OreShura: Volume 2 Chapter 1
#1: Childhood Friend's Love Letter? It's Mayhem.
Eleven o’clock at night, when I finished today’s studying for final exams—
Once again, I unfolded the letter I had received after school.
—I have always liked you.
—Let’s bind ourselves together again like we did in the distant past.
I re-read it many times, regardless I could only sigh.
There was no name.
And because it was typed on a computer, I could not check the handwriting.
The writer didn’t even specify what she wanted to do.
This was some kind of prank and I should ignore it – Even though I rationally thought that, I felt 'If that were the case, it wouldn’t have been written like this.' If they were trying to see my flustered face from receiving a fake love letter, they would have written 'I loooooove Kido-kun! I have always stared at youuuu!'. Something along those lines, with above mentioned effect.
'Let’s bind ourselves together again like we did in the distant past.'
The implied overtones of this statement made me very concerned.
It exuded such a 'seriousness', it was impossible to take as a joke.
"Anyways, why meee?!"
I actually received a love letter, it’s abnormal! It has to be a mistake.
Speaking of which, this was why I hated 'love'.
The reason were my parents.
When I had been little, they used to say stuff like 'Even though our parents strongly opposed it, Dad firmly wanted to marry Mom!' or 'As long as I have Dad and Ei-kun at my side, Mom doesn’t need anything else!'. But when I enrolled in middle school, the common everyday occurrence was seeing them fight, fight and fight, until at last they mutually agreed that their relationship as lovers evaporated. If my aunt Saeko-san had not taken me in, I do not know what would have happened to me by now.
Thus, I became 'anti-romance'.
'Romantic comedy is the best'! 'Love is everything'! I firmly sing discordantly against such system of values. In other words I'm just like that Natsukawa Masuzu. By being someone with the same values, I was naturally the choice to be her 'boyfriend'Fake.
But, regarding the fact that I am 'anti-romance', only Masuzu who shares similar ideals knows.
It's not like I go around shouting stuff like: 'I am anti-love! I reject romantic comedy!'
The letter I have just received, it's not like doing that is going to make it disappear.
Just where is the one who actually wrote this?
The next day during lunch break:
"Hey, Kaoru, there’s something I want to ask you."
"What is it? Why are you being so formal?"
My close friend, Asoi Kaoru, tilted his head, puzzled.
As long as there were no jien-otsu activities, I would eat lunch with Kaoru in the classroom. Since Masuzu and Chiwa were always playing around with me, I didn’t know how 'relaxing' this time could be.
I don't think there is anything that can beat a good friendship between men, and Kaoru is a good guy.
"What do you think 'Let’s bind ourselves together again like we did in the distant past' means?"
"What is that?"
Just after tearing a small piece of butter bread and putting it in his mouth, Kaoru wryly smiled. This way of eating made him seem completely like a girl, but it suited him wonderfully. His skin was white and his appearance was beautiful. If you insisted he was a girl, seven out of ten people would believe it.
"Nothing. When I was practicing the English exam, this was the translated answer to one of the problems. What do you think it means?"
Since I couldn’t say it was a love letter, I used this kind of thing to cover it up.
After taking a sip of milk with his straw, he said:
"Generally speaking, it should refer to a former friend or a ex-girlfriend who want to mend fences."
I also came to that same conclusion.
But I actually didn’t have any 'ex-girlfriends'. Give the amount of experience I had as a 15-years-old, how could I have that kind of relationship? What type of riajuu would I be if I did? I would have replaced two kanji's of my name by the word 'popular' if I did.
"And then there is also Chihuahua-chan."
"A 'childhood friend'. From Eita’s perspective, shouldn’t the person who wants to bind themselves together like in the distance past be Chihuahua-chan?"
I was in the middle of picking up grilled salmon from my bento, when I unconsciously stopped moving my chopsticks.
"B-But, Chiwa and I are still getting along well. 'Bind ourselves together like in the distant past' would be a weird thing to say, right?
"That way of thinking, could it only be limited to Eita?"
Kaoru’s eyes suddenly became mischievous like a child.
"From Chihuahua-chan's perspective, she might even want to get closer to Eita, at least that the feeling I get."
"Even if you say that, we are still close enough to dine together!"
Kaoru temporarily came to a halt.
"The Eita of 'now' has a girlfriend. And that would be Natsukawa-san."
"From Chihuahua-chan's perspective, there’s no way your relationship could be the same as before, right?"
That was a blind spot.
Now that I think of it, Chiwa has been very earnest reading teenage fashion magazines like 'Pachi Lemon', which has pages fulled with frivolous slogans from start to finish like 'Summertime ☆ Popucute ☆ Using Love Letters to get Boyfriends♪'.
Since Chiwa an easily influenced girl, it's quite likely that she was affected by the magazines, acting without thinking about her actions.
Yesterday morning, subsequently she came out with that out-of-nowhere line:
'From now on, why don't we go together to the school?'
Why would Chiwa want to do something like that?
Chiwa d-d-d-didn’t have any r-r-r-reason to do that kind of thing.
"What’s wrong, Eita? You are covered in sweat."
I didn’t have time to answer Kaoru’s question, as I just shoved a fried egg in my mouth.
I just don't understand this.
About the egg, I intentionally put a lot of sugar, so it should have been sweet, but it was like chewing sand; without flavor.
—I have to confirm it!
Using assumptions to make decisions is very dangerous and I certainly am not the main character of a romantic comedy. It would be a disgrace to take the fish bait. I have to cautiously check on Chiwa before I can decide whether she sent the love letter or not.
Then after the confirmation——
"What should I doooooo?!"
"Wah— Eita, don’t spit your fried egg out!"
In short: I wanted to confirm it!
"Hey, Chiwa, the weather today is really nice, hahaha.."
"It’s a really cloudy day."
—A sudden mistake already!
After school, I went to the jien-otsu club room.
Luckily, Chiwa and I were alone. Masuzu seemed to be busy and told me that she'd be late. So before she got back, there was no other way but to make the move at this time!
"R-Really? My judgment and everyone else’s logic aren’t the same. In my opinion, if the sky is around 80% cloudy, it’s still good weather."
Chiwa disinterestedly muttered a little and took a huge bite of curry bread. She continued to fix her eyes on the other cabbage-and-sauce pork cutlet sandwich. Recently, she'd been snacking a lot after school. I’ve told her: 'Don’t eat both sandwiches', but she replied: 'If I had a fried-pork-cutlet-and-curry sandwich, I would be fine with eating just one'. As expected of a woman who thinks entirely with her stomach. If we let her alone, maybe she'd cause a bread industry revolution.
"Ei-kun, how did you suddenly become so fidgety?"
"N-No, I haven’t! How could I…?"
I lifted up my reference book and covered my face from her line of sight.
"And Natsukawa? Why isn’t she here? Is she dead?"
"She said she had something to do and would be late twenty minutes or so."
"...So, for the time being, it'll only be the two of us."
The dialogue stopped here.
I stole a peek at Chiwa from the shadow of my reference book and found her with her head lowered bashfully. Half of her curry bread was unfinished; her face seemed very red.
What's going on...?
What is with this posture’s appearance?
Even though I urgently wanted to face Chiwa and confirm it all, I couldn’t think of a subtle way to ask about it.
What would I do if I confirmed everything, anyways?
If Chiwa answered 'Yeah, I wrote it', then, what should I do?
Would we 'start over' and 'bind ourselves together again like we did in the distant past'?
This would mean, Chiwa and me——
While I was still hesitating and pondering in this maze, Chiwa was the first to make an action.
*hustlehustle* She dragged her folding chair next to mine.
Did she have some kind of plan? Chiwa pressed her shoulder against my shoulder.
"W-W-Wh-Wh-What are you doing?!"
"Ah, Ei-kun, I want to practice a little."
Chiwa’s hair drifted by and it had a warm milk-like fragrance, causing my voice to soften.
I always felt this smell was very nostalgic.
"Right, practice. Before I become popular, this is practice for when I get a boyfriend...!"
Chiwa leaned her entire head against my shoulder.
Rubbed it back and forth.
She looked just like a puppy, with her face rubbing my shoulder several times.
"Y-Y-You, d-don’t misunderstand! This is just a 'club activity'!"
"G-G-G-Got it— It's the club, merely for the club!"
In the beginning Chiwa was a little shy, but gradually she began to rub closer and faster, so much so that her voice comfortably sighed a *kun* sound. She was really like a puppy.
"Ei-kun, do you remember?"
"In the past, I used to always fall asleep like this."
"My mom and dad would always come home late, so Ei-kun would stay with me and play in the park until it got dark. Then we would always sleep on the bench like this, until someone came to pick us up, remember?"
It was impossible for me to forget.
Chiwa put on a small smile.
"So it’s not just me who remembers, that's great."
Chiwa muttered to herself, again began to 'rub back and forth' and *kun*.
At each stroke her fragrant hair brushed by my cheek.
Chihuahua was really comfortable...
—Wait, this isn't it!
This was a good opportunity!
After all the trouble, we are talking about the past, right? This is the perfect time to ask! 'Were-you-the-one-who-wrote-that-letter?' It's only eight words. I’ll count to three and firmly say it!
Okay, come on!
"W-Were sou te one who frote that lietter?"
Wuuaaaaahhhhhh! Why did I say it in Nagoya dialeeeeeeect!
"What’s wrong, Ei-kun? What did you just say?"
"N-N-N-Nothing! Nothing! Ish Noshing!"
"I thought I heard 'lietter', was it letter?"
"N-No! What are you talking about? The lietter play! I was talking about the musical! Musicals made from sign language are rare in the world, so I’m really looking forward to iiiiiiit!"
Just as I felt like this excuse was about to explode, at that time——
"Knock-knock! Is anyone the~~re♪?"
Accompanied with this voice, an outstretched hand pressed Chiwa’s face harshly down the table.
This hand specifically and very thoughtfully used the half-eaten curry bread as padding below. Thanks to this action, Chiwa’s face was forced into the predicament of tasting her favorite curry bread.
There was only one person in the world who could defeat Chiwa with such beautiful technique.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, Eita-kun♪! Your cute girlfriend has returned!"
She came back earlier than I had expected…
"H-Hi! Are you already finished with your business?"
"Yes, I just went to the staff room to get some things."
Then Masuzu looked all around her.
"And Harusaki-san? Why isn’t she here? Is she dead?"
"She's under your hand—!"
Chiwa snapped and stood up, her face thoroughly covered with curry.
"I apologize, I did not noticed, the only thing that I saw was merely a thieving cat, or rather, a 'thieving Chihuahua'."
"Who are you calling thieving?!"
"Taking advantage of when his girlfriend isn’t around and snuggling with Eita-kun, you bring the concept of 'childhood friend' down on a national level, Harusaki-san."
I didn’t know when Chiwa suddenly became the representative of all of Japan’s childhood friends.
"N-N-No, this is a club activity! We’re practicing for when I get a boyfriend!"
"You’re a hundred years too early."
Masuzu hit the mark with her cut to the chase talk.
"I said it before, right? If you want to be popular, you have to finish reading this."
Masuzu put the cardboard boxes by her feet on the table and happily opened the boxes.
The cardboard boxes had some mail-order company logo printed on it.
What she pulled out from the inside of the box——
It was what Masuzu considered the Bible of shounen manga: The first volume edition of 'JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures'. There were already more than 70 volumes already published, however the box only seemed to contain the first twelve volumes.
"This is reference material for the 'Society for Bringing Out Your Maiden Self' that I purchased with my own private expenses. This set of manga is for Harusaki-san to read, so she can carefully study what a truly fascinating person look like."
As Chiwa wiped curry off the side of her face with tissue paper, she said:
"If it’s 'JoJo', didn’t I already read it when I played guitar on stage last time?! "
"You only read the fourth part, right? That’s unacceptable. You must start from the first part and read onwards. According to the NASA studies, it was clearly shown that 87% of girls who have a boyfriend have read JoJo starting from the first volume to the current one."
NASA is really impressive—
I thought they only launched rockets.
Like she was handling a treasure, Masuzu started to line up JoJo on the steel bookshelf.
"You bought this specifically for the club? Couldn’t you just bring a set from home?"
"No! My own JoJo belongs only to me, just like how everyone can have only one Stand, one person can only have one set of JoJo."
And, as usual, she can go on and on with her JOJOJOJO talks.
How much does she really like JoJo? Even though I also like the series, but I definitely lose to her fanaticism.
After lining up all twelve volumes, Masuzu sighed as she stared at the remaining empty space on the bookshelf:
"My allowance has been used up, but if we actually received money from the club, we could buy an entire set."
"Well, there is nothing we can do about that."
The 'Society for Bringing Out Your Maiden Self' only had three members, thus it was only considered an association of people with similar interests, without five members we couldn't be recognized as an official club and because we weren’t an official 'club', we didn’t receive any support from the school. The fact that we already had a clubroom was a big special exception to the rules.
"Masuzu, weren’t you supposed to be an ojou-sama from a good standing family?"
"What are you talking about, that is?"
Masuzu bluntly frowned.
"Nothing really. In the past, there was a rumor in the class that you were an 'ojou-sama' or 'she doesn't live in our world', so I thought you must have had a lot of pocket money."
"I’ve heard those rumors, too—"
Chiwa raised her hand.
Masuzu turned averted her gaze.
"Uun— Were there even those type of rumors about me?"
"Is it inconsistent with the facts?"
Still avoiding direct eye contact with us, Masuzu coldly spoke:
"Let’s just say my allowance money isn’t actually that much."
Though it made sense, since rumors have always been unreliable.
Masuzu always was very classy and moreover she had returned from going up overseas, so people developed the stereotype that 'she has to be the rich daughter of a high class family', that kind of first impression.
"So you’re saying, because the school doesn’t recognize us as an official club, it’s very difficult to purchase an entire set of JoJo?"
When I brought the topic JoJo back, Masuzu's brightened with joy.
"As long as we collect five members, I’ve heard that the school can recognize us an official club."
"So we need two more people?"
Forget it. That's impossible.
I couldn’t imagine anyone, aside from Chiwa, who would be interested enough in this kind of club to join.
"Now that you bring it up, I was recently scolded by a disciplinary committee member."
Chiwa ate her flattened curry bread as she spoke.
"The person said that when I brought a guitar to school, it'd be a violation of school rules! I was harshly taught a lesson in the disciplinary room, even though I obviously didn’t bring a guitar! Only the box!"
"Ah, that's most unfortunate."
I spoke as I nodded, but I silently praised the disciplinary committee members in my heart. At that time, I had wondered what I should do if Chiwa continued to walk around with an (empty) guitar case.
"I was also scolded before. For example: 'Don't do strange activities that disrupt the discipline committee'. Or: 'Produce actual results from club activities'. Basically, it looks like our club is being watched."
Our school’s disciplinary committee was known for its power and its strong influence on 'student self-government'. They express the opinion that problems should be solved before complaints arise. Against this enthusiasm and activism, even the student council had conceded defeat.
If that group was serious, our kind of club could immediately be dissolved.
Even the powerful Masuzu would only be able to obediently submit.
"So, today's topic of discussion is——"
Masuzu stood up, and wrote several large characters on the whiteboard:
'GET RID OF THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE!'
I revolted at the preface.
As expected, she certainly wasn't someone who would go down without a fight.
"That’s absolutely impossible!"
I stood up and rapidly erased the text on the whiteboard.
Masuzu had a very sour expression and her cheeks inflated.
"Why? How can you possibly know without trying?"
"Impossible is impossible! How can we oppose the disciplinary committee? Can't you tell the result already!?"
"Then what should we do? Don’t tell me you just want to sit tight and wait for death as they abolish our club?"
"If that’s the case, try increasing the number of members we have and see how that goes?"
Chiwa suggested from the sidelines.
"Isn’t an increase in membership the best result? If we get two more members, we can upgrade to an official club, and receive funding for club activities. We’d kill two birds with one stone."
"That idea is really great, Harusaki-san!"
Masuzu praised Chiwa, which was a very rare occurrence.
"To think that there actually was something inside that head! I wouldn't have believed it!"
And just as I thought it was praise, it immediately turned into derogatory insults. This woman certainly has a knack for raising you to the sky, and then smacking you to the ground.
"Fuu— What did you think was in my head?"
"Hee, so I was being conducted the entire time——?"
Blue veins shot out on Chiwa’s temples, as if a pilot driver had pressed down on a button. Chihuahua’s mechanical structure really was amazing.
"Overall, I think this is a good idea and with that cowardly Eita-kun will have no objections?"
I felt that if they wanted that, they could do whatever they wanted. With the semester about to end and during the period when life goes up and down, it was impossible to find new members; and as for being called cowardly, I’d pretend I never heard it.
"So what are our specific plans? Marketing activities?"
"Should I go talk to my classmates in the go-home club?"
"No, that doesn’t work."
Masuzu shook her head.
"This illustrious club has no place for weak-willed people like that. If it's like, 'It doesn't matter the price, let me enter the club' or 'If you do not let me join your club, I will commit seppuku! ', unless it's circumstances like these we wouldn’t be able to call ourselves remarkable young maidens."
From a very long time ago, I thought that this girl’s 'young maiden's vision' was absolutely deviated from the norm.
"In short: As long as we can demonstrate our special charm to the school in order to attract people, we will be fine."
"So specifically what will we do?"
"Ah?", Chiwa and I simultaneously voiced.
"We will create a theme song for the 'Society for Bringing Out Your Maiden Self'."
Masuzu faced the dazed two of us and winked:
"The power of songs should not be underestimated. It can end wars, cause the enemy to reform and start afresh, overthrow the last boss – They can transcend the boundaries language and international borders, even beyond the ethnic divide and they propagate strength. This is a song."
"That much I can understand."
"In addition, the so-called song is also a 'symbol'. Asides from national anthems, school songs, club songs and including the theme songs of anime or TV soap operas, as soon as one hears a particular song, they will think 'I can remember hearing this song', furthermore their faces will change when the content of the song is heard."
As always, it was meaningless but persuasive speech.
If it worked, I had no comment.
"Having a theme song is very good, but can you compose it?"
"Me? Like if I could do something like that."
'What is this pig dreaming about', was the message that I could read in Masuzu's eyes as she glanced me. Was it this pattern again?
"Harusaki-san, do you have any experience composing?"
"Why would I?"
Masuzu let out a 'Puu' as her shoulders dropped.
"You’re such a group of useless people."
"You don’t have the qualifications to say that about others!"
"But I have first-class qualifications as an architect the 'shelf of the mind'"
"Don’t make up strange national qualifications."
"Then we will attract a new member who can compose a theme song!"
"But we wanted to write a theme song so we could attract new membersssss!"
The composition of a song was thus delayed and we first tried to make lyrics.
Because the lyrics were meant to grab a maiden’s heart, I was not responsible for anything. With the final exam as my priority, my goal was to reach the local National University School of Medicine under school recommendation. With that kind of ambition, I couldn’t regularly let my test scores slide.
"Even so, can the two of you really write poetry?"
"Well, I kind of like it?"
"As a maiden, I’ve written a poem or two."
Never mind Masuzu, but even Chiwa could write poetry. It was frankly really surprising.
Now that you mention it, I’ve always felt that the love letter had been written with a very poetic flavor.
After the end of club activities——
I left earlier than the two of them and arrived at the shoe cupboards first. Waiting for me there was another familiar pink envelope.
I checked that there were people's shadows around me and my trembling hands opened the envelope.
—Ah, please notice 'my true feelings' soon.
—No matter the era, even as the river slips by, only our bindings together can never be shaken.
I thought that this time, there was a little more poetic charm than the last.
But because Chiwa should still have been in the clubroom, did that mean the person who put this letter in was in fact someone else?
No, that was not necessarily so.
Ever since the morning, I hadn’t been near my shoe cupboard, so there were many opportunities to slip the letter in.
Even so, this letter was the same as before. There were no specific details.
What was I supposed to expect?
Translator notes and references
- "季堂 鋭太" is the regular way, his example is "モテ堂 モテ太".
- Nagoya Dialect: The original was 15 katakana "A NO TE GA MI WO KA I TA NO HA O MA E KA", but he pronounced it like "a, ano tegamy wo kyata no ha, omya kya".
- Eita forms "Te ga myushical" from tegamy, the "Te" he used was from hand (手).
- A type of power that lets you "materialize" a spirit who "stands behind you", one person can only have one and a Stand can't change owners, thus Masuzu makes a point with that example.
- Volume 13 is where Jojo part 3 starts, which is also the most popular part of the series, her grievance comes from missing out the part that she likes the most.
- Samurai suicide.
- Shelf of the mind (心の棚) is a book.
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