|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2540 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1175 words|
Though I say I’m preparing, my activity is limited to tuning my bass. This bass belonged to me in the past, and it appears Isami and the others took excellent care of it. There are no issues with it. Rather, my curiosity is piqued as to why they have it with them.
“Why did you have my bass? It seems quite well-maintained for an unexpected event like this.”
“It’s essentially a good luck charm for us. It’s always with us during our concerts and recordings.”
As if to say that there were originally 5 members, huh. I wouldn’t have really minded if you guys moved on and forgot about me, though. I would be sad, yeah, but it’s better than you never moving on.
“It’s okay to forget, you know.”
“I absolutely won’t.”
She said, firmly declining. Isami takes care of the vocals, so she has nothing to tune. The other equipment is handled by specialists. Why do they have a complete staff for a sudden minor concert?
“It’s my fault that Souji died, so I absolutely shouldn’t forget.”
It’s not even Isami’s fault. That was our coworker overstepping his bounds. Isami was entirely blameless. Her saying my name was just a gut reaction to the guy being such a pain to her. I don’t blame her at all.
“That was beyond your control, Isami. You have no reason to be so affected by it. I’m at peace knowing that I protected you, and while I do regret dying, you’re not at fault, okay?”
“I still don’t wanna.”
She’s drawing a firm line, huh. This is making me painfully aware of how vital I was in her life. We weren’t lovers, but our relationship resembled that of family. We lived our whole lives with each other, practically.
“C’mon, point it out already!”
Why isn’t anyone commenting on the strangeness of this conversation? I’m practically revealing as much as I can every time I speak. Why is no one questioning if I’m Souji? Normally, you’d think of it, though I know it’s a bit late for that.
“Is it okay to accept it?”
“Seriously, if Ayaka and Ruru realized the truth, then there’s no way you guys didn’t notice either. Especially you, Isami. You must have realized it.”
Think about how long we’ve been together. Those two first met me in high school. Isami, we’ve been together since infancy. Even step-mom and Master noticed it was me, so I trust Isami wasn’t an exception.
“And you guys, say something too.”
“We’re reading the mood. Don’t make me talk.”
Even if you say that, Shinpachi, I don’t believe you. Joking around whenever and wherever is your personality, isn’t it? Giving him a slightly disappointed look, he seemed quite annoyed, but Hajime and Toshizou held him down.
“In the first place, after dragging me into your affairs, how should I even react if you don’t accept that it’s me?”
“But Koto-chan, you’re a girl.”
“Don’t be so sensible all of a sudden!”
The three behind me just fell over. I didn’t anticipate that to be the reason she wouldn’t accept it. I assumed it was something more serious, like she’s still in denial of my death or something. I didn’t expect the difference in sex to be her talking point. Which is pretty important, yeah.
“I’m not foolish enough to deny that Souji died. That’s why I’ve decided to live on, never forgetting Souji’s death.”
“Even if you talk so gravely about it now, the somber mood is completely gone.”
If she had mentioned that a little sooner, the serious atmosphere might have lingered a bit longer. But the sudden dose of reality has made me feel foolish, and I can’t find anything sentimental about the situation now. Anyway, to put it simply, Isami is just as she always has been.
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“Enough about this. So, what about the songs? I’ve looked over your songs, just in case, so I can actually play some of them.”
Let’s halt the discussion about me for now. The real concern is the concert we’re performing tonight. There’s still a fair amount of time before it starts, but it would be unwise if we don’t decide on the setlist.
“Since we’re all gathered here, let’s try something different than usual. Maybe something we played during high school or tunes Shirose wrote.”
“Your band’s image will be ruined.”
The songs are enjoyable, certainly, but most of them are outrageous gag songs. Shirose, the one responsible for songwriting, continues to supply songs for EXIST. She’s an absolute genius, but 80% of the music she offers can’t be taken seriously.
“W-Well, you know? We’ll just choose carefully…”
“That chaos box is still getting filled even now.”
Hajime’s words bring back dreadful memories. Since they were provided for free, we practiced playing her songs, despite their terrible lyrics. Nonetheless, thanks to Shirose’s craft, the songs were highly refined but with no regard for those performing them.
“But don’t you feel like singing those songs sometimes? Like the Headmaster’s Song.”
“People will collapse when you start singing.”
That was the song we performed at graduation, and it’s by far the most flamboyant. It begins with a tranquil and beautiful prelude, but when the singing begins, it changes into a piano solo that sounds like a nursery rhyme. I recall more than half the audience falling over.
“If it’s a duet with Koto-chan and not a solo, it’ll be fine.”
“Explain why it would be fine. I absolutely don’t want to sing those mortifying lyrics.”
The lyrics are something a child might sing, and hearing them from Isami, who has a beautiful voice, is jarring. And why should I sing too? My reputation would crumble in an instant.
“Yui! May I have a pen and paper?”
I must keep these people in check. Otherwise, the concert will end up with some bizarre songs. This whole back-and-forth is a blast from the past. Since it used to be like this, I always had to guide things in one direction or another.
“I don’t plan on performing for too long, so ten songs should suffice. We’ll start mellow and then gradually increase the excitement.”
“That doesn’t sound fun. But yes, we probably can’t go on for long. We just had a concert, after all.”
“I’ve been on my feet all afternoon, so I’m tired as well. Let’s limit it to an hour at most.”
Singing while performing consumes an unexpected amount of energy and concentration. Since we’re doing this, I’d like to have at least one duet with Isami. I believe my singing used to be decent, but I’m concerned that I might not hit the right notes with Kotone’s body.
“How about including Meal-side Bread’s Thema in the middle?”
“Are you crazy? That won’t just dampen the energy; it’ll alienate everyone. We’re the oddballs for even being able to play that, though.”