TLNC Chapter 17: Violence is the Answer

Violence is the Answer

All that fooling around for the Computer Club’s robotics magazine set me back in writing for the light novel contest. When I joined the Light Novel Club, I had completed a third of the novel. However, with just two weeks remaining until the JNC Light Novel Writing Contest’s deadline, I’ve managed to write only half of it.

Under the soft afternoon light, in North High’s former literature club room, I was typing away loudly on my Model M keyboard. This urgency fuelled by the hopelessness of the looming deadline only lasted for an hour. Before long I was wasting my time reading a Yukio Mishima article on “Boiled Rice Nationalism,” instead of writing my novel.

Next to me, on the desk, were about twenty unsold copies of the Computer Club’s “Robotics Magazine.” They were handed to us to help sell them but that was a hopeless affair. I didn’t even want to say, “I told you so,” because it was my failure too in the end.

Asahina had to step down from the Computer Club presidency, that’s what she got for hoping for some kind of miracle from us, but what was she doing lounging in our club room right now? I had thought she would be blaming us for her failure.

Well, not like I minded her presence, I had already gotten used to it over the last few days of that “Making of Desire Island” film. The problem was Yamada being so annoyingly tense in her presence. He perspired unnaturally and looked shiftily from side to side as though he might get dragged out of the club room any moment for a summary execution out in the school’s backyard.

His source of fear, Asahina, did not have a look of defeat in her eyes but was just reading some manga she picked from the shelves here, with a lollipop in her mouth. She was banned from joining back her club. I do not know when she entered the room but she was already there in the club room with Izumi when I and Yamada entered after doing cleaning duties.

Yamada was shooting glances at me, expecting me to do something about Asahina’s presence. I tried to ignore his annoying distress signals as best as I could until he started pointing a laser light at my eyes.

I gave up on writing and tried to grab the laser out of his pudgy fingers despite his soft pleading: “It was Morse code! Morse code! An emergency SOS signal! Our club needs to be saved from this 3D demonic entity!” He was heaving and puffing but surprisingly strong despite being morbidly obese, and just would not let go of the laser light.

As this farce of an altercation carried on, Izumi had made herself one with the room’s furniture. She kept on reading a book without even questioning Asahina’s presence, or minding that a scuffle had broken out between two of her club members. Tanaka… was nowhere to be found when I glanced at his self-designated spot close to the CRT television.

Right then the club’s door loudly slid open, ending the idiotic tug-of-war between me and Yamada. I used this moment to pry the laser out of Yamada’s hands while he was distracted by the intruder’s appearance.

I was almost grateful to whoever was responsible for this rude intrusion into the club room until I noticed the look of hatred in the green eyes of the short girl who had just barged in uninvited and who now stood glaring at me from the doorway. Her look was vaguely familiar. It brought back memories which I’d have rather forgotten. I hadn’t been the subject of a girl’s total hatred like this since the second year of middle school when some classmates had teased a girl for having feelings for me but enough about that Dark History.

The short girl who had just barged into the club room uninvited had salmon-pink hair styled in twin tails, each tail having a drill-like shape. Frankly, they looked like some kind of dangerous weapon. I didn’t see how they allowed it at school but there she was wearing our school’s girl sailor uniform. My eyes moved back to her face, her eyebrows were angled downwards over her green-bluish eyes, and her mouth was in a frown shaped like an upside-down V.

Why weren’t there any sweet girls at my school? As tempting as it was, I didn’t give in to such thoughts for fear I would end up like Yamada with his laser light.

Behind the feisty-looking girl trailed a familiar short and scrawny boy. Tanaka’s redhead peeked from the side and uncharacteristically looked down in dismay.

The salmon-pink-haired intruder raised her hand and pointed her finger at me, like a detective pointing at a culprit before he exposed everyone’s truth. With her other hand, she held up a copy of the Computer Club’s Robotics Magazine Issue #1: Amour Mécanique, which was probably going to be the last issue as well. I gulped at that thought.

“Tell me! Were you the one who wrote this! Were you the one to write this rubbish!”

The statement was posed not so much as a question but as an accusation or even a threat.

“Yes, I wrote the Desire Island Story and I don’t suppose you are here for an autograph, chibi girl. If not then please get out. I have an actual novel to finish. Oh and stop bullying Tanaka, whom I assume is your brother, sorry Tanaka but your family resemblance to this annoying drill-haired thing is pissing me off.”

The girl was fuming in anger at my comment about her height, her hair, her resemblance to her brother or a combination of the above. I said what I did not because I believe in gratuitous insult, I don’t, but I do believe in responding to it in kind, and there is a difference.

I threw Yamada’s laser light in the trash and got back to my seat to ignore anything else she was going to say.

“Listen to me, you whiny, sanctimonious half-wit! Your novels are nothing but a validation of your neurosis. That’s what I came to say. You will never be a complete human being, so you should stop writing.”

I quickly closed the browser window where I was reading the Mishima article and got on with my writing. The girl’s tirade continued but I had no intention of replying to abuse, judging by my experience dealing with useless online arguments I could say from her reaction that I had already dealt more than enough damage to her psyche, or I should say she was doing it to herself. As if egged on by my sound of typing she continued.

“I have had enough of those halfway Otaku like you, who, while despising Otaku culture and Otaku tradition in word, cannot cut ties with the fountain of Otaku culture. Your entire Desire Island story was an ironic lark to justify your self-loathing, pissing in the fountain of Otaku while still unreservedly enjoying the water of life it gives you… Disgusting.”

I tapped away empty words at my keyboard, I had long learned that responding to such headcanon posts as hers was not going to work. Looking away shall be my only negation. I was a bit peeved though. Perhaps I will include a caricature of her in a novel I write, which is not at all petty, compared to her behaviour.

Asahina slammed her manga on the table making Yamada flinch.

“Take it back! Take what you said about Ishikawa’s story back… You don’t know how hard he and this club, and I, worked for it.”

That defence came from the girl who had intruded on our Club first, Asahina. When I got into the club this afternoon along with Yamada she was already here with Izumi. Had they talked about something?

“Oh, it’s you? I watched your stupid CD even though I had to get my dad’s CD player out of the closet in the storeroom. You were just playing around with him the whole time, and you call that hard work? You bitch! Why should I do what some gal like you says and go easy on some failed riajuu writer like him? It’s so obvious, you know, the way that he adds literary elements into the story in a submissive gesture towards more “serious” writers. That was not a story, it’s just a masturbatory parlour game of self-ridicule, but he doesn’t care that he’s also making fun of others. There is no pride in it-“

Izumi suddenly got up from her chair looking oblivious. She passed in front of the twin-drills-headed girl, interrupting her monologue, and walked across to the corner. Izumi picked two hard-backed Oxford English Dictionaries from the shelf, holding one in each of her hands, and looked expressionlessly towards the confused twin-drill girl who had not even bothered to introduce herself before starting her tirade. Was Izumi really just going to look up the meaning of some English word in this situation? I mean someone who loved books like her wouldn’t…

Yamada was the first to sense what was happening, perhaps his gynophobic senses having alerted him, he grabbed his things and literally hid himself under the table.

Izumi leisurely raised her hand and then pulled her arm backwards, and placed one foot diagonally behind the other like a baseball player about to pitch a ball. It was too late when recognition dawned on the twin-drill girl’s face. A dictionary as heavy as a brick landed right smack in the middle of her face, and before she could protest another volume hit her forehead. The girl was now down on her knees crying with one arm outstretched and the other covering her teary-eyed face. Izumi calmly turned back towards the shelf to grab more things to attack her target with.

I and Asahina quickly hurried to halt Izumi’s onslaught. I held back Izumi’s thin forearm as she prepared to throw a hard plastic video cassette box with sharp corners. Meanwhile, Asahina went to protect the crying twin-drill girl.

Izumi looked at me with silent eyes.

“Do you want me to stop?”


And with that, Izumi went back to her seat next to the windowsill to read an English romance novel calmly as if nothing had happened, she deftly picked up an Oxford dictionary on the way from the ground a few feet away from her victim, leaving me and Asahina to take the crying girl, away from the crime scene, to the infirmary. I wondered what excuse we were going to have to come up with.

The “Nurse” at our school was a young man who was far too friendly and talkative for my tastes. However, in this case, the Nurse’s carefree attitude played out in our favour. He had probably guessed that we were lying about Megumi, which was her name, but he decided not to pry, perhaps sensing there was more to the story or because he couldn’t be bothered. I told him Megumi slipped down the stairs close to our club room and our club had gone to her rescue. It may have been a bit too brazen of a re-interpretation of events but we were desperate to avoid blame. It turned out we worried for nothing.

Violence is the answer, or at least it turned out to be when it came to dealing with critics of my story.

As he dressed Megumi’s wound, the Nurse idly asked if there were any other members in our club. I told him about Izumi, Tanaka and Yamada. The nurse inquired whether Izumi, the club president, had also come to Megumi’s help and if so why she was not here… Asahina and I were too tongue-tied to give a response and shiftily glanced at each other. Thankfully for us, Megumi with dried tear marks on her eyes answered in a shaky voice.

“Y-yes, Yes!… I-Izumi-san was there too. She was of immense help.”

What was behind this sudden change of heart? A beating, of course, as administered by our club president Izumi Makoto. Despite the favourable results of her strategy, I decided to stick to my Buddhist way of abandoning the desire for approval from bad critics rather than beating them with books.

Thereafter Asahina and I lingered for a while longer to keep an eye on Megumi, to see if she would rat us out. She was as quiet as a mouse, and eventually, the Nurse ushered me and Asahina out into the corridor saying he would take care of our “friend.” Grade school and middle school were a constant battleground of shifting alliances and changing friend and enemy distinctions. I hoped that high school wouldn’t be a repeat of that childish behaviour.

Izumi’s contributions to the story-making progress were vital for its completion and Meguimi’s failure to grasp this had cost her… I did hope any other critics would not show up at our club room cause this could turn troublesome. I suppose Megumi did not realise that insulting that story would also mean insulting Izumi. Now she had learned that lesson the hard way. Not that there was a lesson in all this. It’s not like Izumi was some force of nature which couldn’t be reasoned with or a machine which couldn’t feel pity, remorse, or fear. No, if that was the case, she wouldn’t have stopped until Megumi was dead.

On our way back to the club from the infirmary, standing on top of the flight of stairs which led to the club room I questioned Asahina who was in front of me. I had avoided talking about this so far but Megumi’s angry rant loosened my mouth.

“Are you really fine with what happened with the Magazine? In the end, we weren’t able to succeed. “

I wanted to add “No, I mean, I failed.” but that would have reeked too much of self-pity.

Asahina who was at the top of the flight of stairs turned back towards me, brushing some chestnut-coloured hair off of her shoulder.

“Of course, I am not fine with it but I know that you pulled all the stops for me. The computer club itself was spared from being disbanded so I was able to take responsibility. It wasn’t a complete failure. In any case, I doubt that the student council’s President Takahashi ever intended to forgive me. They were furious that Okabe-sensei had ever given me a chance. Besides, I was able to bargain with Izumi to bring some newer computer equipment into the club room, so I’ll be able to continue my work from there, and this time I won’t make an obvious mistake like uploading it to the school’s servers.”

Bargained with Izumi? What could Izumi have asked in exchange for letting new tech be brought into her retro-tech Domain? Asahina’s total loyalty? Asahina’s soul? Asahina’s Virg-

As those pointless thoughts took root in my mind we reached the white club room door. Asahina knocked on the door. Tanaka’s voice let us in.

Something had been bothering me for at the back of my mind so I turned to Tanaka as I packed up my things.

“Why didn’t you come with us, even though she’s your sister?”

“She would have hated it if I was there”

“Oh. I see.”

I didn’t want to pry into family matters.

“I doubt that this will be the last that you’ll see of her.”

Izumi didn’t seem to react to this comment about Megumi’s possible reappearance.

Yamada kept on muttering: “3D Women Are NOT Real. 3D Women Are Not Real. 3D Women Are Not Real” to himself over and over again while pointing the laser light at his own eyes, perhaps it was another Morse code? To hypnotize himself?

I really didn’t want to know what dark history lay behind those words.

The Light Novel Club

The Light Novel Club

Status: Ongoing Author: Released: 2024
Ishikawa Isshin, a freshman at North High has decided to join his high school's Light Novel Club, hoping to get some inspiration and quiet, to work on his novel for a light novel writing contest. Unfortunately for Isshin, the club's non-talkative bibliophilic book girl and old-tech obsessed club president, Izumi, as well as other members of the school faculty are intent on getting in his way by dragging him off to participate in miscellaneous after-school club activities.  Will Isshin remain the reluctant member of the club and continue to regret his decision to have joined? Or will he come to love the club, and discover the true purpose of the Light Novel Club?  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


not work with dark mode