OreShura: Volume 1 Chapter 5

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#5: Light Music is Mayhem[edit]

Oreshura v01 125.png

The next day, during lunch break time.

While eating lunch, I narrated in great detail what happened yesterday. Kaoru stared with his eyes wide open.

"Oh, that’s really an unexpected development."

Kaoru was right.

The fact that I got a girlfriend was a ridiculously abnormal event.

Yet I would've never thought that I, famous for always going home after school, would be attending club activities…

"Do you know who the advisor is? If there isn't one, it isn't possible to do any club activities, right?"

“She’s the Classical lesson's teacher Itotani[1]-sensei. Last year she was the instructor of the tea ceremony club, but after the third-years graduated, the club was shut down. We heard she wasn’t very busy, and it worked out that our club could take over the tea ceremony club."

"Then how did you explain the club activities to the teacher?"

"For the purpose of re-discovering the true appearance of the Japanese maiden, to transform Hanenoyama high school students into dignified, pure, upright, and beautiful girls, learning etiquette or maybe courtesy, etc..."

I had listened to Masuzu explaining this to the teacher, but I was completely bewildered.

Well, forget it. It was just a spectacle of words.

"Our club activities will have the purpose of making us popular and pleasing everyone, fuhuhuhu~tehe☆ ", Now that certainly wasn’t a proper thing to say.

Besides, there was also a more important unresolved issue: Whether my notebook would be leaked to Chiwa or not.

I later asked Masuzu why she had to bring in all this nonsense—

'No special reason. It's just more interesting that way.'

'This diary is full of very interesting subjects... I can clearly sense Eita’s extraordinary talentAura.'

'But do not worry, I will neither disclose the contents of the diary to Harusaki-san, nor will I let her know that this is in fact your personal diary.'

'I promise you, in case this should ever happen, I will lift you from your role of 'boyfriend'Fake.'


Well, since she said so, there was no harm in believing that for now.

But it was impossible to get rid of the lingering unease.

"Having said that, Natsukawa-san’s initiative is really amazing, yeah."

"Yeah, I was actually surprised."

In fact, in merely one day spent she found an advisor, applied and settled a club, furthermore she dragged Chiwa into the group. I didn’t expect such power from an ojou-sama.

Incidentally, Masuzu still wasn't in the classroom yet, and I hadn’t heard that she would go to the student cafeteria... So, where was she eating lunch?

"Oh, right, what about Chihuahua-chan[2]?"

"It looks as if she is truly burning with fighting spirit..."

Even though it seemed like we hadn’t spoken in ages, Chiwa had come over last night for dinner.

The dish was ginger roast pork, and she continuously refilled her rice bowl three times.

"Even though it's really irritating to be lectured by that woman, I also got to hear something good."

"I want to steal the secret, I want to be more popular than Natsukawa... I will absolutely show you!"

Chiwa splattered rice while talking excitedly, looking very happy.

It was probably that:

Ever since she had been unable to practice Kendo, I think she had too much energy waiting to be spent.

Moreover, she often said she was 'looking for new things to get into'.

Hehe.

"Doesn't Eita somehow look extremely pleased right now?"

"Don’t say stupid things. She forced me to reduce my study time and I find it very troubling."

However, the expression on my face had answered differently.

In fact, Kaoru was completely right. I was a little bit... happy.

Yet, it's not because I was taking part in a new club.

Rather, watching Chiwa repeatedly try her hardest —It didn’t feel bad.

"Having said that, being sandwiched in between two girls is very hard, too." Kaoru said with a wry smile.

"Yeah, only you can understand me."

"Of course, because we’re best friends."

This kind of empathetic feeling is something I also want to reach with my 'girlfriend' and 'childhood friend'.

I eagerly look forward to it!



After school—

There was a hanging-scroll written in calligraphy by Masuzu hanging in front of the clubroom door.

Our Jien-Otsu Club was finally ready to start activities.

"Harusaki-san, are you ready?", Masuzu asked.

Masuzu was wearing snowy white clothes as a cloak, which she mysteriously obtained from who knows where, with one hand holding my notebook, looking as if she was a teacher. This kind of dress was utterly well-suited for her. As expected, beauties could do things like that.

"Young maidens’ self-recreation, let’s start!"

Chiwa muttered with discontent, but nevertheless knelt onto a seat cushion. Like a true experienced kendo practitioner, her back was diligently straight, and her posture was excellent.

I followed and sat cross-legged on a folding chair, not far from the two girls.

"To start, let’s agree on a goal."

"Goal?"

"First, we target the person you want as your boyfriend. To put it simply, 'who do you want to take down[3]'?"

"Becoming popular without that... isn't possible?"

"I believe setting a goal will make it easier to obtain results from the training."

"...But even if you want me to suddenly pick someone..."

She said, then Chiwa briefly glanced towards me.

What is it?

Is she going to ask for my advice about it?

"That’s right, it’s a rather good thing to have a goal. Well, do you have anyone you're troubled by?"

"Ah… How could I have… uh?"

Chiwa bowed her head.

Ehhhhh…

She doesn’t like any boy in particular, yet she still wants to be popular?

This totally exhausts the point of having a goal.

"Don’t think too hard, it’s alright to start with those you think of as friends."

Chiwa bent her head down for a while and said,

"Well..."

She then looked up and continued,

"...Sakata from Men's Basketball? He’s a senior. I always hear the girls in our class discussing how handsome he is."

Sakata?

Does the men's basketball club have a senpai with that name?

"Do you mean Sakagami-senpai? The third-year?"

"Ah, r-right, that’s him."

So it turned out to be that senior?

If it’s really him, even I know his background. He’s going to participate in the High School Inter-High Sports Competition, and he’s the ace of Hanenoyama High School’s basketball team. He is very tall, good-looking, and is definitely considered 'the' popular' male senior.

"But he's practically an unattainable flower, isn't that a problem?"

"Yeah, I definitely... don’t recommend him.", Masuzu said, vaguely.

I was a bit surprised.

I thought she would say, 'ambitious goals' would be very good”.

"...No wait, actually this is very convenient."

She went on as if putting aside her earlier hesitation. She wildly nodded and said: "Sakagami’s younger brother is in our class. It might be easier to use him to introduce yourself."

"Maybe you can even get him to tell his brother that there is 'a very cute girl' in his class."

Even after all the trouble of finally picking a target, Chiwa’s expression still looked particularly unhappy.

"...Well, I guess I can settle for the Sakashita-senpai as a goal."

"You mean Sakagami, right?"

"Ah, right, it’s Sakagami-senpai."

How did her enthusiasm suddenly disappear?

Just yesterday, she was so vigorously spirited.

"Well, since we’ve agreed on a goal —we’ll begin the first day of the lecture."

Masuzu stood in front of a whiteboard (which she got from who knows where), and said:

"First we’ll read aloud 'his' diary, so please pay attention and listen."

Huh?

I couldn’t help but be taken aback... Yet, Masuzu’s eyes glanced at me with a smile and told me 'don't you worry'.

...Well, I’ll believe you for now.


May 28th - Clear

I want to introduce my partners – my guitar and Western music, as well as the rhythm of the soul.


Today, I carried my partners out with me.

They are me. Regardless of the time, I can neither let go, pass them away, nor substitute them with false avatars.

It is the 'GUITAR'[4]! It's engraved as my soul partner.

When I carry the guitar, I look precisely like an artist.

The eyes of people passing on the street look at me differently.

That’s because they see an artist's eyes - looking forward to only what's in front of him.

Exposed to this ardent gaze, my partner and I become burning fire, hot, hot.

But my expression has always been 'KOOL'[5].

Because— no, it’s not like that.

KOOL face × HAT soul[6] = ∞

If it’s not like that, you can’t make real music—


C'mon, today we’re opening the prelude of a live performance!


Let the dispirited school —heat up now!


"Ku— oooooooooooouuuu—"

This is...

T-This is sooo...

Masuzu really did follow our agreement, as she had made subtle changes, deleting specific terms, so one couldn’t tell that I wrote that diary.

She did it very well, and I wanted to praise her.

B-But...

But…

Aaaaaaaaaggghhhhhhhhhhh…

"Hey, hey, Ei-kun! Are you okay?"

I found Chiwa shaking my shoulder.

"Yeah, I’m fine, Chiwa, haha, what’s wrong? You look so surprised."

"Because you suddenly started banging your head on the wall! Eh! You… You’re bleeding!"

Chiwa quickly took out a red disinfectant fluid and a gauze from her bag. It seems she had developed a habit of carrying first-aid since participating in the kendo club. She was very experienced and skilled with treating injuries.

“Would Ei-kun like to go to the infirmary?"

Masuzu was also surprisingly caring.

—Oh wait, wasn’t she the one guilty for this?!

Damn...

I never imagined that reading the notebook in front of others would have such great destructive power.

It really exceeded my expectations.

Maybe it really will affect my life.

I have to hurry and make Chiwa popular, and then stop the club activities, otherwise...

"S-Sorry, I’m fine! We can keep going."

Masuzu nodded, and stood again in front of the whiteboard.

"The point of this diary entry is – 'people who are in a band, are popular'! In particular: The guitar. In fact, ninety-seven percent of high school boys who start to learn playing guitar do so to become 'popular'. The investigation data is very clear; in other words: The guitar has a very good effect on popularity. Of course, this also applies to high school girls."

Although Masuzu calmly sneaked in some false rumors, I have to agree that her claims might had some truth to it even though she inverted the reasoning.

People who played in bands were really popular. But was this because 'bands make people popular' or just because 'popular people play in bands'? Which of these, I am not quite sure.

"But what if I can’t play the guitar?"

"Then what can you play?"

Chiwa tilted her head to the side and said:

"Ehhh... the shinai?"

"The shinai is not a musical instrument."

"Eh? But they make a sound when you are hit by them."

"What kind of pitch is that?"

"Face hit ♪ Face hit ♪[7]."

"How can you say that so casually?!"

Masuzu tapped her baton on the whiteboard and said:

"It's alright even if you can’t play."

"Eh?"

"You just have to look as if you know how to play. You’ll have no chance to perform during school anyways. "

"That’s right..."

"For a while, the 'air guitar'[8] was really fashionable, right? That’s the best evidence that if you want to be popular, you don’t actually need to be able to make music."

Masuzu pulled out a guitar case from behind the whiteboard.

It was a huge, hard, black-colored case.

"Here, this is for you."

Chiwa took the box, flipped it around and rolled her eyes.

"There’s no guitar in here?"

Masuzu shrugged, as if to mean 'What is this child saying?' with her body language. She asked: "If we put it in, wouldn’t it be too heavy?"

"[...]"

"Please carry this case with you. As a guitar player would say, a guitar is the equivalent of one’s own body, right, Eita-kun?"

"S-Sure."

In the notebook, it was written like that.

Though in reality, I knew nothing about the guitar.

My diary entry was entirely based on the idea, 'If I could play the guitar'. You could say it was a type of psychological preparation or vision for the future... or well… maybe a kind of ideal dream narrative.

Ugh.

No...

"Waaahhhhhhhhh! If you jump from that window, you’ll be killed!"

"What's wrong with you?! Calm down, Ei-kun!"

I finally gave up on the idea of suicide with Chiwa’s attempts to calm me.

Masuzu cleared her throat and said:

"If anyone wants to touch this case, just angrily rebuke them, 'Do not defile my soul!' or 'Let go with your dirty hands!', characteristic irritability is a distinctive trait of a guitarist."

That was a seriously prejudiced stereotype.

"But the inside's empty, right?"

"Well, if you put a guitar in, won’t it be too heavy?"

"[...]"

Chiwa wore an indescribable expression on her face, while staring at the case.

"Also, you have to completely belittle traditional Japanese music."

"W-Why is that?"

"This is the predisposition of the guitarist. Listeners to traditional music are scum, trash, dirty bugs! You need to have this kind of mental preparation, especially while listening to Johnny or AK[9]. The moment you hear this kind of music, it lets your ears rot, acknowledge that."

Huh?

Does Masuzu really have an irreconcilable hatred of traditional Japanese music?

"Will this really make me popular?"

Chiwa said, wrinkling her eyebrows.

It seemed like she finally began to feel suspicious.

"Of course, 'his' notes are more perfect than the Bible."

Even faced with doubtful questions, Masuzu was unwavering.

"Hatred of traditional music and love of Western music is an unconditional requirement for a guitarist."

"I’ve never listened to Western music, and I don’t know any singers."

"Not singers. They’re called 'artists'[10]."

Masuzu carefully corrected the details.

"Don’t worry, if someone asks which artists you like, just pick a name from the Stands of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures Part IV, as famously recorded in the notebook."

"[...]"

Please forgive me, Araki Hirohiko-Sensei[11].

"Oh... By the way, what's 'JoJo'?"

"Ehh?!"

Masuzu stared at Chiwa with a stunned expression.

"You’re saying you do not know of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure?"

"Nope. Does it have something to do with a Yakiniku Shop?"

"[...]"

Masuzu sighed deeply.

Does this mean that, despite her appearance, she loves shounen manga just like how Chiwa likes shoujo manga?

"I finally know the reason why you are unpopular, Harusaki Chiwa. Someone who doesn't know Jojo is at the same level as the Peking Man[12]."

"D-Don't say stupid stuff! I’m a fully-fledged Japanese!"

No, you should be throwing a tsukkomi to the 'primitive man' part[13].

"If you wish to claim that you’re a Japanese person living in the modern era, please finish reading JoJo first. Popular or not, this is where it starts."

"JoJo turned out to be such an important factor..."

Chiwa dejectedly hung her head.

But only for a few seconds.

"I know, I’ll stop by at the bookstore and buy them on my way home!"

Her hair abruptly flicked up as she lifted her head, her pupils flaring up again with excitement.

"Originally, I wanted you to read it all from the beginning of the first part, but since we are actually concerned with the fourth part, get volumes 29 to 47. A single volume costs 410 yen, so altogether it's a total of 7790 yen."

"That’s so expensive! I've only get a 5000 yen allowance every month!"

"Please understand the point. In order to be popular, one surely will need money."

"Really, this so-called love... It depends on how much money..."

Chiwa's eyes had a faraway look.

Yareyare...

"Don’t worry, Chiwa, if it's JoJo I have all volumes, I'll lend them to you."

"T-Thank you, Ei-kun~!"

Chiwa looked exactly like a puppy that had been fed a treat, and excitedly moved closer to me.

"If you really liked what you read, be sure to get your own copy afterwards, okay?"

Masuzu urged her to do so. It was evident that she was a hard-core fan of JoJo.

After that, we talked about the details of the popularity-operation to be carried out the next day.



The next day after school—

"Hey, hey —Ei-kun."

While holding the guitar case, Chiwa came to our classroom.

"Hey —isn't it Chiwa? Why did you bring a guitar with you today?"

"This is, of course, my soul! The guitar is my soul."

Chiwa and I were reciting our lines word-by-word.

As for Masuzu, she sat next to me, completely indifferent to us while writing the day-duty log. If there were any problems, if anything wrong happened, she'd add herself and follow through the situation.

Sakagami-senpai’s little brother sat on the desk three rows in front of the one on my right.

He was chatting with a female friend, which meant he hadn’t gone home yet.

It was a good opportunity.

"That’s strange? Chihuahua-chan can play the guitar?"

The one who spoke out was the leader of a group of girls —Akano Mei[14].

She was said to have a large circle of friends. No matter in which class, boy or girl, she had friends, practically as if she were the embodiment of a popular girl[15].

She and Chiwa should have only been on speaking terms, so the fact she was called by her nickname was a really worthy change.

"Hi, Mei-chan! Yes, I can play the guitar, ahahahha."

"How long have you been playing?"

"H-Gow long, um… I’ve been holding guitar picks since before I drank from milk bottles!"

"Are you part of a band?"

"M-Me… I play on my own! Occasionally, I make solo performances in front of the train station!"

"Amazing, you’re like a street musician?"

"Y-Yeah! Aha! Ahahaha!"

Hey...

Don’t be boastful like that, all right?

Yet, nonetheless, this conversation seemed to be useful. I saw the younger brother of Sakagami glancing from time to time at Chiwa.

We faced Masuzu to the side and noticed that under the table, she had put up an index finger.

That was the signal to continue.

"What kind of music do you normally listen to?”

One of Akano’s friends — Aoba Satsuki[16] added the topic.

The two girls were the social core of our class, commonly known as the 'Red-Green combo'[17].

"U-huh, like reddo hotto chiri Pepper. There’s also ba-baddo canpany and such, right?[18]"

Even though she stumbled about slowly, Chiwa still answered with the proper names of the bands.

Evidently, she had completely read all of Part IV the night before.

"'Red Hot'... What’s that?"

"You don’t know it? They’re a very famous American band."

Akano blinked with awe towards Aoba, willing to lend an explanation.

It seemed that Aoba was an 'I know it' type.

"Harusaki-san, do you like 'Rechili'?"

"Assorted puffer-fish hot pot? I’ve eaten it when I traveled with my family in Kyuushuu, but I prefer pork shabu-shabu."

Hey, idiot Chiwa!

You should just think about the context! 'Rechili' is an abbreviation of 'Red Hot Chili Peppers'!

"Ahhh, sorry, Harusaki-san doesn’t like this abbreviation, right?"

"Huh?"

“Old fans all abbreviate 'RHCP' or 'Chili Peppers', my father said so."

Chiwa looked as if she finally understood.

"Ahhh! Uh, I am an old fan of theirs! I am an 'Old Type'!"

It seemed that Chiwa wouldn't be able to use Funnels[19].

"Well, since you’re a fan of the 'Chilipeppers', your guitar should also be a 'Strat', right?"

"Huh?"

"Frusciante is really handsome! It’s too bad he left the band."

“F-Fruscian—? Then whose stand is that?”

“Stand?"

This conversation isn’t working.

Even though I would have very much liked to help her, I have almost no knowledge of Western music. Even I just learned that 'Red Hot Chili PepperS' had been their correct name moments ago.

Faced with this kind of situation, I gave a sidelong glance towards Masuzu.

"Ahhhh... the clouds are red like blood, the gods of twilightRagnarok are near."

Masuzu leaned on the desk with her hand supporting her cheek, as if she became a poet who lazily gazed out of the window.

It was as if everything had nothing to do with her.

I've never seen such a hideous person!

"Let me see your guitar."

Akano said this decisive sentence.

"N-No! This is my soul! I can’t just let other people casually look at it!"

Chiwa protectively shifted her (empty) guitar case behind her.

"Huh? Why not, just let me look at your precious 'Strat'."

"You should play a little for us, then! Even a little bit would be great!"

This was the limit.

"Come on Chiwa! It’s about time for you to go to your live concert, right?"

I wanted to help her, but—

"Yeah, I want to see it too!"

At this point, Sakagami’s brother chimed in.

"My brother's hobby is collecting old guitars. His room is full of guitars. Maybe Harusaki would be able to get along with him."

Exactly like his brother, he has a handsome face. He approached Chiwa.

Finally backed into a corner, Chiwa trembled all over and clung to the guitar case.

I profoundly noticed how short her body was.

Carrying a large guitar case made her little body seem especially short; after all, Chihuahua was her nickname for a reason.

Yet, her physique was clearly very strong.

Female high school students generally couldn’t even compare with her. After eight years of Kendo experience, the results were not just skin deep.

With this, Chiwa stammered:

“O-O-OOOO-O-k-Okay? I-I-IIII-I’ll let you see..."

She grabbed the neck of the guitar case, and raised it up as if it were a shinai.

"DORAA!"

Chiwa issued a roar from the depths of her stomach:

"DORARARARARARARARARARARA[20]!"

She was like a crazy destructive guitarist at a live performance, and soon after, began waving the guitar case!

"DORARARARARARARARARARARA!"

Sakagami’s little brother was dumbfounded, and stared blankly.

Everyone in the class held their breath, or were petrified while staring at Chiwa’s disheveled hair and destructive actions. Luckily, her arms were very short, so she didn’t cause any damage to anything around her.

"Uuuf— DORA—!"

Finally, she gave one last epic finishing cry, reminiscent of her glorious days in the kendo club.

The classroom was absolutely silent.

"Ro-Rokkun Ro-ru-[21]! Sankyuu! I love you!"

Chiwa’s face was stiff with a grin as she waved vigorously to the audience.

That was the end of the live performance.

"...I’m done!"

Chiwa again grabbed her guitar case, and fled like a rabbit from the classroom.

No one tried to run after her.

We all remained motionless.

And didn’t even speak a word.

In this frozen classroom, only one person let out a sound.

Natsukawa Masuzu.

She had buried her face on the desk, her body shaking with vibration.

I was under the impression that she was devastated by the tragic failure, since she was the sponsor of this project. It's what I was expecti—

"Pufufufu, fufufufufu, ufufufufufu, fufufufufufufufufufu—[22]"

She was laughing.

Crying.

Her shoulders quivered.

Her entire body bursted out into laughter.

[...]

Certainly, I really have never seen such a hideous person!


Translator notes and references[edit]

  1. In Kanji: 糸谷.
  2. Kaoru's nickname for Chiwa.
  3. Take Down: オトス, as in "taking down a target".
  4. Written in English.
  5. Written in English.
  6. Kool (Cool) & Hat (Hot) are meant as typos.
  7. In Kendo, you have to yell the body part you are attacking, here she is referencing that the mask (men) gets hit.
  8. Air Guitar: Pretending to play guitar, without holding one in one's hands.
  9. These are J-Pop artists. "Johnny" is probably Johnny Kitagawa and "AK" Akemi Krivit.
  10. Chiwa is using the Japanese term for singer (歌手) , Masuzu corrects her with the English one.
  11. Creator of Jojo.
  12. Peking Man: A fossil, believed to be among the first evolutionary stages of the human being.
  13. By "Peking Man" Chiwa didn't understand that she was being called primitive, she merely understood that she was being called "someone from Peking".
  14. In Kanji: 赤野メイ.
  15. Riajuu (successful in social life) is used.
  16. In Kanji: 青葉 さつき.
  17. The "Ao" in "Aoba" is from "green" (or blue) and the "Aka" in "Akano" from "red"
  18. Chiwa correctly memorized the "names", but her pronunciation of them was strange (written in hiragana).
  19. Funnels is a type of remote / mind controlled weapon of Gundam, the characters that can use these are labeled as "NEW TYPES". Eita's pun strikes twice, first that Chiwa calls herself "Old Type" and second is that in katakana the "Fun" of "Funnels" is the same as "Fan", thus he implies that she isn't a good fan
  20. This is Josuke Higashikata (lead of Jojo's Part IV) multi-punch battle cry.
  21. Again, wrong pronunciation.
  22. A very characteristic type of laugh, interpreted as mischievous.
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