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Chapter 104 – Residents of the Rogues’ Den (Part 2)

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2578 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1216 words
Editor(s): Fire

I already had the inkling that Satoru wouldn’t be the only thrillseeker present. Ayaka and Ruru are here too, along with their stoppers, Ran and Nako. Another person is there, with her face obscured by a parka, but I recognize her as the songwriter Shirose. Her casual attire hasn’t changed at all.

“Yeah, I’m throwing in the towel.”
“Kotochan!? It’s far too early to surrender!” Isami cried.

Regardless of Isami’s protests, it’s now clear that tonight’s live performance won’t conclude without incident. I can’t predict what will occur, but I’m certain at least one of them will cause some trouble.

“Just think it through, Isami. Four thrillseekers against two stoppers. No matter how you look at it, this can’t end well.”

“…… Ughhh…” Isami’s response was a mere groan, indicative of her understanding of the grim situation.

The others seem ready to wave the white flag themselves. If things escalate, we’ll have no choice but to follow Satoru’s lead.

“I’m surprised to see you here, Shirose. I thought sunlight was your enemy?”

“Satoru dragged me here. Sunlight can go to hell. Long live the indoors!” she proclaimed.

In the past, I questioned if she was some kind of vampire. And why isn’t anyone commenting on how familiar I seem with her? Perhaps it’s due to the information about me circulating in the den?

“My thrillseeker friends, I have a request. I would be awfully grateful if you can restrain yourselves just this once.”

To my petition, the thrillseekers simply answered with wide grins. It’s giving me nothing but bad vibes. When they make this kind of face, they’re generally up to no good. However, they shouldn’t have had enough time to prepare this time. So there’s still hope that they can’t cause anything big.

“Umm, stoppers?”
“Nope,” they answered in unison.

I was rejected before I could say everything. I know I’m asking something unreasonable. But they didn’t have to interrupt before I could speak. That’s worse than an instant reply. I was hoping the difference in numbers could be overturned by Nako’s brute force.

“If it can stimulate Ruru’s writing, I’m content.”
“I’m okay with it if it provides any sort of inspiration for Ayaka,” they asserted.

In other words, they don’t plan on doing anything. These two managers are content with sacrifices if it’s for their benefit. They’re probably the ones who’ve changed the most since high school.

“Traitors,” I muttered.

They’re completely unfazed by my grumbling. Not even a tiny sign of being affected. However, I have faith in them. That if the thrillseekers go beyond a certain point, these two will actually stop them. Not that I think they can be stopped completely.

“I’ve been wondering, Satoru, how did you find out about this concert?”
“From the rogue’s den, obviously. Look, they’re in a frenzy,” Satoru revealed, showing his phone.

Isami and I peek at it, as I can’t access it on mine. I know the group password and could join if I wanted to, but not as Kotone. And after seeing it, I agree; they’re certainly in a wild state.

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Concert today, are you insane? There’s no way I can clear my schedule. I want to see you five perform. It’s mainly flooded with grievances and complaints.”

“And now, boom!” With that exclamation, a new comment popped up.

“I’m here. I really can’t understand how there are people who would miss such an interesting event like this.”

He blatantly provoked them, and Satoru’s comment was instantly lost amid the storm. What followed was a barrage of insults directed at Satoru. I pretended not to read them. Because I’d rather not read them out loud. Actually, don’t you guys have anything better to do?

“Even the caretakers have lost restraint. Incredible,” I remarked.

“I guess others really wanted to attend too. You guys were awfully determined to perform as EXIST with only the four of you, after all. And Shirose insists that any new member must meet her standards as well,” Satoru pointed out.

“If you can’t keep up, you can’t play my song,” Shirose responded, defiantly.

A lot of Shirose’s songs still require high technical skill outside of just being able to get along. I’m sure that Isami and the others had a few songs they just gave up on. Shirose’s casual delivery of compositions demanding such skill seems somewhat irresponsible to me, and I find myself siding with their frustration.

“On that point, I’m sure that Kotochan will be fine. Since the four of them accept her, she should be able to do what Souji can,” Satoru assured.
“But I’ve only been practicing the bass for less than a month,” I replied.

As to be expected, Shirose was startled by my words. She probably expected me to have more experience with instruments. True, I might have the knowledge from my previous experience. But Kotone’s actual experience is limited to playing instruments during music class. Though since she already has some musical intuition, it’s not going to be an issue.

“Eh? Will this be alright?” Shirose questioned.

“It’s fine, don’t worry. If it’s Kotochan, there’s no problem,” Isami confidently replied.

On what grounds are you so certain? Isami hasn’t even seen me play once. The most I’ve done was a little strumming for tuning. Even I’m feeling uncertain now. I wonder if I can keep up with them as I did in the past.

“On what basis?” I asked, seeking an explanation.

“Time to unveil the secret. Kotochan, what do you fear the most?”
“Master,” I replied without hesitation.

That’s something I don’t even need to ponder. Following Master, it would be my step-mom. I don’t know anyone else who you must absolutely avoid angering. Still, I’ve suffered their fury on more than one occasion, mostly thanks to Isami.

““I see.””

So quick to be convinced, these two really are insane as well. What kind of creative minds do they have that they immediately understand that it’s me just from that question? And why do they even believe it, elaborate. Also, the look in their eyes have changed. It’s returned to the way it was in the past now.

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“I was wondering how you knew so much about us, so that’s how it is.”
“Shocking. But paranormal phenomena can also serve as the answer. Ah, an epiphany.”

Shirose took out a notebook computer from her bag and immediately started her songwriting process. It’s a common sight back in the day. Still, are you guys really okay with that? Are you really just passing it as a paranormal phenomena like that’s normal?

“These guys really are weird in the head.”
“That’s nothing new.”

I’m admittedly pretty weird myself for agreeing with Isami. Afterwards, I had a feeling that they’re going to interrogate me with a rain of questions, so I escaped by announcing that the concert was about to start. It’s clear that we’ll be late if that occurs.

“You’re going to get caught later anyway, so I think it’s a wasted effort,” Shinpachi teased.

If that’s what you believe, Shinpachi, then you’ll have to assist me in escaping. Now, it’s time for the undoubtedly chaotic concert.


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