AN: Like always I'm jumping right into this chapter. Lots of things swirling in my mind. (like that means anything at this point. Shame me from six months ago)
So… MAJOR FUCK UP. Not only does canon start in April/May (which I knew), but so does the school year. I assumed April first was the beginning of a new term. So, technically speaking Ichigo and all of his friends are still in junior high. Also, apparently high school isn't compulsory? I'm sure everyone does it, but there are undoubtedly people who don't.
How to fix this?
Uhh… pretend I never mentioned the characters as high schoolers and change the name of Karakura high school to Karakura junior high school. Cuz FUCK. Assumptions can fuck your whole day up.
Sure, in America they'd still be in freshman year, but this doesn't take place in America! There's really no way I'm going to be able to go back and change everything. Maybe I'll do it someday, but goddam is that an annoying task that requires a lot of close reading and small, almost unimportant edits. UGH. I have to scrap every teacher reference too. There's a lot of menial shit involved. Why didn't I google this before?
Not to mention other, small changes. For example, Uryuu is currently still 14 since his birthday is in November. I hate everything.
Another important problem is that Orihime doesn't have a crush on Ichigo right now since they meet IN HIGHSCHOOL! Like… guys, this is a serious problem. What do I do? Do I double down on a Retcon and say that Canon starts a year later so that Ichigo and co. are in high school?
Honestly…. That might be the way to go so that what I've written so far makes sense, but then there are some other things to consider. Sora's attack on Orihime happens about a month or two after she meets Ichigo and starts talking about him all the time which is what makes him turn into a hollow. So it would be odd for Orihime to still have her crush on Ichigo and to be in character and then Sora doesn't attack for almost six months.
But now that I do make this change, I still have to go back and change every instance of Ichigo and Tatsuki being referred to as fifteen when they're now sixteen. Have I mentioned that I hate everything?
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
If you read the above you already know, but I'll spell it out here. I'm fucking with time some more because the Japanese school year starts in April and thus in my story so far all the characters are still in junior high. Everything is being moved forward a year. Meaning: Ichigo and Tatsuki are sixteen and everyone else is also a year older… obviously. And… I think that's it. As such, the following… arc? Will make a lot more sense with that in mind.
Also, weird detail, but Ichigo is two days older than Tatsuki.
And if anyone is confused about time, this is about… a week and a half to two weeks after Ichigo became a Gamer. Halloween is soon. Also, consider Ichigo self-contained unless there is a specific event that affects both him and Tatsuki.
4/26 Edit: A bunch of you guys caught my serious slip up about Soliania's eyes. I'll honestly say I had completely forgotten about it and I'm sorry. If there is ever a massive gap in time between updates I promise I'll make sure to reread everything before writing more. And what's weird is that I think I subconsciously remembered because I wrote most of her dialogue as if she had eyes…
Chapter 20 Summary: Tatsuki explains her powers to Kisuke and Yoruichi and gets an explanation on zanpakuto in exchange. She and Yoruichi fight and Tatsuki wins in only one punch, but she could have easily lost. After learning Sonido from Rutoshi Yoruichi wakes up demanding answers. Tatsuki succumbs and ends up letting her in on the game and inviting her to the party. The next day at school she has to deal with Orihime, her hunger, and Uryuu Ishida. What a day.
Chapter 21: So many friends, but so little strawberries
Tatsuki stood at the door that led into the house of her best friend of almost seven years and thought about how she would lie to her.
She gave up quite quickly, the mere idea of premeditating this already horrible situation made her sick to her stomach. 'This high intelligence stat must work for something other than making school obscenely easy. I'll make it up as I go.' she thought to herself.
Steeling herself with a deep breath Tatsuki knocked. Immediately she could hear the all too familiar pitter-patter of Orihime's feet and a second later the door was opened.
"Tatsuki! You made it!" the sixteen-year-old red-headed girl remarked jubilantly.
"Of course I did. I promised didn't I?" Tatsuki responded sheepishly. After all, she had kind of left her best friend high and dry for an entire week.
"Yeah… you did. Well, come on in."
A short walk later found the two high-schoolers lounging comfortably by a small table within Orihime's living room. After a moment of awkward silence, Orihime asked the question.
"How'd you and Ichigo get together?"
"Well… after the first part of the tournament we promised to hang out and train together sometime soon. So that Saturday he came over and we started going over the basic katas since he hadn't really been practicing outside of the odd street fight he was in and… well… I got mad."
"You got mad? No… impossible." Orihime interrupted, her voice thick with sarcasm.
"Lay off… this was different. In the course of a couple of hours Ichigo achieved a level of mastery over each and every kata I taught him that would take your normal person weeks, if not months, of practice to get down. I'm telling you Orihime, given a few more hours he would know everything I did and… it just felt so unfair. I was so angry, so I snapped at him… but that quickly turned into me spilling my guts. I don't really ever talk about this with… anyone, but you know how Ichigo and I used to be best friends when we were little right?"
"Well, we drifted apart when his mom died. Ichigo he… he quit karate and he closed himself off to the world. He got it in his head that he needed to be an unbreakable pillar of support for his little sisters and dad and to do so he couldn't rely on anyone but himself. It broke my little heart." Tatsuki took a deep breath. "To keep this train of honesty going, my friendship with you was 100% about replacing the void Ichigo had left in my life. Obviously, that's not the case anymore, but it was then and I'm sorry if you think that makes our friendship any less genuine because it doesn't, I swear."
Orihime had this far-off look in her eye that Tatsuki could not put a name to, but the redhead did not say anything.
"Anyway, from then until a few weeks ago, we hadn't spoken more than a couple of words at a time to each other. You know, I used to lay awake at night sometimes wondering about what I could have done to make it better. Maybe I should have been more aggressive with my support, but I was nine and hindsight is 20/20. So all of that came out to him and you know what that idiot did?"
Equally stunned by the revelations and curious about the story Orihime simply shook her head negatively.
"He apologized. He apologized and told me that he wanted to be friends like we used to be. And… I don't know… all of a sudden… we kinda were? He probably hadn't realized it himself, but I think he missed having me as a friend just as much as I missed him. He played around like little kids before mom walked in on us looking like idiots. We ate sandwiches, he showed me this cool gym he found, and we went out to dinner. Honestly? It was a date. We spent that weekend together and met some interesting people… one of them kept pushing us towards a relationship and let's just say that by the end of that weekend neither of us were against the idea. He "formally," asked me to be his girlfriend that Sunday. So… yeah. That's how we got together." By the end, Tatsuki was blushing.
'Oh Kami, she's going to hate me. I just rubbed it in her face!'
She was hesitant to meet Orihime's gaze, but when she did she was surprised to find more amusement than anything else.
"That does sound like Kurosaki. I-" Orihime's breath caught in her throat before she scrunched up her face in a look of intense concentration. "I'm mad at you." She continued carefully, every word thought out. "Not because you "stole" Kurosaki. He's not mine. I'm mad because you doubted our friendship so much. That these last seven years would be so easily dismissed by a boy. You are my best friend. I love you. After Sora died-"
Orihime's eyes filled with unshed tears. She gulped audibly as she tried to calm down and continue talking, but her voice was still thick with emotion.
"After Sora died you and your mom did everything. I would not have made it on my own. I know it. As cheesy as it sounds, I owe you my life. It's not like my older brother being dead stopped people from trying to bully me when you weren't around. Our friendship and your mother's care is all I had. Not even my relatives could be bothered to care for me. And the less is said about my parents the better."
Orihime shook her head ruefully and allowed a few tears to leak out. That was the last straw for Tatsuki, she practically tackled her best friend with a hug which Orihime returned. The room was silent as the two girls held each other and allowed their emotions to mellow out.
Eventually, Orihime said, "The last thing to be said is that I know you're not telling me everything."
Tatsuki began to speak up but Orihime stopped her.
"Given what we just talked about, I'm sure it's a secret you don't want getting out, you don't have to tell me. Let's just go back to hanging out all the time. You can eat my delicious cooking and now we can gossip about how good of a kisser Ichigo is ok?
Tatsuki nearly busted a gut laughing.
"Fine. fine." The brunette answered as she wiped away a tear of mirth from her eye. "But I promise that I'll tell you eventually, besides it has to do with Ichigo going missing."
'Aww shit. It's only the first day back… even if it feels like it's been six months.' she mused.
"I didn't mean to say that, but yeah, Ichigo is missing. I promise! I'll tell you eventually, but just not right now. Ok?"
"Hmm… fine, but I don't like it. Now that that's all sorted… wanna watch some comedy?"
"Of course I do Orihime."
Wednesday brought with it something Tatsuki had been dreading, the conquests. It'd been a little over a week and a half since they left Kalimba which in their time would be about four months. A lot could happen in that amount of time, but obviously not much had if she was only getting a prompt now.
Urgent Business with Felmere Fortress!
A little over a month ago Felmere had its first proper caravan visit. It had been a simple merchant's caravan and the only reason they came was out of ignorance! After all, Krulp was a menace and had made it clear outsiders were not welcome in his lands over the last two centuries.
Anyway, that caravan eventually reached a proper settlement and told them what they had learned. The truth, rumor, and gossip spread like wildfire and now an envoy from the nearest human kingdom has come.
This will be a multi-stage event with the first choice being:
Will you let him in?
You have one hour…. Starting now.
"Ah, shit! Thank kami above school's out. Game, can you bring me to the Abyss?"
Go to your private dojo.
Sprinting home and practically jumping down the stairs to her dojo Tatsuki found an unexpected door frame attached to one of the walls. It was not a simple door frame either. It was thick and square made up of some sort of pitch-black rock engraved within indecipherable runes. Within the doorframe was a swirling mass of stars within an even deeper black void.
This is your Personal Abyss Entrance.
"That's perfect." Steeling herself to step into something out of a sci-fi movie Tatsuki ran forward.
Utter nothingness and then from her left, she heard the distinct sound of Soliania's voice calling out to her. "Over her Tatsuki! What brings you to the Abyss?"
'Well, that was odd…' She thought to herself before shaking her head to clear away the thoughts. "The first conquest thing is happening! I need your help."
The elf let out a tinkling laugh. "Why are you so worried? I'm quite familiar with the act of running a castle, or did you forget?"
"Of course not, that's why I came! It's just… Ichigo's not around and this is the first one, I'm a little nervous."
"Just relax and come along, I have a portal to the master bedroom in the back of this cave."
"Why would we go to the master bedroom?"
"...You're adorable. We're about to meet an envoy from a king. You can't do so looking like… that."
Tatsuki paused to look down at what she was wearing. It was just her school uniform, which was a bit too tight around the chest for her liking, she had meant to buy a new one but kept forgetting. It took a second to realize what was wrong.
"Shit. I'm a dumbass. I guess you're going to "glow me up," Soli?"
"Err, I have no idea what you're talking about. But we must get you out of that boorish clothes and to something befitting the lady of a castle."
"That's what I- nevermind."
The duo stepped through a doorway filled with a swirling, glowing, green light and out into a simple, but large, stone room. Soliania directed Tatsuki to a massive oak wardrobe and opened it revealing an absolutely insane number of dresses. Most of the styles Tatsuki had never seen before and there seemed to be one of every color!
"Oh but Soliania, these are all way too big."
Which was true. These were all Soliania's old dresses and since she was a little over six feet tall her dresses would make Tatsuki look like a child playing dress-up with their mother's clothes.
"Not a problem. I'm rather fond of these dresses. What do you think I did the ten times I got pregnant? We elves do value our fashion. There are a few simple cosmetic spells I can use to fix the size." Soliania reached into the wardrobe and pulled out a stunning little fuschia number. "Here, slip this on."
"Uhh, right here?"
"...in front of you?"
Soliania fixed her with the patented "mom look." "See here Tatsuki. I raised about thirty different girls from my daughters to my granddaughters and even a couple of my great-granddaughters. There is nothing that I have not seen and besides, you don't strike me as the type to wear dresses besides the one you had to wear at that ball my sister threw. So hop to it. Time is ticking."
That last comment drew Tatsuki's eye to the lower left-hand corner of her vision where a timer ticking down read 48:36.
Urgency squashed whatever sense of modesty Tatsuki had been clinging to as she quickly threw her school clothes into her inventory and slipped the dress on over her head.
"Uhm, Tatsuki, what on earth are you wearing?"
"Are you serious?"
"Uhh… do you know what a corset is?"
"A corset? A corset… a corset… ah! I believe some of my great-granddaughters wore something like that. Picked it up from one of the foreign merchant caravans I believe. If my memory serves it is a common undergarment for human women. Of course, I've never had any use for them." Soliania proceeded to bounce up and down to show exactly why her "sisters" had never needed support in their 750 years.
A dark and evil hatred burned in the pit of Tatsuki's stomach. "I see. Are you going to help me with this dress or not?"
Soliania laughed having sensed Tatsuki's resentment. With a few flicks of her wrist and a distinct blue and green glow, Tatsuki suddenly found herself wearing a very sexy and comfortable dress. She would not dare to say it aloud, but she loved the way the dress glittered in a way she was sure no one on Earth could replicate. On the other hand, she had not noticed the side slit and felt distinctly exposed by it despite wearing far less during her workouts at home.
"You look, magnificent darling. Do you like the hair?"
Startled by the question Tatsuki turned to the mirror on the left door of the wardrobe and was quite surprised to find her normally spiky and wild hair was styled into a layered pixie cut. She brushed her fingers against the side of her head where her hair was nearly nonexistent.
"Did- did you just cut my hair?"
"Obviously. I think it looks so cute. This style was popular… oh some 500 years ago in Dorralei. It actually stayed popular for nearly a century and I think you'll look fantastic with it."
Tatsuki was torn. Even being as fashion ambivalent as she was she did enjoy her previous hairstyle for its simplicity and the fact it never got in the way of a fight. This one would not get in the way either, but still…
"Can you grow my hair back?"
"Of course not silly! What do I look like to you? A witch?"
Tatsuki fixed Soliania with a glare before remembering the elf was blind and that it was pointless.
"Ugh, fine. Are we done here? I want to get this over with."
Soliania smiled brightly. "Well then, come along. I believe the envoy is at the eastern gate."
It was a short walk to the large and imposing gate. On the way, Tatsuki was able to greet some of the rescued ogresses and see the construction being done on the northern gate which Ichigo had blown to kingdom come. The entire time Soliania instructed Tatsuki on what was expected of her and the basics of royal manners.
"-but ultimately the choice is yours. Don't make any enemies you don't need to, but if you don't like the envoy send them away and be done with it. Just remember that this affects everyone in the castle."
"Oh, wow, thanks for reassuring me, Soli. So helpful."
"Bah, you'll do just fine. And besides, if it comes to war I doubt any of the neighboring kingdoms have an army strong enough to put you or Ichigo down. Deep breath Tatsuki. It's showtime."
The eastern gate was a lot smaller than the northern gate had been. Rather than sixty the eastern gate it was a measly twenty feet tall. Luckily, this meant the gate went down much quicker than the northern one would… if it existed. Tatsuki was intrigued by the sight revealed to her upon the completion of the gate's opening.
It was a group of five. All male, all dark-skinned. Tatsuki knew she should not have been surprised by the existence of people she would call African on Earth, but it was still a bit odd for them to suddenly appear. Though she quickly got over that fact when she took in their mounts.
Tatsuki was not sure how to describe them. They were certainly similar to lions as she knew them, but they had six legs instead of four and their fur was a dark blue instead of golden yellow. They had no manes which either meant they were female or their race simply did not have any, Tatsuki could not know. They had three long tails each which ended in a brutal mace-like appendage that looked natural. Their eyes also shone an intimidating yellow, that couple with the fact that they were as tall as the unicorns had been and these animals made for an intimidating sight! One of the lion-things yawned and Tatsuki gained the unfortunate knowledge that the creatures had multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth.
The riders wore looked to be traditional European knight armor, but it had the telltale look of bone. Each rider wielded an absolutely massive spear made, once again, of bone and were accompanied by a large flag on their backs. The flag was bright pink in color and was dotted with a few black stars separated into quadrants by thick blue lines. A shake of one of the rider's head revealed long dreadlocked interwoven with glowing blue strands of ribbon. A quick look revealed that the rider in the middle was the only one with red strands and their glow was distinctly brighter.
The said rider then yelled, "Hail rulers of Felmere Fortress!"
"Hail, member of the Stokjo Kingdom."
Tatsuki almost stuttered following Soliania's "Hail" with one of her own.
The rider with red hair ribbons dismounted and made his way to the girls while removing his helm. Tatsuki saw that he was a handsome man with a wide nose, high cheekbones, and a short and scruffy beard. He looked like a completely normal human being until he was within ten feet of herself.
Tatsuki rapidly blinked in order to assure herself what she was seeing was true. The man had several short horns poking out beneath his thick dreadlocks, but that was not all. His eyes were pitch black, a complete and utter void. If it weren't for his eyelids Tatsuki would think he had no eyes at all!
"My name is Jefhuuc and I am glad you have received our envoy. It has been a long time since Felmere had fallen into the hands of that beast Krulp. My Queen sends me with the wish to reestablish the old trade routes that ran through here."
"Of course, of course. We still have the merchant's quarters and we welcome any caravans into our home. Though, we are currently in a rebuilding phase so we do not have much to offer in terms of trade…"
"That is not a concern. The routes themselves are more important than any amount of goods. What had been a three week trip to Glorand through Evindal and Marlev will now be cut down to a single week. The merchant guild will have a field day."
"I'm glad, but the final decision is up to my lady. What will it be Tatsuki? Should we open the merchant's quarters to Stokjo traders?"
Jefhuuc startled a bit at the revelation that the elf in front of him was not in charge, but he was a diplomat and quickly turned to address Tatsuki with a deep bow.
"My apologies fair lady. May I have your name?"
"My name is Tatsuki Arisawa, but you may address me as Lady Arisawa." The teen was surprised by the thrill of excitement that ran up her spine after saying such a ridiculous statement. "The lord of this fortress is Ichigo Kurosaki. I find your terms more than amenable. Please tell your queen that I am most excited about seeing what future ventures we can achieve together."
"Of course Lady Are-we-sawa. Forgive me, I have never heard a name like yours before. We shall depart post-haste and you once again have our thanks."
With that said Jefhuuc put his helmet back on, mounted his lion-beast-thing, made a sharp cry, and led the group away from the fortress.
Tatsuki almost immediately sighed in relief, that had been… odd.
"Notice anything about them Tatsuki?"
"Err…" Tatsuki racked her brain until she remembered one of the most basic aspects of the Game. "They weren't very high leveled. The envoy was 100, but the guards were in the 80s. And their titles reflected their roles and not anything revealing."
"Exactly. I am just reminding you that if things go south, it will not be that difficult to put them down."
"You see awfully war hungry Soliania…"
"To be quite honest I'm just curious about combat and leveling up with this Game. So make sure you don't forget about me when you go on your next dungeon crawl and I will be fine."
"I don't think I'll be forgetting any time soon…"
Soliania simply laughed in response before saying, "Well, I knew you have it in you. With the Conquest System in place know that one day I'll turn you into a fine monarch, just you wait."
"Ugh. That whole exchange was weird. It was just like playing pretend when I was a little kid."
"In a way, all of this comes down to simply acting in a certain way with a certain mindset. For some, it actually helps to think of it as pretend. Eventually, you get so used to it that it's no longer playing pretend."
"Hmm, I see that. So, while I'm here do you think you can tutor me in Eldarin and Ogre?"
Soliania clapped her hands happily. "Of course I can. It's so exciting to teach like this again. Let us retire to the bedroom so no one interrupts us."
Friday marked a week since Ichigo had disappeared into Hueco Mundo and Tatsuki was growing restless. She had been doing her best to distract herself from the distinct lack of Ichigo in her life, but no amount of sleepovers with Orihime, training with Yoruichi, tutoring with Soliania, or violently eating Hollows seemed to work.
This was also coupled by a painful increase of loneliness.
Yoruichi had become something more than an acquaintance, but Tatsuki did not know if she counted as a friend. They could not even get close by being a part of the Game because of their absurd level disparity. No amount of grinding real world hollows was getting Yoruichi a level and they most likely would not be able to do anything until Ichigo came back. So once again her thoughts return to Ichigo. Learning new things like Hakuda was fun, but she hadn't gotten a level for her Hollow form and it didn't seem like it was coming any time soon.
When Rutoshi came around things were a bit different, but RUtoshi was far more prone to lazing about with Karin and Yuzu than training.
Eating Hollows became real boring, real quick.
She even went to the gym once, but once again it felt hollow being there without Ichigo.
Her only source of genuine fun was with Orihime, but even that was marred by the fact that she was keeping this huge secret from the redhead. And the worst part was that said redhead knew and was not complaining about. It tore Tatsuki up, so Friday night, decked out in fluffy pajamas and hugging a distinctly Ichigo looking body pillow Orihime "happened" to have, Tatsuki decided to her tell about the Game.
"Hn?" was all Orihime did as she was too engrossed in a cheesy comedy show to give Tatsuki her full attention.
"'Member that secret I wasn't telling you?"
Orihime jerked her head and locked eyes with Tatsuki. "…Yes."
"I'm gonna tell you~" Tatsuki began to tease.
Orihime was practically bouncing on the couch at that point and Tatsuki had to resist the urge to facepalm as the ditzy redhead's tits began bouncing around like bouncy balls. "Yes!"
"Oh, but I don't know~ You might not believe me…" Tatsuki trailed off as she made sad eyes at Orihime.
"Nooooooo! I'll believe you! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please tell me!" Orihime begged.
"If you insist~ Ichigo's life became a videogame and he brought me in on it and now I'm half soul-eating monster."
Orihime's eyes grew bigger and bigger to the point that Tatsuki was worried her eyeballs her going to pop out of their sockets. The busty sixteen-year-old eyebrows also rose and rose until they threatened to escape her forehead. Orihime's eyes saw nothing as they stared at her best friend.
Tatsuki realized that she was witnessing the face of someone so disturbed and surprised by what they had been told that their brain threatened to stop functioning.
"Uhh… Earth to Orihime? Are you there 'Hime-chan?" Tatsuki asked as she waved her hand in front of her friend's face.
Orihime blinked and jerked away from the hand. "Of course I'm here. But… what? How- What?"
"Well, it's probably for the best that I just show you since that's what Ichigo did for me. Game. Invite: Orihime Inoue."
Such a request must first be confirmed with the Prime Gamer. Please standby as the message is sent.
Your request has been approved by the Prime Gamer.
Orihime Inoue has now been sent an invitation.
"What on did you just say?" Orihime began, but suddenly jerked back again, this time from the blue screen that suddenly appeared in front of her.
You have been invited to join Ichigo Kurosaki's party. Do you accept?
"Just hit the 'Y' to say yes. As I said, it's easier to show you everything."
"O-Okay." Orihime answered before shakily doing as she was told. She waited but nothing seemed to happen.
"'Hime, look above my head." Tatsuki instructed while pointing.
"Huh?" The poor girl was so lost, but then she saw it.
Floating above Tatsuki's head was something she had never seen before.
Tatsuki Arisawa Lvl. 100
"Uhh…" was all the girl could say.
Tatsuki chuckled. "It's wild, I know."
"B-but what does it mean? You know I don't play video games Tatsuki!"
Tatsuki slapped her forehead. 'Kami damn all.' "Okay, you see my name. The thing next to that is short for level, so, I am level 100. Above that in the brackets is my title. It's… a title. Like Lord or Lady. Makes sense?"
"I think?" Orihime quickly looked up in order to see her own information and was disappointed to find nothing.
Tatsuki laughed hard at Orihime's actions. "The title thing stays locked above your head, so think of it as a beanie. You can't see it when you're wearing it."
"So how do I see it?"
"That's the best part, this game is voice controlled. Just say stats and it'll come up."
Title: School Idol
Name: Orihime Inoue
Orihime looked back and forth between herself and Tatsuki repeatedly before Tatsuki said, "Don't feel bad. You level up quickly in this game. You won't be seven for long."
Orihime pouted. "Fine, but what does all this mean?"
Tatsuki simply smiled and settled in for a long talk.
AN: I'm so sorry! Please forgive me! I said I was going to update this consistently with Might and Magic, but then I changed my mind. For the better, I think. My goal was to write for one story until I get bored and then write for the other so that I don't split my interest which burned me out fast, but I did not get bored of Might and Magic and life, work, school, and new video games like Sekiro caught up to me and I have not even updated Might and Magic in what, two months? So I'm sorry. I hope you enjoy this chapter and it leads me into my next point.
I'm thinking of starting a . I don't make a lot of money as is and I LOVE writing fanfiction. It's something that will undoubtedly be a hobby of mine until the day I die. But I get easily distracted, the biggest detriment to writing new shit was videogames and I feel so shitty saying that. So a felt like a good way to make myself accountable. To promise readers that I will put out a chapter every single week. And if this is something people can actually support me on it would be very easy to quit my job. As I said, I don't make a lot of money and I'm sort of accident-prone which results in me not being able to work for days or weeks; if I can make some real money using I can support my parents in ways I did not before which is so huge for me you could never understand how much that would mean for me.
Obviously, I can't make anyone do anything, I don't want anyone to feel obligated to do anything, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of my readers were teens without jobs and I understand that. I was one of those too not so long ago. And I know that I'm not that great of a writer, but if you can donate, just think about it. If enough people are genuinely interested please PM me or tell me in a review so I can set it up properly. I already have various tier rewards and the money will also go towards hiring artists to make story covers and other extraneous expenses.
Anyway, back to story thoughts.
Big Oof. You Bleach lore librarians out there will notice that Tatsuki's and Orihime's backstory does not match up. That's because Orihime and Tatsuki met when they were 13 only two years before Ichigo comes into the picture. So I'm changing it for the sake of emotional resonance and I like it more. It's easy to say you're childhood friends with someone you met when you were 13 if you're a full-grown adult over the age of 25-ish. But just two years? Maybe I'm just thinking about it wrong, but I wouldn't call someone I met in middle school a childhood friend if I'm only 15, 16 in this story now. So here we are, Orihime and Tatsuki are now ACTUALLY childhood friends.
Also, let's just talk about how insane it is that we're just supposed to accept that Orihime made it on her own for an entire years after her older brother/guardian ate it. 12-13 are clearly an acceptable age for a severely traumatized child to live on her own with no supervision. If this wasn't anime Orihime would not be a manic pixie dream girl, most likely she'd be a hate-filled goth… or dead. What would a 12-year-old do? Go to her parents first most likely only to be disappointed in them for being disgusting human beings. Her other relatives clearly don't care enough to take her in. For an entire year, she's alone in the world for no one to love her. Without anyone to tell her why a child will begin to think it's their fault, and on top of that, she's bullied at school? Very quickly we're back to angry goth or dead by suicide. Dark stuff. I'm glad I write this stuff out, I wouldn't have half of Orihime's dialogue without it.
Maybe it was super obvious and I'm just dumb, but the way Orihime acts has to be a coping method she uses to bury her trauma. That's why she's so weird. If she can distract herself all day and night with every single random thought that flits across her mind she never has to think about her past. But then again she does regularly pray to Sora, so maybe Orihime is just Naruto.
I'm going ahead with the "age them up a year" plan. It's not a big deal, but I'll eventually go back and edit the previous chapters to correct the ages.
Uhm… I think that's it, I hope you enjoyed the chapter and consider my pathetic groveling. Please leave a review because what you think matters to me.