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Saiyuu no Ryouko: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 46

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  • atheniag
    [For Issues 1-42: http://www.yuricon.org/snb/ For Issue 43: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21116 For Issue 44:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2006
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      [For Issues 1-42: http://www.yuricon.org/snb/
      For Issue 43: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21116
      For Issue 44: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21303
      For Issue 45: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21454%5d


      Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

      The Story So Far: Yuriko's week hasn't been the best of her life, but
      she's not sure which is worse – that she can't figure out her lover's
      dark secrets, or that supernatural forces seem to have aligned
      against her.


      Volume 3, Issue 10

      "Breaking the Spell"



      "Cursed?"

      "Contest?"

      Hachi and Mariko looked at each other, confusion, concern and
      amusement clearly warring for supremacy in their voices and on their
      faces.

      "Cursed?" Hachi repeated, obviously waiting for the punch line.
      "You're kidding, right?"

      "No, no," Mari insisted, waving her hand, dismissively. Let's do the
      important one first. What contest?" she asked, her eyes traveling
      from one woman to the other. "And most important - what's on the
      line?"

      Yuriko bowed slightly in Midori's direction. "When we were visiting
      her family, Midori challenged me to guess what hobby or interest she
      had in high school. Since I can't guess, I give up. But, in
      retaliation for being mortified that I couldn't guess correctly, I'm
      going to make her announce it in front of you two," she leaned
      forward smiling, and said in a stage whisper, "in case it's *really*
      embarrassing." She sat back and grinned. "And the prize is 'something
      fun' whatever that might be."

      Mariko grinned salaciously at that, "You can't give up, Yuri – you
      have to persevere!" With a laugh, she patted Hachi on the arm.
      "Let's help, Hachi...I want Yuri to win! Midori-san, give us to the
      end of dinner to guess?"

      Midori smiled and nodded, "Of course," she said confidently. "because
      you'll never guess!" She laughed at the determined looks on their
      faces.

      "How close did she get?" Hachi grinned.

      "Not." The author shook her head.

      "Okay," Mariko said thoughtfully. "Hints?"

      "It wasn't anything high culture or literature-like," Yuriko said,
      ticking off ideas on her fingers. "Or crafty, or artistic. Actually,
      it wasn't anything, as far as I can tell." She threw her hands up in
      a gesture of surrender. "Maybe you'll figure it out. In the meantime,
      Hachi, can I help you in the kitchen? I can lift things and put
      things on plates. Sometimes I can even cut vegetables without hurting
      myself."

      Hachi smiled, "Come on and help me with the salad."

      As they worked in the kitchen, Yuriko and Hachi could hear Mariko's
      voice coming from the living room as she attempted to fathom Midori's
      secret.

      "Hockey? No? Bookbinding? No, okay...how about fishing? Hmmm..."

      When they rejoined the two women, Mariko was looking exhausted, while
      Midori's face expressed a smug amusement. She looked at Hachigoro,
      "Care to try?"

      "I'm thinking," Hachi said with his usual quiet smile. "I'm sure I'll
      get it." He seated himself next to Mariko. "I'm good at games."

      "I'll tell you what," the author said, "If you guess correctly, we'll
      all do something fun together, my treat. How about that?"

      Mariko laughed. "The obvious lascivious comment aside, I say - you're
      on." She looked thoughtful. "Hair and nails. Your true dream was to
      be a beauty stylist."

      "No!" Midori looked scandalized. "Good gracious, no."

      They all laughed.

      "While they're working it out, Yuri, why don't you finally tell us
      what's going on with the tour?" Midori leaned towards the blonde to
      get her attention. Yuri's blue eyes focused back on the present from
      wherever they had been and she smiled apologetically.

      "Like I said – we're cursed."

      "Your tour in particular? Or should I be contacting an exorcist, as
      well?" Mariko asked. Without pause for breath she shot a look at
      Midori and said, "Animal husbandry – you used to raise pigs."

      Midori only shook her head and smiled.

      "I'm not sure – you might want to get one on principal." Yuriko
      answered the first comment, but let the second slide.

      "Well, for pity's sake, what's been going on, already?!" Mariko and
      Midori both snapped simultaneously, then laughed at their mutual
      outburst.

      Looking petulant, Yuri said quickly, "A lot of stuff! Ren-san's car
      was damaged. Madame Sophia was injured in an accident and one of the
      sets was destroyed...for a start." She looked up to find herself
      confronted with three politely blank faces. "My co-star has screaming
      tantrums at everyone *but* me, even though she's already told me she
      hates me and my dresser is terrified of me because she was told I was
      violent." Still, no one looked convinced. Yuriko sighed again. "I
      just have this weird feeling that it's cursed." The idol lapsed into
      a sulky silence in the face of her friends' skepticism.

      "That doesn't sound like much," Hachi finally voiced what they were
      all thinking. "I mean, it just sounds like a lot of coincidences.
      Don't you think?"

      Mariko sipped from her glass thoughtfully. "Do you remember insulting
      any wizards? Or did you refuse to kiss an old woman that you met in
      the forest?" She sat back and reflected. "Maybe an evil priest has it
      in for you, or Mayumi-san. Or both of you."

      "Go ahead and make fun of me," Yuriko said petulantly, "But I'm
      telling you..." she thought about telling them about Kishi, but she
      hesitated. She opened her mouth to mention it, when a loud buzzer
      interrupted.

      "Dinner's ready!" Hachi announced. "Please, seat yourselves and I'll
      bring everything out."

      Yuriko, all of a sudden, felt silly and embarrassed about her
      concerns. Her friends were right – it was just a series of unrelated
      coincidences. She stood and helped Midori to her feet.

      "You guys are right. I guess I'm not as strong as I thought – the
      pressure must be getting to me." Yuri laughed at herself. Even as she
      said the words, she believed them. "Thank you for setting me
      straight!" She followed Hachi into the kitchen, where, ignoring his
      protests cheerfully, she proceeded to assist him with serving dinner.

      ***

      Dinner with her friends was exactly what Yuriko had needed,
      apparently. She felt refreshed and relaxed in a way she hadn't in
      many days.

      They were all laughing at Mariko's increasingly silly attempts at
      guessing Midori's youthful hobby, when the author turned to Hachigoro
      and pointed at him genially.

      "Come on, Hachigoro-san! You have to at least *try!* You haven't said
      a word."

      "I've been listening," Hachi protested.

      "You've been cheating!" Mariko insisted with an elbow to his ribs.
      "You're making me do all the hard work."

      "But I just can't see Midori-san being a spelunker," he said, shaking
      his head, "I just can't."

      "So, what do you think she was into?" Yuriko prodded. "Come on, now,
      you have to guess at least once, so you can join the ranks of those
      of us who have lost the bet."

      "Hmmm..." Hachigoro put his hand on his chin in a gesture of profound
      thought. "I think..." he hesitated, then smiled. "My guess is that
      Midori-san was into professional wrestling."

      Mari and Yuriko howled with laughter at the idea of the stylish
      author at a professional wrestling match. As they flailed in
      amusement, it was Yuriko who noticed that Midori was not reacting
      with the expected hilarity.

      She turned a stunned look on the author. "Midori? He's wrong, right?
      You have to tell him he's wrong."

      Midori's wry expression changed into one of maniacal glee. "Actually
      – he's absolutely correct!"

      To Be Continued
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