Ch. 1: Winter War
The Evil that seemingly resided in the life of Rika Furude had seemingly vanished finally. It wasn't just another existence of repeated murders and plots to destroy her village, but a new life. Peace had finally reigned supreme in the now quiet, grassy village of Hinamizawa. For what everyone thought, for the moment, life could go on.
Or so they thought….
"Damn it Satoko, you'll pay dearly for this! I SWEAR IT!"
Keiichi Maebara, a regular of the Hinamizawa School, stood with a look of hatred and evil in his face. A pile of snow, thanks in due part to another one of Satoko's devious traps, had covered him in a pile as high as his neck. The shear amount of anger that fumed from Keiichi should have been enough to melt the snow, but Satoko, like always, kept him off balance by peltering him with an onslaught of snowballs as a second assault. In a fit of rage, Keiichi thrashed out of the pile, and ran after the mischievous girl with intent to kill.
It had been another day of peace for the harem of Hinamizawa, the same group of kids who foiled the plans of Takano and other darker characters, finally freeing the small village from the repeating fate of death and sadness. Within this group, 7 young kids had become nearly famous overnight in Japan. Their exploitations and accomplishments, as well as their teamwork, had saved an entire village from conspiracy, preventing the deaths of nearly thousands of inhabitants and the fate of Rika in a never-ending cycle of life and death.
"Just one day of normality is all I ask for! And you go and do this to me, well, I have news for you Satoko, this ends Here!"
Rika, who had just walked into the school, watched Keiichi rush out of the classroom after having tripped Satoko's 3rd trap of the day, which was superglue mats in a side hallway. Keiichi, immobilized for at least 10 minutes, had to withstand more barrages of snowballs from a maniacally laughing Satoko.
"Oh ho ho ho! You can't defeat me Keiichi, I am the Master of Traps and such. There's no way…"
Satoko, dead in her tracks, watched as Keiichi jumped out of his wabaki shoes and managed to find clear ground. Rika, from behind, merely smiled and watched as Keiichi classically caught Satoko, prepared to deliver justice, only to be merely slapped into a wall by a tall beauty with long, green hair.
"Now now Keiichi, you can't pick on this sweet, innocent girl, right Satoko?"
Shion Sonozaki, the twin sister of Mion Sonozaki, walked with a smiling Satoko into the classroom, as Keiichi lay sprawled and dazed against a wall. Yes, it was another day of happiness and play for the group, and Rika didn't want it any other way.
Before the start of class, the group sat in their usual seats. Keiichi, Mion, Shion, Satoko, Rika, Hanyuu, and Rena all sat in the back, chatting away the time until their sensei, Chie-san, arrived. Rika, more laid back since the end of their battle with Takano, smiled and rested her head on the warm desk. The nearby heaters adequately warmed the room with a loving glow, and her eyes felt heavy and ready for sleep. However, Rena, watching Rika nearby in her cute expression, started to go into Kawaii mode, wanting to take Rika home with her other cute things. Mion and Keiichi, however, held her back for the girl's sake.
Satoko watched as the snow slowly, and soon quickly, began to flutter down outside. It was December 1, and winter was already in Hinamizawa. The Higurashi were no longer apparent in the village during this time of year, and if not for some of the trees, the town would be very much cold and dead. But Hinamizawa, of all places, could remain a home to everyone, and for this Satoko was thankful. She began daydreaming of the return of her Nii-Nii, Satoshi Houjo, her elder brother.
Satoshi remained in the Irie-Clinic under observation from level 4 Hinamizawa Syndrome, the curse of the small, quiet village. He remained comatose, unable to awaken until the critical stage had passed. Both Satoko and Shion, who held a special place for him in their hearts, eagerly awaited for the day of his return.
"Maybe Satoshi will be back to normal before Christmas…" Shion whispered to herself. Satoshi wasn't just a friend to the young girl, but someone she loved dearly, and would even kill to protect. She was the first of the group who discovered his state of condition, after so long from his dissappearence. At times, she hated her family and others from shunning him from society, all for the actions of his deceased parents during the Dam conflict. However, she cared for him, no matter what the village had once thought of him and Satoko.
"Auu…the snow is really coming down. What if we get barricaded and can't walk home?" Hanyuu, the human-incarnate form of Hinamizawa's Deity guardian, looked outside as the snow began to pile more inches onto the ground. Everyone had the same idea, and only hoped that Chie-sensei would break good news of no classes.
Suddenly, amongst all the conversations, a tall, blue haired women entered the small classroom. All the students stood and bowed to Chie-sensei, whom still wore her weather jacket and snowboots. Conspicuously, she held onto a book under her arm, probably another one of her romantic novels she usually read during her free time.
"Everyone, I'm sorry, but unless you all want to be in class for the next two days, I suggest everyone return home as fast as possible. We just got news that a storm is coming fast on the village, and is expecting to drop at least 16 inches of snow. For today, and tomorrow, there will be no classes. I'll see you all on Friday, and please, read these assigned pages of your book for the test Monday…"
The class cheered for their God-given snow day. It didn't take long for the news to sink in, as everyone hustled to grab their things and leave the school. However, the members of the notorious Game club stood outside the school, all grinning with smiles, as the other students went their separate ways in groups to enjoy a fun filled day of snow.
"Heheheh…Keiichi, with you already suffering Satoko's snowball surprises, I'm not sure you have enough of it in you to play today's game," Mion gestured.
"Like hell I do! Bring it on Mion, I'll take whatever you guys throw at me and return it ten-fold!"
Keiichi balled his fist, with fire in his eyes towards his friends. Mion only grinned at her fellow comrade, and secretly, crush. She began formulating games in her head to submit to Keiichi, as well as the penalties that came with the games. She only hoped that if Keiichi were to lose, and she the victor, that her new maid outfit she recently bought could be worn by him for her amusement. After some plotting, Mion looked at the other club members and gave out her solution for the day's activity.
"All-right guys! Here's a game for you. Today, we're gonna have a battle of 7 evils in an all out, non-stop snowball War! Each of us will have an hour to build our fortresses…" Mion pointed over to the flattest ground of the Hinamizawa School area "…with walls and traps inclusively! The rules are simple: build your fortress, create enough ammo, and for the hell of it, make allies and even break from them in this non-stop war! Whosoever has the most remaining of their fortress by lunchtime will be the victor!"
Everyone cheered for the grand idea from their club president, all except Hanyuu, who looked fearingly at her friends. "But..but..but…war isn't nice! Auuuu…." She looked at Rika, who gave her an assuring nod.
As the other members laughed, Keiichi and Mion looked at one another, electricity between their eyes.
"And what is the penalty for this devious plan of yours Mion?" asked Keiichi with a grin.
"Glad you asked my boy! The victor gets to choose one of us to submit to any penalty whatsoever!" Mion began to blush at the things she would do to Keiichi if she won, likewise, did Keiichi if he won against Mion.
"Alright everyone! Take you're respective places and begin building!" Mion sounded like she was a commander in a war, as everyone hurried with piles of snow to build their fortresses.
It looked like an arduous process for everyone, but as time passed it seemed like the forts would be built in no time. Hanyuu, Rika, and Satoko made an alliance, and built their own fortresses near each other, but in this game it seemed only temporarily for the three allies. Shion and Keiichi, for the time being, teamed up to counter-act the force of Rena and Mion, who were already building a massive fortress that seemed impenetrable.
However, unbeknownst to everyone else, Keiichi and Shion had a plan. For at least 10 minutes they left the battlefield for supplies, in which Shion managed to find and return with a rim-shawed homemade catapult, made exclusively of rubber cord and half a cardboard box. Keiichi, on the other hand, ran to the school tool shed for a shovel. In moments of returning, his efforts on building their fortress seemingly doubled with ease. In no time at all did Keiichi single handedly build a mound of snow twice his size in height.
Near the end of the hour mark, Rika's team had comprised a massive wall and surroundings of snow, at least 3 feet wide, for their defense. In due part to Satoko, traps of many natures were set up around their base of defense, with very little visual detection for any trespassers. Their main attack lied within the traps, and Hanyuu's massive snowball mound from which they could easily take out other players with.
Rena and Mion managed to create what seemed like a wall of snow, built around a massive snow mound for aerial attacks. Their snowball mound was enough for the game, and from what others speculated, Mion managed to force Rena into Kawaii mode, promising her a cute item if they were to win together. Anything that got near their fortress would suffer a barrage from Rena and her Kawaii mode's increased stamina.
In light of these fortresses, Shion and Keiichi's stronghold seemed, if anything, like a giant mound with very weak walls. The mound was as big as 1/4 the size of a classroom, and as tall as Keiichi, but other than that it seemed normal. Shion managed to position the catapult on top of the mound, with Keiichi in the bottom of the mound with plenty of snowballs. All the while, their grins seemed to hide a devious plot.
At the end of the hour mark, Mion got atop her mound with Rena and shouted for everyone to hear.
"The Battle of 7 Evils in this all out Snow-War begins now! You'll have at least one hour till lunch to battle and determine the victor!"
Mion's echo sounded for all to hear, but what caught her off guard was a preemptive strike from Shion that threw her flat on her butt into the snow mound. Apparently, Shion's catapult had more bite than bark, as its accuracy and power was unmatchable.
Mion, after the attack, got up with a look of death in her face. She balled her fists, and began to send her own wave of attacks at Keiichi and Shion, delivering some good hits to their wall. Keiichi merely fired back, causing small damage to her fortress.
It was ten minutes later that Keiichi decided to allow Shion to hold down the fort, while he went into no man's land to take down the competition. With a bag of snowballs for ammo, he ventured out into the now peltering snow storm to try and make some new allies with Satoko and Rika. Into the non-visible plain did he travel out, only minutes later reaching his destination.
"Satoko, Rika, Hanyuu…we could use a truce to take down Mion and Rena! What do you say?"
Before Keiichi finished his sentence, his right foot fell into one of Satoko's devious traps. His foot fell into what felt like freezing water, and once pulled out, his foot was numb to the touch.
"Oh ho ho ho! A little incapacitated, eh Keiichi?" Satoko mused from her position in her fortress, laughing away at Keiichi limping in a now soaked pant's leg. He, however, would not be stopped by this.
"Argh! Satoko!" He yelled, ready to charge into their wall and tear down whatever he could to deal the most damage. However, the closer he got to the base, the more traps and holes he fell into. Soon, he was soaked to the bone in wet clothes, al la Satoko's ingenious water hole traps. However, as he reached the entrance to the wall, Satoko, along with Rika and Hanyuu, dumped what felt like a ton of snow over his body, using some buckets acquired earlier.
"Sorry Keiichi, but we have enough allies. Nipah!" smiled Rika. Keiichi, defeated, went back into the white snow plain seemingly defeated. However, just as Satoko felt her victory sink in, did Keiichi come back with a giant snowball as big as himself, manage to heave it over his head, and throw it straight into a supporting wall, only to demolish it.
"Hahahahha! Take that Satoko!" Keiichi ran away from the retaliation of snowballs, having the last laugh over Satoko, as he managed to destroy two of their walls.
Mion, on the other hand, began plotting how to take down her own sister. Rena busied herself with more ammo making, while she sat on her snow mound, figuring out a way to take down her sister's catapult. It wasn't long before she herself went out into the snowy plain to get more allies. She found herself at Satoko and Rika's base, pleading for help. This time, they joined forces to take Keiichi and Shion down, which only added to the amount of Mion's grinning.
Nearly ten minutes before lunch, Shion and Keiichi began to worry. Mion, Rena, Satoko, Hanyuu, and Rika, in a surprise attack, began to unleash a hellish wave of snowballs and strikes of unnatural origins. The offensive attackers charged into Shion and Keiichi's fortress, at which they retaliated with the catapult and snowballs. Hanyuu, leading in the background, was taken out with a couple shots from the catapult, and unable to continue moving on. Satoko, as well as Rika, both managed to zig zag from the hailing storm of snow, dodging every impact from their opponents.
"Damnit, they're getting close! Shion, now's the time!" Keiichi yelled, at which Shion immediately responded. They began to evacuate from the walls, and moved back behind their snow mound, preparing for the assault.
In mere moments, Mion charged headfirst through the snow walls, destroying them completely. She, along with Rena, Rika, and Satoko, climbed up the large snow mound and looked down at their prey, holding enough snowball ammo to make them surrender. With a look of evil and glory in her eyes, Mion grinned and prepared to attain glory.
"Well, well, well, Keiichi, looks like this day belongs to me! Any last word?" Mion laughed uncontrollably at her victims, all the while preparing to deliver the final blow.
However, Shion and Keiichi looked at each other, and began holding their sides, unable to contain their laughter. Mion, looking at them surprised, merely got annoyed. Rena, thinking something wasn't right, looked from her ally to the opponents, wondering what was approaching.
"Hey, damnit, what the hell is so funny? Tell me!" yelled Mion, her teeth glaring.
"Ha..haha..ha…Sorry Mion, I just can't help it when I know you're about to lose! Catch you later!" Mion looked down at Keiichi, startled, but suddenly realized why he laughed so much, as she slowly sunk into the snow below.
"Eh? Wh..What the Heeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll!"
For a second, Mion and the others were taller than everyone else, and in the next moment, felt nothing but emptiness below them. All Mion, including Rena, were able to see was Shion pull a rope that was cleverly hidden underneath the newly fallen snow, which led to a tarp covering the pithole she and the others stood unnoticing over. In seconds Keiichi and Shion's enemies were dogpiled in a deep pit, with very little chance of getting out alone. Shion and Keiichi merely went up over the hole, and peered down at their friends.
"Even Satoko couldn't have come up with this one! Heheheheh!" Keiichi chuckled as he saw Satoko KO'd and Rika in a daze. Mion, on the other hand, had her feet towards the sky and her upper torso in the snow. Slowly, she managed to get free and looked up at Keiichi, gritting her teeth.
"Heheheh, looks like I win Mion! I wonder what I'll make you do for a punishment game, huh Shion? Eh, Shion?"
Keiichi looked around, but Shion was nowhere to be found. He stood there, calling her name out, but it was until he saw the shadow of a giant snowball round flying at him did he realize that his ally had now betrayed him.
The giant round of a snowball impacted Keiichi, sending him tripping over into the hole with the others. Shion, after walking away from her catapult and looking down at her friends, merely smiled innocently.
"Keiichi, you should be close to your enemies and even closer to your allies! Well, with all of you defeated, and its nearly lunch time, I guess I'm left standin…"
Unexpectantly, Shion's body felt heavy from the backside, and soon was forced into the hole, right on top of Keiichi. She quickly recoved, thanks to Keiichi being used as a landing pad, and looked up. What she saw brought tears of joy to her now opened eyes, as she saw a familiar blonde haired boy smile down at her.
"Long time no see, Shion…"