Kamisama no Memochou:Volume 4 Chapter 7
When the concert at Shinujuku ended on the fifth day, I couldn’t even get up from the sofa with my remaining energy. The so-called event coordination means that there is an obligation to solve various problems that cannot be predicted. In the organization consisting of mostly newbies, the vast amount of workload couldn’t be dealt with even if one has three bodies.
“Fujishima-san, today is the last day, right? Why don’t we go celebrate? To celebration! The band members said that they want to celebrate with Fujishima-san as well!”
Rushing into the lounge, Mika-san said in excitement while flinging my hand repeatedly.
“No, I really can’t do it. I have to go back to sleep. And also, I still haven’t come of age.”
“The shop is at the east pass! We’re getting slightly late now, so I’ll go over first!”
Did you even hear what I was saying?
“Then how about I go in your place?”
Hiro-san said while cleaning up the lounge.
“Ohh, I’ve already suppressed myself for five whole days not to flirt with them as we’re on a job. But since its already ended, the ban is lifted. The girls in the band are so cute, it’s hard for me to decide.”
“What on earth are you thinking!?”
“Good, good. Hiro-san is welcome to go as well! I’ll go book additional seats!”
Mika-san rushed out like that. To guard the innocence of the band members, I had no choice but to drag my exhausted body there just to accompany him.
“If there’s free booze, I’m going as well. We’ve worked hard for so long.”
“Tetsu-senpai, you didn’t help out much, did you!?”
“I baited the people to the air conditioned room all by myself.”
“Wasn’t that just on the first day? On the others, you kept going to play pachinko, even though you’re among the security! I know everything!”
“Ohh— Ohh— Narumi, as expected of the person in charge of the system. Actually, it can count as a business loss.”
“Don’t joke with me
“Of course I’ll take part as well.”
Can the money lost in pachinko be counted as expenses? That probably won’t do, right?
Major reclaimed the walkie-talkies from the members in charge of security and returned to the lounge.
“Which means, we’re using Yondaime’s money for booze. We can’t see such a great party so often.”
“Major, weren’t you always mistreated as a primary school student each time at chain wine stores? Shouldn’t you just give up?”
Tetsu-senpai laughed at Major.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Actually, I’m already two thousand years old! And I have a student ID to prove that for me as well!”
That isn’t anything worthy of showing off to other people. I should say, so even such a person can become an adult? Duh. I, myself, will turn into an adult in law, although I have neither awareness nor resolution for this.
The restaurant that Mika-san reserved for us was a trendy restaurant with numerous stand-alone rooms. If it were to be just the band members consisting of female college students or Hiro-san, it does match them quite well. However, the ones who sat by my side were Tetsu-senpai, Major, Pole and Rocky respectively, making me completely speechless. Although the dishes weren’t too bad, there was too little of them.
However, the sake seemed to be quite nice, which was why Tetsu-senpai was so happy.
“Why don’t we get Yondaime some sake as well? We can order a whole bottle of Juyondai sake as well.”
“Nononono. I’m telling you that he’s an injured person. He said something like he was scolded to death by the doctors, his ward was locked and the like.”
After all, he was a severely injured person who entered ICU for less than five days, but he slipped out of the ward, having a fight with someone else as well. If someone finds out that his visitors smuggled wine in, he’ll probably be thrown into a ward with steel windows.
However, it’s fortunate that we can be so busy.
That would be due to the fact that I didn’t have the time to think back on Renji-san these four days.
Just like that, with the smell of barbecue and cigarette smoking my face, I counted the numbers of bubbles in my ginger soda while immersing myself in the commotion exclusive to the restaurant. At these times, it’s hard for me not to me to think back on it. The highlighted hairstyle that had a sense of frivolity, the gaze blocked by the goggles sunglasses that was like thin needles, the evidently fake Kansai slang, the slightly hunched way of walking, the penguins and polar bears that we watched together, the sweet taste of the cola that we drank when we became sworn brothers.
That person, what happened to him after that? Nobody was willing to tell me.
Just like that, I had lost consciousness before I went home from the restaurant. I was already on my bed at home before I realized it. According to my sister, ‘A frivolous-looking man from god knows which age’ escorted me back home. I had to trouble Hiro-san to send me home, huh? Wait, doesn’t that mean he drove after drinking alcoholic drinks? No, that person was really just pretending to be drunk when he flirted with them while drinking wine, wasn’t he?
Oh well, whatever. I’m tired.
There was less than a week of the summer break left. However, I was still wasting my time lying on my bed a whole two days after the celebration party ended.
It was already the last Tuesday in August when the lethargy in my body gradually disappeared, and I was able to show up at Hanamaru Ramen once more. When I walked into the empty ramen shop that was in its preparatory phase, I saw a brand new red portiere spread out on the counter table, giving me quite a fright.
“Ahh, seems like it was made by Yoshiki for us free of charge. And it’s sewn on as well. It feels somewhat too flamboyant, but it’s still quite nice, right? I’m planning to use the new one from today.”
Min-san, who was cooking soup, spoke in a nonchalant tone. Somewhat too flamboyant? It couldn’t be described with these words at all. It’s a masterpiece that requires top-notch skills and timing. I checked out the texture with my hand. Similar to the T-shirt that was given to me, it was detailed embroidery similar to the webbed state of tatami. Using red thread that has slightly more luster than the clothing, the picture that seemed somewhat like embossment, taken from Chouju-jinbutsu giga, perhaps? The background of the portiere was a picture of frogs, eels and monkeys frolicking, while the words Hanamaru Ramen were sewn in the middle using white threads.
I leaned my exhausted body on the back of the chair, shifted my gaze from the portiere, and stared at Min-san, who was busy moving here and there in the kitchen.
That person should have known long ago as well. Yoshiki-san’s— true name.
“What? You won’t get anything to eat even if you keep staring at me. Even though you know we’re in preparations, what on earth are you here for? Why don’t you learn from Ayaka? Staying at home, doing homework for the summer holidays.”
“W- Well…… Alice called me over.”
“Then why don’t you hurry up and get up?”
However, I still had something to ask.
I lowered my head. I took the chance of her shifting her gaze to ask:
“Did…… Hison-san say anything?”
“What do you mean?”
“For example, things about Yondaime…… or Renji-san?”
Is that so? I slowly breathed out. That’s true. How could she have said anything?
Even so, Min-san extended her hand from behind the counter and pointed at the lower right corner of the portiere.
I noticed two foxes— No, wolves, in the crowd of rabbits and frogs, and let one of them wear a pair of shades in great detail. I felt as though something was surging in my body, and immediately folded the portiere.
So, this is that person’s answer?
Without saying a word, folding everything together, and continue playing that person’s current role.
“…… You knew about it long ago, right?”
For quite some time, I could only hear the sounds of the soup boiling and the cooling fan spinning. Thus, I didn’t even dare to raise my head.
I was afraid to see what expression Min-san was wearing.
Min-san’s voice mixed with the moist air full of fragrance. I clenched my fists on my knees. Although I knew that it was a dumb question myself, I must still ask on.
“Haven’t you thought of doing anything?”
“What does ‘doing anything’ mean?”
Min-san’s voice that seemed somewhat displeased burned directly into my ears. After that, my fringe was suddenly grabbed, and I was pulled over to her.
“Listen well, I’m opening a ramen shop.”
Min-san’s furious gaze was just before my eyes. My voice shrunk while being stuck somewhere in the depths of my throat.
“I won’t and can’t do anything other than letting other people eat. Isn’t that a given?”
I was attacked with a flick on the forehead that was visibly her going easy on me, and I was thrust out of the counter just like that. That’s right, it’s a given. After all, there weren’t any other ways at all. We are all insignificant. Since we already can’t take care of ourselves, we can only be in pain alone, survive alone, and die alone.
The main reason that I still felt that Min-san’s words were cold was because I came in contact with it slightly, Alice’s unanticipated passion.
Because we are still living on, we must make choices.
Those words were just like a scream from the sorrow of Alice’s body. What in the world happened? In that small body, how much more darkness that I cannot comprehend is hidden?
Alice did not tell me the truth beforehand. She said that it would be enough for her to experience the pain once. Does that mean that the current me cannot be the one to share her pain as well? Even if it’s only five percent, I still wish to help shoulder her pain— Are these thoughts only my own delusions?
It was like Min-san, who could only allow the others to eat ramen and ice cream. Does a so-called assistant detective have to obediently stay by a detective’s side, accepting the words that she spoke because of her inability to tolerate the pain?
If that’s true, it’s just too sorrowful.
However, when I silently stood up, something flitted past the corner of my vision. I supported myself on the chair and blinked repeatedly.
The very edge of the counter. It was hung on one of the sake bottles that were tidily arranged. I picked it up with trembling hands. It’s unmistakable.
“That’s right, he came yesterday.”
I raised my head to look at Min-san, while she smiled wryly as she stirred the souop.
Looking at the goggles sunglasses. I ran over.
“That annoying dolt just remembered the taste five years ago. Saying to me something like ’This definitely ain’t Hanamaru’s taste’, ‘Give me back that awful taste!’ and other idiotic stuff. And he even planned to eat ramen while wearing his glasses. He just wouldn’t listen no matter how many times I scolded him, so I just beat him up.”
And his bad habit of forgetting things easily hasn’t changed at all, Min-san chuckled heartily.
Why don’t you give this back to him when you see him next time?
I rolled the goggles sunglasses on my palm, reaffirming its touch.
“…… Did he……”
“…… Did he?”
“Did he mention anything else? Like what he’s going to do after this?”
“I’m telling you that he was just here for ramen. I gave him a bowl of specially made ramen. Apart from that, do you need anything else?”
I shut my mouth and clenched the goggles sunglasses.
“Too slow! What were you doing at the ramen shop? You should have came upstairs right away when you arrived!”
When I stepped into the detective agency, Alice’s angry roars blew over along with the air conditioning. The detective wearing pajamas stood on her bed while frowning.
“Sorry…… I was talking with Min-san about something.”
“Not much time is left until the train departs. What if we are late?”
…… Train departs?
“The Shinkansen line that Hirasaka Renji is going on. Departing from Shinagawa at four in the evening.”
I widened my eyes.
“Why…… do you know?”
“He booked the tickets using his phone. I grasped it all. Fortunately, the object that we asked helped for has arrived, which would be the item that he forgot. Why don't you take it over to him?”
As I couldn’t catch the package that Alice threw over, it hit me right in my face.
“What is it? You seem even more sluggish than usual. Your energy burned out after all the effort you put in, perhaps? If you wish to investigate the empty rooms for nursing homes, I can accept the request with an extremely low price.”
“N- Not really, I don’t mean that.”
I pressed the package closely to my chest and approached Alice on my knees.
“Well…… That time—“
Halfway through my words, the words bent, snapped, was heated up and melted, and finally reversed its flow into my lung. Even I, myself, didn’t know. What did I want to say? What did I want to ask? What did I want? Being stared directly at by Alice’s clear gaze, the troubles and doubts in my chest were squeezed together.
After all, I only didn’t want the cold, blowing wind and the splattering rain to snatch the temperature on Alice’s body, only wanting to stay by her side.
I just don't want to see Alice feel sad, seeing her swallowing her bitter memories alone. However, I’m so insignificant that I can’t even share five percent of her pain.
“It might not be convincing if I say this…… But I will do my best. Because I want to keep staying by Alice’s side. So that Alice can feel that I can stay by her side as well.”
Alice went into a daze for a moment, pushing away the hill of stuffed animals behind her, retreating to the innermost side of her bed.
“W- W- Wh……” Her face slowly reddened. “What is wrong with you, suddenly…… What are you talking about!? You are extremely odd recently! Is it because of your inherent NEET traits, your brain broke down when your workload became too much!?”
“Eh…… Ah, no, sorry…… Well……”
“What about me? A- Asking me, w- what I feel about my assistant detective by my side who is as slow as plankton. You can actually be ignorant of this even though you were with me for so long, I am seriously speechless! To you, to you! That I am so—“
“…… So…… Erm…… What?”
As I was afraid of being pummeled, I covered my head with my hand, and I still felt a need to ask even though I was scared. Alice flushed, and as usual, empty cans of Dr. Pepper started to fly over.
“In any case, just hurry over!”
With her long hair fluttering, the NEET detective pointed at the entrance.
“What if you do not manage to arrive in time? Do you know how much energy would have been wasted then?”
I stuffed the goggles sunglasses and the item handed to me into my backpack together and flew out of the office.
I found the hair highlighted blonde at the waiting area of the number 23 line of the Shinagawa station. He leaned on the wall behind a shop, forlornly eating his train bento. Bells of train reaching the station and the voice of the announcer kept interweaving, while sounds of the trains on the railway rang non-stop.
I ran upwards along the stairs, passed through the gaps between the passengers pulling along luggage, and shouted out loudly. After raising his head and glancing at me, Renji-san refocused his attention on his bento. His speed of eating seemed to have slightly quickened as well.
When I ran to his side, adjusting my pace of breathing by supporting my hands on my knees, Renji-san snapped his chopsticks and flattened his bento box, walking over after throwing them into the rubbish bin.
“I was thinkin’ that Tokyo is really a desert, since nobody came to see me.”
The smile on his face was similar to that of the first time I saw him. However, there were red and green bruises on the two sides of his face. Possibly because I kept staring at him, Renji-san covered his face with his hands after noticing it.
“Ahh, about this? Narumi, ya probably saw the right one huh? It was Sou’s fist. The left was given my Min-san. I’m not even a Christian— Just thinking that my present for coming to Tokyo is these makes me want to cry.”
It felt like a rough flow of breath was stuck in my lungs.
“That guy, even though he was just a beaten up person, in the end, how were his fists? I underestimated him. I forgot how many wins and losses we had. If I lost more than I won, I feel even more like cryin’.”
I asked hesitantly:
“What are you going to do after this?”
“I’m thinkin’ of hidin’ near Osaka. It feels more comfy.”
Renji-san smiled with his teeth showing, and immediately frowned because of the pain on his face.
“Didn’cha beat up my underlings half to death at Akasaka? Actually there was a superviser from Yanagihara-kai among them, and I could only run away thanks to ya. Seriously, my personality is unsuited for paying back my debts steadily.”
“Won’t…… it be better if you just stay in Tokyo? If all of us help out, your debts will probably be……”
“I must take responsibility.”
He showed a gaze as though he was correcting me, and since he wasn’t wearing shades to block it, I couldn’t continue to respond.
“There’s no difference. Didn’t I tell ya before this? It’s enough that I could meet Narumi. Though the panda ain’t there anymore, we still saw penguins and polar bears. And also, the band’s songs ain’t bad as well. I’ll definitely buy their CDs if they’re out. I stayed in Tokyo for two months. Compared with my useless life, I already got a lot. Although I completely lost my sunglasses and my friends, and the woman that I once loved. So when ya think about it……”
I really couldn’t bear to continue listening. Because of that, I extended my hand into my backpack, taking out the goggles sunglasses. After that, Renji-san’s eyes widened.
“…… Ah— Ahhh— So it was at Hanamaru? So I left it over there? Rea—lly, thank ya. I’m saved.”
Renji-san’s eyes were hidden under the black glasses of the goggles sunglasses yet again.
I shook my head weakly. I just think I have more to help out with, but that would probably be just my own delusions. Every one of us can only be in pain alone, survive alone, and die alone. If we come in contact with each other because of certain occurrences, how can we do anything for the others? Just the useless frame of ourselves was more than we can handle.
The last thing that the dumb assistant detective could do, was only to be an errand boy.
I took out the paper package and handed it to Renji-san.
“No, I heard that you forgot this as well.”
Renji-san opened the package. The wind that blew on the station platform all of a sudden blew the paper packaging open. In the nick of time, his fingers caught the contents in the package, and then, pure white clothing material waved along the wind.
It was a T-shirt. With white background, only its collar and cuffs were black. There were detailed layers of embroidery on the shoulders and side abdominal part of it, which would be the emblem of Hirasaka-gumi. It wasn’t just scattered fireworks anymore, but a swallowtail butterfly soaring in the skies.
I understand now, so it’s such a thing. Alice asked Yoshiki-san to do this, I suppose?
“I forgot even about this.”
Renji-san’s smile was only on his mouth this time.
“When we decided on this emblem, Hison said that she wanted to help do embroidery of this. It’s just that I was too poor that time, so there’s just this one T-shirt.”
The moist voice seeped into the T-shirt along Renji-san’s fingers.
“So I just asked her to sew it on bit by bit when I went to hang out at the apartment, but in the end, Hison……”
While speaking hesitantly, Renji-san’s face sank in a shadow. I tried to give him a smile and shook my head.
“Until its completion, five years had passed.”
Renji-san responded with a forced smile as well.
“That’s right. Maybe she had a crush on me—“
He stopped halfway through his words. Renji-san covered his nose with the T-shirt.
“…… Sheesh. So it wasn’t Hison who finished the remaining part?”
I shook my head in puzzlement.
“It’s full of the smell of anesthetics. If you see that idiot after this, remember to tell him to be less restless in the ward.”
My throat was burned by tears.
I felt that it was quite unfair that only Renji-san was wearing sunglasses. Even though he was in tears, when he had his back on the Shinkansen that just arrived and was leaving me step by step, it was like— he looked like he was just smiling.
An intrusive wind remained. Even after the train left, I still grabbed onto the thick railings by the railway, waiting for my flow of tears to be stemmed. The sunlight was reflected from the walls of the building, scattering colorful particles of light on my wet eyelashes. The scene that came into my view felt like everything was going to be burnt into the sunny skies, and it was in an afternoon with dazzling sunlight in August.
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