Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Chapter 9

Only the epilogue and afterword left.

On one hand, if I do a page a day, I’ll still have some leeway of about a week to finish this volume before the end of this year. On the other, Smash Ultimate is coming out.

And as always, please point errors out when you see them.


Chapter 9: Cultural Festival Day 2

“As you might expect of someone doing something like this for the first time, I, the Magical Demon Duchess, am nervous! Hero, I think that you should deliver a one-liner to make this place feel more relaxing, but what do you think?”

“Me too… I’m also nervous, so something like that’s a bit…”

“Yuuta, the power of the Devilish Truth Stare is invoked – as your contractor, I order you, the Black Prince, to bring about the blessing of smiles to this place!”

“That’s too unreasonable of a request!”

It’s already the second day of the cultural festival.

And, it’s now ten minutes before the planned start time our guerrilla play.

Completely impromptu. Today’s the only shot we have at it.

It was now 12:20.

Lunchtime – the only time where there was no other play being performed either in the multi-purpose hall or gymnasium.

The place that we planned to perform our guerrilla play at was the open space in front of the school building. The place with the most foot traffic.

There was a lot of people gathered near the sports ground right now, as there was currently an outdoor concert going on. It was very convenient for us.

Since the play ends the instant someone stops us.

I have no idea as to whether we’ll be able to perform to the very end.

To be honest, it would be quite unrealistic for us to be able to do so, but since we’ve decided to perform the play I wanted to see it through to the end.

And so, right now – we were currently on standby in the storeroom of the gymnasium, which was located to the side of the sports ground.

Since the costumes were nothing but flashy, we were currently staying hidden there so that we weren’t caught.

In the midst of such a dark and cramped space – seeing us whisper our little skit to each other, our two upperclassmen smiled and giggled.

“Ahaha, naturally we too are also nervous as it’s both completely impromptu and our only shot at it, so it’s great that you three reduced our level of nervousness by making us laugh.”

“Mm-hmm, that’s right. It really did help me out a lot. Me too, I’m suuuuper nervous, look.”

As if to say, “listen to the beat of my heart!”, Kumin-senpai arched the upper half of her body. It emphasised her chest quite a bit… Of course, I didn’t go and put my ear to her chest, as I didn’t think that it was appropriate for me to do. Rikka, however, took the inititive to move in and listen.

How envious – thoughts like that did not pop into my mind.

“Oooh! The sound of your heart, wow.”

“See, I’m just as nervous as Rikka-chan. But, everyone will be fine. Somehow or other, we’ll manage.”

To calm our growing sense of nervousness, Kumin-senpai encouraged us in a gentle tone.

“Although Kumin had stolen what we wanted to say, just now we too were also planning on saying something normal like that. Yeah, it really helped us out a lot.”

“Yeah yeah.”

“Oh right, is everyone’s costume fine? Since we’ll all be moving around a lot during the performance, it would be good to scrupulously check that our costumes can handle that sort of movement.”

As directed to by Amaniji-senpai, I checked my own costume very carefully.

Unlike the so-called standard prince clothes – I was wearing my usual finger gloves on both hands, as my character had been bestowed the enigmatic Dark Flame Master setting.

With a black mantle (borrowed from Shichimiya; one that she used to use), a mysterious silver chain, and a sword on my back, the look of prince that was in the midst of suffering from chuunibyou, if I may say so myself, had been completed.

His catchphrase was, “you burned?[1]”.

Yep, as for me, it didn’t seem like there were any issues.

“No problems with me either.”

It seemed like pre-transformation Rikka also didn’t have any major problems with her costume.

Although Rikka’s Eyepatch Cinderella is quite the novel addition to the setting, her maid uniform, which looked like it had been treated like a ragged dust cloth, screamed with fighting spirit.

It was a filthy-looking plain maid uniform that had tears every here and there. The magical transformation of this Cinderella’s appearance is likely to be this production’s high point. When I think about it in those terms, I can’t help but feel that only Rikka could pull off this Cinderella.

It seems that Amaniji-senpai’s casting was spot on.

“This scarf, it isn’t weird, right?” said Shichimiya in her quite Shichimiya-like Witch Queen costume – or more precisely, she didn’t look like a witch at all.

There wasn’t even a trace of the stereotypical robed-witch that you usually see. Instead, she had a perfect magical girl costume on – it was her previous school’s uniform that had been remodelled with double layered frills to look even more magical girl-like.

Along with a black scarf, she also had a mysterious stick (marvellous![2]) that she had purchased from somewhere.

For better or for worse, as it was impossible to see her costume as one of an evil witch, her costume stood out so much to the point where in terms of costumes alone it overshadowed the lead role.

In fact, the costume was rather protagonist-like. It was quite the Shichimiya-like costume.

“Yeah, it’s fine~. Is my costume okay?”

It appears that Kumin-senpai too had been checking her own costume, as she was moving and jumping about.

Her costume didn’t seem to be lacking in that regard, but… While her simple light blue designer one-piece dress did look quite clean, her costume didn’t match the image of a queen that I had in my mind.

In addition, as expected, Kumin-senpai’s childlike physical features also seemed to add to the ‘what the heck is this role meant to be’ feeling.

Well, I’m sure that her acting will be able to offset that uncanny feeling.

“Alright, it looks like everyone’s good.”

The Emperor – Amaniji-senpai was overwhelmingly vivid in colour.

If I had to describe how she looked in words, I would say that she was dazzling – as if she wasn’t vivid enough already, her brightly coloured costume further enveloped Amaniji-senpai with a last boss-grade presence. Not that she was an enemy or anything.

As per the stage directions, her hair too was tied together in an emperor-like way. …Not that I had any idea what an emperor-like hairstyle was.

After everyone had finished checking their costumes, we then checked that we had our small trinkets, which made a lot of noise.

Nothing had been overlooked. Nor was there anything wrong.

We were all set.

Now that everyone had finished checking their costumes, Amaniji-senpai called out to Kumin-senpai in a soft whisper.

“Kumin, this is our final one – we look forward to working with you.”

…Huh? R-right! Everyone, this will be the first and last guerrilla play! Let’s all do our best!”

Immediately after everyone nodded in agreement to Kumin-senpai’s rallying cry, Amaniji-senpai suddenly stretched out her left hand.

Although no words were exchanged – we all tacitly understood it meant, “we’re counting on you”, and placed our hands on the back of Amaniji-senpai’s outstretched hand one by one.

It was clear from our overlapped hands that everyone was nervous.

However, this warmth from our overlapped hands was pleasant.

Having yet to stop smiling since some time ago – Kumin-senpai.

Although not the leading actress, having a level of enthusiasm seeping from her face as if she were the lead – Shichimiya.

Having previously said that she was looking forward to today – Rikka was giving off a remarkable lustre.

And – the one with the stiffest expression out of all of us here, Amaniji-senpai.

Everyone’s eyes met with each other’s.

“Let’s have some fun!”

The one who announced that last bit in stiff voice was Amaniji-senpai.

In response, everyone vigorously raised their hand whilst shouting, “Yeah!”.

Nibutani and Kazari-chan.

Isshiki, and the rest of our classmates as well. They probably all come over to watch our play.

Moreover, since today’s Saturday, I’m expecting that my sisters will be coming over to watch as well.

Although I’ve yet to catch sight of her, I’m sure that Dekomori will come too.

And – …Catgirl-senpai will surely be watching us as well.

Alright then, let’s go.

Now is the Eccentric Drama Club’s final time on stage – the curtains have been raised.

The time was now 12:30.

Everyone travelled to the open space in front of the school building together.

At the same time that the five of us flashy-dressed people gathered at the centre of the open space –

“The Eccentric Drama Club’s! Guerilla play! ‘Princess☆Ashes’! Begins now!”

Amaniji-senpai roared that out with a raised voice.

There had yet to be a single audience member.

I had expected for something to happen the moment we started.

It should have been a matter of course – after all, we had not been given permission to perform. However, we were fortunate to the extent that no one bothered us about our occupation of this space.

Lunchtime, the open space in front of the school building, and the other event currently happening at the sports ground. As the three overlapped in terms of timing, there was not many people at the open space. At this moment, it could be said that apart from us and our activity, no-one else was using this space.

And, since you could also watch this space from the school building – it was the most visible place.

It was a place that I didn’t want to stand out much in…

But there was no choice – the play had already begun.

“Cinderella, Cinderella! Are you here? If you’re not, well, then the Emperor[3] will prostrate!”

“Huh? Prostrate?”

Suddenly, and as if revived from my nightmare, Emperor Amaniji prostrated beautifully.

It was a play that started with a sudden ad-lib. No, it was a play that started with a sudden prostration.

The play was immediately incomprehensible. Even Queen Kumin appeared surprised by the ad-lib.

“Yes. Father, what is it?”

Princess Rikka, who had been standing right next to me, trotted onto the stage.

Cinderella – since her costume looked like a ragged dust cloth, it was likely easy for the audience to decipher who Rikka was meant to be.

In response to Princess Rikka appearing onstage, Emperor Amaniji stood up in an over-the-top way.

“Ah, there you are. Listen carefully, Cinderella. The neighnbouring kingdom’s prince is looking for a bride-to-be.”

Dear, I don’t think they call it a bride-to-be nowadays. I believe it’s now fiancée.”

…Queen Kumin was able to ad-lib to that!?

Lines like that weren’t in the script at all.  And, there was no need to add those lines.

“Ah, is that so? Well, okay. It seems that said prince is holding a martial arts tournament to decide who his fiancée should be. The prize for winning – a lithograph like this.”

Emperor Amniji took out a cracked lithograph from somewhere and raised it above her head.

“That would be the final lithograph, right? And if you collect all seven, your wish will come true, right?”

“That’s right, we Royalty will have three of our wishes come true.”

“As for me, well, let’s see – I think I’ll wish for eternal beauty. “

“Even your mother says so, Cinderella. Also, if you win the tournament, it’d be good for you to take this chance and get married. Will you go?”

As she was suddenly told to get married with no regard to her feelings at all, Princess Rikka initially had a troubled look on her face. However, after realising that she had no real say in the matter, she then nodded to signal her agreement.

“Right, we’re counting on you-mchocho![4]

And after haven given lines that should not have come out of an emperor’s mouth, Emperor Amaniji and Queen Kumin left the stage. By the way, that part of the play was scripted.

Still, it was here that I first heard the audience laugh.

Although they were still only very few in terms of number, I did see passersby who stopped walking to watch our play.

Undistracted by that laughter – the abandoned Princess Rikka grumbled a soliloquy.

“I too wish to meet with the prince. But, I’m just going to get killed if I go…”

“Don’t cry! Cinderella! Hop!”

“…? You, who are…!?”

“Nyahahaha, I am the Witch Quuen, Sofia Ring! The one who rules this world!”

“W-world!?”

“Cinderella! Despite being of noble birth, you’ve been worked so hard to the point where you look like a ragged dust cloth! Do you really not detest that? Don’t you want to get back at them? …Don’t you want strength?”

“I… I… want strength! Strength is second to none!”

“Those words of yours – I hear them loud and clear!”

And with those words, Witch Shichimiya held her marvellous stick over Princess Rikka.

Although, it was a development that I had absolutely no idea about. There was nothing in the script that even remotely resembled the lines Witch Shichimiya had just said. It was amazing that they were able to ad-lib all the way up to this point.

“Alright, with this sonata you’ll be able to transform. All you need to do is try transforming.”

Princess Rikka took a stance.

“Transform!”

“Tanta-tara-ta-rara-tara-rata-rarara-ra-ra♪”

Witch Shichimiya hummed out loud transformation BGM(?).

As Witch Shichimiya did that, Rikka underwent a transformation – she changed her clothes onstage, live.

Although the transformation was just her taking off her ragged maid costume to show the clothes she was wearing underneath, it was still quite the surreal sight.

But, I didn’t want any other guys to see this sight!

Yet before I knew it, it the number of male audience members had increased, as I could hear a deep “ooh!” coming from the audience. It was painful!

Then again, generally speaking, it was tasteless to say something in the middle of a transformation, and so it was impossible for me to voice my criticisms about that stereotypical reaction.

After several seconds, her so-called transformation, which was really just her changing her clothes live, ended. Princess Rikka had been reborn.

Clad in a black attire, it was the birth of Black Cinderella.

“This is… my new power!”

“That’s right! Now, go forth! Show everyone your power! However, that power cannot be used after midnight!”

Roger, Princess Rikka nodded.

As Witch Shichimiya heartedly waved her scarf as she exited the stage, Princess Rikka also moved a short distance to a new position.

The next scene.

After all this time, it was finally my turn to appear on stage. And to make my entrance cool – I waved the black mantle that I had on.

“Mwhahahaha! Welcome to my castle! The Dark Matrial Arts Tournmanet – it seems this lowlife is the next challenger!”

“Are you the Prince?”

“That’s right! The woman who hopes to be my fiancée! I only like strong women! All the previous women that had challenged me have been buried by my flames of darkness! Can you overcome me?”

As I shouted out terrible lines that not even the me in my heyday of suffering from chuunibyou would say – Princess Rikka drew closer to me.

To confront her, I unsheathed the sword on my back.

“I will defeat you. Marry me please!”

As she said a line that was completely incongruent with the current situation at hand, Princess Rikka pulled a dirk from her waist and readied herself for a fight.

Heh… To do battle against her in this form – Rikkaa!

The Dark Flame Master or the Devillish Truth Stare – let us make it clear which of the two is stronger!

…Were not the sort of thoughts that came to my mind. I did feel like it became easier for me to get into the role better, however.

Guess I have no choice but to go beyond this current level of immersion! Since I’d be embarrassed if I went back to my real self!

“Hyaaaaaa!”

“Haaaaaaa!”

Our swords crossed against one another. Clash, clash – was the sound made not by the sparks flying off our blades as we clashed, but by a section of our audience who were happily banging their hands together.

However, as she was competing against the physical strength of a male, Princess Rikka’s slender body was getting driven back.

“Y-you’re good…!”

“Heh, you burned?”

“Tch! But what about speed!”

Princess Rikka momentarily made a stance with her dirk – she then started to assault me as if she were a raging hurricane.

Moreover, as if spurred on by her assault, cheering could be heard.

I didn’t have the leeway to think thoughts like, “If it were the case that they were, thanks her quick and nimble movements, cheering at the swaying of Rikka’s skirt, I would turn around and call the flames of darkness on them,” as I was on the defensive, with the tip of her blade grazing me many times. Personally, I thought that it was likely that the people watching were bewitched by how beautiful Princess Rikka’s movements were. Even though I was the one facing off against her, my heart was also stolen away by her rapid jet-black – no, light-speed sword dance.

Naturally, the goddess of victory was smiled on the other side.

“Haaaa – Mad Weapon Dance <<Alma Raffica>>!”

“– What!?”

My astonishment came out of my mouth late – the sound of my sword dropping onto the ground happened first.

Although this showdown of ours was completely ad-libbed, it appeared that it was a success, as the audience had gotten extremely lively. The cheering was a fair bit louder than it was moments ago.

“Haa, haa, haa.”

“…I surrender. You are my fiancée.”

Our marriage had been formed.

It was a turbulent development.

“Haha, you truly are the daughter of the Emperor, Cinderella. Congratulations! You are married!”

“Cinderella, the lithograph, quickly!”

While clapping their hands together, the figures of Emperor Amaniji and Queen Kumin appeared onstage as if they had come for a sudden visit. It was undeniable that their entry felt very abrupt, but, well, I guess that couldn’t be helped.

The story was now in its final chapter. I handed over the lithograph that I possessed over to Princess Rikka.

“I am glad that I was able to meet a strong woman like you. Lastly – are you prepared? For the Prince’s fiery kiss?”

“…Y-yes.”

Embracing the body of the blushing Princess Rikka, I gently brought our faces closer together –

As I was on the verge of kissing her, at that time.

Before I knew it, from the ever-increasing audience – like the wind, a person had swooped down onto the stage.

The person in question – who had long and pure white ears on – was a dignified-looking lady.

“Ahahahahahahaha! Well done, Cinderella! You’ve gathered all seven of the lithographs! However, those lithographs quite literally serve as the foundation for my revival! Hurry up and lend it to me!”

“Who –”

Are you – before I could finish yelling that, that lady had hopped about like a rabbit and snatched the lithographs that Princess Rikka and Emperor Amaniji were holding. I was so dumbfounded by her dynamism that my voice failed to come out. It appeared that Emperor Amaniji and Queen Kumin too were overcome with surprised, as it seemed that they could do nothing but stand still in shock.

“Damn it, it appears I was too late!”

Together with that line, once again another person intruded onto the stage. It was Witch Shichimiya.

“Cinderella! Prince! She is the one who governs the Seven Devil Kings, the Great Devil King! If you don’t defeat her here and now, the world… the world will be destroyed…!”

“I see, as expected… she really was the Great Devil King! Prince! …Let’s fight!”

“Ahahahahahahaha! That’s right, I am the one and only leader of the Seven Devil Kings, the Great Devil King – Star God Stella Reynolds!  Bring it on! Cinderella! Prince!”

No no. No no no.

Is no one else going to say what is needed to be said?

“You, who are youuuuuuuu!”

“Look, your sensei thinks that if you are to do that sort of thing properly, you would, as you might expect, need to obtain permission first. It was to be a surprise, you say… eh? The principal? The principal had given you proper permission – more or less given you proper permission and so you performed? Well, since it’s not like you had inconvenienced anyone in particular this time, sensei doesn’t want to say too much more about this, but… Still, don’t you think that it’d be dangerous if some other group took this opportunity to also do the same thing? In this world, there’s this word called ‘escalation’. People who are too different will be resented by others, so please reflect on today properly.”

From opening her mouth until now.

Nana-chan’s stern words spewed forth line after line.

Inside the staff room – looking up at us from the chair she was sitting on as she scolded us, the face that Nana-chan had was one that was more of a serious educator as opposed to one that was red from anger.

I forgot to mention this, but Nana-chan – since she had received complaints from students that her that the way that she spoke was difficult to listen to, she was in the midst of making the way that she spoke more forceful. However, there was still aspects of her old way of speaking that had yet to be discarded.

And so, towards the stern Nana-chan, the six of us – me, Rikka, Shichimiya, Amaniji-senpai, Kumin-senpai, and the person who took part in the spur of the moment – bowed our heads down and apologised, “We’re really sorry…”

Afterwards.

After I yelled, a voice suddenly rang out in the air.

“Oi! A teacher is heading this way! Run away!” someone instructed.

However – it was too late. By the time that our surroundings had made a stir, Nana-chan had already ferociously dashed from the school building to us. And then, when she arrived at what I thought was the centre of our stage – a high-pitched sound rang out from the whistle that had been hanging around her neck, and,

“With this! The curtain has fallen! The continuation – is up to your imagination!”

And with that, our play had come to its forced end.

It seemed that the audience was also unable to comprehend the situation at hand, as I could hear voices saying things like, “Eh? It’s over?”, “Is this also part of the play?”, and “Ah, that teacher looks really mad” here and there.

What should we do… As I was thinking that.

“That’s all! The Eccentric Drama Club’s play is now over! Thank you all so much for watching!”

As Amaniji-senpai delieved those remarks to the people watching us, she looked extremely happy –  she raised her voice with a smile that looked like it was about to burst, and then concluded with a very deep bow.

The rest of us, too – we were late to follow, but we also bowed.

A sudden interruption had brought our play to a sudden close.

I would be hard-pressed to say that the play ended safety in a success.

And yet.

There was the sound of applause.

It was the first time that I realised just how many people were watching us. The number of people watching wasn’t anything special. Even so – the window of the school building, the stalls, our immediate surroundings; from a variety of places we received a warm response.

“…Yuuta, I’m glad we did this.”

Rikka, who was next to me, muttered out those words with a smile.

If you looked, you could see that Shichimiya was also laughing her usual “I’m enjoying myself” laugh – and Kumin-senpai also looked quite happy.

Ah, so it is – this was nothing but a huge success.

It wasn’t about the contents of the play.

The promise I made to Amaniji-senpai – for there to be no incident, to perform the play, and to more or less see it though to it’s conclusion – I managed to keep it.

I wonder what that ‘upperclassman’ who wrote this play would have made of this.

What she would have thought of it, I had no idea –although I had no way of ever knowing, I would be happy if she was pleased by this outcome.

“Right, well then, all of you, please come to the staff room for a bit.”

And like that, we were all taken away by Nana-chan.

Which brings us to now.

After we got scolded by Nana-chan, we left the staff room, as it wasn’t like we had anything else to do there.

“Phew.” A sigh of relief leaked out from somewhere.

“Well, nevertheless I still had a great time!”

Said the person whom the sigh of relief came from. With a very pleasant smile.

It was the sudden trespasser – a woman with long pure white ears.

She had physical features that were best summarised by the words ‘elder sister’, along with loose, fluffy permed hair.

However, it wasn’t that part that was the problem… In the end, it was the bouncing bunny ears that wore that drew all the attention.

Since it was the middle of the cultural festival, I guess it was cosplay or something like that, but…

Since it felt like the bunny ear fits her, it didn’t feel out of place at all.

Still, to wear bunny ears in casual clothing without having it feel out of place was quite the amazing feat…

“You, the final scene is excellent!”

“Err… me…?”

I had a puzzled reaction, as that bunny-eared lady suddenly pointed to me without warning.

It was also quite embarrassing to be praised by someone I did not know… Still, as expected, I didn’t have the ability to ignore the situation at hand.

“Especially that catchphrase! It was super cool! I’m obssessed with it![5] It was, “you burned?”, right?”

As she said that, she further reduced the distance that was between us. All the while maintaining that grateful smile.

It appeared that this person, even though it was with a person that she had met for the first time, had judged that this narrow amount of space was enough personal space.

Our faces were really close.

“E-err… thanks for the compliment.”

I leaned a short distance back as I replied.

To the point were the amount of personal space I had wasn’t so narrow.

“Aha, you’re embarrassed, you’re embarrassed. And you as well! Your over-the-top acting was great!”

Distancing herself away from me, she drew close to Rikka, who was right next to me.

“Ah… thank you…”

“That time when you changed our clothes live, that was erotic~. My heart also skipped a beat!”

“A… ahh…”

It seemed that Rikka was embarrassed, as it appeared that she had looked down to conceal her pink face.

Or rather: as expected, it was erotic after all, the changing of her clothes! Shit, I should have interrupted!

“And you as well! It was an excellent ad-lib! Thanks to it, I was able to make my entrance as the Great Devil King! You have my gratitude! Let’s shake hands!”

The bunny-eared lady abruptly requested to shake hands with Shichimiya.

“Sure☆. I too am glad that I was able to put on a good performance!”

As expected of Shichimiya – unlike us two, she was able to keep her calm and respond with a handshake to someone she did not even know.

Yep, good.

After giving praise to us first years and leaving that comment indicating her satisfaction behind, that bunny-eared lady nodded,

“Oh, although the script was interesting too, yeah? Why, it was a nice scenario! It was an entertaining play that caused both laughter and tears!  You could also sense the tastes of the person that was behind that arrangement of Cinderella – no, you could sense nothing but their tastes!”

and said that to herself while glowing with self-satisfaction.

She praised script highly, as if it was written by a genius scriptwriter.

Well, I mean, I certainly did personally think that it had quite an interesting story. And, judging from the positive audience reaction, it seemed that there were many people that felt the same way. Still, it feels a bit like a lie when she praises it to that extent.

Or rather than saying that it sounded like a lie, perhaps it would be better to say that it sounded unnatural.

“Right? Don’t you think so too, Kumin?”

“Let’s see, I personally thought that it was a very good play~.”

…Huh?

Kumin-senpai talked normally to her. Normally – as in she was talking to her as if she was more than just an acquaintance, that sort of normal.

“Right~? Hideri too – Hideri? What’s wrong? Why are you hanging your head down like that?”

“……”

Amaniji-senpai looked strange.

Her head was hanging down as if she was intentionally not raising her face so that their eyes couldn’t meet. And although this usually would be the time for her to start saying something weird, her mouth remained unopen.

After looking at that scene for some time, Kumin-senpai her voice loose.

“Come on, Hideri-chan. The person that you love the most has come, so raise your face properly.”

And with that rebuke, Amaniji-senpai raised her face at last.

Then, her mouth started to slowly open.

“Ah, um… C-cat…gi…rl…se…n…pai…”

Amaniji-senpai murmured her words out like that, bit by bit.

Although, as to whether the voice was an embarrassed or happy one, I could not tell – it was a voice that didn’t sound much like a voice.

That was how I heard her.

“Hey, wait a minute, I’m no longer that person more. That person no longer exists. I’m Bunnygirl-senpai now, so call me that! You’re already called me that before, right? Did you forget that already?”

As she said that, the bunny-eared lady stood right in front of Amaniji-senpai.

After that bunny-eared lady entered her field of view, I could see a faint glitter start to accumulate in Amaniji-senpai’s eyes. I did not know why Amaniji-senpai ended up like that – but as for that glimmer in her eye, I could tell that it was not as a result of sorrow.

I could at least tell that much.

That glimmer – it was a beautiful glimmer, a glimmer that was the exact opposite of a sorrowful glimmer.

“Heh heh heh, I’m a university student now, right? Unlike in the past, I’m more adulty now – you can only wear cat ears up until senior high, right?”

“…Ahaha, that’s right, that is how it is, sorry… ‘Bunnygirl-senpai’. …Or rather, let’s talk about you coming here! Even though we had tried contacting you, you didn’t respond at all, and although you said things like that you would come over to play post-graduation why have you not come over even once!”

Amaniji-senpai spoke with a rather restless voice.

It looked like the two of them were very close.

Like they were old friends.

Then, a thought that I had previously abandoned flashed back into my mind.

…Huh?

…Perhaps, could this person be her?

“Hey, um, Amaniji-senpai…?”

“Hm? What is it?”

Concerned about the thing that had accumulated in her eyes, Amaniji-senpai wiped her eyes with her hand before turning towards me.

“Um… Is this person her?”

“Right, this is Catgirl-senpai – no, Bunnygirl-senpai. Kumin and our upperclassman.”

“Err… Then, about that no longer here thing from before…?”

“Right, Catgirl-senpai is no longer here anymore. She’s Bunnygirl-senpai now.”

Amaniji-senpai grinned as she spoke in a tone that implied that what she had just said was extremely obvious.

Next to her, said Bunnygirl-senpai nodded along with Amaniji-senpai’s remarks as she added, “That’s right, since I’ve become more adulty, right?”

For an instant, my brain stopped working.

???

??????

Huh…?

“Err, then Catgirl-senpai is not deceased, or anything like that…?”

As my brain started to work again, I asked that question.

In response to that query of mine, Amaniji-senpai started at me blankly,

“Correct. She is alive and well. Well, but she’s Bunnygirl-senpai now. So what’s this about her being dead?”

and said that as she tilted her head.

The bunny-eared lady looked at me curiously too.

“Hm? Me, I’ve never been dead, have I? Well, then again, if you count the cat ears, then I guess in a sense I’ve died. The child who would wear things like cat ears whilst living out their school life no longer exists.  Well, since I’m everyone senior, feel free to call me Bunnygirl-senpai!”

“……”

……

………… My brain has now made a complete recovery.

I see, so that’s how it was!

“It was all just a misunderstanding AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

In a voice that seemed loud enough to shake the world.

Without any attention paid to the gaze of others.

I.

In the middle of the school building, by myself – had yelled.

Rikka and Shichimiya, who were right next to me, stared at my face, startled by my actions.

Then, it appeared that the people around us also started to wonder about what had happened, as people started to repeatedly glance in our direction as they passed by. It was at this point where my embarrassment gauge finally started to work normally: I made a large waving gesture that implied that everything was fine to disperse the attention of the people around us.

Amaniji-senpai, Kumin-senpai, and Bunnygirl-senpai all looked at me with a face that seemed to say, “What’s wrong?” as they motionlessly stared at me.

Woah, how embarrassing…

“W-what’s the matter, Yuu-chan? Did something happen? …Oh, right! Still, we were surprised by how abruptly you went and ran with that sort of eecentricity: looks like Yuu-chan pretty good too!”

“It doesn’t make me happy to be praised like that… No, about what just happened, don’t worry about it…”

There was no way I could say it.

That I had selfishly misunderstood the situation and thought that the person before my eyes, the bunny-eared lady – er, Bunnygirl-senpai – had died: even if you were to threaten my life, there was no way that I could ever tell them that…

And, that in my mind I had sworn to do my utmost for the sake of said Bunnygirl-senpai whom I had killed off without permission: there was no way I could tell them that either.

But, then again – it wasn’t like that was the only reason why I swore to myself to do my utmost in my mind.

Nevertheless, as expected, it wasn’t like I could say that out loud.

Still, for things to be like this – to be honest, it was quite the pleasing fact.

Of course, it was only pleasing because I had made a selfish misunderstanding. But even so, the fact that she is alive and, above all, had praised us earlier, made me very happy.

She said that she found the play that we performed interesting.

That she was pleased with the play that was performed – that fact, it made me extremely happy.

Well, her over-the-top praise for the script was just her tooting her own horn, but I’ll just turn a blind eye to that.

“Ahaha, as expected of the children who enter this club: you’re all nothing but interesting kids. Whether it’s Hideri or Kumin, you’re both exceptionally excellent. And the underclassmen are, without exception, interesting kids, right?”

Bunnygirl-senpai looked in my direction as she smiled.

Apparently, it appears that I’ve been accepted by her as a strange underclassman.

Yeah… As expected, it was super embarrassing…

“U-um… Bunnygirl-senpai… see, Yuu-chan, DevTru Rikka-chan, and Sofia-chan, they have not joined the club –”

Before Amaniji-senpai could finish, Bunnygirl-senpai cut Amaniji-senpai off by talking over Amaniji-senpai’s words with her own words.

As if there was no need for Amaniji-senpai to say any more on that matter.

Bunnygirl-senpai spoke over Amaniji-senpai gently.

“Yeah, I know. Everything about the story behind this play – I know.”

“…Is that so?”

Amaniji-senpai responded softly, as if she were a little depressed.

“Don’t be so down. Rather, sorry for being unable to control myself and for entering onstage with the behind-the-scenes character of the Great Demon King! But it was fun, teehee.”

“Huh, that wasn’t an ad-lib but a proper part of the play’s setting!?”

Seeing Bunnygirl-senpai stick her tongue out in a timid manner made me retort unconsciously.

What an astonishing fact – Shichimiya’s ad-lib turned out to be real.

“Wow, Sofia’s amazing!”

“Nyahahaha, I too am surprised.”

Even the person herself was surprised. Of course.

“I mean, it was my script after all! Still, honestly, I’m glad that the play had been performed like this. To be able to see everyone’s performance – as well as being able to take this opportunity to perform as well – made me happy.”

“So that’s how you felt about it, thank goodness…”

Although her expression was a somewhat lonely and shadowy, relief leaded out of Amaniji-senpai.

Still, I too was also relieved to hear those words.

It wasn’t the same level of relief, however.

For me – I was just the helper.

The promise was just for me to ensure that the guerrilla play was, one way or another, was carried out – and it was kept.

As for Amaniji-senpai and Kumin-senpai, surely things weren’t that simple for them.

To them, the play wasn’t something that could be reduced to something so simple.

It was the very last one – that’s why.

Things that they regretted – surely, they had something like that.

“That’s right, so there’s no need to get so down, Hideri. Hideri did nothing wrong, and of course, Kumin did nothing wrong. You performed the play well.”

Bunnygirl-senpai spoke as if she saw through what Amaniji-senpai was feeling.

That’s why, there’s no need to worry about it – once more, Bunnygirl-senpai told Amaniji-senpai that gently.

“Right, ‘the final play’ – that was what this was to you, wasn’t it? It was very good. Thank you so very much for performing it with my script.”

It was fantastic.

Wrapping things up with those words, Bunnygirl-senpai patted Amaniji-senpai on her head.

“To tell the truth, I originally made this club for the sake of creating something fun for me to do at this school. To have people gather together for me like this and to have been given the chance to enjoy myself one last time: don’t you think that this is the most wonderful way for things to end?”

That’s why.

It was not something that you had no choice but to do.

There is nothing for you to regret.

So please don’t feel remorseful.

Cheers for your hard work – and thank you.

To ensure that her message was clearly understood, Bunnygirl-senpai spoke those lines one after the other.

Taken aback by those words, Amaniji-senpai became bashful.

“Bunnygirl-senpai –”

As she murmured that, Amaniji-senpai’s face – it appeared that it was packed full with all the emotions she was currently feeling.

Feelings of happiness, feelings of relief, feelings of thankfulness, feelings of sorrow, feelings of loneliness, feelings of teariness – there were all there.

Even so, she was smiling.

A smile that expressed all those feelings at once; a very wonderful smile.

Ah.

I – from the bottom of my heart, I was glad that I helped out with this play.

Regardless of my selfish misunderstanding.

The fact that I wanted to help her out did not change.

“Yeah, and with this, our club activities have come to a satisfactory close!”

If Amaniji-senpai was pleased.

If the members of the drama club were pleased.

If everybody was pleased.

Although there was an unexpected twist at the end.

A dramatic twist.

It was a wonderful stroke of fate that had brought us together for this wonderful week.

 

[Previous] [TOC] [Next]


[1] A reference to The King of Fighters character Kusanagi Kyou. The joke is that Yuuta right now is dressed similarly to him, leading to Yuuta ‘borrowing’ one of his catchphrase.

[2] Untranslatable pun. The original, ステッキ(素敵!), plays on the fact that stick (ステッキ, sutekki) is pronounced the same way as marvellous, or 素敵.

[3] The same 儂/washi from in chapter 5: a pronoun used by the elderly. Since there isn’t an English equivalent, I’ve changed the dialogue a bit so that it’s in 3rd person to reflect the fact that it isn’t ‘typical’ speech.

[4] Reference to the character Kotobuki Renji from Uta no Prince-sama series. よろしくまっちょっちょ is his way of saying, よろしく, which means nice to meat you/please treat me well/please take care of it (depending on context).

[5] An untranslatable pun. Kusanagi’s catchphrase, 燃えたろ, is pronounced the same way (moetaro) as 萌えたろ, which means “to be infatuated with”.

Advertisements

6 Comments »

    • The short answer is yes.

      I’ll probably have more to say on this when I finish the epilogue and afterword, but I do, at least at this stage, plan to do volume 4. It will likely take even longer than volume 3 though.

      Like

  1. Thanks for your work.

    “Haaaa – Mad Weapon Dance <>!” &ltt;-am I wrong in supposing that WordPress took whatever was inside as a tag and so it disappeared? I suggest using &lt; instead of < in order to avoid that.

    Like

Leave a Reply (Email Address not Required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s