Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Volume 3 Chapter 5

Just over half-way point!

In case anyone was checking the status update (or if you went back to read the previous parts), you’d know that I’ve changed all of Amaniji-senpai’s pronouns in speech to third person. This change was made because Amaniji-senpai refers to herself as 私くん (watashi-kun), which translated literally means me-kun. I originally decided to ignore it, based on two reasons:

  1. That I thought that it wasn’t important in the overall scheme of things
  2. Since LP in his teaser didn’t translate it out either

However, by reading this chapter, you’d know that it actually is relevant, and so I’ve went back and changed the previous chapters to reflect Amaniji-senpai’s unique speech pattern. In this chapter, there are only two instances where this isn’t the case:

“Hehe, aren’t you kind, Yuu-chan? Still, if Yuu-chan’s curious, we’ll talk about it. Since Yuu-chan will most likely be listening seriously to my story.”

“At first, I didn’t understand it’s significance. But then, I realised it right away. That I was a worthless human being with no personality – that I was a normal child who wasn’t special – that it was something bad.

All other instances are fair game, please feel free to point them out. Please also free feel to post corrections to any weird grammatical errors.

Incidentally, while it’ll probably still be around 6 months away,

IMG_20180207_223039274.jpg

Take that, anime-only status-desu!

there’s this in chapter 7.

Also, lmao at some of the sites that ‘host’ this translation. You’d think they’d, at the very least, remove my comments at the top.

Next update’s probably in 3 months time.


Chapter 5: Princess☆Ashes

The first thing we did after all the members of the club have gathered was to introduce ourselves once again.

Currently, we were all gathered around the reception table. Four of us were seated on the sofa – Rikka, who was to my left; Shichimiya, who was in front of Rikka; Kumin-senpai (she woke up quickly), who was in front of me; and me.And, standing in front of the principal’s desk, giving off the impression that she was both the president of the club and the chairperson of the meeting, was Amaniji-senpai.

“First things first. Yuu-chan, DevTru Rikka-chan, Sofia-chan – for agreeing to helping out with the play, we really appreciate it. Seriously, thanks so much,” said Amaniji-senpai gently as she bowed her head deeply.

Her body was completely perpendicular. From that posture, you could tell that she was being really sincere.

I’ve already seen it many times before, but it truly was an elegant prayer.
It gave off the impression that she wasn’t allowed to raise her head. However, Amaniji-senpai did eventually return her posture back to normal.
Her returning her posture back to normal also felt like a very refined action.
Then, she flashed a smile in our direction.

“And, although it shames us, we don’t have anything prepared for the two of you as compensation for helping out. As a result, what we’ll do instead for thanks, DevTru Rikka-chan and Sofia-chan, is to do any one thing that you would like for us to do for you. Is that okay?”

“Nyahaha, there’s no need for you to thank me at all.”

Embarrassed, Shichimiya was waving her hands back and forth to decline Amaniji-senpai’s offer.

“Anything?”

In contrast, Rikka replied energetically, sounding out the offer.

As expected, there was no hesitation at all from Rikka when it comes to imposing sudden contracts.

Well, there shouldn’t be a problem, since Amaniji-senpai was the one offering.

“Yeah, anything you want! Oh, but the request can’t be for anything normal! Let’s see, for example… you could ask to become a pâtissier, or something like that!”

…Rather than a request, that’s just a dream for the future…

If you were able to make wishes like that come true. then I’d like to become a samurai, or something like that.

Yeah, my way of thinking was a bit chuuni-ish, if I may say so myself.
“Understood – cannot be normal. Thinking.”

“Yeah, think about it! Oh, right, if Sofia-chan refrains from requesting anything, then you’ll be able to request for three things! For the time being, consider us as the genie of your magic lamp!”

“A lamp’s…!? Can you read my mind!?”

“Hehe, yep, we can read it~. You’re thinking about… Togashi Yumeha!”

“Don’t suddenly pretend to be Akinator[1]!”

Moreover, how did you know what my sister’s full name was!? There definitely wasn’t a reason for Amaniji-senpai to know her full name…

Is she the real Akinator!?

“Well, for whatever it is that the three of you have decided on, leave it to us! Now that that’s settled, it’s time for us to hand over the script for the play!”

It seems that Amaniji-senpai had prepared the scripts well in advance, as the three of us each had a script to ourselves.

Kumin-senpai also seemed to have her own script as well, as she pulled a copy of it out from her bag.

Moving my gaze towards the title of the script that was given to me, I saw the words ‘Princess☆Ashes’ printed in a sans-serif typeface.

When I turned the cover page over, the role list for this play was printed.

The number of roles – there were exactly 5.

In the space next to leading role, ‘Cinderella’, to show who was casted – it was blank.

Blank – or to be more precise, it was erased.

It seemed like a correction pen was used to erase what used to be there.

The next entries on the list were ‘Prince’, ‘Lord of Witches’, ‘Emperor’, and ‘Queen’.

Like with the main role, there were traces of correction fluid in the space where the cast member’s name was supposed to be.

…This script, weren’t there way too many things for me to retort about?

Princess Ashes – I assumed that we were doing Cinderella, since the Japanese translation of Cinderella is ‘Ash Covered Princess’, but aside from the leading role the play was nothing like Cinderella at all.

More precisely, the only common elements were the royals!

Briefly skimming over the script, it seemed that there were seven lithographs to collect, and that instead of a ball, there was a martial arts tournament to attend… Crap, the script’s so weird that I’ve started sweating.

“Hmm, the leading role is super cool!”

“Nyahaha, the ‘Lord of Witches’ role seems to suit me well!”

“Rikka-chan and Satone-chan seem to be fine playing any role, so there might not be a need for me to have any screen time~.”

Unlike me, Rikka and Shichimiya seemed to enjoy how nonsensical the script was. In addition, for some reason, Kumin-senpai also joined in on their conversation. It seems that the three of them were getting along well…

After seeing our reactions, Amaniji-senpai told us the name of the story that the script was based on.

“Right, so; but we’re sure you have already figured it out after looking at the script. That’s right, it’s Cinderella.”

“No no, what part of this is Cinderella-like!?”

“We’ll be charging you for that ordinary response.”

“You’re pressing me for money!?”

“Still, Yuu-chan’s right. We’ve added quite a bit to the original story, since doing a ‘standard’ version of Cinderella would be way too boring!”

“……” “……” “……”

Nobody retorted – normally I’d be raising one, but it seems that I’ve been prohibited from voicing any.

In addition, there’s also a fee to retort now.

“We-well then! First of all, let’s start with the casting; if no one has any particular role in mind, then are you guys fine with letting us decide?”

Shifting her gaze away from us, Amaniji-senpai asked for our approval.

There didn’t seem to be any objections from Rikka and Shichimiya – rather, they seemed to be nodding along in agreement.

I mean, it’s not like I had any objections to Amaniji-senpai deciding on the cast either, so I also nodded along in agreement.

“Thanks for agreeing, everyone! We really didn’t expect my request to go that smoothly. Having no objections sometimes can be nice. In that case, for the role of Cinderella – DevTru Rikka-chan, play that role for me please!”

Amaniji-senpai pointed her hand towards Rikka.

I was struck by how charming she looked with her palm intentionally upturned, but –

“Um, normally, shouldn’t Amaniji-senpai or Kumin-senpai be taking the leading role…?”

I was a bit reserved in voicing my objection to how extremely unexpected the casting was.

I thought that I wouldn’t have any objections, but it seemed that I was just being swayed along by the mood. I mean, wasn’t this going to be their last play…?

“It’s fine, it’s fine! Doing things like this makes it even less normal, so it’s fine. Besides, we were planning on offering DevTru Rikka-chan the lead role anyway, so there’s no problem at all. But with that in mind, guess you could say that casting her as Cinderella was the normal thing to do. How extremely disappointing.”

“Well… if that’s the only part you are depressed about… what about your thoughts, Rikka?”

It didn’t seem like she had any objections, but all the same I should double-check with her just in case.

“Please leave it to me! Jet Black Cinderella – I recall that she too was once a wielder of the Devilish Truth Stare, so this role is perfect for me.”

“No no! Even if your hand is on your chest and you’re full of self-confidence with your reply, you’re not going to overturn the already established image of Cinderella, okay!?”

“I’m doing no such thing. Jet Black Cinderella is a super strong image.”

“…Sure, that image does feel a bit strong, but: Cinderella never had an image like that!”

Then again, now that you mention it – just by sticking Jet Black to the name, it gives the feeling that she wouldn’t have dropped the glass slipper, nor would she have been bullied.

In fact, she seems to be stronger than her older sister. Then again, there’s no ‘older sister’ role in this play.

“Ahaha, so you’re fine with that?  Since DevTru Rikka-chan agreed to it as well, then the cast member for Cinderella has been decided on! Good luck!”

Losing interest in my response, Amaniji-senpai announced that the casting for the role had been decided upon.

Well, then again, this was the outcome that both Amaniji-senpai and Rikka wanted, so there isn’t anything more for me to say…

More importantly.

Why are situations like these the only time that Rikka’s ‘shyness’ attribute doesn’t get invoked – I’m curious.

“Now then, onto the next role! The Lord of Witches! Please play this role, Sofia-chan! Although it’s regrettably normal to casting you as the Lord of Witches, you simply fit the image of the role all too perfectly.”

“Nyahaha, entrust this to me! I’m the Magical Demon Duchess, or the Demonic Sorceress[2] for short! As someone who has surpassed being a mere witch, this role is perfect for me!”

“……”

Although Shichimiya stated, with a self-satisfied smile, that it was a great thing for her to be cast in such a role, with her appearing more lively than usual, it honestly didn’t really feel like something all that impressive…

Then again, it’s not like I had any particular objections here either.

There was nothing for me to criticise, as I too also thought that Shichimiya was perfect for the role.

As for the rest of the roles –

“Then, in that case, we will be playing Emperor and Kumin will be playing the Queen.”

“’Kaaay. Since my role didn’t change, I’m fine with it~.”

“Yep, the roles for us two are the same as before! Finally, since Yuu-chan’s the only person remaining, he’ll be playing as the Prince!”

I had the feeling something like this was going to happen…

Even though I thought that I was going to be cast as some minor role like the background tree, or something like that.

Although I didn’t plan on raising any objections, this was something that I had to contest.

“Um, I’m not sure if I’m suitable for such a prominent role like that… shouldn’t you or Kumin-senpai should take this role instead so you can have a more active part in the play…!?”

“No no, Yuu-chan. Rest assured, the Prince role is actually the smallest role in the play.”

“Ah… is that so?”

It seemed that I was the only one who made the mistake of thinking that it was a prominent role.

How embarrassing… my face’s bright red!

And then.

“Arc-san! Since the role of ‘Prince’ is normal, I request that we add an additional setting to it called ‘Dark Flame Master’!”

Without warning, Rikka raised her hand up and voiced a completely unrelated proposal.

Although she usually doesn’t do that sort of thing… why now!?

Moverover, even if my role was said to be a minor one, it wasn’t something that should make you so dissatisfied to the point where your checks were swollen…  Besides, it would be extremely embarrassing for me if we added that novel setting to my role, as it would essentially expose my past to the entire school…!

All of my nerves were getting frayed…

“Eh!? Nor, normal…? And, well, the, err, Dark Flame Master…? Hmm… well, true, we too did think that the ‘Prince’ role, which was mundanely neither good nor bad, was a bit lacking in terms of character traits, but even so we thought that a prince that was generic, commonplace, and ordinary would be…”

“Isn’t a prince that’s completely generic and ordinary be a bit too unappealing!? Is that even a prince anymore!?”

It seemed that everything normal was crammed into this prince.

“Togashi-kun’s doesn’t have much of a presence, does he?” was what someone had said of the elementary school me!

Those words really depressed me… if I never had heard those shocking words, then perhaps I may have never been inflected by chuunibyou…

“We see, we see… it’s true that there isn’t really a need for the prince to be normal. A prince that appears to be number one in normalness is no good at all! As such, let’s adopt DevTru Rikka-chan’s, the leading actress’, idea!”

“It’s already been decided on!?”

“Yep, it’s been decided. A vote for amusingness! Besides, it’s only the prince role, so whatever,” said Amaniji-senapi as she loosened her expression.

However, it seemed that she wasn’t pleased about the change as her voice was a bit sharp – her words made me feel a bit guilty.

‘A reluctance to make modifications to the script’ was the impression I was getting from her.

‘Since we had no time, it’s only natural to not want any changes to the final manuscript.’ With the exception of that, the rest of my feelings of guilt are probably just from me reading into things too much.

That was the sort of half-hearted reply she gave.

“I did it, Yuuta! The Dark Flame Master shall finally descend into the world!”

“…Ah, yes, right.”

Next to the delighted Rikka, I was unsure over whether the change was okay.

Since Amaniji-senpai was the one asking us for help, it’s possible that she was finding it hard to voice her objections. What should I do?

While I was worrying over what to do alone, Amaniji-senpai began talking once again. This time, her words were so clear that it seemed her sharp tone from before were a lie.

“Right, so now the cast is settled! Now then –”

“Hideri-chan, are you not going to talk about that~?”

The person who reacted to Amaniji-senpai’s words was Kumin-senpai.

“Ah, right! Thanks, Kumin!”

As she said that, Amaniji-senpai made a daring smile, and then continued:

“This play, it’s going to be performed as a guerrilla play!”

It felt like she was giving off a manga-like “D~ON!!!” expression as she said that.

Her hands were on her hip too.

It was as if she had just announced something important.

“Nononononononononono”

I said “no” so many times that I didn’t even know how many times I said “no”.

It was such a bombshell of an announcement that it made me spring up from my seat.

“Isn’t something like that prohibited by the school!?”

“Naturally, the student council didn’t approve this!”

“Why are you proud about that!?”

“Don’t you think that it’d be too boring the play was scheduled in the programme as per normal? …But, well, that’s just this upperclassman’s opinion.”

“Not at all, and I’m sure that the student council will be mad at us about this once they find out…”

“They can be mad then. It’s not like the rules are being ignored. The five of us will just think about how to act in accordance with the rules next time. But, then again, there is no next time.”

“……”

“’Within the rules but outside of the norm’, that’s the tagline! What does everyone think?”

In response to Amaniji-senpai’s query, Shichimiya replied with, “The Cultural Festival is a war! Surprise tactics are valid!” Rikka then added, “We need to think of a title for this operation!” Kumin-senpai also chimed in, saying with a gentle smile, “This seems interesting~.”

Aside from me, everyone else was in high spirits.

…Huh, am I the weird one…?

Everyone being unified created such a misapprehension for me.

Without a doubt, surely, probably, I’m the normal one, but…

However, as a result of the flow of events, I had no choice but to be silent.

“In other words, it’s been agreed to! Now, regarding practice, it’ll commence tomorrow. The meeting place will be here in the principal’s office, after school tomorrow, okay? Right, so the first club meeting of the ‘Eccentric Drama Club’ has now come to a close. Good work today! Look over the script when you get home, alright?”

As she announced the end of the meeting, Amaniji-senpai slapped her hands together to signal our dissolution.

We parted ways with our upperclassmen at the principal’s office, and we returned to the fourth floor, where the first-year classrooms are – we were in front of the homeroom for class 1-2.

Since I only planned on telling Amaniji-senpai that we could help out, I left my bag in the classroom, and so we had to return so I could pick it up.

Since our meeting finished so soon, we had quite a bit of time before school closed for the today.

It seemed that all the classes were preparing for the cultural festival, as all the first-year classrooms looked quite busy.

The voices of people practicing either a song or a play.

The light-hearted chat between people preparing for their class’ program.

These sounds were flying at me from all directions.

My classroom was busy as well – the boys were hard at work preparing the stage for the dance.

Seeing how the girls were absent, it’s likely that they have borrowed another larger classroom somewhere else for practice.

“Rikka, what are you going to do? Are you going to go to the dance rehearsals?”

“Yeah, I am. Although my dance is perfect, I’ll go since everyone else is working so hard.”

Ooooh. Such were the words from Rikka’s mouth.

It’s surprising to say that it was surprising, but for her to be able to say those unexpected words.

Rikka’s also diligently participating – she’s changing.

“I see. In that case, work hard! Shichimiya, what are you going to do?”

“Hm? I don’t really have anything planned for today – ah, since I’m free, maybe I’ll go tag along with Rikka-chan. I want to go play with Mori-sama!”, said Shichimiya while smiling.

It was a mischievous kind of smile.

“She’ll be angry if you disturb her too much, so please keep it in moderation…”

“Oh, Hero, I wouldn’t do something like that. I won’t be a nuisance – I’m simply going to dance along with her! By the way, Hero, what are you going to do?”

“I’m –”

Although it would have been better for me to remain in the classroom and help in preparing the stage for the dance, I was a bit worried.

The source of my worries – that sharp negative tone from before.

In addition, there was also the matter about the guerrilla nature of our play. Personally, I didn’t think it was good for us to trouble others like this, and it seemed that now would be the only time for me to prevent it from happening.

There was without a doubt some merit in talking about it once, at the very least.

“Hmm… let’s see. Just then, Amaniji-senpai was thinking about adding the ‘Dark Flame Master’ setting into the play, but in the end, it’s still my role… so I guess I’ll head back and talk with her about it a bit more.”

“Nyahaha, that’s right, it’s Hero’s original form after all. It has to be explained properly, right?”

“Indeed, it needs to be reported as soon as possible.”

“Oh. In that case, let me know when you two are done. We’ll go home together.”

Then –

After parting ways with Rikka and Shichimiya, I was back in the principal’s office.

Not even 10 minutes had passed since I was last here, as we had only recently parted ways from here. Even so, there was still the chance that Amaniji-senpai had already left for home.

And, as I started thinking about heading back to the classroom to lend a hand in preparing the stage for the dance, I once again knocked on the door of the principal’s office and entered quietly.

“Huh, Yuu-chan, what’s the matter? Forgot something?”

“Wait, why are you sitting over there as if it was the natural thing to do…!?”

Sitting imposingly in the chair that seemed to be for the principal’s exclusive use was Amanij-senpai, who, upon seeing my face when I entered the room, looked a bit surprised.

I’m the one who should be surprised here.

“…Ah, umm, rather than something I’ve forget, it’s more like there’s something I’m a bit concerned about. Err… where’s Kumin-senpai?”

“Something you’re concerned about? As for Kumin, she’s already gone home to sleep. Did you need her for something?”

“No, that’s not the case. You’re the one that I have some business with. Is now fine?”

“With us? Yeah, now’s fine. We were only just adjusting the script a bit. Take a seat, Yuu-chan.”

Getting up from the chair, Amaniji-senpai moved to the sofa near the reception table.

As she moved, she pulled out two cups and a teapot from somewhere out that appeared to be the principal’s desk, and carried them over.

…The principal’s desk contained another dimension.

Furthermore, it seemed that the said dimension was cold.

Although I was curious about the desk’s structure, I too took a sit on the sofa, sitting in such a way that I was face-to-face with Amaniji-senpai.

“Once more, we’d like to say our thanks to you, Yuu-chan. Okay?”, said Amaniji-senpai delightfully as she poured tea into the cups for the two of us.

“DevTru Rikka-chan and Sofia-chan – for bringing those two wonderful girls here, seriously, thanks so much. Of course, we’re also thankful to you for agreeing to help out as well.”

As she said that with a friendly smile, she placed one of the cups of tea in front of me.

“Rather than thanking me, please go and thank the people themselves. As for me, I’m more like a freebie thrown in with Rikka.”

Yeah, we were thinking of giving our thanks to those two once again. Nevertheless, the fact that everyone was willing to help someone as eccentric as us makes us really happy.”

“Even you think of yourself as eccentric…”

Well, rather than eccentric, I get the impression that it’d be more accurate to call you a reckless person.

“Ahahaha, but, well, it’s not like this eccentricity is just for show,” stressed Amaniji-senpai, earnestly.

For me, those words felt very worrying – it may have been due to the fact that everything that isn’t ‘normal’ appealed to Amaniji-senpai, but even so, her words felt rather dark.

Rather than dark, perhaps I should be saying that there was something hidden within her words.

That her words hid another meaning.

As such – I was worried.

“……”

I hesitated for a moment over whether it was appropriate for me to continue on with the conversation.

However, that hesitation was overwhelmed by my strong feeling of anxiety.

I’ll keep listening – if it were the case that it was something she didn’t want to talk about, it would be fine for us to just leave things at that. As such, I decided to continue the conversation for just a bit longer.

“…Amaniji-senpai, have you always been like this?”

“Hm? Always?”

“Umm, like from when you were small… I get the impression that you’ve always been an eccentric person.”

“Yep! That’s right!”

She answered me extremely casually.

Maybe that feeling from before was just my imagination…

“Well, various things did happen though,” said Amaniji-senpai as she lowered her gaze. She kept her eyes averted for a while.

This time, those words – it wasn’t just my imagination, there definitely was something hidden within those words.

“Was it not the same for you, Yuu-chan?”

Amaniji-senpai turned to me with a face that was that was completely lacking in vigour.

Her words sounded frail.

“What do you mean by that?”

“The desire to be more special than anyone else.”

“The desire to be special…”

“Ah, was this the thing that Yuu-chan was talking about, the thing that you’re worrying about?”

“Er, well…”

Uhh… I was at a loss as to what to say.

I didn’t know where to place my gaze, as I wasn’t sure how I should reply, and so I defaulted to hanging my head.

To be honest, I was planning on talking about something else. Then again, I was very curious about Amaniji-senpai’s personality. Rather, perhaps it’d be more accurate to say that it’s been on my mind for a while now.

The uniquely distinctive rainbow upperclassman – how she became like this, her circumstances.

On the topic of her personality, it also seemed to remind me of that.

I wonder if Amaniji-senpai was also ill with it as well – or something similar.

Still, as you’d expect, “Amaniji-senpai seems a bit chuunibyou-ish!” was not something that I could say to her.

“Ahaha, but it’s not a very pleasant story though. See, it’s not a story we’re sure you’d be interested in, since it’s the sort that people don’t know how to react to.”

“Wow… I wasn’t expecting that the reason behind that desire was due to that sort of thing, but…”

“Hehe, aren’t you kind, Yuu-chan? Still, if Yuu-chan’s curious, we’ll talk about it. Since Yuu-chan will most likely be listening seriously to my story.”

“……”

“We’re sure that you’ll believe our story. Despite the fact that the two of us have only been acquainted for a short period of time. You’re the strange boy who didn’t mind our trespassing into your room after all.”

“No, that’s…”

“To be honest, we’ve been pleased with you ever since that time, Yuu-chan. Ordinary people won’t even hear us out. Moreover, you’ve been listening to our weird story even now.”

“…When you put things like that, on the contrary it makes it harder for me to ask about it.”

“Really? In that case, we’ll willingly tell you about it!”

“You’re weird enough to be an Amanojaku[3], seriously!”

Honestly, I’m not sure if she’s hard or easy to deal with.

On one hand, she’s declared that she can’t do anything normally. On the other, it’s admirable how frank she is in carrying out her words.

Still, in that sense – she’s exactly what you’d expect.

“Nevertheless, it’s a bit hard to talk about that here… it seems that the principal is about to return as well, so how about the two of us change locations?”

Following our conversation, I was brought to Amaniji-senpai’s room.

Her room – it wasn’t some sort of special room that was within the school grounds. Rather, as you’d normally expect, it was a room outside of the school campus; a room that was part of her lodgings.

However, it was only a three-minute walk away from the school gates.

She lived a section of the third storey of a low-rise condo located behind the school. I didn’t really associate it as being outside school grounds, since in my head the image of being outside the school grounds was linked with the need to commute very far.

It was shorter to walk from the school to here than to walk from one end of the school to the other.

Furthermore, if you left from the back gate, commuting wouldn’t even take a minute, making this an ideal place for going to school in the morning.

To think that she was able to prostrate herself in a place that’s essentially her neighbourhood: the strength of her mind is astonishing. Naturally, I mean that in as a compliment.

Amaniji-senpai’s home, unlike Rikka’s apartment, looked very lived-in.

There were flowers (I have no idea what type of flowers they were) in a vase on top of the shoe shelf in the entryway, and the hallway was clean to the point where it seemed that someone had just swept it.

It was strange as to why the living room gave off the impression of a mother saying, “welcome home”, as it was just the two of us in the condo. It seemed that everyone else who was living here was out working.

Following Amaniji-senpai’s lead, I entered her room.

It’s not like I had a hobby of evaluating other people’s rooms, but if I had to give my opinion of her room – bland.

It was a clean and tidy room.

Since it was this strange upperclassman, I was under the impression that her room would be some strange jack-in-the-box, so I was disappointed by, what I guess you could call, her unexpected room.

However, there were a lot of rainbowed-coloured trinkets in her traditional Japanese tatami mat room, which did feel strange.

On the topic of strange things that I’ve noticed, how many pictures of rainbows did she have decorating her room? Also catching my eye was the book with the rainbow-coloured book cover on her bookshelf.

I mean, what can I say, I really love rainbows – that was what her room was telling me.

“What are your thoughts on the room?”

“Eh?”

Since it was such an abrupt question by Amaniji-senpai, I was rather discourteous and had her ask the question again. However, it seemed that Amaniji-senpai didn’t particularly mind as she asked the question again.

“Our room, what’s Yuu-chan’s impression of it?”

“Err… Let’s see, it’s unexpectedly normal?”

Even though I was the one who said it, but unexpectedly normal? Why did I say that?

Unexpectedly normal – that phrase contained a word that didn’t apply to Amaniji-senpai, a word that the differently didn’t fit.

Although the word ‘unexpectedly’ is a compliment for Amaniji-senpai, its connotation probably changed since it was attached to ‘normal’.

“Yeah, it’s surprisingly normal, right?”

Amanji-senpai appeared satisfied with my reply.

“We’re just, unfortunately, an unexpectedly normal person.”

“That’s not true, I’ve seen just how eccentric you are. It’s a bit unreasonable and unjustified to conclude that you’re not just based your room…”

“Ahaha, that certainly may be true. However, in our opinion, a person’s room is reflective of who they are, and taking a peek into another person’s room is the single best way of understanding their true personality. Their bookshelf, their clothes, their accessories: wouldn’t you say that they give a good outline of what the person likes? It’s both beautiful and dirty. You can also generally tell when a room’s hiding a secret as well.”

“I see…”

“We were going to keep silent, but to be frank, when we was in observing your room Yuu-chan, we were also trying to find the true self that you’ve hidden – not!”

“Now, now, for the time being, take a seat, kay?”, said Amaniji-senpai as she took a cushion out for herself to sit on. I too also borrowed a cushion and sat down.

“Moving to a simple place like this: well, this was the reason why.”

“You mean you wanted for me to see this room?”

“That’s right. It was easier if you saw it. Our – or as you would say, the “true nature of unexpectedly normal person”. And, emphasis on the word ‘normal’.”

The word that Amaniji-senpai made sure to emphasise shocked me.

Somehow, my impression of her was of a person who would never say words like that in earnest.

It was surprising, among other things, that she’d call herself normal; it was so strange to the point that it felt abnormal. It was a word that differently didn’t fit Amaniji-senpai.

The shock to me was so big that I couldn’t even respond. A short period of silence followed.

But then, as if to break that silence,

“We want to ask you a little something… Yuu-chan, you said that you’re “normal”, right?”, said Amaniji senpai.

“It’s better if you didn’t say those words. To not say things like, “you’re normal”. In our opinion, see, it’s not a word that’s very positive.

“That’s right, words like ‘normal’, generally, aren’t compliments at all. Even so, it seemed that we were normal. Normal: to phrase it in another way, ‘not special’.

“Viewing us from afar, we were someone who wasn’t special at all, someone who had no personality whatsoever: we were simply Girl A.

“Aha, that’s a fierce retort from you, Yuu-chan. However, Yuu-chan, haven’t you also thought of yourself like that before?

“That you were someone who was ‘more special than anyone else’.

“Was it the same for Yuu-chan as well? We see. You understand what we’re talking about.

“Still, it was different for us. Although we did think all that of myself – we didn’t have anything that we could call special, and from a distance we could only be seen as someone who was personality-less. We were the very essence of ‘normal’.

“That’s not the case? Ahaha, thanks. That may be the case now. Yeah – only now.

“In the beginning, we wanted to be “a special person” in a much simpler way. We just wanted to be thought of as special.

“By our parents.

“Don’t make such a gloomy face. It’s not that big of a story. It’s pretty common. It’s just the story of my father’s affair.

“Eh? It’s not a common story?

“We, well, that’s just how it was to me. At the time, I thought it was pretty common. My father left us, so we thought that us and our mother weren’t someone special to our father.

“Now that I think about it – this story of ours. You could say that it’s the cause of making us the person we are today.

“We were wrong as a kid, thinking that we didn’t have anything special. We may have thought like that at that time due to viewing ourselves as someone who wasn’t special.

“Then again, even if someone like that didn’t happen, we’re certain that we would have eventually ended up being the same eccentric person that we are today.

“Wouldn’t you agree? We mean, it’s us after all, right?

“Ahaha. Anyway, so – from that day onwards, we tried to become someone special.

“After deciding that, we thought to ourselves: what did it mean to be someone special? The result – we had to be someone who was absolutely different from every other person.

“To live as a special and unique person.

“However, we were told something. Right after our parents divorced. Back when we were in the first year of middle school. By my teacher. On that day – during the parent-teacher interview for course guidance.

“Amaniji-san’s ‘normal’.

“Those words by my teacher were probably meant as a compliment. That we were a normal and good child. It was probably supposed to meant something like that.

“What do you think, Yuu-chan?

“Is that so? Japanese is quite hard, isn’t it? Or are we just weird?

“Hehe, right? Yay!

“We weren’t happy to be praised like that. Yeah, even if it was meant to be a compliment. At that time, our mother didn’t say anything. Maybe our mother knew how we saw those words. Maybe she didn’t. We don’t know.

“Either way, we didn’t think of it was a compliment. We thought that it was normal to not be told stuff like “she is normal”. And, back then, we were wondering why we was told something like that.

“At first, I didn’t understand it’s significance. But then, I realised it right away. That I was a worthless human being with no personality – that I was a normal child who wasn’t special – that it was something bad.

“Your words are so kind, Yuu-chan.

“However, back then, there wasn’t anybody who tell us the things you’ve saying now, Yuu-chan.

“Mother didn’t say anything either – that was the major turning point for us.

“As such, from that point onwards we came to think, “normal is no good”. Being part of the masses means not being special. And so – we became a special person.

“Well, that’s just how it is. And now, like how Yuu-chan puts it, our identity has now become like this.

“Yeah, that’s why we made our personality like this. There’s no one else like us.

“But, there’s no one else that thinks like us, right? There’s no one else who wants to be special like this.

“Ahaha, right. That’s true. Everyone’s like this at least once. Thank goodness.

“But you know, we may have made a mistake back then. Or rather, we made a misinterpretation.

“Yep, that’s right. To put it simply, the antonym of ‘normal’ isn’t ‘special’.

“The antonym of ‘normal’ is ‘abnormal’.

“For the young us, by the time we realised our mistake, we found ourselves already in solitude.

““That child’s weird” was what others would say of us.

“Or in other words, abnormal… Yep, we became a ‘heretic’.

“That’s right, we were already past the stage of “normal is no good”.

“Hehe, but then in that sense we were already kind of unique, weren’t we?

“And so, from that point onwards, we’ve been the way we are this whole time. Even so, we had tried to push ourselves even further. Because we were special.

“Yeah, but from our point of view, we weren’t afraid of being misunderstood as a ‘heretic’. The past us would have been pleased with the current us.

“Even if everyone around us was judging us, we wanted to be ‘special’.

“For example, we did things like this.

“Ahaha, isn’t it amazing? Nobody else is ever going to do things like getting seventy-seven points on every test! Even now, we’re a bit prideful of this! By the way, it’s still a work-in-progress.

“Subjects like Japanese are quite difficult, right? When it’s an essay, there’s no chance at winning. We score 0 points on those.

“Grrr! We’re not an idiot!

“Ah… Yeah, in my case, we were treated as if we were some sort of tumour. It was like they too would get infected if they got too close. Aside from that, it was great for us back then.

“Back then, we experienced what it was like to be a special person – since we were always alone.

“Eh, no way!?

“We, well, let us finish this funny old tale of ours. Even though it’s probably not that particularly funny. No, although it was probably a tale of mistakes, we have no regrets about it. Even now, we didn’t think that our past was bad.

“And then, when we entered high school, we had an encounter. That’s how we became the final form of us, the present us.

“Yep, that’s right. It was the Eccentric Drama Club.

I – even though it was Amaniji-senpai’s story, for some reason I felt that I could relate.

How do I put it; it was similar my past.

It wasn’t to the same degree, but I too also thought that I was an amazingly special person. I was certain of it.

And so, I was ill.

Ill with chuunibyou.

After listening to Amaniji-senpai’s story, it seemed that she too was also a sufferer or sympathiser.

Still, given how far she takes it, I’m doubtful as to whether she could be categorised as having chuunibyou. Then again, only someone with chuunibyou could take it as far as she does.

She was as devoted to it as Rikka, and as ultimate of a patient as Shichimiya.

To be frank, I think that she’s amazing.

Normally, you wouldn’t be able to take it this far.

The reason I know all this is because I too once shared the same view as Amaniji-senpai. However, in the end, I concluded: “Oh. I’m not special.”

Thinking back to it, I despaired a bit as I realised it.

Even though I believed that I was completely different from everyone else, I was thinking of and doing the same things as everyone else. And thus, upon realising this, I graduated from chuunibyou.

Unlike me though – Amaniji-senpai persisted.

Even now, she continues to persist.

It isn’t easy to be special.

It isn’t easy to keep being special.

And so, to be frank –

“You’re amazing.”

Such were the words that came out.

“Huh? Amazing?”

“Well, as expected, Amaniji-senpai’s not normal at all.”

Given the situation, those words (which were intended to be a compliment) could have been interpreted differently. However, it seemed that Amaniji-senpai understood my intentions, as she let out a “hehe” with a smile.

“Is that so? How joyous. Even if it’s just a little, it’s great how you sympathise with us. Normally, no one sympathises with us. Maybe you understand us, Yuu-chan, since you’re looking at things in third person – or something like that.”

“…Personally, I don’t think that’s the case. Surely, anyone –”

“Hehe, Yuu-chan really is kind. However, reality’s a little harsher than that. A heretic’s a villain simply because they are a heretic. Even if they didn’t do anything wrong. Ah, but it was bad of us to trespass.”

“…Right. In that the case, I’ll do what’s normal to do and report that intrusion of yours.”

“But! There was a legitimate reason for doing so! To meet with Yuu-chan! Meeting Yuu-chan can’t be done via normal means!”

“If such a method of entering was acceptable, there would be thieves in my room all the time!”

“Ooh, we see! Next time, we’ll make an appointment to enter from there!”

“That still against the law!”

“Is that so… Even so, we won’t give up. Something like giving up’s too normal.”

“Are you just trying to sound cool with that pointless remark!?”

“No – we sincerely are sorry about what happened back then. Next time, we’ll do our best to avoid violating the increasingly aggressive law!”

“Ah… normally you apologise…”

“Hehe, normally!? Oh, oh, so we’ve prostrating!”

“In this situation, prostrating does feel like the normal thing to do…”

“Eh!? Un, understood! Prostrating it is!”

“Did prostrating’s normalness pass away[4]!?”

It’d be troubling if it became a star.

Furthermore, it’d be a terrible constellation.

I have absolutely no idea how I ended up on this line of thought.

Let’s see… That’s right, there was something I wanted to ask about.

“By the way, there’s something that I’m a little curious about – why do you refer to yourself with the royal ‘we’? Why do you keep using such a unique way of addressing yourself? Is the reason why related to the story from before as well?”

For now, before moving to the main issue at hand, I asked about this as a preface.

I had been a little curious about it ever since we first met.

Was it because of something that happened back then, or was it because of it being novel? Why did she decide to refer to herself like in third person?

“Ah, correct! Hehe, it’s cool, isn’t it, right? Since it’s normal to refer to yourself in first person, we thought that it was necessary to do something more original!”

With her chest puffed out, Amaniji-senpai had a beautiful smile on her face as she replied to me.

Well, I understand why she’s so pleased, as I too also thought that it was Amaniji-senpai-like.

“Haha, that’s very Amaniji-senpai-like. Still, to be frank, it doesn’t seem like a thing that you should be fussed over.”

“It is worth fussing over. We must always be unique! At first, we contemplated using “nou(のう)”, but we stopped since no one else understood what we meant.”

““nou(のう)”…?”

“Yeah, nou(儂) [5].”

“It’s was a mispronunciation!?”

I mean, I sort of get it. Both “washi” and “nou” have an archaic ring when you say it. In addition, “nou” certainly is quite original… it might even be more novel than saying washi.

Still, it didn’t change the fact it was wrong.

Regardless, there was still something more important that I had yet to properly ask about.

“Umm, one more thing. Why is the clubroom the principal’s office?”

Once again, I asked about something inconsequential.

Since I was thinking about unrelated things, I ended up unconsciously asking about something pointless…

Then again, that question of mine was probably inevitable, since it was something that I had also been very curious about.

“Guess Yuu-chan really is a strange person after all. What a high-level question.”

“You mean up till now it hadn’t been high-levelled!?”

“Well, yeah. That’s what we said. As for the clubroom being the principal’s office, it’s because the principal’s the club advisor. We’ve sorry that we couldn’t betray your expectations.”

“Even if I did expect it, I still would have been shocked!”

Our advisor’s the principal! Our advisor’s the principal!

And that’s why we’re in the principal’s office! And that’s why we’re in the principal’s office!

I was so surprised that I retorted twice in my mind. Seriously, anything could happen at this school.

“Really? If you say so. Still, it makes us pleased. It’s complicated, but long story short, the principal is looking after us now.”

An embarrassed “Ahaha” leaked out from of Amaniji-senpai’s dry smile.

“The principal made various arrangements for us to attend. Seriously, it was great that the principal was so rich in personality. You know, if it wasn’t for the principal, we definitely wouldn’t have chosen to enrol at this school. Even the fact the school was right next to this place wouldn’t have swayed us!”

“……”

On the contrary, I’ve heard that some people, after having met the principal, decided against enrolling here.

But, well, I could sort of get where Amaniji-senpai was coming from, since I too was swayed by school’s ethos of freedom (or excessive freedom).

Now, however – it was time to raise that.

For some reason there always seemed to be some sort of complicated question on my mind. I must have some sort of anxiety disorder, for me to be this prone to worrying… To be honest, that might actually be the case, but even so I’m still concerned about it.

Concerned about the main issue, the thing I really need to ask about – the thing I’ve yet to ask about properly.

“Um, to be honest, there’s one more thing that I’d like to ask about. Is that okay?”

“Ah, is that so? It’s not like we particularly mind how many questions there are: go ahead.”

Since I didn’t want the mood too heavy, I chose my words as carefully as possible.

“It’s about the script; I’m a bit concerned about it. Although Rikka had said to change the script with a bang, it’d be perfectly fine if you disregarded her. After all, you seem to have your circumstances. To tell you the truth, telling you this was the reason why I returned.”

“……”

Silence.

I had tried to avoid setting a heavy mood, but it seems that things didn’t go over smoothly…

After about five seconds of silence, Amaniji-senpai made a wry smile.

“Ahaha, so that’s what was on your mind? Sorry, that’s not we meant at all, see…  No, yeah, that was a lie. It’s a fact that we were unsure of what to do about it. But it’s fine now. We’re incorporating DevTru Rikka-chan’s idea! We have to stake everything on the more interesting option!”

“U-umm, if you really do have circumstances, there’s no need for you to overdo things: it’s fine. After all, we shouldn’t be inconveniencing you with this… Besides, Rikka will understand if we tell her that the setting can’t be changed.”

“It’s not troublesome at all, something like this. Rather, we’ve the one who should be sorry for burdening everyone… Hmm, it’s troubling, since our facial expressions can’t capture just how sorry we are. Right then, how would you like for us to commit seppuku[6]!”

“What kind of idiosyncrasy is that!? Don’t kill yourself off all of a sudden please! Rather, don’t stab your stomach with a mechanical pencil please!”

The heavy mood! In one go, it’s been reset! You’re seriously disgustingly ill!

To suggest seppuku… Ah, persuasion…?

I mistook persuasion for seppuku – how embarrassing.

Even the heavy mood from before was more preferable than this.

But, then again, me making that mistake may have been a good thing, since the mood’s changed for the better.

“But yeah, you’re right. Let us properly explain what the circumstances are surrounding the play. We at least owe you that much, Yuu-chan, given how indebted we are you for helping us out.”

“If it’s something that’s hard for you to talk about, there’s no need for you to…”

“Ahaha, there’s no need to worry. It’s not something that’s hard for us to talk about. Let’s see, where should we start?”

To show that she was thinking, Amaniji-senpai crossed her arms.

“Right – first things first, we should probably start by talking about the script. In regard to changing the script, it’s true that we were a little hesitant… But Yuu-chan, there’s no need for you to worry about that anymore, okay?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

Hearing my response, Amaniji-senpai smiled. She then resumed talking again.

“This script – to tell you the truth, we weren’t the sole authors.”

“…Is that so?”

“Yes, and so for us to just arbitrarily change the script – that was what crossed our minds. It was a collaborative effort to come up with the scenes of the script. And so, the scenes – wouldn’t the scenes be special to its other author?”

“…Yeah, I guess.”

“We want to cherish special things. And hence we were a little hesitant. Ahh, what would be the right thing to do?”

“……”

“Still, we, without a doubt, want for things to go in an interesting direction. That feeling was, and still is, true. So that’s why, without deleting or altering the existing scenes – we will add. Since it’s special to that person, it’s impossible for us to do something like deleting a scene, and so the only way to make things more interesting is to add new scenes. That’s why, Yuu-chan – it’s all fine, there’s no need to worry.”

“Umm… about the script, who was its other author?”

“My upperclassman. Who has already graduated –”

Once again, Amaniji-senpai swallowed her words.

As if to signify her indecision, her eyes were closed.

However, she then opened her eyes slowly, and –

“But now… Senpai’s no longer here anymore.”

– were the words she said as she bit her lip.

The significance of those words –

Although her words were ambiguous, it was still possible tell that something had happened.

…Whatever it was that had happened in the past – it was probably something sad…

It’s probably the reason why she’s been this desperate to perform the play…  It also explains both her fervour to perform the play when we first met, and her feelings of unease she’s constantly had in regard to the script. It was why she was abrupt, and, above all, in a hurry.

I couldn’t find them – the right words to respond to her.

Unintentionally, however, my face told a different story.

It clearly leaked how I felt.

“Ahaha, it’s pointless to worry about it, Yuu-chan. …It’s something inevitable after all.”

“…I’m sorry. But, even so –”

Although I managed to choke out a reply, I wasn’t able to stop my voice from quivering.

Concerned by my response, Amaniji-senpai made an effort to be cheerful.

“It’s fine it’s fine! Senpai – Catgirl-senpai, as you could probably tell from her nickname, was a very strange person. She was the personification of interestingness.”

Choosing her words carefully, Amaniji-senpai continued.

“She truly was a great upperclassman.  It’s no exaggeration to say that the reason why we haven’t changed much at all during high school was because of our meeting with Catgirl-senpai.”

“……”

“We liked her so much that we proposed to her.”

“You’re exaggerating, right!?’

“That’s right! The problem past.”

…That response had a troubling twist.

It’s double meaning. Did she mean a problem from the past, or that the past itself was the problem?

“Well, although I’ve been joking about it – she really did save us back then. To someone like us, she was kind. In fact, she drowned us joy. It was the first time someone treated us like that. And that’s why we proposed to her.”

“…What was the joke from before then…?”

“Haha, we were joking about the marriage. It was a trial from Onee-san here to help you, Yuu-chan, master how to make amazing retorts faster.”

“……”

Until now, it was hard to find the chance to make such a retort against her… How extraordinary.

“Anyway, such was our benefactor and master, Catgirl-senpai. Even when there was a script, she was always happy to ad-lib, transforming the play into something more fun every single time. As long as the core parts of the play weren’t incorrect, it was fine. Frankly speaking, DevTru Rikka-chan’s idea to take things in a more interesting direction would be something that Senpai would have approved of with pleasure.”

She was extraordinary, but. She was merely joking, but.

Amaniji-senpai – she was a kind upperclassman.

I thoughtlessly overstepped my bounds and heard about something sensitive – it was truly inexcusable, for me to use the mood like that.

“…Is that so?”

And so.

Because of those feelings for that upperclassman, and the memories that have accumulated as a result –

“Anyway, that’s why – that’s why we wanted to do to something like this for our last performance. We really sorry for getting you caught up in our club’s circumstances. And for telling you a story that would make you feel sympathy for us.”

It’s why Amaniji-senpai had been so desperate to perform the place, and was willing to take whatever means was necessary.

It’s why she called out to Rikka and me.

For me to not feel sympathy for her was an impossible task.

“That’s… personally, I’m glad that I’m able to help you out.”

“Really? If that’s how you feel about it, then we’re glad. We’re truly delighted to be able to talk to you about all this, Yuu-chan.”

“If it makes you feel delighted, then I’m glad too.”

“Ahaha, and sorry for making the mood so serious with my story. That isn’t our character at all. We should be saying something more strange!”

“Not really, and I’m not sure why you’re so fixated on that…”

I’m starting to worry that others would say that I only associate with people who say weird things.

Now that I think about it, out of the people I know only Nibutani doesn’t say weird things.

Although it would be a mistake, I’m wanting to talk with Nibutani.

What a blunder…!

“Although we’ve told Yuu-chan about it, we’d appreciate it if you kept this a secret from the other two. We wouldn’t want for them to be concerned about this.”

“Got it. I’ll keep secret about it.”

In response to my words, Amaniji-senpai let out a smile.

And in order to not erase that smile, I’ll have to give it my all for the play.

On that note, however, there’s another problem.

In regard to the guerrilla nature of the play – the timing for raising that matter for today had just passed.

Well, there’s still time, so guess I’ll discuss things with her again tomorrow.

“Now then, if Yuu-chan’s free, let’s think about the ‘Dark Flame Master’ setting together! Together – let’s properly think about it and make it interesting!”

“…Yes!”

“By the way, Yuu-chan, what’s the Dark Flame Master?”

…That? It was my creation.

That’s right, that was my creation, and so we had to think about it properly together.

“…My, it’s my sealed power that I’ve since lost.”

Despite it making me feel a little nihilistic in a chuuni-like way, I rambled on about my embarrassing creation to Amaniji-senpai at length.

The greatest redeeming factor was that Amaniji-senpai was, without laughing at anything in particular, listening to my story seriously.

Rather, she seemed to long for something similar, saying: “What a strange power! We wish that we had a strange power like that.” Guess Amaniji-senpai was interested in having something like that as well.

We must have mixed in some similar silly conversations as we added to the script, as quite some time had passed.

When I turned to look at the clock, it was almost time for me to go.

Since I made a promise to go home with the others, I had to head back to school again.

Then again, since the two of us had worked on the script right up to the point when school closes, we just managed to finish the revised script.

“Phew, it’s finally finished, isn’t it?”, I said as I took a breather.

As if to thank me, Amaniji-senpai, with a tender voice, responded:

“Thanks for your hard work. Surely, the script has improved manyfold! Anyone who doesn’t think this script is interesting – the said patron must have plain tastes!”

In that case, what we had then was a terrible story.

[Previous] [TOC] [Next]


[1] A ‘Web Genie’ based on the game Twenty Questions.

[2] Originally this pun was an abbreviation of Magical Demon Duchess (魔法魔王少女) into 魔々女 (read as 魔魔女), which then plays off the word for witch (魔女). Since there isn’t a good direct translation of this pun, I’ve taken a bit of creative liberty instead.

[3] An Amanojaku (天邪鬼, ‘heavenly evil spirit’) is a youkai who is able to provoke a person’s darkest desires and tempt them do act on their wicked impulses.

[4] A pun on the Japanese euphemism to die. The original Japanese text, なくなった (nakunatta), usually means “to lose/disappear/be consumed”, but can also mean “to die”. This is then linked to the idea of becoming a star, the Japanese euphemism of dying.

[5] The kanji (儂; the personal pronoun used generally by the elderly) is usually pronounced as わし(washi), but can also be pronounced as のう(nou).

[6] This following exchanged is based on a pun between 切腹 (a Japanese suicide ritual to die with honour) and 説伏 (persuasion), as they are both pronounced seppuku (せっぷく).

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