Tasogare-iro no Uta Tsukai:Volume1 Prologue
Prologue: The Intersection of Rainbow and Night —Even before the beginning—
The scorching sunlight shone like torture. Even closing the curtains could not block the heat wave. The window frames were tinged with enough heat that even a light touch could burn one’s hand.
Outside the classroom, the schoolyard was filled with dancing waves of heat. It was too warm to be called early summer. No, at this stage, it would be more appropriate to call it “hot”.
……The school should reasonably consider installing air conditioning equipment.
The electric fan on the ceiling spun vainly. Giving it a sidelong glance, the teacher Jessica Lebindear let out a tired sigh. Was it because of the heat or because of the summer vacation drawing closer?
Gazing down from her platform, the students were all lying paralyzed on their desks. The combined test before summer vacation had ended, and right now was certainly the most careless class period.
“By the way, has everyone decided what color to specialize in?”
Using her hand to wipe away the sweat sticking to her bangs, Jessica crossed her arms. Descending the platform, she stepped up to the student sitting in the front row.
“Zessel-kun, what about you?”
She patted the shoulders of a sleeping student whose body swayed like a rowing boat. Opening his eyes, the student in question scratched his head as if he was flustered.
“S – Stop that, sensei! Didn’t I already choose Red?!”
Hiding his embarrassment, the student’s cheeks flushed and he replied in a loud voice.
“I knew you would say that. Zessel-kun has always liked red, haven’t you?”
“Isn’t it the most eye-catching color? Fire, the use of that Recitation is extremely cool.”
Behind the student who was gesturing with his hands while he spoke –
“Still haven’t learned your lesson? Even though you say that, you got burned the last time you reached your hand into a fire.”
The glasses-wearing student sitting behind Zessel taunted. Giggles and laughter erupted from every corner of the classroom.
“Well then, what color does Miller-kun want to do?”
Jessica inquired, in order to prevent the dispute between the two from starting. While adjusting the position of his glasses, the student spoke.
“’Life is the ocean contained within the body.’ I choose Blue, because life is born from water. To be able to create objects from that water, I think that has an extraordinarily deep significance.”
Miller-kun, even though you say that, you have nearly drowned in a swimming pool before. Hiding the wry smile in her heart, Jessica turned to look at the girl sitting behind him.
“Enne, what about you?”
“M – Me?”
Answering in a flustered voice, the embarrassed girl’s face reddened.
“Yes. What color do you want to specialize in studying?”
“I – I want…… White…… because I want to call out PegasusWinged Horse……”
The Winged Horse, Pegasus, as it is called, is part of the White Recitation. However, it has a considerably high level of difficulty. Although Enne was a quiet and introverted girl, she set firm objectives for herself. In fact, in this time’s combined exam, her grades were at the top of the class.
“Enne will definitely be able to Recite it. That feeling is important. ‘Wanting to Recite’ is the most important feeling towards improvement.” After seeing the blushing girl nod her head, Jessica asked the same question to other students in the class.
By the time there was only one student left unquestioned, there were the most voices that chose Red, and the second most was Blue. Third place, with about an equal number of students choosing each, were Green and Yellow. Conversely, not many voices chose White. This could be called a typical ranking in middle schools.
—Now, there was only one person remaining. However…… this person is where the problem lies.
The other students understood this, and a commotion started in the classroom.
Jessica looked at the girl who sat in farthest back end of the classroom. She had shoulder-length jet black hair, and a slender body figure.
“Evhemary, you choose…… that…… that one, right?”
Evhemary. The girl who was called out agreed in an extremely matter-of-course way.
“The one I want is the ‘Night Color’.”
After she said that, simultaneous laughter rose from the girl’s surroundings.
“Wow, it’s still the same signature phrase!”
“She’s still saying that, stubborn Evhe-chan.”
Anyhow, some students chatted in a loud voice while others laughed with their friends. Although the responses varied, what they had in common was that they marked Evhemary’s words as foolish.
“That’s enough, everyone quiet down a bit.”
After the noisy classroom calmed down, Jessica once again turned to look at Evhemary.
“……Hey, Evhemary, don’t you have any interest in the other colors?”
The girl blinked slightly. Such a Recitation color wasn’t a part of the high school’s color choices. In other words, such a Recitation color didn’t exist in the world.
—Elfand Recitation School. That is the school’s official name.
As the name suggests, mastering the art of ‘Recitation Skills’ is the goal of students in this school. Recitation, that is, to sing the name of a companion. Sketch in your heart what you want to create, the object you want to encounter, then praise that name and invite the object to your side. It is that kind of skill. Its distinctive feature is ‘Color Classification’. In the natural world, all the ‘colors’ that can be distinguished by human eyes are, to be precise, waves of visible light. In other words, materials with the same color become the same wavelength of light energy. To sum up, Recitation is the art of transmitting an object by using this common energy.
RedKeinez, BlueRuguz, YellowSurisuz, GreenBeorc, WhiteArzus.
In general, Recitation consists of five colors. Four colors are from the seven that form the foundation of visible light. After including White, these five colors add up to the existence of Recitations.
Currently, except for these five colors, there are no other colors in existence. Even if researchers all around the world challenge this, establishing a color other than the five is impossible.
But even so, this girl has not changed her opinion since she entered middle school. She insists that there is a Night Color Recitation.
“……I see. But, to clearly understand what you want to do is great, Evhemary.”
Even though she was made fun of in the middle of class, this girl wasn’t perturbed. If she were to be evaluated only by this situation, she would be considered mature. However, the fact that she absolutely never changes her ideas makes her seem somewhat childish. In general, she is hard to predict.
Just what are Night Color Recitations? The homeroom teacher had asked her about it many times, but the girl has only given irrelevant answers.
The bell signaling the end of fifth period resounded in the classroom.
The end of the last class caused Jessica to sigh. The reason was that she no longer had to endure the heat in the classroom which felt like it made her body melt, and she didn’t have to deal with this girl again.
"Class is finished. I also have a meeting today. Because I have to go now, there is no homeroom. Other than the students on cleaning duty, everyone else is dismissed. On duty today are Evhemary and Biye."
At the end of the school day, the class suddenly became noisy to prepare for leaving the classroom.
A silent, absolutely quiet classroom. Only the bell that announced the end of the school day vibrated in eardrums, only the hot setting sun that shone through the window covered the field of vision.
The broom swept broken, rusted nails into the wooden cabinet.
With her untied hair flowing in the gentle breeze, the girl, alone, gazed at the scenery outside the window.
—Wow, it’s still the same signature phrase!
—She’s still saying that, stubborn Evhe-chan.
It’s always like that.
Always laughed at, always looked down on. By her classmates and her homeroom teacher…… No, everyone she sees around her is always laughing at her, and then leaving abruptly.
“……It’s not a lie.”
She sighed and muttered. She didn’t feel regretful. She had grown used to the abuse and scorn a long time ago.
She didn’t care if nobody understood. She understood that wishing for the acceptance of others was wrong.
She slowly walked towards the corner of the classroom, facing the window with fluttering curtains.
“—What a beautiful sunset.”
She was on the second floor of the school. However, she wasn’t gazing down from a very high place. But even so, the girl liked the scenery she saw from this window.
It was a dazzling, radiant sunset, blessing the people it shined on. – The ‘Night Color’ that she pursued was the complete opposite.
……Yes, surely, she admired it because she wasn’t able to achieve it.
But. Even so, I –
The touch of a sudden, gentle breeze caused the girl to close her eyes.
A comforting wind that swept away the heat of the setting sun.
For a brief while, she entrusted her body to the wind……
Let’s ring the bell of the Color of Night
[—Isa Yer she riena xeoi pel]
Muttering to herself, the girl let out a sigh.
I love (desire) only you
[miqvy elmei nehhe virgia-c-fifsia]
Well, not really a sigh.
Dancing in the twilight breeze, was a song.
For this reason, do you quietly cry alone?
zette ovan Yer be zarabearc solituqs
Not existing anywhere, Until evening (the small you), In this night (place) you (I) are in solitude (alone)
Lears neckt ele ravience Shadir Isa jes qusi xin fears toga peg ilmei shel
That melody is the music (tremor) of the soul, The tone quality (dance) of tears
jes kless qusi medolia lef cirkus, medolia lef zarabel
It drenches the world, Because it is a drop (song) of the frozen (beloved) night
Hir sinka I, bekwist WeR muas ririsia harmone lef twispel
Let the Night Color’s woven song (oath) come to you
Yer she saria stig lef xeoi peg pel
O forgotten child, Come, O child who has been born
U da lostasia dremren boema foton doremren
Welcome back to the midst of slumber (cradle)
O univa sm thes hypne
And then I —
ende Years besti……
The song’s ending verse was about to be sung, but the girl suddenly stopped the singing. Closing her mouth, the girl slowly turned around.
“……I wanted to listen until the end.”
In the originally empty classroom, a familiar boy now sat in the seat directly behind her.
“It was a serene song. Even though the melody was somewhat sad, it was more delicate and lovely than any song I’ve heard before. Did you compose it?”
……I don’t need to tell you. Because responding to that would be troublesome, the girl immediately turned so that her back faced him. However –
“Hey, Evhemary. Are you able to construct a theory?”
At those words, the girl unconsciously stopped her footsteps.
When the girl ignorantly repeated that, her companion raised one eyebrow. “The Night Color Recitation. You can’t be proceeding according to an existing color?”
“There’s no point in telling you that kind of stuff, Xins.”
Xins Airwincle. Among the class, he was not a particularly attention-catching student. His grades were average in his year of students. Although he had many friends, his social position wasn’t good enough to be class representative. It was only her second or third time talking to him like this.
“You’re pretty unsympathetic.”
Having hair the color between brown and gold, the boy shook his head slightly. The girl moved her gaze away from him and stared at the object in his hand.
“I thought Biye was on cleaning duty with me today. Why are you here holding a broom?”
“I’m here on his behalf. It’s because he’s in charge of making a speech tomorrow. He’s currently working on it in the library. But I seem to be a step too late; you’ve finished all the cleaning.”
Xins carelessly flung aside the broom. Putting his hands on the window frame, he faced the outside and shrugged his shoulders. Speaking of which, she had no intention of chatting with him like this.
“You’re done talking? Then, I’m going home.”
Quickly saying that over her shoulder, she prepared to leave.
But even before the girl had said that, the boy had been fixedly staring at her.
“What do you plan to use as a catalyst?”
A catalyst is a necessary, indispensable tool in Reciting. For the sake of performing a wavelength exchange in Recitations, it is an alternate material. Because it is used in famous Recitations, a catalyst is also required for Night Color Recitations. This boy is asking ‘what catalyst will you be using’, but…
“Why do you care about that sort of thing?”
Up until now, most of the questions people have asked are ‘What are Night Color Recitations?’ About the progress of the theory construction and details of using a catalyst material, not even the homeroom teacher has asked about them.
After saying that, the questioning girl shifted her gaze to one side and the boy crossed over to the windowsill, pointing downstairs.
“The results of the latest combined examination are posted in the central hallway of the first floor. The excellence list of the combined five subjects has your name on it.”
The five subjects refer to the five Colors of Recitation. From the Recitation’s catalyst list, to the famous Recitation experiment success stories, to having to solve a question with a mistaken guess. Not clearly indicating the range, normally Recitation tests whether you have enthusiasm and potential.
“What about it?”
“Not only that, but you are also first place in our whole school year.”
“Luck is scary, isn’t it?”
At that moment, he raised the corners of his mouth.
“That’s not correct. You forgot in order to ‘deliberately lower your score’.”
As if it contained poison, his tone of voice hardened. He still looked out the window, facing the school building’s campus. Despite this, from his indirect stare came a sharp, pressuring sensation.
“As long as you have those thoughts, you will always get that kind of score. Although you usually deliberately suppress your score, you forgot to do that on this test. Am I wrong?”
“It’s a joke. Being overestimated whenever I wish would only bring me trouble. How could a person do such a mysterious thing?” Although she replied that, the boy’s expression did not waver. He had expected that kind of rebuttal a long time ago – in his opinion, there was nothing that could have made him angrier – his companion acted like a wise old god.
“But isn’t there one? Actually, I also acted like that.”
“By the way, in my case, I solved half of the questions and left the other half of the paper blank when I submitted it. Although the teacher sometimes asked me about it, dodging the question is very easy.”
—I don’t understand the meaning of this. For what purpose…?
“Hm? I think, my reasons are probably the same as yours.”
“……Same as mine?”
“Before the year-end tests, if your scores rank among the top you will be scouted by the royal research institute.” Before his companion had urged him, the boy willingly continued speaking:
“You would certainly have a stable future, but going to the high school’s research institute would mean becoming an assistant to your superiors. To put it crudely, doing odd jobs like a servant. I asked to be excused from that kind of restricting lifestyle. I think you also hate that aspect.”
His white school uniform was dyed red by the sunset – Realizing that she was staring at the boy, Evhemary changed her gaze. ……Before she knew it, her heartbeat had become louder.
Feeling the illusion that the beating of her heart would reach the boy, Evhemary forcibly pressed down on her chest. If she hadn’t done that, she felt that the boy would look inside her chest and see through the illusion.
“In other words, you would abandon the peaceful future you wanted to accomplish? But when Night Color Recitations are concerned, you don’t believe it’s real?”
“……In the end, what do you want to say?”
Slowly, he turned his gaze back around.
Until now, what the girl had been waiting for were these words. That sort of tone of voice.
“Just like how you want to become the Reciter of the Night Color, I also have my goals.”
His facial expression changed from mischievous to shy and bashful – he showed an expression not usually displayed in the classroom.
Gazing into that, she remembered a strange feeling that even she could not understand.
‘Just like how you want to become the Reciter of the Night Color.’
Because when he declared that, he had no scornful look in his eyes.
The friends and teacher in the class, everyone up until now, had all been unable to overlook that fact and showed a bitter smile. However, this boy did not do that.
—You, do you really believe what I said?
Up until that moment, everyone should have thought of her as troublesome. Slowly, little by little her heart rate speeded up. It was not an unpleasant heartbeat, but a calm and gentle pulse.
“You said you have a goal…… What did you mean by that?”
Through dry lips, she uttered those words with difficulty.
“Oh, it looks like you are finally interested.”
“……It’s okay if you were just acting superior.”
“Ah. Wait, wait!”
When the girl was about to turn around and leave, he held back a wry smile while answering in a flustered manner.
“What I’m aiming for is Rainbow Color Recitation.”
It was a word she had never heard of before, and she unintentionally repeated it.
“Yeah. Unlike you, I don’t wish to construct a new Recitation. RedKeinez, BlueRuguz, YellowSurisuz, GreenBeorc, WhiteArzus. When these five colors are combined, don’t they resemble the colors of a rainbow? That is my goal.”
Sighing once, she gave an exaggerated shrug of her shoulders.
She never thought that he was going to say a crazy thing like that.
In general, simply learning one Color of Recitation would take more than a decade. Even if he did learn Red, the essentials of the next color, Blue, are completely different. This is the distinctive feature of Recitations.
Recitations can be summarized to be called one field of study; however, the theory system of every single color is completely different. Just as he said ‘To construct a theory, you can’t be planning to copy an existing color?’ Those words, of course, also include that meaning.
Even if you did spend ten years to learn a color, your physical strength and mental agility would become weak afterwards. In the current condition, mastering three colors is the limit.
“Even if you succeeded in doing that, you would already be a grandfather by that time.”
She teased with a smile.
“Will I? I think that it’s just as challenging as your goal.”
“I won’t become a grandmother. By that time, I would already be dead.”
She retorted with those words –
Evhemary immediately regretted her words.
……How could I have said such a foolish thing?
The words that she didn’t intend to say to anyone, she said it due to an impulsive feeling.
Evhemary knew that her facial expression had become pained and warped. Because she lost her self-control, she couldn’t even hide this kind of expression.
“Evhemary…… you weren’t serious, were you?”
He glanced back at the front.
She wanted to avert her eyes, but there wasn’t a way to do so. Even every movement of her body was pinned down by the young man’s eyes. It was like a sharp knife. It was impossible to pull out, and on the contrary, would instead cause serious bleeding. If only it was a lie. Moreover, the girl was clearly penetrated by the lie, so the boy probably wouldn’t continue to question her any further.
But even so –
“For generations, my family has had weak health. Every person has had a short life. Even my mother quickly passed away after giving birth to me. ……I am definitely the same. I have never thought like you, to learn all five Colors of Recitation.”
Before she was aware of it, those words escaped from her lips.
They contained no lie, nor concealed her heartfelt words. She was unable to stop herself from talking.
—Because it was the first time.
The boy in front of her eyes listened attentively without speaking a word.
No matter whether it was about Recitations or personal matters, the boy was the first person to earnestly listen to her. The students in the class, the homeroom teacher, and surrounding adults. They had all taken her words as the delusions of a child, and none of them took her seriously. But this boy –
“……To be honest, I already have a disease. I already don’t have much more time left. So at least, before the very end, I want to accomplish something.”
That’s right – Recitation is my goal.
Unexpectedly, his gaze wavered slightly.
……Idiot. I was too honest!
How ironic. It was because of his actions that she realized her eyes were wet.
—I, I wonder why I’m crying. Is it due to sadness?
Wrong. What kind of feeling is this? Usually, I would definitely not cry in this type of situation.
Letting out a small breath, the girl wiped the corner of her eyes with the sleeve of her school uniform.
“You just asked me whether my theory construction is completed or not, right? About half of it is already in my mind. The catalyst and the channel direction are part of it. But so far, it seems like an illusion.”
After she wiped away the tears that flowed down, her companion turned his gaze back around.
“Evhemary, is it okay if I ask you one question? ……You, what do you want to call out from the Night Color Recitations?”
“It’s a secret.”
Before he had time to react, the girl burst out in melodious laughter. It wasn’t a forced smile of triumph, but a natural smile that Evhemary showed to the boy.
“Hey, do you think there is enough time?”
He didn’t answer with ‘enough time for what?’
“Do you think that in the time I’m alive, I can accomplish a Recitation that nobody has ever done or seen before?”
She took a step closer to the boy.
In the end, he was the same as her. Unable to lie, with his feelings immediately shown in his expression.
The boy understood that agreeing without any hesitation would signify pity. Because he understood this, he couldn’t simply nod his head, but also couldn’t deny it.
Unable to nod but also unable to shake his head, time passed –
“Want to compete with me?”
He suddenly blurted out those words.
“Before you complete Night Color Recitations, I will already have become proficient in five colors. After twenty years... No, I will complete it within ten years. So you also have to promise me, in our lifetimes, let me see you complete Night Color Recitations.”
It was impossible to become proficient in all the Recitations within a ten-year period. The person who spoke those words should know the difficulty of it better than anyone else.
This boy is undoubtedly an idiot, a stubborn idiot that no medicine could treat.
Evhemary desperately held back a smile.
—But, I don’t hate this kind of hot-headed challenge, because I am like this also.
She stifled those words down to the depths of her heart.
“If we finish……”
Before she continued to talk any further, she felt something well up in the pit of her stomach.
The inside of her throat felt hot and bitter.
It was because I cried. Just after she thought that, she felt tears once again flowing down her cheeks.
……Can I be the first person to see it?
After seeing the boy nod, the girl once more wiped away her tears.
It was a far, distant future. But –
The two who made the promise each advanced in a contrasting direction.
One of them succeeded in completing a challenge that was done for the first time in the world at only twenty years of age. His reputation instantly spread across the entire world, and already achieved divinity while he still alive. So far, the number of people who volunteered to become his disciple surpassed one hundred in only a year.
The other one also attempted to become the first to try something never-before-seen in the world.
However, nobody knows whether it succeeded, and nobody is aware of whether her goal was achieved. Nobody went to become her apprentice, and her reputation did not spread throughout the world.
Wandering a world which nobody’s eyes could perceive, she disappeared somewhere in the continent.