Otoha is a student and vice-captain of the Kendo club at Meishu Academy who lost her arm in an incident some time before the start of the current events. She currently studies the occult at the expense of her social and academic life.
Hoshikawa Otoha (星川音羽)
Hair: Short, purple
Otoha is a high school student and the vice-captain of the Kendo club and has a small interest in the occult. She lives by herself in a dorm and has a distant, but still good relationship with her parents; she decided to become more independent and so refuses most help from her parents. Her childhood friend is Hoshino Himawari, who she calls “Mari.” She respects her seniors, especially Achika Matsuoka, but does not know her personally. Her family has a history with sword-based martial arts, and she owns an old sword passed down her family that she keeps on an altar in her dorm room. Quiet and non-aggressive, she does not normally take to other people and is an introvert. Due to this, she has few friends.
About a month back, she lost her arm in an incident that she could not understand, nor explain; her arm was completely and cleanly severed about two inches from her shoulder, and is still missing. She woke up a week after with a biotech prosthetic arm in place of her missing one, some help from her parents that she made clear she didn’t ask for, yet was still grateful regardless. Ever since then, she’s been obsessed with the occult and old legends, since she suspects that the incident was supernatural in nature. The only thing she does remember about the incident clearly was an overwhelming fear; fear so overpowering that she could not feel anything nor remember anything at the time. She’s currently suffering in her studies, due to her obsession, and has given up competitive Kendo due to the loss of her arm and its replacement with a biotech prosthesis.
Following the incident where she landed her captain in the hospital (Session 1), she has started to reconsider managing the Kendo Club. Currently, she has approached Usagi Mori with the help of Mari in order to find out the truth behind her prosthetic arm’s on-and-off monstrous strength. She has now (Session 2) found out that it was not her prosthetic arm that could have done that powerful blow, but her body itself; according to the strained parts of the arm, the damage was done by the actual muscles attached to the prosthesis. For some reason, her body itself transcended the limits of her prosthetic arm for that short moment. She has had her prosthetic arm replaced by Ms. Mori, and it now sports a dark grey scheme rather than the off-flesh look it had before, to more vividly remind her of the mystery that plagues her heart.
She desires nothing more than to find out what happened that night, and relentlessly pursues any leads, whether factual or rumored. However, all she really needs is closure, and she might not even get that from her investigations. If something comes to light that may be related to the incident, she oftentimes disregards anything else; her one-track mind puts her at odds with other people, and her relationships, friendly, familial or otherwise, suffer for it.
As an aside, she is actually one of a pair of twins, with her twin brother having passed on at around early elementary school. Naturally, she does not talk about this, and she was young enough that at this point it’s ancient history to her. Hardly anyone outside her family knows about this, and she has not told her best friend about it either, mostly because it would bring up some unnecessary drama. Her boyish looks are influenced by her brother as she remembers him, and she keeps her hair short as a result. Their names are alike, as she is Otoha (Sound, Wing), and her brother was Otoya (Sound, Arrow). The two underwent some form of genetic engineering before birth, and as a result have naturally purple hair and yellow eyes.
Story 1: Happiness and memories
Step, parry, strike…
The movements of the two competitors were swift.
Sidestep, block, thrust…
In the crowd, Hoshino Himawari watches as her friend, Hoshikawa Otoha, quickly deal with every movement of her opponent.
Block, parry, parry…
On the field, it seems as if Otoha’s movements are calm and calculated. However, this wasn’t the case. Rather, she was moving as if she was in a rush, relying entirely on instinct.
“Hacchin! Keep going! That’s one more point to go!”
Advance, strike, feint, parry…
Well, in fact, Otoha was truly in a hurry.
A vertical strike? Sidestep, and then, forward thrust.
And with that strike, the match was over. Otoha, in her rush, only gave the barest of acknowledgements and courtesy towards the match. After all, in the first place, she wasn’t even supposed to be competing today.
“Mari, what’s the latest update?” she said as she hurried out of the Kendo Club practice room with Himawari.
“I heard the freestyle portion is just about to start in a few minutes! We have to hurry!”
She had in fact set aside this day for something else; however, one of their senior members had sprained her arm recently, and Captain Natsuomi strong-armed Otoha into competing, since she was one of the best in the club. Of course, Otoha was sour the entire inter-school club meet, since she already had plans.
“Argh! If I miss this I’m going to have Michiko-sempai’s head!”
After all, she wouldn’t want to miss her own brother’s shining moment.
Otoha and Mari sat themselves on one of the free seats; Meishuu Gakuen, being such a prominent school, obviously has the luxury of an indoor pool. Because of its status, the pool is often used for competitions and the like. It just so happened that on the day of the Inter-school Kendo Club Meet, the preliminaries for regional competition in swimming was being held. Otoya, Otoha’s semi-identical twin brother, happens to be one of the best swimmers in the swim team, and was currently preparing for the freestyle portion, his specialty.
“Yacchan! Do your best!” “Oi, Mari! Pipe down, you might throw off his concentration!” Otoya looked in the direction of the two friends, and gave an acknowledging wave. Mari, ever the shining beacon of hope, cheered harder, while Otoha shrank back a bit after waving back at her brother.
Seeing her brother’s magnificent performance, Otoha decided to let Michiko-sempai off the hook today.
At a restaurant, popular as a hang-out for the youth of Shin-Edo, Otoha, Otoya, Mari, and Michiko were all having a celebratory dinner that night.
“Boy, thanks for calling me out here, Hoshikawa! The rest of the club was getting stuffy.”
“It’s nothing, sempai, I heard Otoha gave you quite a bit of hell today, and that’s partly my fault.”
“Nah, it’s no problem. After all, I dragged her into that ‘cause we were short on competitors, even though she told us that she was busy today.”
“Anyway, anyway, anyway! Enough of these apologies! We’re here to celebrate you getting past the preliminaries, Yacchan! And Hacchin’s light-speed victories a while ago were nothing to sneeze at either!”
“Yeah, Hoshikawa! Your sister’s a real piece o’ work right here! I keep telling her, she’s gonna head the club at this rate when I graduate next year!”
Otoha looked at everyone’s faces. Happy, laughing, chatting. She knows that moments like this should be cherished like everyone else is doing right now. But, she can’t shake this feeling; a feeling that something is wrong. She’s almost sure of it, but she doesn’t know what’s bugging her.
Otoya edged closer to her.
“Is there something wrong?”
“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
Of course, the look on his face said it all; he wasn’t convinced.
Otoha felt her hand being grasped by her brother’s.
It was a simple gesture, something you see everyday, between siblings, family members, lovers, friends. But to her, this was different. Ever since they were children, Otoya had always done this whenever she had doubts. Always, he would grasp her right hand with his left. Apart from their gender, the two also differed in their dominant sides: Otoha was right-handed while Otoya was left-handed. As such, it always felt natural for her to have Otoya at her right side, as if they were actually conjoined, connected, by their respective dominant hands. A reassurance that he would always be by her side, and that their hold on each other, their bonds, were at their strongest at all times.
Tears began to well up in her eyes.
“Hacchin?! Why’re you tearing up all of a sudden?!”
“Oi, Hoshikawa! What’d you do to your sister?!”
Otoha tried to wipe away her tears.
“I-it’s nothing, everyone. Otoya didn’t do anything. It’s alright.”
“But you aren’t stopping!”
“I’m fine, Mari. I can’t really explain it, but I’m just… happy right now.”
She tried to calm everyone down, but everyone just started fussing over her.
Before she knew it, it had already gotten late. Michiko had decided to walk home, since her family’s house was just a few minutes away, so Mari had called for a ride for herself and the twins.
Along the way, Otoha felt her eyes grow heavy. She was more tired than she had expected.
“I’m just gonna go to sleep for a bit. Wake me up when we get to the dorms.”
“Alright, I’ll do that.”
Otoha closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes to the darkness of her room. Staring straight at the ceiling, Otoha sighed.
She raised her right arm. Or at least, what was supposed to be her right arm.
“That dream again, huh…”
She stared at her prosthesis; in the darkness, it almost seemed pitch-black. It was practically new, though it had been some time since she had gone to Mori Biomechanical and had it replaced, with a new, dark grey finish.
“A nice arm… But it doesn’t have that same feeling.”
She stared at her right hand. It felt almost like a real hand, but something was… missing. She knew it deep down.
“’just happy…’ …is that right? This thing doesn’t even know the feeling of that gentle warmth, let alone remember his touch…”
She sighed again. She was letting the dreams get to her. But she knew what was at stake for her, and no matter what happened, she wouldn’t let go of that. She lowered her arm out of view, and, still staring up at the ceiling, closed her eyes.
“I had hoped to keep that memory forever… Otoya.”
Story 2: Every Day
Otoha opened her shoe locker. As expected, it had several letters in it.
“Every day, the same thing. Don’t they get tired of doing this?”
Otoha does not have very many friends. In fact, you could say that her only friends happen to be Himawari and her fellow Kendo Club members. However, this did not detract from the fact that she was fairly popular.
“Love letter, love letter, love letter, confession, confession, letter of challenge, love letter, confession…”
She flipped through each of the letters she had in her hand. Because of her skills and her androgynous charm, she often received love letters from female students. However, usually only half of the love letters she receives are from other girls; the other half come from boys. And these love letters that come from boys, are usually not addressed to her specifically, but usually come with a request to be the “cupid” for them, for a certain popular idol that she happens to be close to. Rarely would she get a love letter addressed to her coming from a boy, and she’s given up on hoping that the next love letter she gets wasn’t from a girl. Occasionally, she receives letters of challenge, and those, she ignores like the rest of them. After all, she already has a lot of other things cutting into her personal time, so she’d rather not humor some hothead with a bone to pick and something to prove.
“Alright, time to head to class.”
Putting on her shoes and straightening her red jacket, an old favorite of hers, she wrapped up the bundle of letters and stuffed them back in her locker; as much as she hates having to do so since it takes a lot of time, she has to at least turn down the guys gently. The challenge letters still remain ignored, and it’s not like girls are expecting an answer from another girl, so she assumes she can safely ignore them too.
As she walked down the hall, passing by and greeting her schoolmates, she entertains a single thought for but a moment.
Maybe tomorrow will be different.