"Oh stop sulking. I think you might surprise yourself with how much you like it there."
I harrumphed at my father and refocused my glare to the scenery blurring by. The further we went, the more and more rural it seemed. It was almost funny seeing all these hundred year old buildings side by side to actually modern places. I'd bet that some of them didn't even have electricity from the way they looked.
"Look, I know the last year has been rough on both of us lately, but can you at least try to get along with your Grand-Aunt?"
Rough? Understatement of the millennium. First mom and her parents get killed in an accident, then my dad wants to make me decide between splitting up with my friends or splitting up with him. I hadn't expected that he'd shove me into some old lady's house when I chose to stay with my friends.
"Ah, we'll be there soon."
Soon as he said that, I felt the vibrations and noise of the wheels touching the road. Great, we were out far enough where the roads didn't have hover strips. Talk about old.
"And~ we're here!"
I grumbled and got out of the car and went straight for my luggage. A sudden shout startled me, and I spun to locate the source. Heard it again, and again, and finally assumed it was inside the courtyard of the house I was at. What on-
"Get a move on son. Let's go greet your babysitter."
I glared at him as he smugly called it what it was. I was 15 and would probably have been fine living on my own, but dad just insisted I have supervision. Wait, were those shouts from...
"TEI~!" And staring at me was a bamboo sword, right as I rounded the entryway. "You're Late!"
Standing guard at the doorless entrance was a fairly angry looking woman with strong wrinkles on her forehead. My first thought was, I expected her to be older. Then I saw the way she was gripping her bamboo sword and I winced. Oh crap, she's strict.
"Nice to see you too Kirigaya-sensei. And you can blame our lateness on my son here."
"You're not a student of mine, so Suguha's fine. And you boy, had I not been exercising to kill time and frustration, you may have found yourself unconscious by now."
I gulped audibly. She meant it. I quickly bowed and loudly shouted, "My deepest apologies! I won't ever be late again!" I didn't dare lift my head as I heard the faint muffled echo of my declaration, followed by an eerie silence. Then they both laughed heartily and I blushed crimson.
My father wiped a tear from his eye, "I think that's the first time I've seen your authoritative discipline in action."
"If you'd have stopped by my Dojo sometime, I'd be glad to discipline you myself." She said with a smile. I don't know why, but I instantly thought of Grandma.
"Hah, nothing against you, but I wouldn't last the walk there much less the actual activity. Ah that's right, I'd love to stay, chat, and catch up, but I really do have to get going. You're not the only thing I'm late for."
"Understood. Have a safe trip!"
The words brought my father to a halt, and he glanced at Suguha, then smiled a complicated thanks as she just cheerfully sent him off. My father now gone, I realized I hadn't taken a step since I bowed. I decided then and there to be respectful. I didn't want to be clubbed to death. Just her voice sounded like it'd hurt if it hit me. I stood at attention.
"Kitamura Kirito. I'll be under your care."
She looked at me a little surprised. I think she forgot I was there.
"Hmm. That's nice, but you needn't be that polite or serious with me. You're not a student of mine either." She gazed at me softly and seriously, perhaps a little sadly. "We're family, you and I. It's okay to be a little more affectionate and not so distant." She reached out and gently roughed my hair. "Still, not bad brat. Go get your things and bring them upstairs. Your room is at the end of the hall on the left. I'll start on lunch."
I blinked a few times, a little shocked at the personality change. Maybe it won't be so bad here after all. I hauled my luggage into the house, up the stairs, and into my room, or so I figured since the first door had a nameplate that said Suguha and the second door was open. I did a quick scan of my room and saw the ancient computer hardware, and almost laughed. Three monitors? I was almost bewildered at the need for that many, until I remembered they weren't holographic and thus could not be resized or set at ease. On top of that, there was an actual keyboard, with cables! Good lord that's old. Can it even turn on? I looked at the big box where all the cables met up and assumed that the big circle was the power button.
I figured why not, and pushed the button. Sure enough, it actually turned on. But the computer was making odd noises. No way, is it a rotating disc type hard-drive? How does this thing still function? And a fan? Wow. I sat in the chair, surprised at how comfy it was, and enjoyed the fact that the computer hadn't loaded yet. "This is pretty amusing..."
It loaded up, and whoa, its Windows. I couldn't help but laugh then. I did some digging around, finding quite a lot of old games and programming tools. I even found some old internet browsers, different ones at that. But the internet didn't work, no I suppose it wouldn't. The infrastructure is all wireless now, so the wired connection this thing has wouldn't work. Just as I was about to dismiss the possibility of using the internet, I saw a private server connection. It perplexed me, and perplexed me further as I found it password protected. Not one to turn down a challenge, I began trying to crack it open. But that didn't really get far, so instead I started programming my own password cracker. I figured why not, it has all the tools to do so. Despite my unfamiliarity with using an actual keyboard, I finished up the simple program and started it up just as I got called for lunch.
On my way to the stairs, I passed by Suguha-san's room, and thought the better of peeking into her room. I followed the smell and opened the door by the stairs leading to the kitchen and dining room. I saw Suguha-san standing by the table stirring a big pot. I figured it was stew or soup. Smelled rather appetizing but I couldn't put my finger on it.
"Come on in and pick your seat!"
I felt my mind shrug a little. How was I to pick if I didn't know where she liked to sit? I decided to take the chair closest to the door that faced the kitchen, the far right one from where I was, figuring that if I ever had to sit here while the meal was being prepared, I'd rather watch the chef than the wall.
"Hmm, interesting." I heard her mutter.
"Eh? What is?"
"Must run in the family."
"That seat. It's the same one your Grandfather chose."
"Grandpa eh... I guess we must think alike. I chose this seat because, if I had to sit here and wait, I'd rather see the chef and not the wall and I'm lazy and don't like walking. Am I using his room?" Just as I finished asking, I felt like I saw her blushing a little but it must've been my imagination.
"Indeed. I left it mostly as is as I have an attachment to that room, but I thought it best if you used it. I wish I hadn't converted my mother's master bedroom into a gym, but it's not like I'd have known you were coming. Anyways, here."
She handed me a bowl of curry and a spoon.
"Fufu~ surprised? It's the best thing I can make! Sadly."
I took a bite, and it was really quite delicious. "Not sure why this makes you sad, it's good! Better than Dad's by far."
She chuckled as she began pouring curry into her own bowl of rice. "You could say I have high standards. I had a rival of a cook to compete with and curry was the only thing I did better."
"Really? Who'd you compete with?" I asked as she slid a place-mat from the seat beside me to the seat across from me and sat down.
"Asuna, your Grandma, actually."
I was just about to raise my eyebrow when I saw her face grow more and more crestfallen.
"I'm glad you're here, Kirito. I promise that I'll take good care of you."
She looked up at me with a slightly sad smile.
"You're the only blood relative I have left."
We stared at each other with comprehension. We've both lost family. I still had Dad, but he too was gone now. We were all we had. With that sobering thought, we both ate in appreciative silence.
Going back into my room, I saw that my program had finished. The password was Sachi eh? Not even remotely close to the name or birthday of anyone I knew. The hell is a Sachi? I opened the server and immediately my screen went black. Odd. I saw a blinking type cursor in the upper left and figured it was just the server's console.
Not knowing where to really go from here, I looked up help that every console should have.
Nothing. That's odd. Not even an unrecognized command or some other form of feedback.
Still nothing. This was unusual so I starting tapping periods. Dot. Dot. Dot. As I tried to think of what to make of this until suddenly.
| Who are you?
What the? What's going on. There shouldn't be internet. Who is this? What did I just hack myself into? Unsure of what to do, I quickly typed in my online name.
| Please. Please tell me, who are you?
| What is your name?
For some reason, I felt a little guilty withholding my name now. Plus, if I pissed off the wrong people, maybe telling them my name might help. Even if it didn't, I doubted hiding my name would save me if they know where I logged in from. When all else fails, be honest.
| My name is Kitamura Kirito.
There was a noticable wait. Is it doing a background check on me?
| ... Please tell me. What is the fate of Kirigaya Kazuto?
Kazuto? Grandpa? No wait, no problems with my name? And who is this?
| Kazuto died in a car accident last year with his wife and my mother.
| ... I see...
I wasn't sure what to type next. I wasn't even sure what to make of it all. But I did know what I wanted to know next.
| Who are you?
The answer was immediate.
| Nice to meet you, grandson of Kazuto and Asuna. I am Kazuto's daughter, Yui.
. . .
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This is a story I had in mind for awhile, but haven't had time to write yet. I decided to just get on the ball rolling and write this out.
Writing by chapter is a new thing for me. It's not easy for me to release something I haven't finished writing. I do have the beginning and end and everything in between all decided and in mind and on a rough outline. All I have to do is write it out. Barring any major idea changes, this story should be 12 chapters long.
Other Fanfics have this trend of using Kiriko as Kazuto and Asuna's Daughter. I am unsure if I want to join this trend, as the mother will be a rather minor character and perhaps leaving it nameless works for the better. If people would feel more at ease if I used Kiriko as the name, let me know. Then again, I AM marrying this character off without permission, and killing her off so~ perhaps its for the best that I leave her unnamed and I hope you guys understand.
I hope you guys like how I did the 'console/text' chats. If not, let me know and maybe I'll try a different format approach.
Last but not least, please let me know if you like the setting I've set up, as well as how I've set it up/executed it.
(2014, Jan, 17) version3 Edit: Added Lunch scene. Decided I didn't like the complete omission and thought of a few key lines that deserved to be here at this time in the story.
version2 Edit: Changed the TEII! after opening the entrance door to a doorless entryway as shown in the Anime. My bad.
version X edits: thus far, 4 edits of this chapter due to tiny changes not otherwise mentioned.