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for The Scarlet Window

11/23/2016 c45 ACHACHACHA
The title reminds me of the Fllay-Murata accident, where Natarle is chasing Fllay down the stairs, while everything else that seemed like it could be repaired just tumbled past her. I feel sorry for her; it's like she's always looking up in panic and running around, trying to catch things that are falling down. And now that it seems as though Fllay has finally fixed her part of the arguement, it seems like what she had with Neumann is now broken. This, I think, is a story that will be walking either down a path that cuts through the garden or taking a step closer to a cliff that drops into tradegy. I only hope that Natarle can remain strong through this. Last chapter I stated that Murata's death was a highlight event, but it pales in comparison. Murata's death, while significant, was something almost inevitable. But now, with everything that has surfaced, I fear more for Natarle's life, not from being condemned by a jury but from her own destructive nature. Everything now rides upon whether she'll have the nerve to stand up and fight - now bolstered by Fllay's forgiveness - or if she'll close her eyes and burn at the stake.
It's a free fall from here...best of wishes to you! Thank you for the writing, excellent as ever!
11/23/2016 c44 ACHACHACHA
Whoah, five more chapters! Now that the highlighted event of the past has lapsed, I'm both looking forward to and dreading the oncoming present and the concluding melancholy that I associate with a brilliant story coming to a close.
Up until this moment, I feel like Murata was almost still 'alive', still a haunting presence in not only Natarle but the whole of Dominion Hall. So, I suppose now is the time for Murata's shrift; good night, sweet and sullen drunkard, and may a flight of GUNDAMS sing thee to thy rest. But in all seriousness, I did pity Murata when reading his explanation for his reckless and harmful actions. Like Fllay, he has such a childish attitude, not in that he is innocent but in that he is ignorant and impulsive, reaching and grabbing for things the instant he sees them. When I see how weak and uncontrolled he is compared to the strong and stable Natarle, I can see why he loved her. Now I even understand why Natarle might love him, since in my eyes at least his temperament resembles Fllay's.
And Fllay. Do I ever have plenty to say about her! I actually feel like you've outwritten the Gundam Seed writer on their characters here. Honestly, I used to think about Murata and Fllay on a very low level, because the portrayal of their characters was so easily summed up into a combination of tropes and titular roles, but reading this has given me the feeling that I've just discovered a lakebed trench that plunges into a deep ocean. It's hardly a surprise to me that Fllay and Murata fight, or that Natarle feels so close to and yet is torn apart by them. Those two are like powder kegs and ironically Natarle plays both roles when it comes to igniting and pacifying them.
What I really love about this story is how the story moves forward without dragging its audience along at breakneck speed. Once upon a time Arnold and Natarle fell in love, now I feel like the true lover's quarrel is in fact between Fllay and Murata, who are extremely similar to a frightening degree. Looking at the two, it was only a matter of time before one of them killed the other, even without what Natarle did.
I've asked myself plenty of times how things could have been different if Murata had been given time to change (It's funny how Arnold barely knows the two catalysts of this disaster at all, since Fllay was indisposed and Murata is dead!) and if Natarle had to decide between him and Neumann, which one she would be forced to choose out of the pains of her heart. She's a beautiful character, so strong and yet so fragile. While I know what she did was wrong and terrible, I can't bring myself to say that Natarle is a bad person, and not simply because she saved her sister in the process. While it would obviously be better for her conscience that Murata didn't die (I use the word 'die' because I refuse to say that she 'killed') I feel that she deserves and needs her freedom, and I feel like Neumann was the first glimpse she may have had of it in a long time.
And in the midst of these, we still have the loyal support team: Luna Maria, Meyrin, Mwu, Erica, Arnold, Stellar - each of them admirable in their own ways, so admirable that it would probably take me ten pages too many to highlight them.
If I wrote a full-length review on this whole story, it would probably end up being longer than the story itself.
10/16/2016 c44 5Stars in the Sky at Noon
Don't mind me, I'm kind of just pumping my fists in small victory here, I suspected that Fllay's accident was involved with Muruta's death somehow, but it isn't until now I got complete confirmation, so, whoo!
On the other hand, that was just...intense. It's a little sad that the whole incident happened when it did, since it looked like there was a real possibility for change, just a little: Muruta seemed to be reconsidering some of his actions, Mwu was finally getting somewhere with Natarle, maybe Fllay could have forgiven Natarle with Lunamaria's guidance...but of course everything spiralled out of control and clicked the button 'worst case scenario'.
I loved how once we finally got into the thick of things, there was all this hopping between perspectives, it was kind of like as we jumped between people, we got to see how everyone we've met thus far played a role in the whole incident, almost like a murder mystery where at the end, the detective outlines how all the clues he's collected add up.
Of course, what's so exciting is that while we've finally found the secret, I'm still waiting for what's happening next. With all the anticipation about the 'secret' of Dominion Hall, I almost expected the reveal to come at the end, but that's clearly not the case! I'm still holding my breath to find out what's to come - as always, while the past casts a dark shadow on everyone, you need to look to the present to find what's to come.
Thanks so much for the post, it was amazing as ever.
10/16/2016 c41 Stars in the Sky at Noon
Oh shit. This is really exciting. I don't even know what to say.
I have a feeling that Muruta's death has more than they're all letting on...some details that might change the situation.
Oooor so I hope?
10/16/2016 c40 Stars in the Sky at Noon
Ohhhh boy...after months being totally out of action, I return to THIS...
When I saw the chapter heading, I had a damn bad feeling, and sure as hell don't feel any better now knowing that they've been confirmed! This is sure gonna stir up a bunch more angst and secretiveness and excitement around Dominion Hall.
I loved the contrast of tone, how we jumped so quickly from a sweet moment in which Meyrin's giving Natarle relationship advice, to Durandal's sudden and dramatic announcement. I really love how this story jumps perspectives, and it's kind of interesting how you're able to expound on other characters (Arnold, in this case) through the impression they have on others.
You do such a brilliant job of building a sense of mystery, in any case, by dropping this hints, having conversations that always dance around, but never quite touch the mystery subject, and then blowing us away with a reveal like this one.
Of course, from Muruta's suspicious 'disappearance', it was quite clear that something happened to him, but after so much that's already been revealed, it's only now that we see what dire consequences this discovery could have, if the truth were revealed not only to Arnold and the others, but to the police.
I mean, I'd hate to end this with anyone getting arrested...
Curiously enough, I'm wondering how Adelaide of all people is going to react. Muruta was her fiance, now she can't really hold much claim or influence on Dominion Hall, and the evidence thus far basically screams that he's dead. I'm curious to see if she'll go into denial, or if she has any suspicions of her own...
Obviously, there's always a chance that it ISN'T Muruta that's dead, but that's a curiosity I'll hang onto until I read the other chapters. I'm wondering what's up with that rusty key...
8/27/2016 c43 ACHACHACHA
Wow...quite an absorbing psychological dynamic here; just the intricate design that I love. Can't wait to see what happens next!
But of course, now I have to question: if Natarle was so willing to endure the pain, if she was willing to stand Murata for so long, why would she be motivated to rid of the problem? The only reasons I can think of this are Fllay and Stellar, but then again, why does Fllay then insist that she has been 'betrayed'?
There are clearly some pieces missing here and I am enjoying the search for them. I adore the way these complex desires and wars of id and ego are scripted, not a single word goes to waste here. Interestingly, ever since the scarlet curtains were pulled back, the focus has now been shifted from Neumann and his relationship with Natarle to that of what happened between Murata and Natarle and how these incidents have changed life at Dominion Hall. I hope everything turns out okay, but that's not my decision, fortunately.
8/27/2016 c40 ACHACHACHA
Oh boy, the appearance of a body always makes things exciting! It's interesting that despite having a window into Natarle's perspective and the guilt which consumes her, we never see why - it's like she is actually blocking them out. I appreciate the fact that you don't repeat her thoughts over and over as something she is trying to forget, because it clearly is something that she can't get rid of, whatever it is.
I have a lot of theories as to what has happened, but I am too impatient to sit around and guess it - I would rather hear it from the characters themselves. Kudos!
6/2/2016 c41 nyooooooooooommmm
Wow. I expected that Natarle had something to do with Muruta's disappearance but I didn't expect murder. I wonder what are her reasons behind and what happened for Mwu and Stellar to defend her like that. Looking forward for new chapters! :)
5/18/2016 c40 nyooooooooooommmm
Okay, first of all, I love Meyrin! She acts as the catalyst of Arnold and Natarle's relationship. Weeee! Her conversation with Natarle made Natarle think about opening up to Arnold more. Weeeeheee!
Second, the news about Muruta will probably have a huge negative impact on Natarle. She'll probably feel very guilty and, I hope that this will be a chance for her to open up to Arnold but it might also be a reason for her to shut herself in. And another thing, it might not be Muruta's bones for all we know yet I'm sure Natarle will still worry knowing she's an over thinker.
5/18/2016 c39 nyooooooooooommmm
. .That. Natarle and Muruta's relationship is a very frustrating one. Natarle loves Muruta, that's for sure. But the fact that he's engaged makes her guilty. Muruta loves Natarle, yet it seems that he believes that he can't have her (for reasons I still don't know).
5/1/2016 c39 Stars in the Sky at Noon
I'm so sorry, I've been off the radar for a while now. But I was very happy to come back to this story!
Wow, things are really heating up! A lot of secrets are starting to unravel, and they're all pretty tense. I feel like Arnold, trying to guess and speculate about all the mysteries around the house here, but coming up shortchanged. It makes it all the more exciting!
I love how these chapters change between past and present, the way you present different moments so selectively makes the story all the more intense, and each of these slow reveals only makes the anticipation grow, because we're still waiting for the full reveal.
I also adore (but at the same time not really? Her behaviour borders criminally cruel) how the real Fllay's attitude differs from Meyrin's, and yet doesn't. The way she treats her 'beloved' sister is so curious, it's as if all the hatred she used to have for Muruta suddenly manifested on Natarle once he was gone. She's still the same, sweet girl Meyrin played...and yet soooooo much more, not all of it necessarily pleasant. I can't help but wonder if the resentment of being shut in for months is the only cause!
And Meyrin deserves some note, too-I'm glad you didn't simply make her disappear, and I love that you still made use of the journal. I really do like the journal entries, it's like entering a new room in this house full of mysteries, but some areas are still encased in shadow. With every small fact we uncover, more questions linger in the dark.
It's also heartbreaking to see Natarle's constant doubts; she seems so certain that she will be unloved and that everyone will leave her, even when so many are determined to help. But at the same time, all her worrying leaves this Little Sinister Voice in the back of my mind asking, what did she do? She must have done something. Oh my god, she probably did something terrible! How will this ever be resolved?
I can't imagine a person could be filled with so much guilt without having done something awful, and yet in my heart I desperately hope and want to believe that it is Natarle's sad and lonely soul simply wallowing in the abyss of self-hatred. In other words, you're doing a great job of working the mojo as usual, and it's almost killing me. I think I've developed an addiction with this story.
This story is fantastic as usual, and please don't worry about the mystery. You perfectly deliver these small teasers, just enough to have us wondering, thinking, guessing but never really quite sure of the whole story. It's all set up quite perfectly, really, and I love the anticipation of the next unveiling-I feel like I'm at an art exhibit where each piece is just exponentially-spankin' better than the last.
Great job! (As always!) I can't wait to see what comes next.
2/11/2016 c37 nyooooooooooommmm
Thank you for the updates! :)
I can't help but think that Natarle was (probably still is) really in love with Muruta for her to cut her hair. She must've really missed him and probably blames herself for his disappearance. I wonder what happened. Anyways, keep it up. :))
1/26/2016 c1 ACHACHACHA
Hi, I've been following up this story for a while but haven't written a review, which is a shame since I really admire the style you've taken with this story and it seems impolite that I haven't shown my appreciation properly, especially since your interest in Neumann and Badgiruel shows such a great insight for their characters that I've begun to take a special interest in them as well. (Forgive me, this will be a long review.)
Your grasp of the characters is admirable. I've read a few decent Gundam Seed/Gundam Seed Destiny stories which have good plots and make use of the characters' relationships rather well, but lack some originality because it never goes any further than what was seen of the characters in the original series. But each of your characters have a special relationship to everyone else that builds up the story.
Murata is one of the most intriguing personages here and his relationship with Natarle is wonderfully complex. As a huge fan of "bad" characters, it makes me glad that he's a pivotal deuteragonist/antagonist with a role that isn't summarized by "he's an evil, ruthless and manipulative mastermind who only works for himself".
One slight frustration for me, albeit due to my impatient nature, is that so little is revealed in the story so far (as of chapter 35). It isn't an issue that you should be rushing to correct, but I hate it when mystery novels reveal so few clues that the reader can't enjoy the moment of truth because there wasn't any evidence that was cleverly hidden in plain sight.
I'd rather you take your time with the writing, though, since the slow pacing suits the (outwardly) docile order of life at Dominion Hall. Best of luck to you.
11/25/2015 c34 Stars in the Sky at Noon
This was a cute chapter. It was nice to see Meyrin and Arnold talk, they both have these pleasant personalities that people can appreciate. I can envision them getting along very well.
I must confess, I did not expect that twist with Meyrin posing as Fllay! I had guessed that the journal was Meyrin's, but I couldn't figure out what was going on. Kudos to Arnold for being so smart though, haha.
This story is moving along splendidly. I'm eager to see what will happen next, because although the current crux of the problem is Fllay's...abuse?...of her sway over Natarle, but there are clearly other elements of the secretive nature which are causing problems on the estate.
This library is becoming my favourite place in this story. There's always been something both romantic and nostalgic about the room dedicated to the storage and preservation of literary fantasies. I feel like this library was the place of many beginnings (most remarkably Arnold and Natarle's first step closer to one another!), and the tender descriptions you serve to it give this fictional yet all-too-real place a strange magic, and serene beauty.
Ummmmmmm. Can't believe I just started talking about a library. You can tell I really like a story when I start picking it apart to the tiniest detail like this. Hahahaha.
But the characters also react so well. Although we haven't had the chance to see firsthand the actions of Natarle and Fllay, I can easily picture what you have described-Fllay, being bitter and taking advantage of her leverage, Natarle, succumbing herself to such treatment, imprisoned by heart and mind.
Arnold's wit is something I find so charming in this story. He's so very sharp, observant, yet quietly so, and it gives him a different kind of dignity from Mwu's flamboyance or Murrue's natural charm. I love seeing his perspective, the inner workings of his very complex thoughts, and something about the way he just watches and reflects on the world makes him so real, it gives him breath and life like he was a real human being.
Which he technically is, but I'm sure you understand what I mean. Some writers, very special, talented writers, become gods in their own domain, spinning space and time and bringing life to their characters. What you've done with Arnold is one such fine example, you've crossed the border from a beloved story figure to a man of seemingly real substance.
Ehhhhhh it's late and I really need to go to bed...can't help staying up to read this, though. It's such a beautiful story, I only wish I would check my email more often so I could find out about these updates sooner... Haha, best of luck and happy writing. Your story is amazing.
10/17/2015 c31 Stars in the Sky at Noon
Egads. I've been taking this story slowly but steadily, yet I'm totally hooked! It's so beautifully written, I love the old-fashioned character and the poise in the writing.
This story has such a beautiful element of mystery, but it's not quite one of those cliche 'whodunit' types which have become so predictable nowadays-it's like that in the story, just layers upon layers of secrets which have to take their time to be discovered. Everything about it feels so elegant, so perfectly orchestrated, and I have to say I am falling in love with it.
Neumann and Badgiruel aren't characters typically written about, but this pairing still really catches my eye. Even amidst the common element of love, there's a certain atmosphere around these two, a kind of formal, yet so very deep love that makes me think of olden times. It fits so very well in this story, and I think this has to be one of my favourite AUs so far.
I really love the non-linear storytelling. It's unusual, since I get really annoyed most of the time when people use this phase of a 'flashback' to wring out some kind of emotion or, even worse, just use it as a convenient bridge for a seemingly nonsensical time skip. But you've crafted it in such a way that it's like endlessly unwrapping a gift: the present time is simply the first layers, and we must keep tearing off the paper in order to finally reveal that special reward-the mystery that awaits us in the end.
The interpersonal dynamics are excellent-the closeness of the sisters, the tender love that Mwu and Murrue and Neumann and Badgiruel and all these people hold for each other-and no matter how vast and lonely a place it seems, I have fallen in love with Dominion Hall, with its welcoming gardens and comparatively sad interiors.
The library, of course, caught my attention-I love libraries, especially those old, beautifully decorated ones made with wood-and there's something about books that really captures me, like stepping into a roomful of pages is a different world entirely. I don't know why, but I loved seeing that reflected in Natarle and Arnold; even though it's only a tiny scratch on the surface of their incredible personalities, I can't help but enjoy feeling that brief connection.
Eh. Then again, what would I do without FanFiction? It's only here that I could possibly find gems like your story, which I think definitely deserves to be archived PERMANENTLY.
Kudos for the excellent work-perhaps I should have skipped to this compliment right away rather than prolonging by way of my ceaseless rambling-and thank you for the story. It seems a simple thing, but updates and committing to a story are hard promises to keep, and I applaud you for being so consistent in them.
On another distracted side note, I do enjoy this interpretation of the characters. Obviously it would be much to difficult to keep their personalities exactly as they were in a completely different age and 'style de vie.' At the same time, it's lovely to be able to enjoy unique expressions of Stellar's usual airy nature, Natarle's serious one, and even Fllay, with her princess manners and princess behaviours-even her beginning showings of hysteria, all the way from the tips of their toes to the ends of their hair, be as it may in varying lengths, haha.
Again, I give this story a huge thumbs-up. A hundred more, if I could manage. I keenly await the reveal of the next 'secret,' and I can't wait to find out more.
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