam for Hyōgo University, so... that makes me a rōnin for the next year or so."
"Don’t worry, Rin-kun, I’m sure there’s next year," Kaede said in an effort to comfort him. "I’m pretty much in the same boat too anyway..."
"Your case is a bit different though. You chose not to go,"
"That’s mainly because I don’t really know what to major in... Dad says it’s fine if I took a break until I figure out what I want to do."

Rin smiled for a moment until he realized that Sia was still sad. "Hey, what’s wrong, Sia?"
Sia looked up at Rin and suddenly grabbed hold of his collar in desperation. "Wahhh! Rin-kun, I’m such an idiot!"
"H-hey, Sia! Calm down!"
"I can’t! I’m such an idiot! I didn’t get into Hyōgo University..."
"Then doesn’t that mean we’re BOTH idiots?" Rin asked.
"Fine, I’ll stop," Sia relented. "But you have to promise that we’ll BOTH get in!"
"Rin-sama, Sia-chan, I can help tutor both of you for next year if you’d like," Nerine offered.
"That would help, thanks," Rin said. "Is it fine for you though?"
"Yes! Anything to help Rin-sama would be my pleasure! It’s easy for me to help you guys too since I’m already in."
Sia became energetic again at that remark. "Yosh! Rin-kun, I’m going to do my best too so that we can go to University together!"

"What about you, Rimu-chan?" Kaede asked. "Any plans for when you graduate next year?"
"... I don’t know," Primula said in her usual monotone voice. "I’ll probably just be a freeter."
"Is that okay with you, Rimu-chan?" Nerine worriedly asked.
Primula shrugged. "I don’t know what I particularly want to do though."
Rin gently ruffled Primula’s hair. "Don’t worry about it. I’m sure you’ll find something you want to do."
"Onii-chan..." she quietly said, blushing as he continued to pet her head.

It was usually at this point that everyone would walk Rin back to his apartment, and then be off to their separate ways, just as always.
However, when they got there, there was something different. This time, a young, bespectacled man in business attire was waiting for them by the door. A black limousine was left running on idle by the side, as if waiting for the man and whoever he wanted to see in Rin’s apartment complex.
He turned to see Rin approach the house, and bowed to him. "Are you Rin Tsuchimi? Mikio Fuyou told me I’d find you here," he asked.
"Yes, that would be me... can I help you?" Rin said.
"Ah, yes. I’m here on behalf of your late parents, actually."
"My parents?" Rin asked. It was almost ten years since their deaths, and nobody came to him to discuss legal matters regarding whatever inheritance he was to get. Such matters were generally left to Kaede’s father, his technical guardian, and it was understood that he would get his parents’ estate when he became eighteen.

That time would be now, since he had just celebrated his eighteenth birthday last week.

"Yes. However, I also represent your mother’s relatives."
"My relatives?" He had never really heard about his relatives from his mother’s side, and why they would involve themselves in his affairs now surprised him. "I had no idea she still had relatives..."
"Yes she does, and they left something for you regarding an important matter. If you would, I need you to follow me..."
"Hold on!" Sia interrupted him. "I don’t know what’s going on here, but this seems highly suspicious. You’re not even introducing yourself! We won’t let him come with you unless you tell us exactly what is going on!"
"Ah, yes. My sincerest apologies to you and your friends, Rin-sama, Lisianthus-sama," the man bowed.
Now everyone was surprised. "How did you know...?” Kaede tried to ask.
It was then that Nerine recognized him. "Hattori-san!" she gasped. "You’re my father’s business associate!"
"And also your father’s as well, Lisianthus-sama," the man said. "My name is Kenji Hattori, Public Relations Manager for the Gods and Devils Racing Team."

"I see... but if you work for father, why is Rin-kun involved? I haven’t even married him yet..." she shyly said.
"Oi, I think that’s the least of our problems right now, Sia. What I need to know is why my mother is involved," Rin said.
"Yes, that is a matter that gets resolved when we get to Okayama Circuit," Hattori explained.
Just as he said that, two more figures exited from the limo.
"Father!" both Sia and Nerine gasped.
"Yo, Rin-dono!" Shin Eustoma said cheerily. Oddly enough, he wasn’t wearing his usual loose kimono; rather, he was wearing a very Western-style business suit, and so was Maoh.
Rin sighed and had to resist face palming from exasperation. "Somehow, I knew you two would be involved in all of this. Why’d you have to ask Kaede’s father where I lived? You could have just gone straight here."
"We could, but we didn’t want to disrespect your legal guardian," Maoh Forbesii said. "This matter is of interest mainly to you, and you alone, Rin-chan. We are only involved because we somehow ended up holding your inheritance."

Now Rin was thoroughly confused. "My inheritance?"
Kenji bowed at Rin. "Please, Rin-sama. Your inheritance awaits."

[Day: Monday, March 14, 2005]
[Location: Okayama Circuit Garage]
[Time: 6:00 PM]

"I didn’t think we’d be back here so soon..." Rin said as he stepped out of the limo.
"Same here, Rin-sama. The last time we were here, we were just learning how to drive," Nerine said wistfully. "It was just last year, was it not?"
"Yeah. Asa-senpai came along with us then, too," Rin replied. From the tone of his voice, it was obvious that he was wishing she was here as well. "Because of that, we were all able to get drivers’ licenses. But what I don’t understand is why we’re here, and what my inheritance has to do with this."

"It has to do with this, Rin-sama," Kenji said as he pulled out a briefcase and opened it on top of the limo’s hood. He pulled out some papers as well as a small red pouch from within.
Everyone gathered around to hear what he had to say. Kenji cleared his voice and began to speak:
"I, Kenji Hattori, as executor of Michiko Sato’s estate, I have been empowered to read Michiko Sato’s last will and testament in front of her beneficiary and his witnesses."
"Michiko-san? That’s your mom!" Kaede whispered.
"Yes. Sato was her maiden name before she got married to dad... but why are they addressing her by her maiden name?" Rin wondered.
Kenji continued:
"'I, Michiko Sato, of sound mind and body, do hereby declare that in the event of my death, my son, Rin Tsuchimi, would receive my entire estate. If my son is not of age, it would be left in the hands of my trusted associates, Shin Eustoma and Maoh Forbesii, until such time that he reaches of age.'"

Rin spun around to face both Shin and Maoh out of shock. "You two... you both knew my mother?"
"Hey, it surprised us too, Rin-dono," Shin said. "She would only meet us with regards to business, so we weren’t that close; it didn’t help that she always referred to herself by her maiden name. Still, she trusted us with this much at least. Before she died, she asked us to hold it for her son – we didn’t think it was you."
"We were also forbidden to tell you about it until you were of age, Rin-chan," Maoh explained. "If you think we deceived you, we humbly apologize."
Rin sighed. "No, it’s not your fault. To be honest, I am shocked, but if mom had to trust someone enough to leave a precious thing meant for me, I’m honored that it was with you guys."
"The honor is ours, Rin-chan," Maoh said.

Kenji then approached Rin with the small red pouch. "With that, Rin-sama, in the presence of your trusted witnesses and associates, I hereby give you your mother’s legacy." He placed the red pouch in his hand, stepped back, and bowed. "With that, my duty is done."
Rin was puzzled at what the pouch contained. When he opened it, he found two sets of keys; one was a set of garage keys, the other was a car key with a Nissan logo on it.
"A car key?" Rin wondered aloud. The other keys had a number on it. "000, huh..."
"That’s the closed garage that is never open to the general public, Rin-dono. Only we have copies of that key, but only to perform the necessary maintenance on it from time to time," Shin explained.
"I can guess why, but it’s still strange that she would leave something like this."

Still, he and the rest of the group approached the single garage that was always closed: Garage 000. He unlocked it himself and put away the padlock in his pocket.
"Rin-kun, let’s help you open it!" Sia said.
"Thanks, Sia. To be honest, I’m kind of nervous. I don’t know what I’ll expect to find inside," Rin replied. With that, he took the middle; Kaede and Sia were on his right, while Primula and Nerine were on his left.
"On three! One! Two..."

On the count of three, they all raised the garage door.
Everyone gasped at what they saw.
There, sitting inside the garage, pristine and seemingly untouched, was a Third Generation Gunmetal Nissan Skyline GT-R.
"It’s an R32!" Rin said after the shock had worn off.
Kaede covered her mouth from shock. "Aunty had something like this?"
Shin approached Rin and gave him a hearty slap to the back. "Congrats. She’s a fine piece of work. What you decide to do with this car is your decision from now on, Rin-dono."

From afar, Kenji got back inside the limousine as Maoh escorted him to it. "Are you sure this is okay, Kenji-kun?" he asked.
"Yes, I’m quite sure. After this... I have to resign as your Public Relations Manager. That was part of the stipulation. I’m sure my replacement will do well."
Maoh sighed sadly. "We’re going to miss you, Kenji-kun."
"I’ll be fine. I’m just glad that I was able to fulfill my onee-chan’s final request."
With that, he closed the door, and the limousine drove off.

Meanwhile, Rin was still left in shock at the current turn of events.
Just what exactly am I supposed to do with this machine? He wondered.
Little did he know that his destiny and those of his loved ones were about to take a slight shift in an entirely different direction than he, or anyone, could ever imagine.

Posted by: Nomake Wan Mar 18 2008, 04:26 AM
Utterly too well-written. The minute nuances of the Shuffle! cast were conveyed clearly and correctly, even when mixed with original or semi-original cast. If this won't drag people into banging down your IM windows trying to find out what happens next, I don't know what will.

Curious that Rin would have an R32, and more so that I haven't seen Rin at all in the RP.

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 Mar 18 2008, 12:33 PM
QUOTE (Nomake Wan @ Today at 8:26 AM)
Utterly too well-written. The minute nuances of the Shuffle! cast were conveyed clearly and correctly, even when mixed with original or semi-original cast. If this won't drag people into banging down your IM windows trying to find out what happens next, I don't know what will.

Curious that Rin would have an R32, and more so that I haven't seen Rin at all in the RP.

He was originally going to have an Evo IX, until I persuaded Dex that a GT-R suits him better. Yes, yes, you can curse my R32 fanboy-ness for that.

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Mar 20 2008, 03:55 AM
Lol, thanks. I just hope I can keep them in character as the story goes along... whistling.gif

Destiny Shift, Chapter 01 - A Mother's Legacy

[Day: Monday, March 14, 2005]
[Location: Nerine's Home]
[Time: 10:00 PM]

Rin sighed to himself as he sat inside the R32 that was parked in Nerine's front yard. Since his apartment didn't have a garage, it was decided that it would stay at Nerine's house for the moment.
"Mom..." Rin whispered to himself. "Why this? Was there something you wanted me to do with this car?" he asked as he leaned back on his seat, his driver's side door hanging open.
Almost on cue, Kaede came to the car carrying a cup of green tea.
"Rin-kun, you okay?" she asked as she gave him the tea.
"Thanks. Yeah. I'm just, well... surprised, for lack of a better term. I'm glad Mom left something for me, but its just I don't know what to do with it," Rin said as he took the cup.
"I don't blame you. I'm surprised that Aunty even had a car like this to begin with."
Rin nodded, then took a slight sip from the cup. A slight smile came to his face. "You know, as I was growing up, I was wondering what Momiji-san, Mom and Dad would be doing if they were still alive. Now that I have this car, I'm vaguely wondering if they would have still given me this car when I turned eighteen."
"Uncle might not have wanted you to have it," Kaede chuckled.
"Yeah, probably. Now that I think about it, I think Mom would have wanted me to start out with something cheaper, like a Corolla," he laughed. "Not something like this."
"I'm sure there's a reason for it," Kaede said. "Aunty was always methodical and planned ahead."

Rin finished his cup of tea and handed it back to Kaede. "Thanks for the tea."
"You're welco-"
Kaede never finished her sentence because the cup slipped from her hand. She tried to catch it, but in the process, she ended up diving inside the R32 and right into Rin's lap!
"Ow ow ow ow..." Kaede moaned as her abdomen rested on top of the shifter and the handbrake from the fall. Her arms managed to keep her from getting impaled on the protruding mechanisms, and she had managed to save the cup.
"Ack! Kaede! Can't... breathe..." Rin struggled between gasps. Her lower body was pinning him to the seat.
"S-sorry Rin-kun! I just have to... ahhh!" Kaede moaned. "Y... your hand..." She was feeling something between her legs!
"Sorry, you pinned my hand! I can't move it unless you get off," Rin said.
"R-Rin-kun! Stop moving your hand!" Kaede pleaded.
"Sorry!"
"... well, if its you, I don't mind, but..." she was about to say, but her thought was interrupted when she saw something on the glovebox. "Rin-kun, there's a piece of paper hanging from the glovebox! Let me go get it..."
"H-hey! Get off of me first!" Rin said, but Kaede kept going at the glovebox in her awkward position. To anyone else watching, it looked particularly hillarious and incrimminating at the same time.

In fact, someone was. Three of them, to be exact. Nerine, Primula and Sia just stared at them for a good few moments.
"R-Rin-sama!" Nerine gasped.
"Rin-kun!" Sia said along with Nerine. "Kaede-chan, that's no fair!"
Primula just stayed quiet, but she was clutching her cat plushie to her chest.
Rin noticed his growing audience. "H-hey! Girls, this is not what it looks like!"
However, Kaede's moaning didn't exactly help his case. "... ah! Almost... there... just a little more! Ahhh!" With that, Kaede managed to open the glovebox and pull the piece of paper from it. "I got it, Rin-kun!"
"Thank you. Can you get off me now please before the others get the wrong idea?" Rin pleaded.

Kaede managed to get off of Rin and handed him the piece of paper.
This time, Primula spoke. "Kaede."
"Y-yes?"
"... you're a little disheveled."
Kaede embarassedly tried to straighten out her skirt, which somehow managed to ride itself up into her blouse.
Rin straighted his clothes out too, and finally took a look at the paper. "Hey, it's a letter from Mom!"

Everyone went around Rin as they went inside the house to get a better look at the letter itself. Rin started reading it aloud...

QUOTE
My dearest Rin-chan,

If you have this letter, then that means I am no longer with you, and I apologize. I wish I could be with you now, my dear son.

I'm sure you're wondering why you have the R32. The truth is, before I met your father, I was once a street racer. I guess you could even say street racing ran in my blood - we Satos are particularly involved in the racing scene both underground and professionally, and while we as a clan don't particularly forge alliances with anyone, I have chosen to associate myself with the Gods and Devil's Racing Team mainly because we've already shared a long-time association with them on Project Yggdrasil as well.

However, that is not why I left you this letter.

Rin-chan, you have Sato blood running through your veins. As a clan member, it is only natural that I let you know about your heritage now that you are of age. You have every right to know that. However, you are, first and foremost, my beloved son. The R32 is yours to use as you please - it is your life, after all. You can use it for daily driving. It would still make a good family car if you decide to go with Kae-chan, or maybe even either one of Shin-kun and Maoh-kun's daughters. At least, I'd like to think so.

If you should choose to follow the tradition of the clan however, there is a place where you should go: Saitama. Find Tōdō. He can help you get started. Last I heard he ran his own shop, and hopefully, he's still there.

Whatever path you choose, Rin-chan, I will always support you, and I will always be watching you and keeping you safe. I love you, my son, always and forever.

- Michiko


"Mom..." Rin gasped. He had no idea how deeply involved his mom was in the sport of racing - even going as far as being part of Project Yggdrasil. "Sia, Nerine, did you know this?"
Both girls shook their heads. "I'm sorry, Rin-sama. I only knew about the project around the same time Lycoris met you. If your mother was involved, I could not have known," Nerine apologized.
"It's allright. Though I'm slightly creeped out that she already considered the possibility of... well..." Rin struggled to say the word "bethroal" with regards to Kaede, Sia and Nerine - just how much did she know and plan for?
He tried not to think about it too hard. He remembered his mother being loving and attentive towards him and Kaede, and he knew that she would honestly tell them about that part of herself had they asked.

"What are you going to do now, Onii-chan?" Primula asked. She didn't seem bothered that much that Rin's mother was part of Yggdrasil - possibly just as much she was - and was more concerned about what Rin would do.
"A quiet life versus trying to find out about my mom's past..." he sighed for a moment, then folded the letter. "Well, I've got a year to kill. To be honest... now I want to know what Mom was really like."
"Rin-kun..." Kaede said. "What about getting into Hyōgo?"
Rin smiled at that. "I think I should be fine. Besides, I doubt its going to take that long, and honestly, I don't even know what to major in when I get there. Even Asa-senpai knew what she wanted to take."
"Then I'm coming with you!" Kaede said.
"Me too!" Sia chimed in. "Besides, we're all rōnins anyway. And I want to know what Rin-kun's mom is like too... I bet she was just as kind as you are."
"Are you sure about this, Sia, Kaede?" Rin asked.
"Yes! We want to help you too, Rin-kun!" Sia said. "Right, Kaede-chan?"
"Yes! I'm sure Dad won't mind as long as I'm with you..." Kaede said.

Primula and Nerine looked away at Rin. They were both sad, and Rin knew why.
"I want to go with you, Rin-sama..." Nerine said.
"Me too," Primula chimed in.
"I'm sorry... you both have school to worry about. I wish you guys could come along too," Rin said.
"We'll be fine, Rin-sama. We'll find a way to go after you!" Nerine said.
"Good luck, onii-chan," Primula said as well, giving Rin a hug as she did.
"Thanks, Primula. Nerine, I'll try to get done soon. We still need to get tutored from you, after all," Rin sheepishly said.
"Yes, Rin-sama! That's a promise!" Nerine said.

[Day: Monday, March 14, 2005]
[Location: Tōdō Juku]
[Time: 10:05 PM]

"Thanks again, Sakai," Daiki said as his comrade replaced the EK9's tires. "Sorry about keeping you up this late just to help me brake pads."
"Eh, that's no problem," Smiley said. "You've been racing with that girl quite a lot lately, you know."
"Oh, Kana-chan? Yeah, she's maintaining her brake technique. She's almost as good as me. Frankly, I'm afraid she's gonna out-brake me sometime," he chuckled back.
"You sure its just that?" Smiley teased.
"Hey, she's off-limits. She's the chief's niece for one, and she's already got someone else," Daiki said defensively. "Besides, its a good break from trying to go faster."
"I know how you feel. We've been trying to improve ourselves ever since Project D came by, but it feels like we're both hitting a wall. It gets frustrating sometimes," Smiley lamented.

Tōdō came inside the garage at that point. "You guys still here? It's good to know that you're both hardworking, but come on."
"Sorry, Chief. We're almost done," Daiki said as he lowered the Honda from the hydraulic jack.
Tōdō chuckled at that, and his head turned to the nearby calendar that was hanging on the wall of the garage. "Oh yeah... that reminds me. Sato's kid..."
"Who?" Smiley asked.
"Michiko's kid. You guys weren't even enrolled when she came by here last time. Pretty good racer, that girl." He unfolded a piece of paper that he had in his pocket and read it again. "Well, if he comes by, I'll leave it to you, Smiley."
"Eh? Who are you talking about, chief?"
"Oh, don't worry about it. Just keeping some old promises, that's all. I'll tell you all about it later."
With that, he quietly went outside again to smoke.

Posted by: Nomake Wan Mar 20 2008, 07:11 AM
Amazing chapter. Also it took your fanfic to make me realize that Sakai's name really is Smiley. I didn't believe it until I went to the Japanese website and found the katakana...wow.

Please keep this one going. It might just be because I've got Shuffle! Fever all over again, but this is one fic I want to see continue for quite a while. Props.

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 Mar 21 2008, 02:07 AM
Here's what I can only say: MOAR!!!!!

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Mar 21 2008, 11:07 AM
And moar is what you shall get!

Destiny Shift, Chapter 02 - First Encounter

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Top of Mt. Akagi, at a nearby Family Restaurant]
[Time: 4:30 AM]

"And so, the three adventurers traveled for one day and one night through the expanse of Chūbu, and into the unknown wilderness that was the Kantō Region. Their first, and last hurdle, would be to cross the unknown mountains of the Gunma Prefecture, before reaching their desired location in Saitama. What manner of strange, exotic cars will they encounter, and what dangers await them at every turn?
"Will the combined strength of Rin-kun's R32 and the rival duo of Kaede-chan and Sia in her Spirit R prevail against the local competition? Will they finally be able to discover the true secret that lies behind Rin-kun's mother's legacy?"

"Sia-chan seems to be enjoying herself," Kaede chucked.
"Too much, I think. I don't think a monologue like that is necessary, Sia," Rin said.
Sia turned off the tape recorder that she was speaking into "Maybe if I was just writing a letter, but this is much more dramatic. Mayumi-chan told me that I should ham things up when I report this back home."
"... If Mayumi told you about that, then I shouldn't be surprised," Rin said. "In any case, we should go inside," he said, motioning to the Akagi Family Restaurant that stood before them.

Much of what Sia said earlier was correct though; they were traveling for quite some time now. Sia's father allowed her to come along with Rin, and for good measure, also gave her a Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A, coated in a bright Vintage Red. She was also asked, upon Primula's request, to document their travels, hence the portable tape recorder.

"Good morning! Welcome to the Akagi Family Restaurant!" a waitress greeted them at the door, her long blue hair bobbing in the air as she gave Rin and his party a quick bow. She was wearing the usual family restaurant uniform, except it was mostly red save for the white apron that went in front and the white shoulder covers tied together with a blue ribbon. "Party for three?"
"Yes, thanks." With that, the waitress led them to a booth along the middle of the restaurant near the kitchen.
"What would you like this morning?" she groggily asked as she quietly shook her head. It became apparent to Rin that the waitress didn't seem like she got enough sleep, but was dutifully carrying out her waitressing work nonetheless.
"I'll have the Western breakfast special. What about you two?"
"I'll have the Japanese breakfast special," Kaede said.
"I'll have what Rin-kun is having," Sia said as she put her purse down next to Kaede.
The waitress rubbed her eyes for a moment before writing down the orders. "Two Western specials and one Japanese special... any drinks?"
"Water will do," Rin said.
The waitress punctuated her writing and bowed. "Thank you. Please wait, your orders will be ready in a moment." With that, the waitress ran off towards the kitchen.

"Whoa, she runs pretty fast," Rin commented.
"-uichi, two Westerns and one Japanese... oh, we have more customers! I'll go get them!" The waitress then ran out of the kitchen towards the door. "... Good morning! ...Ah, Fujiwara-san, Takahashi-san! ... Eh? I don't look that sleepy, do I?..."
"Wow, other people do seem to eat here too at this hour," Sia said. "What if they're street racers?" she worriedly asked.
"I wouldn't worry too much about that right now. I'm actually surprised that we haven't seen any on the way here," Rin assured her. "I highly doubt we'll get challenged right here in a place like this. If we do, we just have to decline."
"I agree. Besides, its not like Rin-kun wasn't taught how to race too, if we do decide to accept," Kaede said.

Rin sighed to himself as the waitress passed by them, this time bringing two men to the booth behind them. "I used to wonder why Maoh-san also had us learn about track racing as well. Maybe he was preparing us for something like this?"
"Either way, it’s not like we're not prepared, Rin-kun," Sia said. "If we do face someone, we'll be ready!"
"I wish it could be as easy as you make it, Sia," Rin lazily replied as he put his chin on his hands. "We're not exactly top racers, after all."
"But as long as we're together, we should be fine. Right, Kaede-chan?" Sia said.
"Yes. Rin-kun's mom is helping him out in his car, after all," Kaede said. "You had one of the fastest times amongst us, and even Maoh-san was impressed. Now that you have the R32, I'm sure you'll be faster!"
Rin then smiled and straightened up. "All right. If you two say so, I'll just have to do my best!"

Minutes later, the waitress came back with their orders, and they all had a hearty breakfast. They enjoyed the food very much that they gave the waitress an above average tip before leaving, to which the waitress thanked them for.
As they left, the waitress then proceeded to start cleaning up the table. In the process she found something on the seat; it was Sia's tape recorder!
"Oh no! Those customers left something!" she exclaimed just as she heard the sound of Rin's R32 and Sia's RX-7 drive off. "Oh no! They just left! What do I do?"
"That's simple then!" a voice chimed in...

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Akagi Downhill]
[Time: 5:30 AM]

Sia followed Rin at a comfortable distance. They were sort of caravaning, but Rin was running at a faster pace. "Mou, his R32 is pretty fast..." Sia lamented. "Dad said that it ran roughly 320 HP stock because it was VSpec II version."
"Eh?" Kaede asked. She had no clue what Sia was talking about.
"Oh, sorry. That's basically how much power his R32 produces. But that's just without modifications... Right now, it gives out roughly four hundred. My RX-7 only gives-"
Her thought was interrupted when a pair of lights showed up behind her. Without warning, a yellow RX-7 almost like hers zoomed past her!
"H-Hey! What the heck is going on?" Sia gasped as she started accelerating. However, the car behind her started flashing its lights.

BGM: Revolution - Fastway

"Oh no! Are those street racers?" Kaede asked.
"They must be those two who were in the restaurant earlier!" Sia said. "To think that they'd ambush us in a race... Fine, I'll take this one behind us, but I gotta get past that other RX-7 too! Kaede-chan, I need you to warn Rin-kun on his cell!" With that, she downshifted and bolted after the other RX-7 even as her opponent sped after her.

Meanwhile, Rin looked at his rear view mirror and saw the outline of an RX-7 following him. "Oh, Sia must have caught up... eh?"
To his surprise, the RX-7 flashed its lights at him, and at the same time he heard the buzzing of his cell phone.
"Eh? Sia wants to race? Well, I suppose its fine. We should get ourselves ready anyway, so a mock race will help." With that, Rin downshifted and put all the power down as they entered the first straight of Akagi downhill.
"I don't know how she'll fare on this straight..." Rin commented as he slowly started pulling away from the RX-7. "She might be able to catch up on the turns."

Both cars approached the first left hairpin. Rin wasn't paying much attention to his opponent than he was paying more attention to the turn, so he was surprised when he looked back after clearing it.
"Hey, she caught up!" Rin said, surprised that the RX-7 cleared the turn in a high speed drift. "Wait, when did Sia start drifting that fast?"

Behind them, Sia was also trying to catch up to Rin. She was at least successful in outrunning the car behind her, increasing the gap to the length of around two cars. Kaede however wasn't having much success on her end. "Rin-kun isn't answering! He probably thinks that car ahead is us!"
"Damn! I hope he can figure out that that's not us! At least our opponent is far behind. If we stay calm, we can out run him!" Sia said as they approached the left hairpin.
"Sia-chan, look out!" Kaede cried out as she held onto the door.
"Hang on!" Sia braked hard for the turn and gripped through it. To her dismay, it wasn't as fast as either Rin's or the other RX-7's turn. Even worse, her opponent managed to catch up to her as the still unidentified car drifted through the turn!
Kaede saw the car on the mirror begin turning at the exact moment when Sia herself started turning on the next right. "Sia-chan! He's turning earlier than you!"
Sia was able to clear the next right turn, but to her horror, she saw the car behind them use only its previous momentum to take it through the turn faster than she and with it, she managed to see what it was...
"Is that a Trueno!?" she gasped.

Up ahead, Rin managed to increase the gap again on the straight before hitting three turns that started with the long medium right. He assumed a grip style as he braked for the turn and feathered the throttle for the next two turns, the nose of the R32 attacking the apex each time. Upon exit, he found that the RX-7 behind him exited faster and was catching up!
Whoa! Sia's a LOT faster this time around! I don't remember her being this fast!

As they rounded the right hairpin, he found out why. Rin decided to drift through it, and the car behind followed suit, revealing a brighter yellow color on the RX-7 - a completely different coat of paint than the one on Sia's Spirit R!
... That's not Sia and Kaede! If that's not them, then where are they!?

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 Mar 21 2008, 01:52 PM
If you're running R-compound tires, drifting is NOT recommended.

Posted by: Nomake Wan Mar 21 2008, 05:31 PM
Honestly, I enjoyed the first two chapters more than this one. You sorta lose the character personalities in some places (Rin-kun calls Kaede 'Ka-chan' for instance), and I don't think it's fair to call a Spirit R "vintage."

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Mar 24 2008, 01:55 AM
My bad. I meant to say the color was Vintage Red. Also, Sia was saying that, but I guess that wasn't too clear. I've edited it to reflect those changes.

*makes a mental note to get chapters proofread first* whistling.gif

Destiny Shift, Chapter 03 - First Defeat

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Akagi Downhill]
[Time: 5:31 AM]

Rin started to feel his heart race and the adrenaline pump through his system. This isn't a mock race anymore... this is a real battle! His hands gripped the steering wheel tightly as he braked for the next left hairpin and gripped through it. Eerily, the RX-7 also gripped the turn, but attacked the apex much harder than he did. He also exited a bit faster, and the gap was closing fast.
To his comfort, he saw the familiar headlights of Sia's actual RX-7 behind the other one, but that too was followed by another set of lights. Damn! A four-way battle!? Its just a good thing that we're doing this so early in the morning... there's nobody around to complicate things, at least, I hope there won't be.

He didn't have time to think entirely through that train of thought, as the next gauntlet of turns suddenly came upon him. He only had enough time to brake just enough so that he could clear the first two turns, but he swung wide for the right hairpin, just narrowly hitting the guardrail with the tail end of his R32 as he exited the turn. The RX-7's line, however, was much tighter, and so he was clipping the apex in an almost full speed drift before feinting for the next left hairpin!
Crap! This guy... he knows the outline of this course better than I do! Rin suddenly realized as he braked for the left hairpin and tried to power out of it. His line, however, was not exit-oriented; the one behind him, was.
To his horror, he saw the RX-7 drift just mere centimeters from his rear upon exit before the RB26DETT's power was able to reach the wheels and accelerate him away from his opponent!
This person is fast along the corners! I need to put some distance between us somehow!
Rin saw the RX-7 lose ground on the straight, but it was a momentary respite. This RX-7 driver could outmaneuver him without even trying, and it soon became apparent to Rin just how different the track was from a downhill street!

Meanwhile, Sia was dismayed at how quickly the other RX-7 driver was able to pull away from her. Even more worrisome, was the fact that the Trueno was still glued to her rear end. Her line back in the earlier gauntlet was not as graceful nor as tight as the other car's, so despite the greater angle of attack in his drifts, he never lost speed. In fact, it was almost as if the driver was matching his speed to hers because she was so slow.
This is so irritating! Sia thought as she looked at the rear view mirror.
Except it wasn't Sia who thought that.
Kikyou! What are you going to do!?
Isn't it obvious? Rin-kun is in danger, so we need to lose this one first! The downhill slope should help us catch up to that other RX-7 at least!
Kaede was worried at how quiet Sia got. "Sia... chan?"
"Hold on, Kaede-chan," Sia spoke in a much more assertive and authoritative voice. "I'm going to floor it!"
With a quick motion of her feet, she quickly hit the clutch and downshifted, while heel-toeing with her right foot to maximize her exit speed through the left hairpin. To her satisfaction, the Trueno was only able to follow her for a short distance before the Wankel engine's acceleration kicked in and increased her distance between them.
However, like Rin, the respite was short-lived. The hairpin turn up ahead would prove to be their undoing.

"Sia-chan, that's too fast!" Kaede cried out in fear.
"Come on! I won't allow myself to be outrun by a slower Trueno!" she cried as she braked hard for the turn.
However, in her zeal, she realized that she hadn't braked hard enough.
Kikyou! You're going in too fast!
Sia felt more than saw the apex pulling dangerously away from her as she turned; she was understeering!
"Shit!" she tried to brake in mid-turn and pull her foot from the accelerator out of reflex.

That was a big mistake.
To their horror, the RX-7 did pull to the apex as expected, but the rear kicked out suddenly. Everything else that happened afterwards was in slow motion to them, but fate was kind to the pair.
The car somehow managed to spin to a stop on the outside of the turn, just mere centimeters from the guardrail. The engine died as it stalled out, with Sia still in too much shock to react to how close they were to flying off the mountain.
However, they were not out of the woods yet.
"The other car!" Kaede cried out. The headlights of the Trueno then appeared from the corner of the turn, and they thought the car would hit them on exit!
Thankfully, it didn't. There was just enough space to allow the car to whip back straight and allow the car to graze through the narrow space in the inside lane.
The Trueno skid to a stop. It then slowly drove back up and the pulled up next to the car.
Sia was breathing hard. She had just barely managed to avoid crashing, and the adrenaline was still pumping through her system. It was only when the other driver rapped his hand on the window that she responded and managed to pull down the window.

It was then that she realized who she was racing against this entire time. "You!" Sia gasped...

Up ahead, Rin was only able to hold off the other Mazda for so long. The downhill hairpins slowed him down too much, so despite the gap he was able obtain in the straights, the RX-7's better exit speeds on each corner allowed him to catch up to the more powerful GT-R. Rin was still unaware of what just happened to Sia.
What am I doing wrong? How is that car catching up so quickly? Rin wondered to himself as the sweat started pouring down his back. He had never, not even when he was being marauded by the Kaede fanclub, ever felt so much fear, or felt the intense need to run away.
Mom... was this the sort of thing you had to deal with?

They were approaching the wide turns at the end of the course. It was then that the result of Rin's aggressive movements started to show itself on the car's performance.
"Crap! I'm understeering!" Rin cried out as he let off the gas on the first turn. He didn't make the same mistake as Sia, just letting up his throttle and turning harder so as to keep on the road. However, this cost him dearly, as the RX-7 was able to position himself on the outside of the next turn.
Rin braked early, and to his horror, the RX-7 didn't.
"You idiot! You're going to crash!"
However, that didn't happen.
The RX-7 swung a bit to the left, and snapped back to the right in a Scandanavian flick, allowing him to clear the turn!

"No way..."
By the time Rin was able to get through the right turn, the RX-7 was already on the next left turn, and attacking it with a vengeance. Seeing how pointless it was now, he slowed down to a stop.
Rin had lost.

-----

Rin sat motionless for a few moments before he heard the sound of two cars slowly going down the hill; it was Sia and Kaede, but what surprised him was that they were being led by the Trueno.
"... So they were passed too?" Rin said to himself. Just as he said that, the other RX-7 drove back up the hill, and came to a stop next to Rin's GT-R.
Well... I wonder if he's going to rub it in my face, he wondered as he pulled down his window. At the same time, the other driver pulled his down.
He was surprised by the face that greeted him on the other side.

"Err... what do you want?" Rin asked dumbfoundedly.
"You left something behind," the other driver said as he shook his head.
Or rather, she. Her ocher blonde hair swayed as she shook her head, freeing a few strands from the red ribbons that were tied to the sides in twin-tailed style. She stepped out of the car and closed the door, then approached Rin with an object in her hand.
"You left this back at the restaurant," she chuckled. "I would have given it to you earlier, but you had to go race first. I had to beat you to get your attention."

Rin slowly took Sia's tape recorder. "Err... thanks... miss?"
"Makoto. Sawatari Makoto. Cute name, isn't it?" Makoto chuckled, grinning as she did.
"Makoto! What the heck were you doing back there!?" a familiar voice chimed in.
Rin blinked. "Hey, isn't that..."

Makoto turned around to face the other driver who stepped out of the Trueno. The driver walked into the light, revealing a mass of long blue hair similar to Sia's.
"Hey! You're that waitress back at the restaurant!" Rin cried out.
"Sorry about that... I was trying to catch up to you guys," the waitress said. "Your friends almost got into an accident too..."
"What!?"
"They're fine though. Their car didn't crash, thankfully," she said. Rin looked at Sia, who hung her head in shame as she got out of her RX-7.

"Now, Makoto, why were you drifting back there?" the waitress said in a somewhat stern manner.
"Ehhh? It's fine isn't it? Those tires needed replacing soon anyway, so its not like they had much grip left," Makoto whimpered.
"But we've already established that you shouldn't drift with compound tires," she said disapprovingly.
"Auuu..."
The waitress sighed. "Well, I guess its fine. Anyway, we kinda owe you guys an apology for racing so suddenly. We had no other way of giving it back to you, and we hoped that just flashing the lights would have you pull over, not start a race..."
"No, it was my fault. I thought Sawatari-san here was Sia, and that she wanted to have a practice race. When I realized it wasn't, well..." Rin sighed.
"Well, it looks like we gave you quite a scare. In apology, would you like to come back to the restaurant? I'm sure we can fix something for you guys, even if its to go or something."
"Well..." Rin looked at Sia, and Sia merely bobbed her head. "I think Sia's in no condition to travel right now, so we'll take you up on your offer, miss..."

"Ah, sorry. My name is Nayuki Minase," the waitress said, bowing as she did. "Again, I apologize..."

Posted by: Nomake Wan Mar 24 2008, 02:00 AM
Makoto is hawt, and now I'm just sitting back and waiting for the next chapter to come out. I think it'll be epic. happy.gif

OH YOU GUYS THOUGHT IT'D BE PROJECT.D DIDN'T YOU

LOOOOOOL laugh.gif

Posted by: twitchykun Mar 24 2008, 12:37 PM
Now i'm gonna go download shuffle! as soon as I get off work. THANKS PF.

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 Mar 24 2008, 07:36 PM
QUOTE (Nomake Wan @ Today at 6:00 AM)
Makoto is hawt, and now I'm just sitting back and waiting for the next chapter to come out. I think it'll be epic. happy.gif

OH YOU GUYS THOUGHT IT'D BE PROJECT.D DIDN'T YOU

LOOOOOOL laugh.gif

I already knew who they were the moment I read the chapter before this. That was the basis for my "DOT-spec race tires are NOT for drifting" comment.

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Mar 25 2008, 04:20 AM
Lol, I also decided to incorporate that comment in Nayuki's speech. Thanks. laugh.gif

Oh, and Nomake also pointed out that I spelled Maoh's name wrong, so I had to go back and change every instance of his name. Stupid wikipedia. pinch2.gif

(Actually, I missed the ō which should be properly written as oh, or something.)

EDIT: Oh! I almost forgot. Some of the original characters here aren't mine (besides the obvious ones, since they're also part of an RP), so credit is due to them when they get mentioned (especially since I can't remember whose characters get used until they do, lol). The crash here is a nod to Glocker's character, while Savarious belongs to my friend Wes (dunno if he goes here to IDW).

Destiny Shift, Chapter 04 - Family Legacy

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Akagi Family Restaurant]
[Time: 5:47 AM]

"... So, you think they managed to catch them?" the young man said as he sipped some of the green tea from his cup.
"I think so. Makoto's not that slow on the downhill. Nayuki, she most definitely got to them," his companion said. "She's almost as fast as you were when you first showed up on the street racing scene five years ago."
"You think so?"
"I know so. Sheesh, I thought you'd be able to peg a racer's ability by now just by sensing them. Those new racers know a few things, but they're not that fast. At least, not as fast as either Nayuki or Makoto."
"Not yet, anyway. That's not necessarily what I was worried about."
"Oh?"
"I was just hoping they don't get into an unnecessary accident."

The small bell above the front door chimed as Nayuki and Makoto entered.
"Oh, they're back."
"Took them long enough," the other man said as he sipped his coffee. "Yo, it looks like you got to them, Minase, Sawatari."
"Well, a few things happened," Nayuki sheepishly said. "Makoto had a bit of fun."
"W-what's that supposed to mean!? I'd like to think I'm not THAT battle-happy!" Makoto whimpered.
The man chuckled at that. "Sawatari, you always get pumped up during a race, regardless of what happens. I bet you even drifted on the way down, even with those compound tires of yours."
"Auuu... again with the drifting! I don't need to hear that from you, Mister GP Racer!" Makoto growled as she stomped towards where the man sat.

Keisuke Takahashi just chuckled at that. "Oh, come on. You know I'm just pulling your leg. I can't really help it, what with you having that 'cute little sister' aura that just begs to be teased."
"Auuu... Takumi-san, say something!"
Takumi Fujiwara almost coughed on his tea as he drank it. "H-hey, don't get me involved in this one again."
Keisuke put down his coffee and began to speak. "Okay, okay. I'll make it up to you by giving you tickets for two to the next race. Bring a date along or something."
"Really?" Makoto asked. When Keisuke gave her a nod, Makoto jumped up and down. "Yatta! Thanks, onii-chan!" With that, Makoto ran into the kitchen, yelling out, "Yuuiichi! I need a day off for next Saturday!"
Takumi sighed. "Onii-chan, huh?"
Nayuki sighed and bowed at the two. "I'm sorry for that."
"Oh, no problem," Keisuke said. "Can't really help it, what with me being her mentor of sorts and all."
The bell rung again, signaling more customers coming in. Moments later, Rin, Sia and Kaede took a seat at a booth behind where Nayuki stood. "Sorry, I have customers to attend to," Nayuki said.
"They the ones you had to chase down?" Keisuke asked.
"Yes. Excuse me," Nayuki said. With a bow, she left Keisuke and Takumi and went to the table where Rin and the others were.

"So, what can I do to help?" she asked. "We have a lunch special that we can prepare for take out."
"Well, since we're already here and it wouldn't make sense to go running about without knowing what to expect," Rin began. He offered to have her sit next to him, and moved inward for emphasis. Nayuki was slightly confused at this, but took the seat anyway.
"Have you heard of Tōdō Juku?" Rin finally asked once Nayuki was seated.
Takumi and Keisuke overheard the question, but decided not to say anything and continue drinking, seeing as Nayuki was there to tell them about the school. They decided to surreptitiously look away from the booth as if to ignore the question completely.
"Tōdō Juku... hold on. Keisuke-san, Takumi-san, didn't you race against Tōdō Juku a couple of years ago as Project D?" Nayuki called out to the pair, causing them to almost spit in their cups.
"Nayuki-san, why ask us?" Takumi said as he recovered.
"Wouldn't it make more sense to ask you guys since you've actually raced them before? Oh! I forgot..." Nayuki cleared her throat for a moment. They had already introduced themselves earlier before driving up, but Nayuki had to pause and think before she remembered their names. "This is Tsuchimi Rin, Fuyou Kaede, and Sia Eustoma. Rin-san, Kaede-san, Sia-san, these two are my friends, Takahashi Keisuke and Fujiwara Takumi. Keisuke-san is part of Re-Amemiya Racing, while Fujiwara-san races for Toyota Team TOM'S."
"A pleasure to meet you," Takumi said, bowing as he did.
"Same here," Rin said.

"Ahh... does that mean you're street racers?" Kaede asked, not quite realizing that being part of a sanctioned racing team was completely different.
Takumi scratched his head at that question. "Well, we used to be. Back then, we were part of a team known as Project D, a team that traveled across the Kantō region challenging other racing teams. We went pro after that. So technically, we can't be street racers anymore, or else we'd get our racing licenses suspended."
"I see," Kaede said. "We... kind of thought you were. Please forgive our rudeness."
"Nothing to apologize about," Keisuke assured her. "So, what's this about Tōdō Juku? They're a very good racing school, so if you're looking to hone your skills there, you'd be going to the right place."
"Well, its not so much going there to learn more about racing than it is to fulfill my mother's last will, or something," Rin said.
"Oh... sorry about that."
"No, it's okay. She's been gone for a long time now, and this was just given to me now that I've turned eighteen. Though I still don't understand why she'd give me an R32 and then send me to a place halfway across the country. And then there's this whole Sato thing with my mom..."
Keisuke perked up at that. "Hold on. Sato?"
"Yes. My mother's name was Sato Michiko, before she got married."
Keisuke rubbed his chin at that. "It couldn't be..."
"What is it, Takahashi-san?" Sia worriedly asked.
"I can't be sure, but, there was famous family in the racing scene that disappeared after their leader crashed a few years ago at Suzuka Circuit. That man was known as Sato Sousuke."
"Sato... Sousuke," Rin repeated. It felt eerie yet sad to him, having found one his mother's relatives, or at least someone who possibly was. "What makes you think he and my mother are related?"
"Because when he crashed, he was racing for Nismo. He was using an R32 at the time. Alas, by then, he was one of the last of the fabled clan."

"I see," Rin said sadly.
"Well, don't be discouraged. If your mother wants you to see Tōdō Juku, there's most likely a very good reason behind it. Maybe you'll find your answers there," Keisuke said. "As to what to expect, they're a pretty good racing school. The training there is strict but effective and a lot of the racers are above average. In fact, some alumni from that school have gone pro. Fujiwara and I should know; we've faced them not once, but twice, and on their home turf. They were some of our toughest battles, but they prepared us for what lay ahead. If you do decide to stay there after finding out what your mother wants you to do, it would serve you well."
"Thanks, Takahashi-san," Rin said, bowing his head slightly as he did.

Keisuke bowed back, and then perked up as he remembered something else. "Eustoma-san, if you don't mind me asking, your father wouldn't happen to be one of the managers for the Gods and Devils Racing Team, would he?"
"Yes, that's right. How did you know?" Sia asked.
"Well, I sort of came across their team last time," Keisuke explained. "I wouldn't be surprised if you learned a thing or two about track racing from them."
Nayuki gasped at that. "Ah! No wonder you were doing okay back there."
Sia sighed. "We still lost though..."
"That's okay. The track is completely different from the street," Nayuki reassured her. "But that explains why you were pretty fast."
"I wouldn't say fast... we were trained on mostly the basics. Heel-toe, proper lines, proper braking, that sort of thing. I thought it was odd that they'd teach us that, given that we were only there to learn how to drive normally. Then again, Father had a pretty quirky streak, and I thought it was fun anyway," Sia sighed. "But the teacher... she was frightening."
"How so?"
"She was frightening not because she looked scary. In fact, she was frightening because she was frighteningly kind. She always demanded more from us, but always asked in a very kind manner. She seemed very easygoing, but we were completely afraid of getting on her bad side. Now I really feel bad because I completely screwed up, and I have failed her as her student, and I wasn't able to protect Rin-kun..."
Nayuki comforted the other girl by holding her hands gently. "I'm sure she'll understand. You were trained on the track. These are the mountains. The downhill is a completely different arena, so the usual orthodox methods need to be adjusted. If you can figure out how to adjust for them, I'm sure you'll make her proud. As for Tsuchimi-san, well, he understands, right?"
Rin nodded. "Minase-san is right. I'm just glad you're safe and sound. That near crash must have been scary."

Sia nodded her assent and wiped the tears that were threatening to come out of her eyes. "All right. I just have to do better and work harder!" she said with renewed vigor. "I'd shame the Orange Lady if I almost crash again!"
Nayuki's smile froze at that. "Err... Orange Lady?"
Rin sighed. "That was some nickname one of our friends, Primula, gave her after eating some of her special orange jam. We all tried it when she offered it to us, but it seemed Primula was the only one who could stomach it. We just didn't have the heart to tell her that the orange jam was horrible."

To his surprise, he heard the sound of a plate crashing in the kitchen. Nobody, not even Keisuke or Takumi, said a word, yet a dark cloud seemed to have descended upon them. It was almost as if they knew what he was talking about.
"... Was it something I said?" Rin asked.
"I-It's nothing!" Nayuki stuttered. "Anyway, I know someone who could help you on your way there. In fact, he'd be the perfect person to ask, since he drives the same car you do!"
"Is that okay?" Rin asked.
"Mmhmm! In fact, I can take you to them. They should be up right now..."

Meanwhile...
[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Gods And Devils Racing Headquarters]
[Time: 6:01 AM]

"Achoo!" a blue-haired woman sneezed hard, her braid almost sticking out in surprise like a cat's tail in reflex to the nasal explosion.
"Are you all right, Minase-san?" Maoh asked as he pulled some nearby tissues from the center of the coffee table.
"Yes, I'm fine," Minase Akiko said as she thankfully accepted the tissues.
"Wow, someone must really miss you right now, if you don't mind me saying," Shin said. "That's the seventh sneeze I've heard from you in the past thirty seconds."
"Maybe so," Akiko chuckled. "In any case, what brings you two here so early? To call me up as well, this must be quite serious."
"It's about Yggdrasil," Maoh said. "The gears have been set in place, and unexpectedly, our very own Rin-chan and his mother are the final gears that will move this forward before that man can cause any more damage. As it is, we no longer know where the other subjects that Souji-san saved are. Even worse, Souji-san is already dead, so we have absolutely no leads on their locations, either."
"And so Yggdrasil would be made to help those who were already tainted by him..." Akiko said.
"Yes. Michiko-san had the key, but..."

"If it is to help others who would be forced to endure such a terrible experiment, then it has to be done," another female voice spoke.
Everyone turned to the woman, who wore a white cat-eared cap that did nothing to hide her blond hair, though it did manage to hide her ears.
"... Are you sure about this, Shigure-san?" Shin asked worriedly. "We've already sinned against you by putting you through it the first time before we realized what was really going on. You don't have to do this. You and your daughter can live normal lives from this point on—"
Shigure Ama quietly shook her head. "I know. But I do this so this that others may live normal lives. Not like me, or Aa-chan."
"Ama-san..." Akiko said worriedly. "What about Asa-san?"
Ama smiled a sad smile. "She knows. And at the same time, she's already made her choice. Upon realizing that Savarious is still out there, we've both decided to make a choice."
"I see..."
"Our children have to suffer the sins of their parents... but at the same time, Aa-chan taught me something," Ama said. "They can help change the future and undo the crimes we wish to atone for. That is my wish... and I'm sure Ri-chan's mother wishes the same way."

"Maybe we should send someone to help them out, Minase-san?" Maoh asked.
"No, they'll be fine," Akiko assured him. "Tōdō-san will know what to do once Rin-san gets there. From that point on, it’s up to Rin-san."

Posted by: Nomake Wan Mar 25 2008, 04:23 AM
Was an incredibly fun read! I actually like this chapter better than 3 (ZOMG NO WAI, STORY > RACING OMG!?), but that's probably because it finally explains a few things that part 3 left out. Heh.

And yes, I can read chapters in under 60 seconds. I'm that damn l33t.

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Apr 15 2008, 06:13 AM
Lol, sorry if it took this long. I have horrible time management it seems. laugh.gif

Destiny Shift, Chapter 05 - Comrades in Rs

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Myogi Uphill]
[Time: 6:00 AM]

The roar of a RB26DETT cut through the normal silence of Mount Myogi's quiet backwoods as a Black Pearl Metallic R32 streaked up the mountain pass. Traffic was almost nonexistent at this hour save for a few people driving downhill to get to work, leaving the R32 free to tear up the mountain pass with reckless abandon. The car hit every apex and the tires squealed as they struggled to keep themselves in the grip line its driver was trying to run, maximizing its exit speed as best as possible.

Takeshi Nakazato grunted inwardly to himself as he straightened out the R32 coming out of the last section of Myogi. He knew there were a few turns where he missed the line by a few centimeters, and it frustrated him. He knew what Shingo would say even before he parked next to the red EG6 and got out.
"You're slower today, Takeshi," Shingo Shouji chuckled as he reset the held stopwatch.
"I know. I missed a few turns."
"I hate to say this, but that's not like you at all! Honestly, its pissing me off," Shingo grunted as he tossed the stopwatch to his comrade. "You've been acting really weird ever since she–"
"Yeah, yeah. I know," Takeshi interrupted Shingo. "I am glad she won, but it doesn't frustrate me any less."
"See, that's your problem. You're always pissed at something when it doesn't go your way. Just because she was able to pass you right at the end the same way Takahashi did before doesn't mean you should mope around."
"I'm not moping around because she won, dammit. I'm moping around because I feel like I've hit a wall."
Now it was Shingo's turn to frown. "You mean..."
"Yeah. Its like I've hit my absolute limit, and I can't push my GT-R any faster. A loss is always frustrating, Shingo, but a loss that shows you that you haven't learned anything at all is even more frustrating."

Shingo was shocked. This was the first time he'd ever heard Takeshi sound so defeated. Not even after losing to Takumi, to Keisuke, or even Team Emperor was he this depressed.
"I didn't think I'd see you this serious about racing," Shingo said. "Maybe you just need a new way of looking at the problem. You've always had it stuck in your head that grip was the only way to go - maybe you're just doing it wrong."
"How could I be wrong about that, Shingo? Grip maximizes your exit speed! The faster you are on exit, the faster your time will be, its as simple as that!" Takeshi growled.
"That may be true on a time attack, but in a race–"
Shingo's words were interrupted by the ringing of a cellphone in Takeshi's pocket.
"You might want to get that, Takeshi."
Takeshi sighed and picked it up. "Hello?... Oh, Minase!"

Shingo was taken aback at the name. "N-Nayuki-chan!?"
Takeshi ignored Shingo and continued talking to Nayuki on the other line. "Uh-huh... I see... You need my help on something? That's unusual... I get off of work tonight at five. I can meet you guys back at the restaurant around, say, eight... I see. All right. I'll see what I can do. What about Shingo, should I bring him with me?... Oh, okay. Ja."
"What did she say?" Shingo asked. "What the hell was that about me?"
"She needs my help with something. I told her I'd help her out and that you'd come a–GAH!"
Takeshi had to jump back from surprise when he suddenly realized that Shingo was trying to listen in on them earlier. "Dammit, Shingo! Don't do that, it's creeping me out! Besides, what the hell happened to all that talk about not standing so close?!"
"Well, I... Its just... I wanted to know what my rival was planning this time!" Shingo yelled as he tried to play it off. However, the obvious blush on his cheeks told another story.
"...Riiiiight. You just keep telling yourself that, Shingo. So when are you gonna ask her out again?"
"It wasn't like that, dammit! She just wanted to have someone come with her and help her install parts that one time! Besides, you're one to talk, I've seen you around Sayu–"

"Let's not go there, Shingo," Takeshi said with a wave of his hand. "Besides, at least you were lucky enough to go with her, and frankly, I think she doesn't seem to mind hanging out with you, which is enough of a surprise in itself. Why'd you stop going after her?"
"That's..." Shingo sighed at that. "I can't really tell you."
"I see." With that Takeshi gave Shingo a pat on the shoulder. "Well, if you ever need any help with her, you can always ask me. Or even Sawatari; despite the fact that she thinks you're an asshole, she also knows you're not that bad."
Shingo smiled for a moment before calmly pulling his shoulder away from his hand. "Thanks. Now stop standing so close, people might think we're friends or something. In the meantime, try and get over that complex of yours. I'd hate to become the leader of the Night Kids just because you decided to go mope around."
"Heh, fine. I'll see you at the restaurant later tonight."

With that, both cars drove off.

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Akagi Family Restaurant]
[Time: 8:02 PM]

"Are you sure your friends would help us, Nayuki-san?" Rin asked as he leaned against his R32. He, Sia, Kaede, Nayuki and Makoto were waiting for the two top members of the Night Kids at the parking lot of the Akagi Family Restaurant.
"I'm sure of it! I know Takeshi-san will help you out," Nayuki said. "Besides, there's a reason why I asked him in particular."
"I don't know about him helping Sia-chan though," Makoto chimed in. "You know how he feels about rotaries."
"Ehhh!? T-then, does that mean he won't help Rin-kun if I'm around?" Sia asked worriedly.
"No, because then he wouldn't help at all just because I'm here," Makoto said. "Especially after I–"
"Meow!"

Everyone blinked and turned towards the sudden interruption. A loud, stray black cat managed to sit itself on the hood of Sia's RX-7.
"Oh, it's a cat!" Kaede gasped. "How cute!"
"Here, kitty, kitty!" Sia cooed at the cat. "How'd you get here, little kitty?"
"Ah! Neko!" Nayuki said as she approached Sia's RX-7.
Makoto gasped and tried to stop Nayuki, but it was too late.

"Hi, little kitty!" Nayuki cooed as she pulled the cat off of Sia's hood and hugged it.
"Nayuki! Let go of the cat!" Makoto cried as she tried to pull Nayuki's arms apart, but they wouldn't budge.
"What's wrong, Makoto-san?" Rin asked.
"She's allergic to cats!" Makoto groaned. "Help me out here!"

*****


A few moments later, Takeshi's R32 and Shingo's EG6 drove up.
"So, Minase, what's going... on?" Takeshi tried to ask as he got out of his car. He saw Nayuki sniffling next to a RX-7 while being comforted by a red-haired girl, who also handed her some tissues. Next to her, Makoto and another male seemed to be facepalming themselves, while another brunette was cradling a stray black cat in her arms away from Nayuki.
"...You touched a cat again, didn't you, Minase," Takeshi said almost matter-of-factly as Shingo got out of his own car and approached the group.
"It was cute!" Nayuki said between sniffles.

Takeshi sighed at that. "Well, we can't help that now, I suppose. So, what did you need help with?"
"Ah, well..." Nayuki cleared her throat and managed to introduce Rin, Sia and Kaede to Takeshi and Shingo. "Takeshi-san and Shingo-kun are part of a local racing team in Myogi known as the Night Kids. Rin-san, Sia-san and Kaede-san are from Okayama."
Rin bowed at Takeshi. "Pleased to meet you."
"Same here," Takeshi said. "No need to be so formal. If you're a friend of Minase, you're considered a friend of ours as well. Though I have to ask, does Minase's call earlier have to do with you?"
"Yes. I think I can see why though; you drive an R32."
Takeshi nodded and suddenly realized why Nayuki specifically called him. He looked around and saw Rin's own R32 parked next to Sia's RX-7. "Mind if I take a look?" he asked.
"Of course," Rin said. "I'm not too sure what to make of it myself."

Takeshi chuckled at that as Rin popped open the hood. "New to street racing huh?"
"Yeah, for the most part. About the only racing I've ever done was on the track and against Makoto-san and Nayuki-san this morning."
"Oh? You got guts for an outsider."
"It was more of an accident, really. Besides, I lost big time."
Takeshi was silent for a long time as he stared at the RB26DETT before he put down the hood.

"Err... Nakazato-san?"
"Takeshi is fine, Tsuchimi," Takeshi said. It was as if he saw something odd in the engine that silenced him for a moment. "I'd like to confirm something. Do you mind if I decide to challenge you to a race tonight?"
Kaede gasped at the challenge, and it made her let go of the cat she was holding. "You want to race Rin-kun?"
Takeshi nodded. "Fuyou, isn't it? Yes, i wish to race him. Don't worry, this is just a casual race. But there's something about the car itself thats bugging me, and I need to race against it to know for sure."
"You mean its different from your R32, Takeshi-san?" Rin asked.
"Yes. I can't explain it other than... it seems to be tuned differently from mine."

Rin pondered on the challenge. Since Takeshi was a local, there was no doubt that he would win. However, since this was just a casual race, and he was helping him to begin with, he didn't see a problem with it. "Allright, I'll accept. Is it going to be Akagi uphill or downhill?"
"Neither," Takeshi said. "I know of one place where we can go..."

Posted by: Nomake Wan Apr 15 2008, 06:15 AM
I CAN READ REALLY FREAKING FAST.

Well I can, but not that fast. I cheated again. laugh.gif

The one thing I don't like about this chapter is the ending, which came too soon and leaves too large a hole in my interest. You better fix that time management thing for chapter six! wink2.gif

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 Apr 15 2008, 06:17 AM
ITT: WE USE 1337 HAX. Well not as much of a hax as Rollo does.

Keep it up!

Posted by: Rudy Apr 15 2008, 12:38 PM
QUOTE (Nomake Wan @ Today at 10:15 AM)
I CAN READ REALLY FREAKING FAST.

Well I can, but not that fast. I cheated again. laugh.gif

The one thing I don't like about this chapter is the ending, which came too soon and leaves too large a hole in my interest. You better fix that time management thing for chapter six! wink2.gif

If you can read so fast, then put it to good use. rolleyes.gif , -hard poke-


It's really nice to see some Night Kids action in a fanfic, though. Props. smile.gif

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger May 6 2008, 05:11 AM
Well, I've finally managed to get this one working right. What will become of Rin versus Takeshi?

Destiny Shift, Chapter 06 - Skyline Clash!

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Akina Downhill]
[Time: 10:21 PM]

The gunmetal GT-R squared off with its ebony brother as both cars drove to the line where Kouichiro Iketani stood, the deep throaty sounds of their engines reverberating together as if in sync. Only minute differences in the way the same engines were tuned could be heard by those who drove and tuned these monsters on a daily basis, but otherwise, they both hummed in unison as if singing along to an unwritten song.
"Are you guys ready?" Iketani said as he raised his hand. Rin nodded, and so did Takeshi. "Allright then. I'll begin the count down!"
"Rin! Good luck!" Sia cheered from the sidelines, even as Kenji and Itsuki Takeuchi cheered along with her for no real reason. Iketani couldn't help but sigh at that. Man, I bet those two are just drooling over the girls...
"Rin!" Takeshi called out just before Iketani started counting down. When Rin looked over, Takeshi spoke again. "Remember, try to push it as hard as you can! This may just be a mock battle, but I'll still treat it as a real one!"
"Got it!" Rin answered back as Iketani barked out the numbers.

"Five... four... three... two.. one... GO!"

With tires squealing, both cars roared off the line and jumped towards the darkness of Akina downhill. Along the straight, it seemed like they were both evenly matched, but Rin's R32 slowly pulled away from Takeshi's as both cars dove into the short left turn before being seemingly swallowed by Akina's maw in the distance.
"Ah, Takeshi-san's letting him go first," Kaede said as she watched them drive off.
"That's not exactly true, Kaede-san," Nayuki said. "He had every intention of pushing it hard for this straight."
"Eh? But I thought..."
"Well, it is true that Takeshi seems to be interested in your friend's R32," Shingo chimed in. "However, in order to assess its potential, he has to push it hard, at least on the straight before they start the rest of the course in earnest."
Iketani walked back to the galleries where everyone else was. "Well, they're off," he said. "So, we've sort of heard the story behind why you guys are here in Akina from Nayuki-chan here while Rin did a few downhill runs to get used to the course, but she told us there was more to the story. Rin said it was okay to ask you, Kaede-san."
"Yes," Kaede said. "It has to do with Tōdō Juku."
"Are you guys trying to get into Tōdō Juku?" Iketani asked.
"Not exactly. It was a request from Rin-kun's mother... that's also how he got the R32. She gave it to him."
"Whoa, his mother? You mean she's a street racer too?" Kenji asked.
Kaede shrugged. "I'm not too sure myself. I guess its best to start from the beginning..."

Meanwhile, Takeshi doggedly followed Rin from behind. Amazing! His R32 is definitely tuned differently from mine! I pride myself on being able to keep my R32 running in peak condition, but the way his is tuned... its on a different level! he thought. And this kid seems to be able to handle it just fine. But...
Up ahead, Rin pressed onward. I'm glad to know that this is just a mock race. But otherwise, I can't help but feel the pressure from him. Even if I'm supposedly doing fine, I feel the need to go faster. So this is what racing against a seasoned racer is like... he thought as he dove into the easy right turn. He set himself up to enter the hairpin right, and when the time was right...

"What!?" Takeshi audibly gasped. Rin's R32 started oversteering, and he suddenly realized why. "Why the hell are you drifting that thing!?" Takeshi asked as he took the grip line for the hairpin. "You've got ABS and an ATTESA system! Why aren't you using them?"
However, as both cars started roaring down the mountain, the thought suddenly hit him. Don't tell me that you don't have them on? Why?

Rin was focused on trying to stay on the road, and he already chose which points to grip and which points to drift after his earlier runs. It wasn't perfect, but it would have to do for now. "Allright, let's keep going!" he said as he shoved the gear into fifth after exiting the left hairpin and darted down the straight.

As expected from Takeshi's end, he saw Rin start pulling away from him. Something about that R32 isn't right at all... he mused to himself. The difference between their outwardly similar cars became apparent once more upon approaching the switchback right-left hairpins. Takeshi was able to close the gap on these set of turns before Rin pulled away on the longest straight of the course. I'm catching up on the turns, but losing on the straights! That's never happened to me before!
Actually, that's not true. I've experienced that as well, but it was on the flip side when I was racing against Fujiwara. Now the roles are reversed. I still feel frustrated though...


Once more, the difference was apparent once they approached the long left turn. Rin's car turned at sharper and sharper angles as they attacked the slaloms - indicating to Takeshi that something was up with Rin's ATTESA system. Normally the torque would transfer to the front and stabilize the R32, but not for Rin. He was not being afforded that kind of luxury.
"Ah! The hard right hairpin!" Rin gasped as he realized he was getting close to it. "Now, how did I do it earlier, just like how Akiko-sensei taught us... Got it!"
Almost on cue, Rin swung the car hard to the right just as he exited the long left, and drifted into the right hairpin!
Takeshi kept his grip line, but was shocked to realize that on this turn, Rin and his exit speeds were more or less equal.

"If what he told me about his earlier runs is true, he's getting better at this..." he said as both cars roared down the straight.

Back on top, Itsuki was crying.
"Rin-san's a good man!" he cried. "Doing all this to fulfill his late mother's will..."
"Oi, Itsuki, it's noble all right, but do you have to cry over it?" Kenji sighed.
"I still think it's a little sad, yet a little heartwarming to know that Rin-kun still honors his mother's wishes," Sia said.
"See!? Sia-chan agrees with me, right?" Itsuki cried.
"W-well, I agree, but not enough to cry over it... sorry," Sia said apologetically.

Makoto stayed quiet for a while and was more or less detached from the group. She seemed to be lost in thought - a little unusual for those who knew her personality. Nayuki noticed this and tapped her shoulder. "Makoto, what's wrong?"
"You know, Takeshi-san seemed bothered by something. Now that I think back on it, there is something odd about the car itself."
"Eh?"
"Back at the race yesterday, Rin-san was doing what seemed like normal racing to me. But then, something hit me when Takeshi-san looked under the hood and gave that weird face."
"You mean he found something in the car?"
"I can't explain it. But after thinking back... that's not how R32s normally behave. He swung wide on some turns."
"So?"
"I remember them being a bit more stable than that. R32s don't swing that wide unless..."

At the bottom, the two cars now approached the five hairpins. Rin had managed to keep his lead, but his inexperience in controlling the car through some of his drifts cost him, and now Takeshi was close. "Hmmm. This confirms what my suspicions were all along. But right now, I have to do something else. Who'd have thought that all that practice would come to this?..."
Rin didn't have any illusions that he could actually beat Takeshi. In fact, he was mildly surprised that he was able to hold out for this long. However, what happened next would shock him and bring to mind what Nayuki said: that track racing and street racing were completely different.
Rin decided to try gripping through the first right turn, but he soon found himself understeering and leaving the inside wide open. Takeshi didn't do anything then, but on the next turn, Takeshi was driving side by side with him, almost with complete disregard for his own line!
"What's he doing!? He's too far inside! I better let him pass!" He braked and backed off, but with that, he was able to witness something he never thought he'd see.

Takeshi hooked his inside tires onto the closed gutters and literally blasted thorough the turn! To Rin, everything at that moment seemed to slow down. He completely expected the black R32 to understeer and unhinge itself from the gutter, plastering itself onto the opposite guardrail as a result. Instead, some inexorable force seemed to miraculously keep the heavy car in place as it completed the turn and shot out the corner's exit, leaving a completely stunned Rin in its wake.

"Amazing..." Rin breathlessly said. To the locals, this was common knowledge, almost a bit of a folk tale of sorts that helped define the original user of the gutter line, but to him, the newbie, it was truly a sight to behold.

As if almost on cue, time flowed normally for Rin again. When he blinked his eyes, Takeshi's R32 already left his in the dust.

*****


At the bottom, Rin pulled up next to Takeshi's R32. "That was amazing!" Rin said as he got out. "I didn't think gutters could be used that way!"
Takeshi stepped out of his R32 as well and addressed Rin. "Yeah. I know how you feel. When I saw that the first time, I thought it was completely silly... but it worked. I just never had much of a chance to try it out."
"That's still pretty awesome..." Rin breathed. "Would it be weird if I told you that somehow... I want to try and do the same thing?"
Takeshi smiled and shook his head. "No it wouldn't. However," he began, his face suddenly turning serious, "there's something about the race that confirmed what I feared, and it seems that you're completely unaware of it. And considering that your mother and your friends took care of the car, it bothers me to tell you this as well."
Now Rin frowned at that. "What do you mean?"

Takeshi took a moment to light his cigarette and take a puff of it away from Rin before facing him again.
"Your R32 is broken."

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 May 6 2008, 10:48 AM
hehehehehhe......

Broken, eh?

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger May 8 2008, 10:26 PM
Yes, Rin's R32 is broken, in a literal sense.

Destiny Shift, Chapter 07 - New Allies

[Day: Wednesday, March 16, 2005]
[Location: Akina]
[Time: 10:35 PM]

Rin was heavily confused by Takeshi's words. "What do you mean 'it's broken'? It runs fine to me."
Takeshi sighed. "You don't tune your own car, do you?" he asked.
"No, not really. To be honest, this is my first car. I needed to learn how to drive because my previous part-time job required me to."
Takeshi would normally be angry that a GT-R comrade would be negligent of his own car, but he also understood that it wasn't entirely his fault. Given the story he was told earlier, how could Rin be able to service his own vehicle if it was kept from him for so long? "I see. Listen," he patiently began, "You should know that your car's ATTESA-ETS system seems to be broken. So is your ABS. That makes it easier for you to drift, but that also means that you can easily spin out of control, and frankly, you shouldn't waste your time trying to drift."
"Eh? Why is that?"
"Because drift is slower, and it's only for show. If you want to be fast, you have to use grip."
"Hmmm..."
Rin pondered on that statement for a moment, then shook his head. "I don't think that's entirely true."
Takeshi raised a brow at that. "Who told you it wasn't?"
"Our racing instructor at the track. True, grip is faster upon exit. But she says that there are some instances when you just have to drift, sometimes in response to an emergency situation. It could be used to block if you're ahead, or it can be used to keep a constant speed around a corner, things like that. She said that even though grip is fundamentally faster, one must still learn how to drift because it's a basic technique. It helps practice control. Besides, she was also right about one other thing," Rin said before pausing to take a breath. "Sometimes, it's just fun to just lose control of your car like that and bring it to the edge."

Takeshi didn't know what to say to him. Fun? Drifting is fun? he wondered.
Then he remembered. The old days when he still had his S13 and drifted with it, the days when he freely let loose with the Silvia before being beaten by the awesome might of that white R32, the same kind of car that he now owns.
Sure, he had become stronger because of the GT-R, but even then, he was beaten by a completely outdated Trueno, an obnoxious FD, and an overwhelming Evolution. And throughout that, when was the last time he actually sat down and decided to enjoy his races?
It was always about winning, winning, winning. I was always pushing myself to go faster, to prove that my GT-R is king of the streets, but not once have I thoroughly enjoyed a battle until I lost to Fujiwara. After that, it was just frustration after frustration. Is that what I'm missing?
He looked into Rin's eyes and saw a spark that he could only see in the eyes of the other Night Kids who wanted to learn from him. A spark that signified his eagerness to learn, and to become faster from that learning. Not necessarily because it would help him win, or maybe not even because he was fulfilling his mother's last request; he was doing this for himself.
Takeshi chuckled. "Huh. You might have a point there," he said through his teeth as he sucked on the calming smoke of his cigarette before flicking away some more ash. "That aside, you need to get that R32 looked at. From the way you were driving earlier, it's obvious that ATTESA-ETS is not working."
Rin scratched his head. "I'm not quite sure what this ATTESA-ETS thing is. Is it supposed to be some kind of driving aid?"
"Something like that. What it does is transform a normally rear wheel drive R32 into an all wheel drive R32. It senses traction loss on all four wheels and distributes torque appropriately, allowing the car to remain under control in a corner. They're pretty tough to drift, and while I have heard of someone in another prefecture called 'God Foot' who can do it, as far as I know you're no God Foot. That could only mean that it's turned off."
"Whoa... I had no idea it could do that!" Rin exclaimed.
"Well, now you do. But that doesn't explain why it was turned off. Perhaps a fuse is broken?" Takeshi wondered out loud.
"Maybe, but as far as I know, it's always been like this. None of the warning lights are on."

Takeshi sucked on more smoke for a few good silent minutes and stayed lost in thought before dropping the butt to the ground and crushing it under his shoe. "I'd ask, but it's your mother's heirloom and all. The best way to confirm it is if I actually drove it myself."
"I see." Without a moment's hesitation, Rin gave Takeshi his keys.
"Eh? Are you sure about this?" he asked. "Sure, your GT-R's a similar car, but for all intents and purposes it's completely different from mine. I could damage it in the process."
Rin shook his head. "Anyone who could pull off a gutter run like that can handle my car. Besides," he said with a grin, "I'm going to be driving your car back up."
Takeshi started to laugh. "Tsuchimi, you're a cocky bastard, you know that? Fine. I'll take good care of your car if you take good care of mine." With that, both of them switched cars and drove back up the hill. Speeding up to what they were used to for an uphill course, they came upon the first corner.

And at almost the same time, they realized first-hand how different their cars were.

*****


"Here they come!" Itsuki said as she saw the GT-Rs drive up the straight and pull into the parking area. They were surprised when Rin and Takeshi came out of each other's cars instead of their own.
"That's awfully rare of you, Takeshi," Shingo said. "Then again, Rin is a GT-R driver, so somehow I'm not surprised."
Takeshi nodded. However, he looked awfully pale, and so was Rin.
"Are you all right, Takeshi, Rin-san?" Makoto asked.
Kaede ran to Rin and placed a hand on his forehead. "You look pale, Rin-kun! Did something happen?"
Rin nodded. "Well, something happened to both of us. I saw something amazing on the way down. Takeshi-san here is really good, and so is his car!"
Takeshi shook his head. "No, Tsuchimi. I've been driving GT-Rs for a long time, but it's rare that I come across someone who can handle this," he said. "To be honest... it was scary."
"Takeshi-san?" Rin asked.
"You might not have noticed, but as I was making the turns with your car on the way back up, I noticed something that hasn't happened to me in a long time under calmer conditions," Takeshi began. "I felt the rear start to slip. I couldn't floor it all the way up!"
Iketani frowned at that. "That's not like you, Nakazato."
"Mind you, I'm not driving my own car. As I explained to Rin earlier... his car is broken."
"EHHH!?" Sia gasped. "That's not possible! Father always made sure the car was maintained!"
"That may be so, but... I have a feeling he's right," Rin said. "It was shocking, trying to drive Takeshi-san's car."
"How so?" Nayuki asked.
"Well, it... it was just easier to drive."
Makoto groaned and pulled on her hair in frustration. "AHHH! One at a time! This is going too fast! Explain yourselves!"

Takeshi and Rin then spent a few minutes rehashing to everyone about how Rin's R32 had its ATTESA-ETS system disabled. After that, Sia started dialing a number on her cellphone.
"Err, Sia? What are you doing?" Rin asked worriedly.
"What else? I'm calling up Father!" she angrily said.
"S-Sia-chan, I don't think that's necessary..." Kaede said, but Sia ignored her and continued the call. Much to her chagrin, it reached the answering machine first.
"Yo, you've reached Shin Eustoma. I'm not here right now, so please leave a message. If that's you Sia-chan, please come back soon! Your dearest Daddy misses you!" the machine spouted out before beeping.
"ARRRGH! Father, why didn't you fix Rin-kun's R32!? Someone told us that his ATTESA-ETS or whatever the heck it is is broken! You have some explaining to do!" Sia practically yelled into the phone before hanging up. "Man..."
Itsuki and Kenji ended up backing away from her for a moment. "S-scary..." they both said.
"Sia... I think they turned it off on purpose," Rin calmly said.
"But why!? That doesn't make sense! Wouldn't it be better if you had a car that had features that actually worked?" Sia said.
"That's true, but..." Rin had to pause for a moment to collect his thoughts. "I think there's a reason for that. When I drove Takeshi-san's car, it felt strange having all this control. To be honest, I felt really spoiled." He turned to Takeshi for a moment. "Please don't take this the wrong way, but... I didn't feel comfortable driving the car."
"Really?" Takeshi said.
"Yeah. And it's not just because I was more used to mine. I can't put my finger on it, but I like it better this way."
"I see..." Takeshi said.

Kaede yawned, and stopped herself from embarassment. "S-sorry, Rin-kun. It's just..."
"Ah. Don't worry, it's fine," Rin reassured her. "We gotta get going. It's awfully late, and we need to head out tomorrow," Rin said. "Thank you again for helping us out. Maybe once I reach Tōdō Juku, I'll be able to figure out why the car is like this, and get to the bottom of my mother's will."
Takeshi nodded. "It's no problem. Just give us a call any time you need help."
Rin turned to Iketani and bowed to him as well. "Thanks for letting us use the course."
Iketani laughed. "No problem. The mountain was never ours to begin with. Street racing is for everyone, so feel free to come back."
Sia then grasped Nayuki's hands and shook them. "Thank you for bringing the tape recorder back in the first place. If we hadn't met you, we wouldn't have known what we know now," she said.
"Ehh, that's no problem. I just couldn't let you leave without your stuff, you know?" Nayuki sheepishly said.
With that, everyone said their goodbyes, and Rin and his party drove off to the Akina hotel.

Takeshi watched them drive off, and was left deep in thought once more.
"Hey, you look worried, Takeshi," Shingo said. "Something the matter?"
Takeshi simply smiled. "You know, I may have found a way to break the monotony of my current frustrations. Call the other Night Kids. I have something that I need to do..."

*****


[Day: Thursday, March 17, 2005]
[Location: Akina]
[Time: 11:40 AM]

"Is everyone ready?" Rin said as he put his bags in the trunk of his R32.
"Yup!" Sia cheerily said as she closed the trunk of her own RX-7. "We're ready to go any time!"
"It feels a bit sad to leave this place," Kaede said wistfully as she opened the door to the RX-7's passenger side door. "We've made a few good friends in our short stay here."
"Yeah," Rin said. "In any case, we can't stay here too long. We need to get to Tōdō Juku."

Just as Rin said that, two familiar cars drove up to the parking lot: Takeshi's R32 and Nayuki's AE86.
"Takeshi-san! Nayuki-san!" Rin gasped in surprise when he saw them pull up. "Even Shingo-san is with you?" he added when Shingo came out of Nayuki's passenger-side door.
"Tsuchimi!" Takeshi said. "Sorry about showing up suddenly like this, but we decided on something."
"Eh?" Sia asked. "What's up?"
Shingo sighed. "Well, it looks like our fearless leader here decided that he wants to come with you to Tōdō Juku," Shingo said.
"... You make it sound like that's a bad thing," Takeshi growled. "Besides, you decided to come along when Minase said that she'd go too."
"S-shut up!" Shingo yelled. "I'm coming along because someone has to keep you out of trouble! It would look bad for the Night Kids if the number two member isn't able to support the leader!"
Nayuki merely chuckled. "Sorry about them. I'll make sure they both behave."
"But what about your jobs?" Kaede asked.
"I'm not working for the rest of this week," Nayuki said.
"And we're pretty much on vacation as well," Takeshi said.
"What about the Night Kids?" Sia asked. "Who's leading them right now if you and Shingo-san are the best racers on it?"
"We... sort of found someone to help out," Shingo said, giving a sideways glance to Nakazato, who sent one right back. For a moment, they just stared at one another out of the corners of their eyes. Rin got the feeling that there was more to it than that, but decided not to prod too much...

Meanwhile, at the Akagi Family Restaurant, the Night Kids were having a team meeting.
"You're the one that Nakazato said would lead the team while he's away?" one of the Night Kids members gasped as he and his teammates sat on one of the booths. Addressing them as their temporary leader were two girls, one whom was wearing the same uniform as the waitresses, while the other wore a plain green blouse and a pair of jeans.
"...Hachimitsu Kuma-san," the raven-haired girl said in a monotonous voice.
"Ahahaha... she means yes," the blonde girl next to her translated for her.
"...Huh!?" the Night Kids member groaned. "Are you making fun of us?!"
"...Ponpoko Tanuki-san," the waitress answered again.
"She means no. Please don't worry, she's just trying to be cute, ahahaha," the blonde translated before receiving a light karate chop to her head from the other girl.

Back at the Akina hotel, Takeshi spoke again. "Listen Tsuchimi, those words of yours last night kind of struck a chord. Lately, I've been trying to become faster with my GT-R, but somehow, I can't seem to get past my frustrations. I feel slow in my car now, and that worries me."
"Ehh? That's impossible!" Rin gasped. "You're very fast!"
"Maybe, maybe not. However, there's something in you that interests me greatly, not just as a fellow GT-R driver, but as a racer in general. I don't know whether it's the control you have over that broken R32 of yours, or because you don't want to restore the ATTESA-ETS on it just yet. I want to see if you have what it takes to be fast. And maybe in the process, I can find my own way of becoming fast."
"Takeshi-san..." Rin said, somewhat speechless to what he said.
"Besides," Nayuki chimed in, "someone has to help take you to the fastest route leading to the school, right? We kind of know where it is."
"You might also want to get those tires of yours replaced soon," Shingo said. "According to Takeshi, you were racing pretty hard last night, no? I know a few places where you can get the tires at a good price, and get an even better bargain if we're with you."

Rin looked at Sia and Kaede as if to seek their approval.
Sia simply smiled. "The more the merrier!"
"Yes, and if they know how to get to Tōdō Juku faster, we'll be able to finish Michiko-san's will," Kaede said.
Rin smiled as well; he already had his answer before they even gave him their opinion on the matter. "All right," Rin said as he turned to the other racers. "Please take care of us!"

Meanwhile...
[Day: Thursday, March 17, 2005]
[Location: Okayama Circuit]
[Time: 11:40 AM]

"Akiko-san," Shin asked as he drank from his sake cup, "Do you think we're doing this right?"
"How so?" Akiko asked as she ate from her orange jam sandwich. Both of them were outside and watching the track, as if spectating an imaginary race.
"They know about the ATTESA-ETS being disabled. We were hoping Rin-dono would find out later, once his abilities have improved, but..."
Akiko merely smiled as she looked some data at a nearby laptop. "I'm sure Rin wouldn't mess with it until he got to Tōdō-san first. Besides, I trained him well enough that it would feel uncomfortable with using driving aids or all wheel drive for the first time. I'm sure he'll forego it for now until he knows the real reason why Michiko-san had it deactivated."
"I hope you're right."
"I'm sure I'm right. In fact, I probably won't be surprised if Nayuki is somehow helping him as well," she chuckled.
"Wha—you're having your daugther help him out in secret?" Shin gasped.
"Oh, I wouldn't go that far. However, if they somehow met, I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case."

Shin shrugged and continued to drink some more sake. "In any event, how are they doing?"
Moments later, a blue car streaked past them. Akiko quickly checked the laptop readings.
"They're showing remarkable improvement, almost reducing their time by five seconds. But I wonder, what does Maoh-san think about this?"
Maoh, who was standing nearby the entire time, shrugged. "Well, this was something they wanted to do as well, it seems. But who would have thought that having her as a navigator would help so immensely?"
Shin chuckled bitterly at that. "You know, I half expected you to say something like, 'What the hell are we doing to them' instead."
"Maybe, but this was something they chose out of their own free will. Not like the last time. We're not making the same mistake again," Maoh said. "If all goes well, then maybe, just maybe, we can atone for those mistakes..."

Posted by: Nomake Wan May 8 2008, 10:29 PM
Great success! I just love all the Night Kids action in here, and the scene with Mai in it was priceless.

Too bad Rin is so modest, though. I mean, shit, when I first switched from FWD cars to AWD, I was addicted! laugh.gif

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 May 8 2008, 10:33 PM
Same reaction as N1.

EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just as EPIC as the GRID demo that came out yesterday.

Posted by: Gunma's 34 May 8 2008, 11:49 PM
Whoa! w00t2.gif cool story!!
I really like how you incorporated the Initial D Characters in this...
Obviously, this is your story, right? an Original...
Hmm...
you know... I also placed a thread of my own story here.
It's in Initial D Merchandise. Check it out if you'd like, Pikachu_fragger
Sorry in advance for my scans there. I had memory upload problems at photobucket...

As i said... COOL!
I really like it.
It's eye-paining to read on the PC for too long so I'm gonna print and read it...
I read the prologue and it's far out nice.

Finally! Another FanFic story, like mine who made the GT-R THE LEAD CAR!!
Yes!! Someone who understands why the gt-r is soo.... cool and "strong"!!

I'll check for more here...

keep it up!!

edited: here! i read it, it's good and I decided to make the cover of it...
I copied Nakazato and Shingo from the IDAS4 site... did my best though...
I wanna hear your comments on this Pikachu_fragger

user posted image
Destiny Shift... the R Prodigy

I used my cellphone so it's weird why it turned out this way though...
and as an fyi... that's Rin's R32... just imagine that it's gunmetal in color...
*another fyi - character lineup from left to right*
Sia - Nayuki - Shingo - Nakazato - Rin

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger May 13 2008, 12:13 AM
Lol, thanks for the praise Gunma. It's the kind of thing that encourages me to keep going with this fic.

For now though, a break from the racing and more on the backstory. Otherwise, I'd have to write up an explanation for weight transfer or suspension settings every time I post a chapter. laugh.gif

Also, in advance, I'd like to apologize to Twitchy-kun. They're integral to another character's story in the RP, and because said character is related to Rin (in a way) they're needed here as well. fear2.gif

Destiny Shift, Chapter 08 - Shomaru Rendezvous

[Day: Friday, March 18, 2005]
[Location: A Family Restaurant near Shomaru]
[Time: 6:35 AM]

"So, explain this for me again please?" Shingo asked as he sipped on some coffee. All of them were seated on a set of tables that were put close together to fill a large party of six, and they were just finishing breakfast.
"Ah, why we're here in Saitama when you guys know that Tōdō Juku is in Tochigi?" Sia said as she finished her milk.
"Yes, that part," Shingo said.
Rin pulled out his mother's letter from his pocket and showed him the address written on the back. "Well, the address points to a place here in Saitama. The letter says that we should go there first."
"Well, seeing as this is his mother's last will, I think we should honor it," Nayuki said. "Besides, I kind of know this place."
"Really?" Kaede asked.
"Yeah. There's a body shop or something here in the middle of the Shomaru Pass where this address is," Nayuki said.
"I thought Tōdō Juku's tuning shop was only in Tochigi," Takeshi said. "You mean they've expanded? I haven't heard anything of that sort."
"They didn't. That's what makes this very odd," Nayuki said. "Maybe there's a hidden connection between this shop and Tōdō Juku."
"What's the name of the shop?" Rin asked.
"It's called C-"

Nayuki stopped short and put her finger to her lips in thought. "Err, what was it again? Crow? Kuro? Claw? I forget how it's pronounced..."
"Pretty odd name for a shop if it gets pronounced like that..." Rin commented.
"No! That's not it, Rin-san," Nayuki whimpered. "It's pretty close to it though."
"Sounds pretty Gothic."
Nayuki shook her head. "Nope. In fact, this place is pretty notorious for its... unique body tuning. And it's nowhere NEAR Gothic in nature."
"How so?" Sia asked.
"Ever seen a hot neon pink R32 before?" Nayuki began.
"Wow! That's cute!"
"With frilly white and red wing designs painted on the side? And that same design would be on its rear spoiler?"
"Wow... Rin-kun, your car would definitely look cute that way!"
"No, definitely NOT," all three males responded in unison.

Nayuki sighed. "In any case, we're going to have to go there regardless. Rin-san, if you don't mind, I'd like to ride with you."
Both Kaede and Sia gasped a bit at that.
Wha- another rival!? Sia thought to herself. She's a nice person and all, but still...
Kaede began to worry in her mind as well. Even though Rin has someone else, for another person to just think she can just-
"What about your car?" Rin asked. "Wouldn't it be better if you just led the way instead?"
"Maybe, but I'm also interested to see how you drive. Makoto only told me a few of the details, and I was too busy battling Sia-san at the time. I can also give hints as well!" she chuckled. "Besides, Shingo can drive it for me."
"Eh!? I drive Front Wheel Drive cars, Nayuki-chan!" Shingo protested.
"So? You can drive Rear Wheel Drives too, right?"
"Well, yeah, but in a pinch, I might have some trouble with it..."
"That's okay. I trust you with my car," Nayuki said.
Shingo turned away for a bit. She... trusts me with using her car? Doesn't that mean...
He suddenly tensed up and grinned from ear to ear. Relationship level up!!!

"...Shingo?" Nayuki said.
"Uh, I mean, yeah, I don't mind, I guess, if you put it that way," Shingo stuttered as he faced everyone again.
"Then it's settled. Rin-san, please take care of me," Nayuki said.
"Um, I'll try my best," Rin said.

A few minutes later, everyone finished their breakfast and headed out to the address.

[Day: Friday, March 18, 2005]
[Location: The Auto Repair Shop on Rin's Address]
[Time: 7:10 AM]

Rin and the others gawked at the small tuning shop building that was still closed. Nayuki was right. Gothic was the last thing you'd expect to think when their sign was... pink. It also had a strange logo on it, which was that of a large yellow star encircled by a pink ring, and flanked by two wings. When Rin read the rest of the sign, he now realized why it was so hard for Nayuki to pronounce it.
"Clow Auto Repair?" he said out loud. "Weird name for a shop."
"Ah! That was the name of the shop!" Nayuki chuckled. "That L in the word confused me."
"Clow Auto Repair, huh... what does the word Clow mean?" Sia asked.
"Who knows. All I know is that Mom left this address. Oh yeah, Takeshi-san," Rin asked, "I forgot to ask, but what was it about the car that tipped you off that something was up with it? I don't know much about the ATTESA-ETS system, but I don't think it's something you can easily see if something is wrong with it just by looking at the hood."
Takeshi perked up at that. "Oh yeah, that. You see, there was-"

His explanation was interrupted by a loud crash that emanated from the shop, followed by a loud scream.
"HOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHH!!!"
The surprised racers outside flinched from the loud noise. "Wh-what happened there!?" Kaede asked.
"I don't know, but I think we should go help them," Rin said as he ran to the still closed door. "Great, to think that we'd be here two hours early for business..."
"Rin-kun, what's this?" Sia asked. Rin looked at where Sia was pointing, and it seemed to be a doorbell buzzer, with the sign "Please press if you need help outside of business hours" written on it.
"Well, might as well I guess," Rin said before pressing the doorbell.
"Ahhh! What am I going to do? The place is a mess!" a female voice could be heard whimpering inside.
"Um, excuse me!" Rin called out. "Can I speak with the owner of the shop?"
"I'm very sorry! Please come back later! The place is a mess! It'll take us at least an hour to clean up because all the other workers are still out! We can try to make it in half an hour... I'm really sorry!" the female voice called out.

"What are we going to do?" Kaede asked.
"We can help you clean up if need be," Rin said.
"I can't do that!" the girl inside called out. "Insurance doesn't cover accidents that might happen to customers here inside the shop, and I can't allow you to potentially hurt yourselves!"
Rin sighed. "All right, we'll just wait outside then," he said. Rin then turned to everyone else. "I'm sorry. It was my idea to come early, after all."
"It's okay," Kaede said. "She's been waiting, what, ten years? I'm sure Michiko-san won't mind another hour or so before you fulfill her will, Rin-kun."

Just as everyone started walking back to their cars to wait, they heard another loud crash from inside before the door suddenly burst open. A large plume of dust billowed out of the doorway.
"W-wait! Did you just say... Michiko-san?" a shadowy figure called out from the darkness of the garage.
"Yes!" Kaede said. "Do you know her?"

The figure stepped out from the darkness and into the early morning sunlight. She was of average height, and wore a pair of dusty denim overalls with a pink shirt underneath. Her hair was cut short in a bobbed cut, but it was adorned with small mini-pigtails held in place on each side with elastic that had pink plastic balls threaded through it.
"No. But I was told about her by a family friend. I was also told that her son would come here."
Rin then stepped forward. "Ah, that would be me. My name is Rin Tsuchimi."

The girl scrutinized him for a moment, then smiled and turned towards the garage. "Tomoyo-chan! He's here!" she called out to someone inside.
"I got it, Sakura-chan. I'll open the garage door," another female voice said from within. With that, a mechanical pulley could be heard running from inside the building, slowly pulling the aluminum doors up.
Sakura wasn't lying about the place being a mess; there were quite a few boxes strewn about, as well as some tools that were scattered across the floor. However, what stood out in the middle of this mess was...
"Wh-what the heck is that!?" Shingo cried out. He was referring to a blue and white two-tone 180SX... except this one had Lacus Clyne painted on the hood.
"Ahh... that one?" Sakura sighed. "A customer ordered something like that... naturally, Tomoyo-chan was eager to take up the project. Ah, how rude of me. My name is Sakura Li, owner and tuner of this shop. My friend is Tomoyo Daidouji, a body kit fabricator for this shop," she said, introducing herself and Tomoyo, who was waving at them from the now open garage door.
"Nice to meet you. You already know who I am. Well, these are my friends," Rin said, and begun introducing the group to her and Tomoyo. "In any case, what happened here?"

"Ah..." Sakura sighed. "We got some new parts that we needed yesterday, but it wasn't yet time to throw away the recyclables and we couldn't dispose of the boxes the parts came in. So instead, we decided to stack them in the corner. That didn't go over so well... a stray cat got inside just now and knocked over the toolkits."
"A cat? Where!" Nayuki excitedly said before Sia gently pulled her back.
"Do you need some help putting them away?" Rin asked. "This will get done faster if we do it together."
"Is that okay?" Sakura asked, and looked at the rest of the group.
"We don't mind," Takeshi said. "I know where the tools would go - it wouldn't be the first time I've handled them."
"We'd like to help too," Sia said.

Sakura smiled and nodded. "All right then. Thank you very much!"
"It's a good coincidence that we ended up here," Kaede said.
"There are no such things as coincidences... only inevitablity," Tomoyo said. "Or at least, that's a phrase that I heard once. I believe that there's a reason for everything."
"That's partly true," Rin said. "Mother sent me here, after all. And these are the friends I came across along the way."
Tomoyo smiled. "Then that means you must be really blessed."
"Ahaha, well, I'm certainly glad that I was able to get this far with everyone's help," Rin said.

As Rin and the others started to help put back all the scattered tools back in the toolbox, Tomoyo whispered to herself:
"You're definitely going to need them later on to carry the burden that was left with you..."

*****


"So," Rin began as Sakura examined his R32, "What do you know about my mother and her connection to Tōdō Juku?"
"Oh, not much," Sakura said as she ran her hands over the freshly changed tires that were installed before they started their soujurn into Saitama, and examined the brake pads. "Tōdō-san in particular was the one who asked me to help him out."
"Why is that?"
"Because while I tune any car and restore any wreck, I specialize in Nissans," Sakura said. "The Satos were heavily involved with Nismo, and so was I. It would be natural to ask a friend of the Tōdō Juku racing school, especially one who does Nissans in particular, to help with someone who owns such a Nissan, right?"
"I guess that makes sense," Rin said.

Sakura then popped open the hood and looked inside. She gasped at what she saw. "Your ATTESA-ETS... it's been disabled."
"H-how did you know that?" Rin gasped.
Sakura motioned for Rin and everyone else to come closer, and pointed at something. Carefully etched on the RB26DETT engine, was the Kanji symbol for Earth.
"Why is this here?..." Rin asked.
"That's what I was trying to tell you earlier, Tsuchimi," Takeshi said. "I was shocked when I saw that Kanji on the engine. Later on, when Minase told me about your mother being a Sato, it all made sense."
Sakura nodded. "The Satos usually had symbols for the elements engraved somewhere on the car. Only two branches remain; the head branch used Wind, while the other branch - the one your mother is from - used Earth."
"Wait," Rin gasped. "Are you saying that there are still other Satos out there?"
"I'm not sure. Funny you should say that, given that Sato is a fairly common last name, but it seems that even you're aware that they might not be as close to this branch as you are," Sakura said.
"I see."
"I'm sorry. You probably wanted to know if you had more relatives as well..."
"Don't worry about it. I was just surprised, that's all. It sounds like the family was pretty big."
"It was. But..." Sakura looked at Tomoyo as if to ask for permission to speak, and Tomoyo nodded. "All right. I will tell you. But first..." she pulled out her gloves and curled all her fingers into a fist, save for her pinky finger. "You have to promise me something."

Rin had to do a double take before asking, "A promise?"
Sakura nodded. "Promise me that you won't take the path of revenge for what I am about to tell you. Vengeance and hatred will only repeat a cycle of even more pain and death. I'm only telling you this because I don't want to see someone fall down the path that many others would take after hearing of this. Also... I'm sorry, but this is a secret only for you. You must make the choice of sharing it with your friends, but until you hear it first, I cannot tell anyone else."
Rin turned around to look at his friends. They all nodded, as if to say, "This is your choice. We'll trust you all the way."

Rin then turned around and wrapped his own pinky finger around Sakura's. "I got it."
Tomoyo nodded and ushered everyone out to a seperate guest room where she would entertain them for a while until Sakura was done, while Sakura brought Rin to her own office.

With everyone gone, Sakura bade Rin to sit down on a nearby chair. "So... what is it?"
Sakura gave him a sad smile. "The truth is... I used to know a Sato."
"Eh?" Rin gasped.
"'Used to', being the key word," she reiterated for him, showing off her own wedding band on her left ring finger. "Syaoran, my husband, is a childhood friend of mine. However, there were four of us - Tomoyo-chan is one of them, but the one of interest to this conversation is a young boy named Heihachi Hattori. But we called him Shuri-kun, because he left us with a secret as well."
"Which is?"
"Before he had his name changed, he was called Sashuri Sato."
"I see," Rin said. "Why couldn't you tell us earlier?"
"For his own safety, and the safety of your friends," Sakura said. "You see, the Satos were a prominent clan from way back in the Feudal Era. They were well renowned for their talents, specifically that of horseback riding. Even then, they were a clan of racers. In fact, they were responsible for the turning the battle of Sekigahara to Tokugawa's favor."
"How?"
"Letters. The the Sato Riders were to Japan as the Pony Express was to America, and they delivered the letters that convinced many of the Ishida clan's best generals to switch sides, turning a stalemate into a surefire win for Tokugawa. Oddly enough, the clan itself was not attached to any affiliation whatsoever - they were a truly neutral clan, offering their services mainly to whoever got to them first.
"As time went on, and the modern era came, their speed still lives on - they are essentially a clan of racers. A clan which you are a part of, at least on your mother's side. They became prominent racers in both the underground and professional circuits. However, old feuds do not die so easily."
"What do you mean?" Rin asked.
"I'm talking about the descendants of Mitsunari Ishida. They still harbor great hatred for the clan."

QUOTE
Keisuke perked up at that. "Hold on. Sato?"
"Yes. My mother's name was Sato Michiko, before she got married."
Keisuke rubbed his chin at that. "It couldn't be..."
"What is it, Takahashi-san?" Sia worriedly asked.
"I can't be sure, but, there was a famous family in the racing scene that disappeared after their leader crashed a few years ago at Suzuka Circuit. That man was known as Sato Sousuke."
"Sato... Sousuke," Rin repeated. It felt eerie yet sad to him, having found one his mother's relatives, or at least someone who possibly was. "What makes you think he and my mother are related?"
"Because when he crashed, he was racing for Nismo. He was using an R32 at the time. Alas, by then, he was one of the last of the fabled clan..."


"Wait. I heard about someone named Sato Sousuke who crashed at Suzuka Circuit..."
"Yes. His death was no accident."
Rin was surprised by this. "Death!? Hold on, I wasn't told about any death when I heard about that, merely that the clan disappeared after that!"
"Oh. It was common knowledge in professional racing circles, so I guess whoever told you about that assumed that you knew he died in the crash. I'm sorry," Sakura apologized.
"I see." Rin sighed, then suddenly his heart stopped at the second thought that came to mind. "Hold on... his death was no accident?"
"No. His R32 was sabotaged. The rest of the family disappeared, but from what Shuri-kun told me, they were systematically elimnated by their enemies."

Rin shivered from the implications of what Sakura had just told him. "My mother... my father... and Kaede's mom... they were killed in an automobile accident. That's... that's what I was told... it was an accident..."
"Rin-san, this could just be a coincidence-"
"'There are no such things as coincidences... only inevitablity.' That's what your friend Tomoyo-san said, right?" Rin said. His pained voice was unsuccessfully masking what he was truly fearing. "They... they were killed!?"
"That might just really be an accident!" Sakura gasped. "I didn't know your parents died in an auto accident - I thought they were from natural causes. I was only told that your mother was dead, not how long, or how she died. It might just truly be an accident."
"What if it wasn't!?" Rin cried out. "What if they come after me, or even worse, Kaede, or Sia, or even Nerine or Primula? What if they go after Asa..."
"Rin-san..."
"Please, tell me. Who killed my relative? I don't want to avenge anyone's death, but I want to protect my friends from them! And if my mother was killed... I need to know what it is that they were killed for!"

Sakura sighed at that. She stayed silent for a few moments before speaking. "All right. This story will have to start from the beginning. And the beginning starts with the Fallen Angels..."

Posted by: Nomake Wan May 13 2008, 12:32 AM
I thought that using the quote function as a flashback device was genius!

user posted image

Posted by: Gunma's 34 May 13 2008, 12:57 AM
Hmm... so now Tsubasa Chronicles/Cardcaptor Sakura's Sakura and Tomoyo come into to the picture...
this is odd... yet intriguing...
they sort of blended in and made the story even more interesting...
Fallen Angels huh? I can't wait to know who are they...
by any chance, would a GT-R34 come into the story? or a bit later in the story...?

fyi... the pink R32... I see alot of those at Max Tune...
but when did Gundam Seed Destiny characters come into the picture...
by how the 180 was described and got Shingo's attention...
the color is based on the Freedom Gundam...
DAMN!! blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif

anyway... I can't wait for more of this!
Are they gonna have any battles at Saitama?
Man, I'm so into this fanfic... I don't know what to expect next...
w00t2.gif

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 May 13 2008, 04:42 PM
QUOTE (Gunma's 34 @ Today at 4:57 AM)
Hmm... so now Tsubasa Chronicles/Cardcaptor Sakura's Sakura and Tomoyo come into to the picture...
this is odd... yet intriguing...
they sort of blended in and made the story even more interesting...
Fallen Angels huh? I can't wait to know who are they...
by any chance, would a GT-R34 come into the story? or a bit later in the story...?

fyi... the pink R32... I see alot of those at Max Tune...
but when did Gundam Seed Destiny characters come into the picture...
by how the 180 was described and got Shingo's attention...
the color is based on the Freedom Gundam...
DAMN!! blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif

anyway... I can't wait for more of this!
Are they gonna have any battles at Saitama?
Man, I'm so into this fanfic... I don't know what to expect next...
w00t2.gif

An R34 will come...............much later in the story.

*Waits patiently for basic specs from Fragger so he can build the R34*

Posted by: Gunma's 34 May 14 2008, 02:31 AM
Yes!! The time for the GT-R to rise up again is near!! w00t2.gif w00t2.gif
All hail Pikachu_Fragger and HashiryaR32!! thumbsup.gif dribble.gif
thanks.gif
apxrock.gif
Praise the Gods for 2 great fanfic makers ever since the dawn of Tsubasa Chronicles*...!






oh... and HashiryaR32... i know it's not of my business but...
your sig is off the limit... offtopic.gif
I'm just saying... grin2.gif





*since based on the storyline... Tsubasa Chronicles is like a fanfic of all Clamp animes and mangas into one saga*

With that aside...
I WANT MORE!!
I'LL BE WAITING!!
*waits patiently and does kow tow over photos of the GT-R32, R34 AND R35*

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger May 17 2008, 06:10 AM
The R34 comes in a bit sooner than I thought it would... except it's not the same R34. Also, stop preempting the author, Hashi! chair.gif laugh.gif We're not bringing out THAT R34 here.

Also, great job on the pic Gunma! You nailed Shingo and Takeshi! XD However, we need to hand you some Shuffle! and Kanon artwork because you missed Sia, Nayuki and Rin to a certain extent. Sia's easier in this case - Nomake has her on his sig. Also, I could never draw cars that well to save my life.

Oh, if you like this fic, you might also want to check out twitchykun's http://idforums.net/index.php?showtopic=33335 fanfic - CCS Sakura is also there, in a different form, and Haruhi's driving a R35.

In any case, here's the next chapter!

Destiny Shift, Chapter 09 - The Fallen Angels

[Day: Friday, March 18, 2005]
[Location: Clow Auto Repair, Shomaru]
[Time: 7:40 AM]

Sakura took a seat in front of Rin. She decided that it would be best if she didn't obstruct their conversation by sitting at her office table - after all, this was a very important and personal matter that he should know about. She figured that Tōdō would tell him the rest of the story once he got there, but for now, he would have to know about the basic stuff. After all, to protect himself and his friends, he would have to know who his enemies are.

"The Fallen Angels are a notorious racing team here in Saitama. Their current home base is in some mansion on Tsuchizaka, so it would be in your best interest to stay away from it."
"What makes them so notorious?" Rin asked.
"They're heavily connected with organized crime syndicates, particularly that of Yakuza. That alone should tell you that they're no good. They're funded by a legitimate front known as Darkstone Enterprises, but the money that comes from it goes to seedy operations and their racers. More importantly... they are an extension of an even larger and more sinister racing organization. However, even I don't know who they're working for. All I know is what they tried to do."
"Which is?"
"They tried to invite the Sato Clan to join the Fallen Angels."

Sakura paused for a bit and stood up to get some coffee from the nearby coffee maker. "Coffee, Rin-san?"
"No, I'm fine, thanks," Rin refused.
Sakura nodded and continued pouring coffee for herself. "Naturally, the head of the Sato Clan, Sato Sousuke, refused. After all, they still held onto the ideals of not swearing allegiance to anybody. Unfortunately, the Fallen Angels also believed in the idea that if they cannot have what they want, nobody else will... so to protect themselves from their rivals, they assassinated Sosuke-sama. Everyone else followed. Minor 'accidents' killed off the rest of the clan until there was nobody left."
She finally turned around and sat in front of Rin once again. "Rin-san, you mustn't go after them for this. They're bigger than you think. If you decide to go after them head on, you will lose things that are much more dear to you than your own life."
"But who is going to stop them!?" Rin asked. "Someone has to, right?"
"Yes, but it can't be you. You can oppose them, but not directly. This is why I asked you to promise me not to go after them for vengeance. I don't want to see someone consumed with rage and anger, not the way I've seen others succumb to it in the past."
Rin pondered on her words for a moment before speaking. "Please, don't worry about that. I have no intention of becoming some kind of vigilante just to stop them. Even if it were for vengeance, as cold as this may sound, I can't bring myself to do it because I've been detached from the clan for so long. As despicable as the act of killing the clan off is, it isn't my place to dispense justice on their behalf, even as a member of the clan."
"Even if they might have killed your mother, Rin-san?"
Rin paused at that, but he relaxed. "Yes. It won't bring her back, after all."
Sakura smiled at that. "Thank you. That reassures me greatly."
Rin suddenly remembered something from their previous conversation. "Hold on. What about this Sato Sashuri that you're talking about? Maybe we can find him and put him under our prote-"
"I said that he was a childhood friend of mine. That much is true," Sakura suddenly interrupted. "However... he is gone now."
"Gone?" Rin gasped before finally realizing that something probably happened to him. "I'm... sorry."
"Don't be. You couldn't have known."

Rin noticed that Sakura's eyes became sad at remembering Shuri. "He was... important to you?"
"Yes. Once."
He decided to shift the focus on something else. "Do you think the Fallen Angels will come after me as well? Will they go after Sia and Kaede, or even Takeshi-san, Nayuki-san or Shingo-san?"
Sakura thought about that for a moment and shook her head. "No, I don't think so. At least, unless you decide to go after them first. Besides, you are lucky in that regard. The Gods and Devils Racing Group is a fairly powerful foil against the machinations of the Fallen Angels. You and your friends won't be so easily touched without any provocation... or at least, without serious consequences. Even they recognize that."
Rin breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, I guess that's something to be thankful for."
Sakura chuckled at that. She was happy once again, despite talking about such a dark and sordid topic. "Well, we can all be thankful for the little things."

Rin was about to end the conversation and call everyone else when he suddenly remembered something. "Wait. You say that the Satos don't keep any alliances, right?"
Sakura nodded. "Correct."
"That doesn't make sense though... my mother was involved in Project Yggdrasil. As a Sato, that goes against their code, right?"
"Under normal circumstances."
"Normal circumstances?"
Sakura's face turned serious for a moment. "Even your family is not faultless, Rin-san. Nobody is. At the very least, they tried to atone for the sins of the clan."
"What?" Rin gasped.
Sakura shook her head. "It's not my place to tell you. That is for Tōdō-san to explain."
"I see."

With that, Sakura went to a picture of a beautiful landscape on the wall behind her desk and pulled out an odd looking key that hung from her neck. It had the same logo as the sign in front. She quietly inserted the key in a slot under the painting, and an electronic voice spoke seemingly out of nowhere.
"Requesting password."
"The key that hides the powers of the stars, reveal your true form before me. I, Sakura, command you under our contract. Release!" Sakura said.
"Password confirmed."

The painting suddenly moved, revealing a cast iron safe that automatically opened from inside. In it was a strange looking electronic device, one that had the kanji for Earth written on top of it.
"As requested to me by Sousuke ojii-sama and Michiko-san, I will install this electronic control device on your R32," Sakura said.
"Wait, you mean that thing's been there all this time?" Rin asked, still taken aback by the elaborate measures to keep the device safe.
"Yes. Your ATTESA is off for a reason, Rin-san, and this device can be used to activate it. However," Sakura warned, "I strongly suggest not turning it on unless absolutely necessary. In fact, until you see Tōdō-san, I would highly suggest against touching it at all."
"Well, if you put it at way, I probably don't want to mess with my car any more than I should unless I know how to use it," Rin said. "Besides, I honestly didn't like using ATTESA the first time."
Sakura chuckled. "You've been taught well, it seems. Or should I say, differently. This will take an entire day to install, so I would suggest staying here for the night."
"That long? What about your other customers?" Rin asked.
Sakura chuckled. "Thinking of others still? Well, I gathered that you were someone like that. We have other people who are working here, so that's not a problem. However, this device requires careful installation, and only I know how to do it. As to lodging, well, we have a few guest rooms for that purpose. All on the house, of course."
Rin was overcome with what Sakura was offering him. "I don't know what to say. I can't possibly pay for any of this!"
"That's fine," Sakura said. "Payment was already given long ago."

As she closed the safe and prepared to open the door to let themselves out, Sakura asked, "Are you going to tell your friends about what I told you?"

QUOTE
"People like you... people like you are better off dead!!!" Kaede screamed at Rin underneath the pouring rain...


"... I'd better not, for Kaede's sake. If she ever thought that her mother was intentionally killed alongside my parents, even if that is just pure conjecture, God knows what would happen to her," Rin said.
"Are you sure about that?" Sakura asked. "Are you willing to bear the burden of keeping a secret?"
"Yes. Its something I'm quite used to at this point," Rin chuckled bitterly.
"I see. Then I pray that she never knows."

Later that night
[Day: Friday, March 18, 2005]
[Location: Tsuchizaka Pass, Inbound]
[Time: 10:23 PM]

"N-No!"
A white Lancer Evolution V was being chased on the downhill path coming out of the tunnel by a menacing black R34 that was poised to ram him out of the way.
"What's wrong, punk?" a young man with his long raven hair tied back in a ponytail jeered from inside the Skyline. "You think your Evo is hot shit, but on this course, I reign supreme!"
Both cars dove through the turns, but it was obvious that the Evo driver was scared and jittery from the pressure from behind. "You gotta be kidding me! This Skyline can keep up with my Evo?"

From inside the car, a CB radio crackled to life. "Darkside, stop playing around," a feminine voice called out.
"Tch. I'll do whatever I want with this little Evo punk, Confusion. Stay out of this," the pony tailed man retorted.
"Can't. Lady Angel's orders. Finish this now, or we both get it."
With a groan, the man known as Darkside sighed. "Fine. But this'll cost a few yen. For me, anyway," he punctuated with an evil smile.

As both cars dove through the twisty downhill turns of Tsuchizaka Inbound, the Evo driver understeered one of the turns in his panicked state. He managed to regain control, but he was constantly looking back. Sure enough, the menacing Skyline was still breathing down his neck. "Come on, I can't outrun him here!?"
When he looked again in his mirror, he was suddenly blinded by a flash of light that came from the R34's high beams!
"Ahhh!" The Evo driver swerved madly from surprise, causing his front end to nick the side of the mountain on his left.
"And this is where you get off," Darkside chuckled as he then rammed the left panel of the Evo out of the way, allowing him to pass while the Evo lost control behind him and crash right into the face of the mountain. "One more kill for me, it seems."

The radio crackled to life again. "I heard a crash. I assume that it's the other driver."
"Of course, dammit. Who the hell else do you think would win this one?" Darkside retorted.
"..." The radio fell silent, but Darkside could feel Confusion's displeasure at his retort. "Damned Ameko," he quipped back.
"I heard that," Darkside growled as he heard the derogatory remark.
"In any case, get back to the Mansion. Lady Angel is expecting a status report."
"Got that," Darkside chuckled.

"Oh, and be prepared. We seem to have a new mission for this month," Confusion said. "Details are still sketchy, but it seems to be about some kid in an R32."
Darkside raised a brow at that. "Now why the hell should we be concerned about some kid in an outdated Skyline?"
"Just get back here."

Darkside groaned as he downshifted to a lower gear and tore down the rest of the course towards the Fallen Angels mansion.

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 May 17 2008, 06:30 AM
The R34 comes in a bit sooner than I thought it would... except it's not the same R34. Also, stop preempting the author, Hashi! chair.gif laugh.gif We're not bringing out THAT R34 here.

user posted image user posted image user posted image

Posted by: Gunma's 34 May 19 2008, 04:31 AM
Whoa!! Now that's one tough GT-R TO BEAT...
talk about a Seiji Iwaki counterpart in an updated Nakazato GT-R...
I wonder how Rin and the gang would pull this off...
Interesting...
Nice update!! blink.gif

QUOTE
You nailed Shingo and Takeshi! XD However, we need to hand you some Shuffle! and Kanon artwork because you missed Sia, Nayuki and Rin to a certain extent. Sia's easier in this case - Nomake has her on his sig.

Send me a PM of the artwork of the 3; and I'll check and grab the pic of Nomake1 for reference if I feel like making a second cover or fan art for this fan fic


reading this... I wonder what cars would Confusion and Lady Angel would drive if Darkside is driving a dark R34... they sort of remind me of Kaido's (TXRD2 for PS2) Thirteen Devils and twelve kingdom...


Looking out for more... w00t2.gif w00t2.gif
Kozou Hoshino suddenly came out of the blue behind me:
GO GT-R!!

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Sep 28 2011, 06:23 AM
YESSSS

AFTER 1227 DAYS I'M FREEEEEEEE

IT'S TIME TO WRITE SOME FANFICTION

Jesus, I blame IDAS6 for rekindling this. Damn you, Sega.

Destiny Shift, Chapter 10 – A Dangerous Choice

[Day: Friday, March 18, 2005]
[Location: Fallen Angel Mansion, near Tsuchizaka]
[Time: 11:03 PM]

“You’re late, Darkside,” a female voice rang out in the middle of the giant elaborate main hall. It echoed across the room, causing the glass chandeliers on the ceiling to clink slightly with each word.
“My apologies, Lady Angel,” the ponytailed man said as he knelt on one knee at the bottom of the stairs.
“Well, I suppose that a little bit of… playtime is good for the morale of my agents. ‘All work and no play’, as the saying goes. It won’t do if that led to a loss though, so please keep that in mind.”
“Understood, my Lady.”
“… Told you you’d get in trouble,” another lady sneered on his right as she leaned against a pillar. This one had short blonde hair, and if it weren’t for her hips and the slight bulge to her chest, she could easily be mistaken for a lanky yet handsome man.
“Shut it, Confusion,” Darkside groaned as he stood up.
“Enough, you two,” Lady Angel admonished them. “You have better things to do than argue with each other. I have a mission for both of you.”

The woman known as Lady Angel didn’t stand up from her position. Rather, she couldn’t – she was confined to a wheelchair. Her long raven hair and circular glasses more or less rounded out the stereotypical sick girl that she seemed to portray, but it was clear from the way Confusion and Darkside addressed her that she was the one who held power here amongst the Fallen Angels.
“I have reports from an undercover source that someone is looking into one of our… assets. It’s not too big of a deal, but I would rather that it not go farther than that.”
“You want us to eliminate him or her?” Darkside asked.
“No. Just… keep him from learning too much. Harming him right now would have dire consequences for us at this point, even if it is an… accident.”

Lady Angel smiled evilly as she leaned forward slightly. “You can, however… ‘discourage’ him. Rest for now; you’ll receive more details about your target tomorrow.”

Darkside grinned at that. “As you wish, my Lady.” With that, he eagerly whipped around towards his dorm room.

Lady Angel’s smile faded as she addressed Confusion as soon as Darkside was out of earshot. “Confusion. Make sure he doesn’t go overboard.”
“Of course, Lady Angel.”

*****

[Day: Saturday, March 19, 2005]
[Location: Clow Auto Repair]
[Time: 9:30 AM]

“Rin-kun. It’s morning.”
Kaede’s voice broke through the dark veil of sleep that covered Rin for the past six hours or so. While Sakura worked on the R32, Takeshi and Nayuki more or less coached him a bit on the minute differences between track racing and street racing, mostly dealing with how to adapt to the unpredictable nature of the public street. They also let him become more accustomed to using the R32’s ATTESSA system by letting him use Takeshi’s R32 and then alternating it with Nayuki’s Trueno. In the end, they came back to the shop rather late, so he pretty much went straight to bed.
“Mmmh… Kaede?” he asked.
“Rin-kun, good morning,” Kaede repeated.
Rin’s eyes groggily looked at Kaede before they started to close again. “… Sorry. Please let me sleep a little longer today...”
“Ah, but you won’t have time to eat breakfast then. Today’s miso soup has your favorite nameko mushrooms in it.”
“… what if they’re not the round nameko from Hirata in the Yamagata Prefecture…”
“But of course, they are.”
“… With finely sliced green onions?”
“They’re there, just the way you like it.”

Rin sighed as he sat up on the guest bed. “… We’re travelling out here like this and you’re still this prepared? That’s… scarily impressive.”
“Of course. It concerns you, after all.”
“When… did you manage to get any food?”
“Li-san and Daidouji-san told me about the local groceries around here, so I just asked Sia-chan to take me there. We both went and bought a few things for us and for our hosts.”
Rin tried not to think about just how frighteningly prepared Kaede actually was. “You’d make a great wife at this rate…”
“Ehh? But… but…”
“Come on, I’m sure everyone’s waiting for us downstairs,” Rin sighed as he tried to straighten himself out a bit at least. “I’ll be downstairs in a minute.”
“Allright, Rin-kun,” Kaede said as she left the guest room to give Rin time to change.

When she left, Rin sighed and thought back to the story regarding how his mother and father – and subsequently Kaede’s mother – might have died.
QUOTE
Sakura asked, "Are you going to tell your friends about what I told you?"
"... I'd better not, for Kaede's sake. If she ever thought that her mother was intentionally killed alongside my parents, even if that is just pure conjecture, God knows what would happen to her," Rin said.
"Are you sure about that?" Sakura asked. "Are you willing to bear the burden of keeping a secret?"
"Yes. It’s something I'm quite used to at this point," Rin chuckled bitterly.
"I see. Then I pray that she never knows."

“So Mom… what exactly is this legacy that you wanted me to find?” he asked to nobody in particular as he absent-mindedly opened up the letter from his mother that was in the R32’s glove compartment. “Was it something worth dying for?”

*****

“Tsuchimi, your friends would make great wives at this rate!” Shingo said as he helped put away the dishes for everyone, much to Takeshi’s surprise. This unusually polite act however was left unnoticed by Nayuki, who was currently faceplanted on the table.
“It really was delicious! Thank you so much. You didn’t have to do that…” Sakura said.
“No, it’s allright. It’s the least we can do for helping Rin-kun out, right, Kaede-chan?” Sia replied.
“Yes, especially since you’re helping Rin-kun fulfill his mother’s request,” Kaede chimed in.
“Speaking of which, Tsuchimi-san, where are you going from here?” Tomoyo asked.
“Well, we’ll probably need to go straight to Todō Jukou at this point,” Rin said as he too put away his plate. “Mom told me that if I wanted to follow in the Sato clan’s legacy, Todō-san would be the one to ask. I’d like to at least know what kind of legacy it is before I decide.”
Sakura nodded. “I wish you good luck on your journey. Remember what I said about using the ATTESSA until you’re ready. The tires have been changed too, so you should be okay with regards to grip. And be careful. I’ll let them know that you’re coming.” Sakura then moved closer to Rin’s ear and whispered, “And what about your friends?”
“I’ll explain it to them somehow,” Rin said. “I’ll need to do this a little at a time.”
“I see.”

After a bit of cleaning up, the group finally met up outside the garage and made their way to their respective cars.
“Thank you again, Sakura-san,” Rin thanked her again.
“I just wish you could have stayed long enough to meet my husband Syaoran. He’s busy helping tune another friend’s car nearby.”
“Perhaps when we come back.”
“I pray that if you do… it will be to visit and nothing else.”

With that, Rin turned to the rest of his friends while Sakura and Tomoyo went back into the shop. “Guys, there’s something you should know about this that I just found out. It’s… a bit complicated, and if you don’t want to go with me from this point on… I understand.”
And so, he told them about most of what Sakura told him about the Fallen Angels, sans the idea that his family might have been killed over something that the Satos were involved in. There was no need to aggravate Kaede at this point, after all.
“… And that’s that. This is… something that my mother asked me to look at. If I keep going, who knows what I might find, so…”

“And so you’re telling us not to go with you? Not a chance,” Takeshi chuckled. “Tsuchimi, I hardly know you, but you are a fellow R32 racer. I want to see how far you can go with that car, if only so that I can see what it is I’m lacking. You’re not getting rid of me that easily.”
“Tch, and you’re saying that so easily…” Shingo sighed.
“What did you say!?”
“Hey, I’m going along so as to make sure you don’t get in way over your head, got that? It’s what the second in command is supposed to do.”
“... Who made you second in command?”
“Oh you guys, you get along so well,” Nayuki chuckled.
“No we don’t,” came the immediate denial from the two Night Kids, causing the other girls to giggle.
“Well Rin-kun, I will still follow you too! After all, I can’t just let the man I love take all of the burden on his own!” Sia chimed in.
“Me too… it’s also something that I want to do… no, need to do,” Kaede said. “I’ll do everything I can to help you!”
At this point, Shingo glared at Rin over what Sia and Kaede just said. “… Now why haven’t you married them yet?”
“Ehhh? But… Rin-kun can’t… err…” Kaede stammered while Sia just blushed and grinned widely while covering her cheeks with her hands.
“You idiot, now you’ve got Fuyou-san all flustered!” Takeshi groaned. “Anyway, we’re all going with you! Right, Minase?”
“Mmhmm! I don’t know what I can do, but I’ll try my best! Maybe I can help coach you with your car,” Nayuki chuckled.

“Guys… Thank you,” Rin said. “Well, we better not keep them waiting then. Let’s get moving!”

*****

[Day: Saturday, March 19, 2005]
[Location: Nichien-Momiji Line]
[Time: 11:37 PM]

“… Are you sure it’s okay for us to just practice like this on an unknown road?” Rin asked Nayuki, who was riding shotgun with him on his R32. Of course, as promised, the ATTESSA-ETS was still disabled for now and he was getting used to driving it as a regular Rear Wheel Drive.
As to why they were here instead of Happogahara, the home course of Todō Juku, one has to remember that Japan’s prefectures isn’t easily traversed in one day, especially coming from Shomaru. The Nichien-Momiji Line was more or less a stopover point, and the other members of the group were resting in a nearby hotel. Right now, it was Nayuki’s turn to coach Rin.
“Yes, we should be fine as long as we don’t push it too hard. Just remember where the open gutters were. If I remember correctly, Takumi-san raced someone here once and he got into an accident going over an open gutter,” Nayuki calmly said.
“That’s… not really reassuring.”
“Fighto, Rin-san! Don’t worry! I’ve driven here a couple of times before. I know it very well. I’ll warn you if anything comes up.”

So far, so good – he was making good time on the first high speed section. Now came the more technical winding roads of the second section up ahead and—
“… There’s a car. I think we should slow down.” Rin said. Sure enough a red Honda Beat was in the way.
“Yeah, we should… it’s too dangerous to try and pass it right now since you’re not fully used to this course—”
But before Nayuki could even continue speaking, the small car up began to pick up the pace and reach racing speeds.

BGM: D. Essex – Boom Boom Fire

“… Or not. Let’s follow him!”
“Oi, is that allright?”
“Yes, don’t worry about it! We don’t have to pass him, just follow along.”

Meanwhile, inside the other car…
“… Sorry about that,” the driver inside apologetically said as he downshifted to second gear, his left hand staying steady on the wheel and his right never leaving the shifter. As it turned out, this particular Beat seemed to be a left-hand drive car. “I can just slow down and them pass if you want.”
“It’s for practice, right? Besides, you’re quite serious about asking Dad, so…” his female companion whimpered.
“Yeah, I’m serious about this… but you don’t have to go along with me on my practice runs. It’s dangerous, you know.”
“But I can navigate the road better, and warn you ahead of time… after all, isn’t it hard with your right shoulder?...”
“Don’t worry about it! I think I’ve got this one-hand steering thing somewhat down,” he chuckled back. “Besides, this is our home course. I don’t think I’ve seen that car before.”
“If you say so. But where you go, I’ll go with you too. Oh! Left turn! Slow down!”

From behind, Rin watched as the tiny Beat was slowly increasing the distance between them – the tiny MR was proving to be a really agile monster in these roads!
“Damn… that guy’s fast!” Rin hissed.
“Calm down. Just feather the gas. Don’t let go of the throttle too much that you’ll start to lose too much boost, but not too hard either that you’ll end up launching too fast into a turn when the turbo spools up!” Nayuki said. “Remember, we don’t have to pass him – just keep up! Focus on your weight transfer and the timing of your turns!”
“Easier said than done!...” Rin groaned as he let the tires slip a bit so that they could drift through the right turn leading to the second checkpoint.

“… We’re leaving them behind,” the girl in the car ahead said.
“Now if they can stay that way through the open gutter section… that’s where I lose most of my time…” the driver said as he shifted to third gear. “It’s much more tiring going through those turns with just one arm…”
“Just don’t push yourself too hard, Tomoya-kun!”
“Don’t worry! Besides, I wouldn’t be that much of a driver if I put you in danger because of a stupid accident, Nagisa…”

Posted by: HashiriyaR32 Sep 28 2011, 02:39 PM
Ack!

More key stuff?

Oh, and nice to see this fic revived after over THREE years.

Posted by: Bumpercam Sep 28 2011, 06:51 PM
Ooh, this is good. I need to go back on track with mine as all these Idolmaster craze is wearing off...

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Sep 29 2011, 08:06 AM
Thanks, Bumpercam. I'm actually on a bit of a roll now, so I'm gonna keep this up!

Also thanks again to Nomake Wan for proofreading!

Destiny Shift, Chapter 11 – One Handed Drift

[Day: Saturday, March 19, 2005]
[Location: Nichien-Momiji Line]
[Time: 11:38 PM]

The red Honda Beat shot through each turn like a skittering squirrel, gracefully bounding between turns and never losing momentum. Rin was trying to keep up, but it was here that he was seeing the difference between his car and the other.
“This thing is so heavy!... I can’t get it to go where I want to so easily!” Rin groaned.
“That’s not too much of a problem if you can work on your braking,” Nayuki said as she held on to the handlebar on the ceiling. “You have to remember, we’re going downhill. Picking up speed isn’t going to be a problem; it will be controlling it through the turns using your brakes.”
“So… focus on braking and entry speed?” Rin asked as he approached a short chicane.
“Yes. No need to brake that hard on this one, but time it right about… now!”
Nayuki’s instruction allowed him to brake just enough to enter and exit the chicane at a decent clip.

… It was here that he saw something odd about the Beat – it seemed to slow down too much for the left turn. In fact, it seemed to be doing the same for the next, sharper left turn.
“… Is it just me, or…”
“Yeah…” Nayuki said, affirming what he thought. “His left turns seem to be rather slow… And this section is a high speed chicane course with gentle turns! We can catch up here!”

Meanwhile, Tomoya tried not to smack the steering wheel. “God DAMMIT! It’s always the left turns!...”
“Calm down, Tomoya-kun!” Nagisa tried to reassure him. “As long as we’re ahead it should be fine…”
“Yeah, but these left turns are ALWAYS a problem for me… and as long as they are, I won’t be able to defeat him…”

The lead that Tomoya’s Beat managed to gain was taken back in part due to too much speed loss on the left turns, and Rin’s horsepower. And while his inexperience in handling the heavy R32 on a downhill run might have posed problems, Nayuki was helping him get a better feel for when and how much to brake during a turn. The new tires helped a lot in this regard too. By the time they passed the third checkpoint and were taking the long left, Rin was now breathing down Tomoya’s neck.

“Ghhh!...” Tomoya hissed as he couldn’t bring his left hand down enough to turn the wheel to the left. Meanwhile, the Beat was slowly losing traction and understeering to the right. “Dammit… and I thought having a midship engine car would actually help!...”
“Tomoya-kun, I think it’s the throttle…”
“Then if I let off the gas a bit…“
“Wait, Tomoya-kun, I don’t think—“
As soon as he did that in the middle of the turn, it happened.

“Hey! Watch out!” Nayuki gasped when she saw the front tires of the Beat suddenly snap to the left. Her advance warning gave Rin the chance to dodge the spinout by drifting right.

As suddenly as the race began, it was over.

Rin and Nayuki stepped out of their car and ran towards the stalled Honda Beat to see if its occupants weren’t injured. “Hey, are you guys allright?”
To Rin’s surprise and relief, two figures came out of the car. The first thing he realized was that it they were a man and a woman – the male had medium length bangs that barely obscured his face, while his female brunette companion sported bobcut length hair with two prominently long strands that stood out from the top of her head that served as some kind of antennae.
The second thing he realized was that it seemed that the male came out of the wrong side of the car.
A left hand drive car? he thought to himself.

“Yeah, we’re fine… right, Nagisa?” the male said as he helped his female companion out of the car.
“Y-Yeah. Tomoya-kun, are you…”
“Other than my pride being hurt, I’m unharmed. I’m more worried about you…”
The man known as Tomoya then turned his attention to Rin and Nayuki. “Sorry about that. I’m glad you managed to avoid me. If it weren’t for my stupid mistake…”
Rin smiled. “Ah, I’m just glad that you weren’t harmed. If anything, I’m sorry for initiating a race so suddenly like that.”
“It’s my fault too,” Nayuki apologized. “I suggested that he follow you as part of his training.”

Tomoya smiled. “It looks like we’re both training quite hard. I’m actually impressed that you managed to catch up… considering that you don’t seem like you’re from here.”
“No, we’re not. We’re en route to another location and decided to try out this course. We’ve already done a few runs on it, so it’s not like it was really my first time, and I had a good navigator,” Rin said.
“Ahahaha, Rin-san, you’re too kind,” Nayuki chuckled with embarrassment. “It’s good that you’re both okay, um…”
“Tomoya Okazaki. This is my girlfriend, Nagisa Furukawa,” Tomoya introduced himself and his girlfriend.
“I’m Rin Tsuchimi. This is my friend Nayuki Minase.”
“Not your girlfriend?” Tomoya asked.
“No. I already have someone to call that. That and I get the feeling that someone would be very angry at you for saying that.”

Back at the hotel, a certain EG6 driver sneezed in his sleep.

Nagisa nudged Tomoya in the side for that question. “You shouldn’t ask people about that sort of thing,” she gently admonished him.
“Ahahaha, sorry about that,” Tomoya apologized to Rin.
“It’s allright. More importantly, are you sure you’re unharmed?” Rin asked.
“Yeah… though, this is kind of embarrassing… I don’t want to say that I wasn’t in top form when I spun out. That would just be making excuses, and excuses mean nothing to him…”
Nayuki coughed a bit to clear her throat. “More importantly, we should get out of the way. We wouldn’t want to be caught blocking the road, would we? Let’s meet up at the bottom of the course.”

Both parties nodded in agreement and got in their respective cars before finishing the rest of the way.

*****

“Ehhh!?” Nayuki gasped out of earshot from the boys. Apparently the two girls decided to talk by themselves in private.
“Yes. Tomoya-kun is practicing so that he can challenge my father to a race,” Nagisa said.
“But what for?”
“I don’t know. I kind of have an inkling, and I asked mom about it, but all she told me was not to ‘get in the way when men battle’ or something like that.”
“Ehhh… that’s kind of bold of him then…”
“How so?”
“I mean, he sounded serious about spinning out back there. That must mean that this battle is important to him…”

Meanwhile, the men were also talking amongst themselves too, and incidentally about the same thing.
“Something important to ask her father?” Rin asked.
“Yeah. The old man’s kind of… weird like that. He told me that he’ll listen to what I have to say if I beat him in a downhill race in his home course,” Tomoya said after gulping down some coffee from a nearby vending machine. “Of course, I haven’t won against him yet.”
“It’s not this course, is it?”
“No, but it’s kind of similar to this one. We actually live in the nearby city of Hikarizaka.”
“Ehhh, that’s a coincidence. We’re actually staying at a hotel near there. I’m actually from Hyōgo.”

“That’s so far! What’s he doing all the way out here?” Nagisa asked.
“He’s fulfilling his mother’s last wish, apparently,” Nayuki said. “We’re headed to the Happogahara Plateau to see a friend of his mother’s at Todō Juku Racing.”
“Todō Juku? That name sounds familiar… Dad always seemed to be talking about that when it came to racing…”
“Does that mean your dad is an alumnus of the school?”
“I’m not sure… I mean, he always has a lot of crazy stories to tell about his youth. Half the time I think he’s making them up just to impress Mom.”

“Sounds like a lively family,” Rin chuckled when Tomoya talked about his dealings with Nagisa’s parents.
“Yeah, I know. It kind of gets irritating at times, but when I think about it… they’re about as close to family as they can get. If they needed me to do something for them, I would do it… kind of like how you’re doing this to fulfill your mother’s will,” Tomoya mused.
Rin drank a bit from his coffee, and seemed to have decided on something. “I got it. Let’s practice together then!”
“Huh? What about your mother’s will?”
“There’s no real time limit to it anyway. Not to mention that after hearing about how prestigious Todō Juku is, I feel that if I don’t improve my own skills, I have no business being in there. Just for a couple of days should be fine. Weren’t you planning to battle him in about two days’ time?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“We should practice at your girlfriend’s father’s home course then. Wouldn’t it be better that way?”
“I would, but… there’s a bit of a problem. The turns there are much sharper than I would like them to be – it’s not good for my left arm. That’s why I’m taking it slow by practicing in a course I’m more used to.”
“All the more reason you should practice there so that you can get used to it. Is there something wrong with your left arm?”
“No, nothing wrong with it, it’s just… it’s not my dominant arm. I can’t ever use my right arm.”
“Why’s that?”

“… Tomoya-kun didn’t give me the details, but his right shoulder was injured badly during his younger years. Now he can’t raise his right shoulder, so using his right arm to steer is out of the question,” Nagisa explained.
“Ehhh… that kind of half explains why his Beat is a left-drive car,” Nayuki mused. “And with it being a mid-ship configuration car, it would actually be easier to control since the weight distribution is more to the back. The problem comes though with the precarious balance between its natural understeer and its snap oversteer…”
“Yeah… that’s precisely what happened back there. It’s hard to control the car as it is with two arms… when you’re only able to use one arm though…”
“How’d he learn how to do that though? One-handed steering isn’t exactly easy to do.”
“Ah, he was actually taught by his doctor,” Nagisa chuckled. “He’s from Tsukuba. I don’t exactly know the details of how he managed to get here, but I guess it’s as a request from a family friend or something.”
“Well, I would imagine that one-handed steering requires precise control. It’s not just about turning the wheel where you want it to go… you’d probably have to gauge just how far to turn and countersteer so as not to waste any speed in the turns, and it’s even harder in a car that is prone to snap oversteer if you release the throttle too much…”
“You seem to be very knowledgeable about racing…”
“Ahahaha, that’s kind of my mom’s fault. It snows a lot where I live, so when I started driving she taught me how to drive in the snow, where it’s easier to drift.”
“Your mom is like my dad then?”
“I guess. Anyway, I just wish there was something we could do to help… I don’t know if Rin-kun would stay here for much longer…”

It was at that point that Rin and Tomoya approached Nayuki and Nagisa. “Nayuki-san, I have a favor to ask.”
Nayuki smiled. “Approved! If you want to stay and train with him, I think the others wouldn’t mind.”
“… You approved it in one second.”
“If you two work together, maybe you can find a way to improve your racing, Okazaki-san. And maybe Rin-san would be able to learn something new from you, since you’re using car setups and techniques that under the right circumstances would complement one another.”
“T-Thanks… I’m really sorry about this, Tsuchimi-san,” Tomoya sheepishly said.
“Hey, it helps me too in a way. Don’t worry about it,” Rin chuckled. “Anyway, where should we meet up tomorrow night? We have no idea where the Hikarizaka pass is, so you’ll have to lead us to it.”
“Maybe we should get Sia-chan and Takeshi-san and Shingo to train too! That would be great!” Nayuki said.
“Are they your travelling companions?” Tomoya asked.
“Yeah. Takeshi-san also drives an R32, while Sia drives an FD,” Rin answered.
“Man… you guys have some pretty powerful cars. My Beat doesn't really have the horsepower to be on par with those sorts of cars...”
“You overestimate me. Your Beat was very fast and agile through the turns! If anything, your small car has a better chance of navigating the turns than my heavier R32.”
“Either way, the Beat is still not good enough to beat the old man’s car…”
“What kind of car does he drive, anyway?”

*****

[Day: Sunday, March 20, 2005]
[Location: Somewhere in the city of Hikarizaka]
[Time: 6:00 AM]

“A Levin? Now there’s something you don’t see that often,” Shingo mused as he looked at a gunmetal 86 Levin parked next to a bakery of some sort.
“… Why the hell are we here again?” Takeshi sighed.
“To get some bread, obviously! Kaede-chan said something about wanting to make a Western type breakfast, so I figured we’d hit the bakery that Nayuki was talking about when she got back.”
“Well, if Minase recommended this place…” Takeshi decided not to dilly dally any further and entered the bakery. It was certainly open, but they weren’t sure if they already had bread in stock.

“Ah, good morning and welcome!” a red-haired man greeted them from behind the counter clad in a white shirt, a pair of jeans, and a white apron. “Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Ah, good morning,” Takeshi said with a bow. “I heard from a friend that that this place sells good bread.”
“You heard right my friends! They’re still being baked right now though, but they should be done in about fifteen to twenty minutes.”
“Ah… I knew it, we did come a little early…”
“We do, however, have the, uh… ‘other’ bread in stock on discount.”
Shingo and Takeshi gave each other a confused look before turning back to the storekeeper. “’Other’ bread?” Takeshi asked.
“Yeah, we have like… well, there’s nothing else I can do to describe it other than ‘other’ bread. I mean, see for yourself.”
He directed them to some fresh melon bread that was on a nearby shelf.
“Hey, those look good. I’m kind of hankering for some of that now,” Shingo chuckled.
“… You want to give it a try? What the hell happened to a Western Breakfast? You’ll ruin your appetite that way.”
“What are you, my mom?” Shingo growled as he reached for his wallet. “I’ll have one to tide my cravings.”
“… Wait, are you sure about that?” the shopkeeper said with a worried look in his eye.
“… You make it sound like that melon bread is poisoned or something.”
“That’s because it’s... well… ‘literal’ melon bread.”
“… Literal?”
“Yes. Do you still want to try it?”
“…”
Shingo glared at the bread for a moment, and then shrugged. “Why the hell not. It’s what, fifty yen?”

Moments later, Shingo would come to regret that decision after taking one bite.

“You weren’t kidding when you said it was literal!” Shingo gasped as he started coughing out bits of bittermelon from his mouth.
“Hey man, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I didn’t make that one; our regular bread is still in the oven right now.”
“What kind of bread is this!? I mean, it’s edible, but… who would put WHOLE FRUIT inside a piece of bread!? No wonder it’s on discount!”

“My bread is…”

All three men turned towards the female voice who whimpered from behind the counter. She seemed to be no older than twenty-five, and was wearing a pair of suspenders and a pink shirt. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail to keep it away from the dough, and it became apparent to Shingo and Takeshi that she was the creator of this… thing.

“My bread is… is a bread that’s meant to be on discount!?”
With that, she started to cry and run outside the store, much to the utter confusion of the two Night Kids. The man in the meantime actually gobbled up two of the pieces of bread and dashed after her.
“WAIT! SANAE! HE SAID IT WAS STILL EDIBLE! YOUR BREAD IS STILL EDIBLE!”



“… The hell did I just see?” Shingo asked.
“I dunno, but I think it was something you ate.”

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Oct 20 2011, 07:07 AM
... Huh. The forums seem to eat up long posts while preserving relatively short posts like this. I guess it's the effect of it just coming back on, so I'll probably post an actual chapter later once it's back up and running again.

Posted by: Pikachu_Fragger Oct 20 2011, 11:52 PM
Destiny Shift, Chapter 12 – En Route to the Hill of Lights

[Day: Sunday, March 20, 2005]
[Location: Hikarizaka Pass]
[Time: 10:00 PM]

"You’ve met Mom and Dad?" Nagisa asked.
"... They’re YOUR parents!?" Shingo groaned.
"... Sorry about that," Tomoya sighed.
"Wait, why are you apologizing, Tomoya-kun!?" Nagisa retorted.

This was the sort of exchange that was happening at the top of Hikarizaka Pass, where Rin’s group met up with Tomoya and Nagisa in order to prepare for the upcoming battle between Tomoya and Nagisa’s father. It was a nice change of pace for Rin, Sia, and the Night Kids as well; they were now in a completely different course that gave them an opportunity to learn new things.

And learn they would, as this course seemed to have some elements of Myogi and Momiji Line mixed in together, namely the high speed straights mixed in with some low speed corners and most importantly, the open gutters.
"Takeshi, Sia-san, Rin-san, Okazaki-san, we should do a run of the course at a slow pace than usual, just so we can get used to it. No point in going too fast to begin with, since we’ve got all night," Nayuki said. "I know you’re more used to this course, Okazaki-san, but I think watching them go slower at it might give you some ideas as how to better tackle the course."
"Allright. You’re the teacher, so we’ll be in your care," Rin chuckled.
"Please take care of us, Nayuki-san!" Sia said while bowing.
"Wait, how did you become our teacher!?" Takeshi spoke up.
"What, you’ve got a problem with that?" Shingo growled.
"... You know her better than I do. You tell me she looks like the teacher type with a straight face."
"... That’s not the point here."
"Takeshi-san, Shingo, that’s mean!" Nayuki whimpered.
Rin sighed. "We’re so boned."
"Ah, you’re being mean too, Rin-kun!" Sia pouted. "Either way, Kaede-chan, are you allright with staying with Rin-kun?"
"Well... if it means that I get a better understanding of Rin-kun’s desire to race..." Kaede said while fidgeting with her fingers.

Tomoya nudged Rin with his elbow. "Are you sure she’s not your girlfriend?"
"... Pretty sure. You know, I could say the opposite about you and Furukawa-san," Rin jabbed back.
"Anyway, I’ll go first," Nayuki chuckled as she got inside her Trueno and started it up.
"Wait, why are we following you? And Shingo, where the hell are you going?" Takeshi asked.
"Shotgun with Nayuki-chan, what else?" Shingo said. Before the leader of the Night Kids could do anything, Shingo was already in the passenger seat of the Trueno, much to Takeshi’s chagrin.
"... Well, let’s get going then. It’s best not to waste time," Rin chuckled as he got inside his R32. Soon enough, all the cars started doing a downhill caravan of sorts through the pass.

*****

Around three hours later, all of them convened around one of the left turns that had an open gutter.
"Is this the turn that’s been giving you trouble?" Nayuki asked.
"Yeah. Well, to be more precise, all left turns give me trouble," Tomoya sighed.
"I... can see how. You’ve gotten the hang of turning with just one hand, but you haven’t fully mastered it. It needs to be combined with proper footwork, especially since you’re using an midship. One misstep, and you could find yourself spinning out like you did yesterday."
"That’s... a lot of pressure to put on him considering his battle is tomorrow, don’t you think?" Rin said.
"All the more so, Rin-san. If he wants to overcome this shortcoming, he needs to be able to have precise control over both his feet and hands. If anything, his choice of a midship must have honed his skills up to this point to a considerable degree. And there is one thing that holds people back from having absolute control."

Nayuki turned to face Tomoya straight in the face for dramatic effect. "... Fear. Tomoya-san, you have the skill and the ability – your fear, however, is what holds you back."
"I’m not— " Tomoya tried to say, but pursed his lips. After all, Nayuki was right, but she was right for a different reason.
"... I’m holding you back, am I?" Nagisa asked.
"Nagisa! You’re not—"
"Please. Don’t deny it. I know that what you do is dangerous, and that yet I go with you anyway."
"That’s not true! You’re my navigator! You know the various spots around here that I need to watch out for. If it weren’t for you, I’d have probably crashed by now. You’re the one person who keeps me calm as I race, Nagisa. If I race by myself, I’d... probably be too reckless and do something stupid."
"But I was the one who told you about the throttle yesterday! I told you that it might be your footwork, but when you listened to me..."

Nayuki sighed. "Um, you guys... it’s not a bad idea if you two race together in the same car. I’m not saying you should separate each other. Far from it. Tomoya-san, I admire how you’re always looking out for Nagisa-san and always wanting to protect her. But you cannot race at your full potential if you keep worrying that she’ll get caught in your mistake. It is when you’re spending too much time looking out for your mistakes that you start making them. You have the skill. Believe in your abilities, just as much as she believes in them."
"If you cannot believe in yourself, then believe in her who believes in you!"
"..." Everyone turned to Sia, who blurted that out and got a bunch of stares from the guys in particular. "Are? Was it something I said?"
"No, it’s just... I’m sorry Sia, but it just sounds so weird to put it that way," Rin sighed.
"Ehhhh!? How mean, Rin-kun!"
"... That aside, that... kind of makes sense. Besides, if you were trying to protect her from any accidents, you’ve already failed the minute she stepped in the car with you," Nayuki continued. "And Nagisa-san, please... continue to look out for him. A navigator’s job is to let her partner know what is coming up, and what to expect. Nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps that’s... what your mother meant."

Nagisa gasped at that. She knew exactly what Nayuki was referring to.

QUOTE
"If there’s a difference in strength, all I have left is passion," Tomoya said as he entered his Beat. "I’ll stay and practice, even in this rain."
"Tomoya-kun!" Nagisa protested, but her mother Sanae spoke. "Allright. I won’t stop you this time. I’ll go back to where Akio-san is."
"But Mom! In this rain!?"
"Nagisa, if you won’t go guide him, then you should come back with me. Besides... you mustn’t get in their way when men battle."
Nagisa wavered under her umbrella for a moment before she nodded her assent. "Allright, Mom."
Tomoya seemed to look expectantly at Nagisa for a brief moment before shaking it off and getting inside. "I’ll be fine, Nagisa. Just come back for me in an hour or so," he said before starting the car.

As it turned out, Nagisa didn’t leave Tomoya alone that day, but her mother didn’t stop her from staying with him either.


"... I understand," Nagisa said as she held Tomoya’s hand in hers and squeezed it for reassurance. Tomoya did the same.

"Still, these things are pretty troublesome... one wrong move and you could fall into them," Sia sighed as she stared at the open gutters. "I mean, they’re not too wide that you can’t just run over them to the dirt on the side if you’re fast enough, but... one could get scared just trying that out to begin with.
Nayuki suddenly perked at that. "Wait... what did you say, Sia-chan?"
"Eh? Well, they’re pretty scary to try and go over to begin with—" she began, but then Nayuki stepped next to her and examined the gutter. Then she looked at the Beat for a moment, and realized.
"... Wait a second. Takumi-san told me something about this once... Sia-chan, you helped remind me of something, something that might help in his race tomorrow!"
"Eh? About what?"
"But it’s very, very dangerous. The only reason why I even considered it is because of Tomoya-san’s configuration."
"Huh? What are you talking about, Nayuki-san?" Tomoya asked, but Nayuki pulled him by the wrist to the side of her Trueno.

"Listen, Tomoya-san. What I’m about to suggest is a dangerous maneuver. The only reason why I would even suggest it in the first place is because you have the advantage of your car’s setup... and the fact that you have counterbalance on your side!"
"... Huh? I’m sorry, but you’re not making any sense."
"You’ll need Nagisa-san for this. She is your counterbalance. That and adding to the fact that your car is a midship... you could pull this off. But only if you believe that you can push it to the metal when it counts. You must overcome your fear, or you cannot do it. I can do it a bit myself and show you, but... you must believe me and not panic as I go."
"A-Allright. What is it?"
Nayuki turned to Nagisa and made an apologetic face. "I’m sorry! I’ll be borrowing Tomoya-san for a bit! Shingo, you can take the Beat back up the hill, right?"
"Ehhh!?" Both Nagisa and Shingo gasped at Nayuki’s suggestion, but before anybody could protest, she shoved Tomoya into her passenger seat while she entered her driver’s side. She took the Beat’s keys from Tomoya and tossed them to Shingo.
"Rin-san, if you want to watch, then follow me for a bit. You might find it useful, since it’s an exercise in weight transfer," Nayuki added before starting her car.
"Eh? A-Allright," Rin said as he jumped into his R32. Everyone else was a bit dumbfounded by Nayuki’s sudden idea, but she was already making her way back up the mountain. Given that this was Nayuki, Shingo and Takeshi already knew better than to not listen to her, and she was the closest Rin had to a teacher. There was no reason not to follow her instructions as everyone drove up the hill to follow the girl in her Trueno.

*****

"Rin-san, why are we following them?" Nagisa asked as they followed the speeding Trueno through the turns.
"I’m not sure, but... this is the first time I’ve actually seen her driving up close," Rin said as he made a good enough effort to follow her. All the braking training he learned from her was actually helping at this point, as his braking points now allowed him to go through the turns faster.
Unfortunately, Nayuki was still faster, as her lighter Trueno coupled with her own experience as a racer was able to navigate the turns better than the bulkier R32, even here in a course that she’d only raced a couple of times on.
"Damn, she’s fast!" he gasped as he drifted through the hairpin. He was about a half second behind her at this point, and that was probably her being generous so that he could see what she was about to do.

Meanwhile, Tomoya was holding on to the handlebar of the car as hard as he could. He’d always driven fast on this course, but... perhaps it was because he wasn’t driving this time, but it felt like he’d never gone this fast before.
"Tomoya-san, please observe. I can only do it briefly, and once on this turn and the next one," Nayuki said as she positioned herself to attack the next left turn that had open gutters. "Do you understand?"
"Y-Yes!" Tomoya said as he forced himself to watch the road and Nayuki’s movements.

"... Wait, Nayuki-san isn’t slowing down for this turn at all!" Nagisa gasped.
"Are you supposed to?" Rin asked.
"I..." Nagisa was about to speak, but held her tongue. She was a navigator – only telling people what was ahead, and not necessarily how to deal with it. "Well, the gutters are there, that’s why..."

What happened next defied everything that followed conventional racing theory.
"Hey, we’re not slowing—" Tomoya gasped, but Nayuki didn’t answer as she turned her Trueno towards the gutter! Tomoya’s mouth stayed open in a soundless scream, but Nayuki kept her foot on the accelerator. Her tires squealed, seemingly protesting at what she was asking them to do before they finally held their ground and started pushing the closer to the apex of the turn where the gutters were!

Everyone watching was expecting the car to drop into the gutter and cause an accident.

Everyone except Nayuki, that is.

And as soon as it happened, it was over. The turn was cleared, and her added speed allowed her to increase the gap between herself and Rin, who along with Nagisa were left dumbfounded.
"I... I have no idea what just happened, but... that’s not... possible," Rin gasped.
"It was hard to see in the dark, so I couldn’t see what was going on," Nagisa said. "But if I’m right... there’s no way you could drive there... right?"

*****

Down the hill near the parking space, Tomoya stumbled out of the Trueno to catch his breath. "Are you insane!?"
"I told you; you need to be cast aside your fear. It may be a little harder for you though, considering that there’s not enough weight to shift around, so you need to do it faster. You also shouldn’t do it often. Just enough to get more speed to overcome your opponent," Nayuki said.
"But what if I f**k up!? And you’re telling me that I need Nagisa for this!?"
"I’ve seen your driving style. You have the capacity to do it! But like I said, this is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, which is why I had to show you first."
"You’re telling me to risk crashing myself along with Nagisa just to beat that old man!?"
"I’m not telling you to do anything. I merely showed you what was possible. But for your current skill level, this is something that you need her for."
"It’s true that I need her with me... that her mere presence helps me concentrate better. But to tell me to do this..."
"I don’t mind, Tomoya-kun."

Tomoya spun around to face the voice. "Nagisa?" He’d apparently been too shocked by what he saw and the implications of what he needed to do that he didn’t notice Rin and Nagisa pull up in the R32.
"If it’s something that Tomoya-kun needs me for... then I’ll help! That’s what a navigator does, right?"
"Nagisa..."
"Tomoya-kun... if she says that you can do it, then I believe you can do it too."
"If you won’t believe in yourself, believe in the one who believes in you, huh..." Rin sighed. "It’s not good to underestimate yourself, Okazaki-san."
"The kettle calling the pot black, Rin-san?" Nayuki chuckled.
"Well..."

Tomoya fidgeted in place for a few moments before holding Nagisa by the shoulders. "If I have this many people who think I can do it... maybe I can practice the movement for a bit so that I can pinpoint how to get the load to shift to the back... if you don’t mind coming with me, that is."
Nagisa immediately hugged her boyfriend tightly when he said that. "Of course! I’ll come with you!"
Nayuki smiled at that. "Your one-handed steering should help with that. If you can keep it steady, then the weight transfer shouldn’t be that hard. As long as you can feel the weight on the front tires lift up, then you’re good."
"I’ll practice it a few times tonight to see if I can be consistent with it. So..."

Nayuki nodded, and turned to Rin. "Rin-san, please take them both back up."
"Wait, me? There’s only room for two in the car!" Rin gasped.
"Sorry! There’s something I need to do for a bit," she said as another car, a gunmetal AE86 Levin, pulled up into the lot.
Nagisa frowned a bit at that the new car that arrived. "Eh? Why?"
"Sorry... this is... a bit important."
Nagisa didn’t understand, but didn’t resist either when Tomoya and Rin got inside the R32 and prepared to drive off. She nodded at Nayuki, and got on Tomoya’s lap.
"Hey, drive slow, allright? There’s like three people inside," Tomoya said as he strapped himself in and held on to Nagisa as tightly as possible.
"You don’t need to tell me twice. I’m tossing you out the second I see a cop," Rin chuckled.
"That’s awfully cold of you, Tsuchimi-san," Tomoya groaned. "Well, driving slow shouldn’t be hard for you."
"Oho. Wanna back those words up?"
"Please knock it off, you two," Nagisa warned the two boys as they drove away from the lot.

Meanwhile, Nayuki watched the R32 drive away as the Levin’s driver stepped out. "So... you’re here?"
"Just helping mom out on something," Nayuki said as she turned to bow at the driver. "How are you doing, Furukawa-san?"
Sanae Furukawa politely bowed back, the blue ribbon on her hair and her braid bobbing along with the rest of her head as she did so. "Very well, Nayuki-chan. How’s Akiko-chan, by the way? I just received her latest shipment of jam."
"Ahahaha... She’s doing well," she chuckled back, though visibly uneasy with regards to talking about the jam.
"Still, it is unexpected to find you here so far from Gunma. I was surprised when you called."
"I’m more or less doing an errand for Mom," Nayuki sheepishly said. "When I told her that I met Rin-san who was looking for Todō Juku, she asked me to stay and help him. I’m not entirely sure why, though she did say it was as a favor for a friend."
"Rin-san? Tsuchimi Rin-san?"
"Yeah... do you know him?"
"I knew his mother," Sanae said with a sad look on her face. "She was a good friend."
"I see..."

Sanae decided to change the subject a bit. "So you’ve met Nagisa-chan?"
"Yes. I was surprised when I first saw her and wondered if she was your daughter... I never got the chance to see her since she was sick most of the time that I was here with Mom," Nayuki chuckled. "Do you think she knows that I know you?"
"She might. I’ll have to explain it to her later, I suppose... but I guess there’s something more important to worry about right now, right?"
"Yeah." Nayuki rubbed her hands together to stave off the cold for a moment before continuing, "It’s up to Tomoya-san at this point. As for Rin-san, well... I wonder how much he’s able to pick up."
"If he’s anything like his mother, he’ll pick it up and decide for himself when he gets to Happogahara."
"Come to think of it, now I’m curious. How is it that you and Mom seem to know about Rin-san’s mother and her will?"
"That... is something Rin-san will have to tell you when he gets there."

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