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for A Certain Darkness Within

6/26 c40 Dasgun
6/26 c41 Dasgun
6/26 c1 Dasgun
1/25 c42 Dasgun
8/6/2023 c42 Spidergy
I've finally finished this wild ride, and I've come out at the end of it deeply satisfied. As you said, their romance does bear a "fairy tale feel," though I don't think that is a bad thing at all.

What impressed me the most is how effectively you wielded every aspect of canon to hold up your story, especially where it concerns Touma. You dug through all the many scattered tidbits of narrative across the main and side stories to construct a Touma who is simultaneously true to character and a fresh take not seen in most fanfics. Combined with his more deep-rooted interactions with the Dark Side, his rougher personality and more dubious actions make for a refreshing departure from the misfortune-induced slapstick suffering spun from the fandom's myriad self-described "Touma sadists."

You also have a good sense of foreshadowing, even if at times you got too wrapped up in clever hint drops instead of letting Chekhov's Gun fire on its own. This is one of the few fics I've encountered that demands a thoroughly literary revisitation to previous chapters in order to bring the dangling plot pieces together.

I like how you handled Shizuri's development, especially when you had her recognize, on two separate occasions, how she was treating Touma more like a possession than a lover. Their relationship may not have started healthy, but then again, neither of them are healthy people.

There were a few points that I wish could have been focused on more - Touma's interactions with Kakine, Kaiba's story, as well as that aborted friendship arc between Shizuri and Misaka - but those are minor concerns.

For a first fanfiction, this was interesting, engaging, and rather well-written. Thank you for the story; I look forward to more works from you in the future.
7/11/2023 c42 10xellos540
Hello, since this is marked complete, I assume this is the last chapter after all. Congratulations.

Lol, Mugino acting as a mature voice of reason. xD

Lol, wonder what canon-world Touma thought of other Touma being with Mugino. xD

Well, from canon perspective he's an echo.

Touma? Bored of a routine of a normal high-school boy? (unless we're talking about "echo" Touma who's less about a normal life)

Yeah, we needed Mugino dazed by a kiss. Scratch that, we need so many Toaru girls dazed by a kiss.

Aleister? And who's he talking to.

I like that you numbered the scenes.

Touma abusing his pull over the nurses? Bad, bad Touma.

Takitsubo...-chan? And she assumed something dangerous...

Ah, I was just reminded of something. Since April was essentially science-based... is there any magic in the "echo" world? There is Aleister... but I'm starting to doubt if he's even magician here...

Lol, Mugino being tsundere before Hamazura is... a confusing thought.

Yay for Takitsubo being treated like an equal comrade... OT15 Takitsubo and Frenda can vouch for that. :P

Yes, Touma brings the best in people.

If you don't want Takitsubo to go to into her lethargic mode then touch her with your right hand.

Ahh... the mansion... so was it only month since the beginning of the story or since Touma-Mugino relationship?

So she bought the mansion? Damn... not sure how Touma will take this long-term, but damn.

She could certainly do without the glasses... but a maid outfit? I'm in. And the Othinus joke there. xD

Touma played her. xD

I love the wrong theory plus gravit of situation joke. Science side approved.

5 members? Way before Hamazura? And I hope Takitsubo at least has 2 tracksuits and she washes them...

Why Anna/St. Germain for the near death-experience? I don't think that was his only one... right?

So Hanano is like Mitsuari Ayu for Touma.

"Wasn't really the case" so wait, Hanano was a traitor after all or something?

So you're saying Mugino either had personality change after that event? Either a conscious wake-up call or subconscious near-death experience remnant? If that's true then why Takitsubo doesn't make a distinction between those 2 Muginos?

Dancing? xD Yes Touma has talent... for making acrobatic figures, pirueting and rolling and all that.

"I'm not interested in your eyes" gotta write that down.

WW# reference!

Komoe's age reference!

I don't think living for saaay... a few hundred billion years is on Touma's bucket-list...

So Aleister was talking to Noukan?

Meowgino. xD Nekozuri. xD

"I don't hear that much" hm... maybe that's because YOU DON'T LISTEN MUCH!

The famous third option.

Lol, she destroyed his pants. xD

Ok, so that happened.

Lol Tsuchimikado and Aogami have sex detectors. xD

"You guys are spending too much time together" like Hamazura and Touma? Because Hamazura becoming sensitive by spending time with Taktisubo... feels like it should be in reverse. xD

Btw. I wonder if'll get to see some canon-world Touma and Mugino, if they retained anything. Ok, we've seen some of Mugino... I wonder what that appointment was supposed to be and with who.

Wait, Aleister left his cylinder? Is it echo world or canon world?

"Easily defeated"? xD xD xD

A Hole in the wall *face palm*

We don't know if you can stop meteor with a dragon, Noukan intervened before you could.

Lol, saint speed joke. xD

Okay, Kinuhata. Okay, Takitsubo. I have one question. A simple quiet question. WHERE IS FRENDA!?

I'm not sure if "unsettled her" means Takitsubo or Kinuhata...

There's Frenda!

Takitsubo getting handsy with someone before Kinuhata can. Ok, I now believe it's a different reality.

Role of a wife. xD

Okay, I get the hair but the other stuff? xD

Ultraviolet vector reference!

Okay, so this Touma knows how many girls want a piece of him?

Wait so the mansion neighbors another building?

Aleister without a plan? o.O And doesn't plan to go back to life support? o.O

Wait, so he doesn't have a plan because it was completed? Waaaaait... I said there's no magic in this world... don't tell me that Aleister made this world to remove all magic here... though his comment about magicians detecting him seems to contradict this...

"His plans almost never worked" yeah... riiiight...

Aleister wanted to save Touma? Me confused...

Uh... I dont' know why she's the ideal match.

You know, if Aleister goes away and Touma starts to crash his plans and saving other people Aleister can get him an info about... that'd indeed by a very good world if not for the fact that it's Mugino-only.

Max purity... I can have theories but ultimately I don't know what that means.

"Best of luck" xD

I thought Saten was like a year older than Kinuhata. Like Touma's 15, Mikoto's 14, Kuroko's 13 and Uiharu and Saten are her peers. And Kinuhata's 12.

So is Frenda into Saten or not?

So Mugino was a virgin? That's not unexpected, but still a bit surprising.

MAybe it's me being in various stories at the same time, but I don't remember the ring.

Oh yeah, Kinuhta might (?) have been teasing, but Frenda is kinda still into Touma, right? So that bomb might've been... devastating... heh... a bomb devastatnig Frenda. Get it? :P

Biologically speaking, they should've pointed 5 or 6 rounds are like 1 or 3 too much already (yes I know this is LN/manga/anime biology, but I couldn't stop myself).

Built different. You know, If Kaori and Acqua are built to resemble someone... maybe Touma is build to resemble Casanova or something...

Good for Takitsubo.

"Well I'm a different person now" basically, is it me or is there a super missing part before that?

Because of Kinuhataaaaa? Whaaaaaat?

Hm... what generators?

Ooooohhh Index? So we're ending this story where the normal storyline "begins"?

So thanks to all this, Touma basically regains his memories that he lost... but of course not of Misaki, right? And of course Mitsuari Ayu is dead.

So it's not "do what you will" now but "do what can be done while being cautious because of Mugino" huh?

Unfair, Touma has much more than violence! (unless the echo Touma is just "built differently"). He uses words first and he empathises with his enemies (or rather "people that think differently") and he makes connection with people, even if he doesn't realise how useful they can be sometimes.

I know the city was built to lure in Touma (or rather the holder of Imagine Breaker... the city was build before Touma was born, so it would make sense to tailor it to IB than to personality of the wielder... how Aleister knew IB would require battle-ish environment) but I don't know if I'd call it "desires". Wouldn't Touma be fine if everyone was smiling and there was no trouble? He's not battle-crazy, not even Accelerator is, not really. I'd rather say Academy City was where Touma was the most "needed"... either this is weird or I'm not understanding canon... and I don't really like it be put that way. Yes, I know Touma isn't exacty "good" or "right" but more "selfish" (in a way), but him wanting to be violent? He was even a coward at the beginning... I jsut take it it's your take, cause "violence" theme works for Mugino.

"Incapable of saving someone" Accelerator wants to talk with you.

Okay, as far as I have doubts about all semantics of this scene, this is well done and meaningful, so congrats.

Ok, will it be proposing? After a month? :P

Yeah, I was about to say Mugino is waaaaaay to younger for him.

Edible materials. xD

Ok, sometimes the way they talk and banter CONSTANTLY is a bit tiring, but their ping-pong dialogue has its moments certainly.

Wait, since it's summer vacation then why the uniform?

I think Index was supposed to fall on 19th actually (or early 20th).

IS the "bright future" a throwback to "my future looks pitch black"? I have to admit it's heart-warming.

And there's the illusion-breaking.

You're welcome.

This actually seemed jsut as much about grander story as much as it was about relationships. Did have the "Toaru grandness" feel to it, defintiely.

Aaah... I get it now... the author's note explains it. This wasn't about Touma's or Mugino's darkness at all... it was about the author's. :P

Sorry about the insomnia thing. Not the best sleeper myself.

You should know by now that while I don't discard Touma x Mugino, I'm pretty much a harem person, so there are parts here that rub me less-than-good ways, especially since there were quite a few "branches" to explore, but are cut off early (I lvoed that Kongou bit for example), but from a more objective point of view it was a work done damn well. One hell (or hundreds of billion?) of a job.

And this is your first fic and English is not your first language? Lol, I wish I could write half that well and in a year. It takes me a year to finish 5 times shorter stories.

I probably can't even appreciate it well enough. Hobby-wise I'm in so many fandoms and my hear already feels like a mush most days and there's also non-hobby parts of life. And I won't lie, this was reaaaaally long and I'm kinda glad this is done, so I have one less thing on my plate.

Still, I appreciated this very much. Thank you and good work.

Xellos54 out.
7/7/2023 c42 Terraria56
This fanfic was amazing.

It’s crazy that it’s this good despite not only being your first fanfic but also English not even being your first language.
7/6/2023 c42 5queso
Well, well, well. What a hell of a conclusion. I respect the fact you kept the fic spicy enough towards the end, but not so spicy that you had to change the age rating. I'm satisfied with that. I think this finale was finally able to tie up all loose ends, as well as give us one final push in Touma and Shizuri's relationship - in which they got married. Congratulations to them. I was in no way disappointed, and I had absolute faith you would deliver. And you fucking did. So once again, I salute you, congratulations, and I'll be sure to check out any new fanfics you plan to make in the future unless I'm either dead, can't read, or in China. But until then, this is 5queso, signing out.
7/5/2023 c42 aUnluckyMan
Que hermoso final y agradecido de que lo tenga y no quede inconcluso.
7/5/2023 c42 25KHVSFF
Wow... I'll be honest, I was both excited yet dreading this chapter since you said it would be the end. This story has honestly done so much for me in the past year that I don't really know how to convey what I feel. Being an adamant fan of this ridiculous yet amazing crack ship "KamiZuri" it felt nice and was amazing that we were getting a stellar story featuring these two and becoming not only an interesting and fun story, but one that had depth to it. The time between this chapter and the last let me re-read the entire thing from start to now and it's even better than my first time reading it. The realistic yet fantasy like relationship between Touma and Shizuri/Mugino felt so surreal. You only really see small tidbits of that kind of thing in fanfic stories and actual stories in general but here it felt like I was there involved with the two whenever they were fighting or joking or getting emotional. Again, I'm a bit dishearten from seeing it come to an end especially since there were some things I thought would happen or see playout but knowing that it ended on such a high note. Especially with Shizuri and Touma doing the *deed*. (I'd honestly be interested to see that 2-3k bit since, you know, I'm an avid fan of these two. And plus, seeing the two try to conquer the other in bed would be a saucy yet eventful thing. Plus, knowing that Shizuri is very active and emotional during such a deed to the point that she shoots her Meltdowner is both funny yet in a way sweet. *In addition, I really liked that comment from her talking to Touma being her First, Last, and Only boyfriend was fucking sweet/cute* Not to mention, her quick reaction to his eventual proposal was exactly how I would see her react. Did you see the Imaginary Fest artwork of her in the wedding dress? Amazing. Especially in the art of her admiring and looking at her ring lovingly. I want more!

I sent you a PM to praise your story and work even more, but for now I'd like to just once again thank you for this amazing piece of work- art. And hope that many more stories become viable in the future. Plus, looking forward to the Christmas special you have planned. Along with the idea that if you ever do pick this story up or sequel it or even start a whole new Touma x Mugino story. Just know that I'll be there supporting you fully. Until next time. Thanks, and take care.
6/20/2023 c1 2Komigakuo
Really enjoyed the first chapter.
Saved the rest for offline reading when i have free time.

Keep it up!
6/9/2023 c41 10xellos540
Espers before fighting Touma: long-range attacks are the way, only medieval idiots use swords!

Espers after fighting Touma: okaaay, perhaps I was mistaken, fists and meltdowner swords are the way to go.

Heh, precognition it is... in which case it seems under-utilized... wait does Mugino even know about precognition being a thing? Man, that's such a good opportunity that was missed.

Perfect world with perfect smiles... *sigh* how can she have Touma's patterns and say this after Othinus.

You mean "sheathed" not "unsheathed".

Though there's no precognition with the dust, right?

I figured it was another smell source, but I expected more like jacket or something.

Okay that battle ended faster than expected.

Is it like Sherry's golem? Control was cut off so it works on auto-mode?

I don't get how lamppost help you gain momentum unless Touma used his hook LIB thingy.

Being a spare plan to Accel doesn't give you the right to call Touma "hero", Kakine. xD

Mugino's injured despite being near Touma? I wonder if she'll die...

Wait, why is the imperfect world fading away?

Lol, it'd be interesting if Mugino using a meltdowner sword would culminate in her using it to cut off Touma's arm, so we could see IT.

Oh... it's the egg thingy I heard about...

And there's a single (solid?) Dragon Strike.

I'll admit I have no idea what's going on. Did Touma use the things beyond without his hand being cut off? OR was it cut off but it was somehow not shown right? I'm not caught up to GT, but I kinda don't think I'd understand even if I was caught up...

Dragons bowing to Touma is new... so eggs and dragons, but no IT, am I right?

Well, Mugino's resilience to wounds in this is better than Touma's in canon...

He can fly? "What?" Oh yeah, the blue shell.

I'm completely lost how Touma knows about April's situation.

New world and conflicting desires is such WR thing... I know WR was made as a "next stage by-product", but does it mean the "new world/desires" phrase is actually tied to IB too?

Also, wasn't Mugino's point not to let Touma and April meet? And that's because she'd die? She didn't meet Touma and she was dying. Now she met Touma and is dying. What's the difference?

Him is KnT? So I guess next time instead of Touma or April, we'll have a child? ... ... ...

... ... ... wait... wasn't it this fic where Touma met a child somewhere in the alleys. It's been so long that I'm far from anywhere near sure, but was it April? Then why was she young?

So April was born in New World from a part of Touma that was hit by WR... which should have been his hand... so whether April is born from IB, from things beyond the hand, from Touma's esper power or from something elsie is still kinda vague. Not that I expected anything else from Toaru. Just sayin'.

"Entire city is" is this a reference to AC and it's dark side being made specifically to draw Touma in?

Sooo... Touma's accepting #6 offer to get her name and... be a Batman for Goth-I mean Academy City... and become a different Touma? I can understand time travel, different worlds etc. but Touma... not being Touma at his core, would be a reality-changer...

Not sure if bastard is Aleister or KnT or who...

So they meant to heal April... but she's dying still... but that's good cause the world's perfect?

So Othinus' oracle turned true in the end... what was the point of not letting Touma get to her form the get-go?

Making mistakes into victories? That has to be Aleister.

The author notes help a bit, but not fully. I think this is too deep for me. Past OT stuff is too deep. And GT seems beyond me. The fact that Anna seems... changed I kinda got used to (though still sounds way abstract, I guess I'm bitter we see that from Anna, but we don't see that from Sherry, Vento or Carissa... unless I dont' know about something). And I have no idea who Dia is.

So yeah, sorry that I'm unable to fully appreciate this piece of work, even though I, an obsessed and nitpicky guy with a Ph.D., can understand the effort you put into this to make it logical...

(...with that being said I cannot fathom the effort to actually write so much... you have at least 600 pages of a book here... and you're saying Kamachi is a machine...)
6/7/2023 c41 5queso
Well, well, well. This is the second (or third) last chapter of this fic. Feels like the end of an era, since I started reading this around August of 2022, and it's nearly half way through June of 2023. I love the conclusion in this, with April's death as well as Kamijou going absolutely ham with the 17 dragons in his arm. Which is ridiculous, but I'm here for it. I haven't read GT8 yet, but I do plan on getting to it after my exams end. Thank you for this wonderful chapter and fanfic, and I'll be waiting for that conclusion.

BTW, if you plan on making another fanfic, if it's based on an anime universe I'm familiar with, I'll definitely read it. Or if you plan on taking a break, that's totally respectable. Either way, excellent job with a Certain Darkness Within. It's been a fun ride.
6/6/2023 c41 25KHVSFF
Damn. What a chapter. From the final clash between Shizuri and April to Touma and the others fighting against the giant monster. Everything seems to have come to a single point break. I can’t wait for the next chapter. Even if it is a bit saddening to hear that we are reaching the end of this story. I hope it’ll be an ending you like and the idea of one shots appearing sounds really nice. Perhaps one day another story featuring this version of Touma and Mugino will continue or something else be sprouted from this story. Either way, thank you for creating and updating this story with your own twists and turns. Take care.
5/29/2023 c40 10xellos540
Yeah, we love you too, Teitoku... not...

Wow, need an ointment for that burn, Teitoku?

"Who had the superior toy" xD

I mean if she didn't love him, what reason would she have to raid it?

I have no idea how the topic turned to Ayu... and why Touma is telling THAT to KAKINE out of all people... maybe he's still drunk.

Fake smiles? Hm...

"Wrong world" AARRGGH this is more confusing than the actual series. xD

Lol, if Mugino's stalling for Touma then what was the point of not sobering him up and bringing him from the start?

Ok, when did Touma explain the nobody avatar thing to Mugino?

Let me guess, April has Touma's precognition...

Invisible attack? Is it... IT?

Mugino with a sword xD

Hello Mikoto.

Heh, metal-stuffed dolls make a comeback. xD

Aaaand Toum saves Mikoto in Mugino x Touma fanfiction. xD

TEITOKU! We have 4 girls here, 3 of which already like Touma and we had a chance of having Kuroko fall for him too, so GET LOST TEITOKU, nothing you want is important now. xD

Now, 4 girls, behold and appreciate the privilege you've been shown! Show respect to TouMAN... on the other hand, Mugino and April are killing each other and Touma is betting with Teitoku. xD

Aaaand Teitoku can get his money back now. xD

So does it mean Hyouka would not be negated permanently? My Hyouka x Touma resolve is strengthened!

It seems my count was a bit off, my fics went from 80k to 190k, so it's more like the equivalent of MY 3 fics for TWGOK. I guess Toaru fic might be longer on average (I know of some way over 1 million words).
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