Wednesday, January 4, 2012

[Piano v1] Chapter 20: The Piano Sonata of Goodbye

Here's 20. Comments for later. Enjoy.

The June without Mafuyu was about to be over.

The unique characteristic of my classmates in the Third Class of First Year, was that their interest in things typically didn't last very long. Even so, there were still some people who came to me asking about things related to Mafuyu (the incident of us running away from home together had already spread throughout the entire school, which made me seriously consider just transferring to another school). Some of them, who seemed to know nothing about classical music, had even borrowed some of Mafuyu's CDs from me.

Perhaps it was because the seat next to me was always empty.

But I had a horrible personality, so I didn't treat the newbies with any leniency at all, and decided to lend them pieces composed by the Russian composers Scriabin and Prokofiev first. Despite that, the classmates who borrowed the CDs still looked really happy.

"This is great! The photo on the cover looks really impressive!"

Go back and listen to the CD!

"There's actually two private guards at Ebisawa's house! Even I was quite surprised by that."

We decided to take a break during our practice on the roof. Kagurazaka-senpai said that to me with a gleeful expression.

"I originally thought there wouldn't be a lot people at her house, since it's huge, so I thought it'd be a piece of cake for me to slip onto the premisesbut that was a naive thought. Luckily for me, she had gone to see the doctor that day."

So Senpai really was the one who secretly slipped that CD with the map into Mafuyu's bag.

"Why did you do that?"

Senpai was cleaning the neck of the guitar, which had had all its strings removed. She tilted her head and said,

"Plenty of reasons! I thought something might've happened if I did that, yeah? Well, doing that may not have been good for Ebisawa Mafuyu and you. Of course, there was also the possibility that nothing might've happened as well. However, one doesn't have to gather a huge group of people to start a revolution! If us humans want to accomplish something, we have to first plant the seeds that may not bloom, in the land of the wilderness."

For a person like me, who isn't poetic at all, that sounded like "Oh, it felt like something interesting might happen, so I decided to create an opportunity for that to happen." Therefore, I was not grateful to her at all.

As for Chiaki, after performing the armlock and camel clutch on me, she followed with a cobra twist.

"It hurts, it really hurts! Those aren't moves from Judo, right!?"

"I called you so many times, and yet, you didn't even message me a reply!"

"I'm sorry! Owwwwww!" I repeatedly tapped on Chiaki's arm to beg for her forgiveness, but she had no intention of letting me off the hook.

"So you said you met Ebichiri? Did you tell him that you're my son?"

Tetsurou asked me that rather unhappily while I was preparing dinner in the kitchen.

"He always complains to me. Since he's the one who pays for the international call, I always deliberately go on and on. Keke!"

"I think he probably overhead it when someone asked my name?"

I'm not quite happy saying this, but most of the people in the music industry know the name of Hikawa Tetsurou's son, so Ebichiri probably knew as well. I decided to just go with that, because it would've been disturbing if he had said something like "I recognize you just from your looks alone." But according to Tetsurou, I should take after my mother more, yeah?

"However, it's not quite like my son to be chased back home after only two days! You should've just disappeared like that! Though it would've been quite inconvenient without anyone to do the housework, I could've seen the face of that stupid-papa Ebichiri close to tears!"

So the worth of my existence is connected to something as stupid as that? I should just consider running away from home for real next time......

"Ah, sorry, I'm just joking. I'd be really troubled if Nao weren't at home. I don't even dare go to the toilet by myself at night......"

"Then just wet your bed instead!"

"Oh right, was there any sort of development between the two of you during the two nights? I'm not asking where you guys went, yeah? Come on, say it...... Tell me the details, since I'm your father......"

I threw an empty can at Tetsurou, and that shut him up.

June went by just like that.

That practice room was still left untouched as it was, as the owner of the padlock hadn't returned yet. I wouldn't have any problems picking the lock open, but Kagurazaka-senpai said, "That's a violation of the rules." Since I didn't manage to get Mafuyu to sign the application form for the club, the ownership of that room didn't belong to me yet; moreover, I didn't intend to use that room alone anyway.

I had no idea why, but the people around me no longer asked me about things related to Mafuyu, and no one told me where she went either. The only thing I could do was practice on the roof daily to brush up on my techniques. I had even learned a few new songs.

It was said that Mafuyu ended up following her father to America, though it was a few days later than what was planned. I saw that information in a magazine though, and had no idea how trustworthy that article was.

Did she accept the checkups? Did she decide to go on with the operation somewhere?

It was obvious, even to me, how much Ebichiri doted on his daughter. Should he get tired of Mafuyu constantly running away, he might even decide to permanently reside in America.

Perhaps I may never get the chance to see Mafuyu ever again.

Ebichiri's performance in Chicago was broadcasted in Japan via satelliteone of the pieces performed in the concert was Rachmaninov's <Piano Concerto No. 2>. I was holding onto a slight hope, but the pianist was obviously someone whom I didn't know. Even if her fingers had already recovered, it wasn't possible for her to stage a comeback that quickly.

I switched off the television and recalled the Bach Mafuyu had played on that day. Book 1 of <The Well-Tempered Clavier>, Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major—the unbelievable power that allowed me to find my bass might've already disappeared completely, without a trace. However, the power of music is indeed great. Come to think of it, all I had to do was place the silver disc in the music player and press the play button—and Mafuyu would appear before me.

Music is but a bunch of notes and the arrangement or superimposition of them. We humans, afraid of loneliness, are the ones who interpret them in many different ways.

Mafuyu had only sent a single letter to me. It came to me on a Sunday, right after noon. I was in disbelief for quite a long time when I realized the sender was Mafuyu Ebisawa. [TLNote: Written in romanji.]

There was nothing written in the envelope; instead, there was only a tape. I dug out the dusty tape recorder and pressed the play button. What flowed from the speakers was the grievous prelude of the piano sonata in E♭ major.

Beethoven's <Piano Sonata No. 26 in E♭ major>.

It was a piece that Beethoven had written to his best friend, whom he was separated from because of war. Moreover, even though it was rare for him to title his pieces, he gave it the title,

<The Farewell>. [TLNote: Name of the sonata's actually Les Adieux. It's split into three movements. The first, which is linked in the youtube, is named Das Lebewohl, which means 'The Farewell'. Wiki link here.]

I passed the tape to Tetsurou without saying anything. After listening to it, he said,

"The parts of the left and right hand were recorded separately, then merged together. So that means...... her right hand hasn't recovered yet, right?"

"...... Mmm."

However, this was indeed a piano piece played by MafuyuI could tell just by listening. It was probably recorded using the sound recorder I had helped repair?

The precious thing that her mother had given her.

"...... But that's quite a horrible piece she chose, yeah? She's saying farewell to you! What a pity...... but I guess there's no helping it. It's your fault for being my sonyou have to be prepared to not have a lasting relationship with women!"

"Just shut up and go back to your work!"

"Right, right......"

Tetsurou grabbed his luncha hand-rolled sandwich on a plateand returned to his study room.

I knew what Tetsurou had said was a lie. That piano sonata was indeed written to mourn the separation, but there were pieces after the farewell.

The second movement titled <The Absence>, and the third, <The Return>. [TLNote: Abwesenheit and Das Wiedersehen. Refer to wiki link earlier.]

And so, during a certain lunch break in early July, the back door of our classroom was suddenly flung open.

"Comrade Aihara, quick, it's about time to leave! Young man, you move quickly as well. Hurry!"

The voice of Kagurazaka-senpai came from behind me, and everyone in class focused their attention on me. Chiaki stopped her hand, halfway reaching out for my bentoher face was filled with surprise.

I turned my head around and noticed that Kagurazaka-senpai was actually wearing...... casual clothes at school? She was wearing a white shirt with a black-and-white photo of Jim Morrison printed on it, together with a denim miniskirt...... What the heck is she thinking?

"Senpai, you mean we're going somewhere?"

"To the airport. It's a four-thirty flight, so we won't be able to make it if we don't head there now! Move fast!"

"To the airport...... what for?"

"What else? The prison term of our fellow comrade is over, and she's about to come back. Obviously, we need to stage a rescue operation when she touches down on land!"

Chiaki and I looked at each other for a while, then, at the same time, grasped the meaning behind Senpai's words.

"Mafuyu..... she's coming back?"

"Yes. But because her father is coming back with her, they'll probably be visiting those boring geezers related to the College of Music right after they land. The airport will be our only chance to strike!"

"Huh? Wait, we still have two periods of homeroom later in the afternoon......"

"There's no time to be dilly-dallying!"

"Why do we have to rush?"

"Young man, you surprise me sometimes. Do you not know the reason? Next week, the student council will be allocating the funds that'll be given to the various clubs for the next semester. We won't be able to acquire any funds if we don't raise an application with four club members!"

"Eh......?" Four members?

"Due to a certain useless person who didn't manage to accomplish his mission before Mafuyu headed to America, this is our last chance."

"W-We're gonna make her complete the application form right now?"

Before I could finish my sentence, Chiaki and I were already being pushed by the hands of someoneor rather, some peopleout of the classroom.

"Go, go!"

"All Retiree does is to talk about the past anyway. You won't miss much even if you skip!"

"You're not allowed to finish the food she bought for us!"

So we were actually pushed by out classmates. Please, don't pick times like this to show how united you guys are, alright!?

"We'll help you mark your attendance!"

You'd definitely be caught if you did that in high-school, alright? Just as I was about to retort with that, the doors of the classroom slammed shut with a *bang*. Damn those people......

"You guys aren't changing out of that uniform? Oh well, what should I do with you two? Whatever, since the summer uniform doesn't look like a uniform anyway, there shouldn't be a problem if you two remove the tie and bow-tie, yeah?"

"Senpai, please don't decide that for us!"

Just as I was about to continue with my protest, Chiaki removed the bow-tie from her neck.

"Then why don't you stay? I have a lot of things to say to Ebisawa, so I'm going as well."

"The operation I had planned can only be carried out with three people. Young man needs to be bait to lure the campus guards away."

"No way am I doing that!"

"Just kidding. Let's go!"

Senpai indiscriminately grabbed me by the arm, and dashed away from the classroom.

Oh well, I guess I'll just give up. It should be fine skipping homeroom, right? I'll probably be awarded another slap if Miss Maki hears about this......

As we ran past the entrance, the shrill cry of a bird suddenly rang out from high above my head. I lifted my head to look at the sky above me and could barely open my eyes, due to the rays of the summer sunall I could see was a black-colored bird soaring past the sky.

Of course, that species of bird doesn't exist in Japan.

...... Or, maybe it really does. It's just still on the ground, dragging its tattered wings, thinking of a way to spread its wings to fly into the sky.


"Nao, faster! Or else you won't be able to catch up with Senpai!"

Chiaki was standing at the school gate, waving her hands hard at me.

I sprinted towards her with huge strides. And once again, it caught up to methe cry of the bird, that had just come from the skies above me; the song that returned, after it had soared past the ends of the skies.

And here's Volume 1. Hope you guys enjoyed it. 

Well, firstly, gotta thank the three editors. Yeb's doing really well, and his participation in the team is much appreciated. Also thanks to Crazy Cake! for the raws.

Personally, this series is my most favorite series out of the 3 that I am working on here. However, the difficulty of the series is also the hardest for me, because I have almost zero knowledge on music. As such, I am still deciding if I want to continue on with the series, or leave it at Volume 1.

Lastly, thanks to you guys for following through, even though my translation is nothing spectacular. Feel free to leave your feedback here, if you have any.

That's all.


  1. Yeah.. I can have my Eden !!!

  2. I don't know if you will go on with the series but thank you very much for having go through the whole volume despite the difficulty.

  3. Thanks for the translation, will wait with hope for a second volume.

  4. Gaaah! I like classical music, but have no interest in music themed series so I've been drifting in and out for the first 3/5 of this series waiting for other stuff.

    So, of course, since volume 1 is over and you're probably working on something else I'm now into the story and really want to know what happens next and how it turns out.

    C'est la freaking vie. Now to wait through the other stuff for this, and probably vice versa after that, and so on...

  5. thanks for the great translation!
    well this is my favorite project beside onii-ai
    I'm really looking forward to their club activities too!!

  6. thanks for the translation.. And i will be hoping for more.

  7. thanks for your hard work!

    really hope you will continue this series

  8. thanks for the release...will anyone make a pdf of volume 1? im suck at making it

  9. thanks for translate!!!

  10. Thanks again, hope you'll translate the second volume. I don't want it to stop at such a cliffhanger. Really really love this series

  11. I really hope you continued with this, this series is awesome, well, im a sucker for musical themed histories and this one just became my number 1, thank you anyway for translating up to now, i think you did a really good job :)

  12. Thanks for the translation! Hope you really consider translating all five's, as they say, "awesome!"...T.T

  13. Thank you so much for this translation. But don’t let it end with Volume 1. You have to aim high!

  14. Thanks for Volume 1. Great translation. It may be tough but you did good. I hope to see Volume 2. And still looking forward to Volume 4 of Onii-Ai.

  15. Thanks so much for your continued translations of the series. I for one know that musical translations can be very difficult (my own musical theory sucks nuts), but you've done a great job. To be honest, I enjoy this series so much I wouldn't mind even if you didn't bother translating the musical terms! I really hope you can continue with the series, (and like many other users, Onii-Ai) Ha ha.

  16. Thank you so much for translating this volume. I do hope you continue it because I really love this series.

  17. Thanks for all the hard works, i really enjoyed this series and hope that you can continue it =).
    In my opinion, you did an awesome job on those musical terms, they were easy to understand and fun to learn.
    Looking forward for the 2nd volume if you ever decide to translate it or else i'll have to go read the chinese version of it >.> (don't really wish to because i want to learn more Eng but will do it in order to find out what happen =x)

  18. That... was awesome.

    I'd love to see you do volume two. I also have like zero knowledge in music, so this is very interesting and fun to read.

  19. An amazing ending and I am among the many who very, very much hope that you continue this fantastic work.

  20. you've done well. thank you very much! i don't know if you will do the second volume or not, but as a lurking anon i'm here, along with many others of my kind to express my love for the series. really, you have our thanks. hope to see the translations continued real soon.

  21. i just read the 20 chapters in one go and did no regret to have to wait for vol.1 to be over so i could read vol.1 in one go.
    since everyone is citing oni-ai and sonata as their favorite i'd like to add my vot for eden-no that i don't like the two other,far from it,but i'm really a great fan of this fantasy LN and will really enjoy reading the rest of vol.2 of eden and oni-ai vol.4.
    That being said congratulation on your job in sonata,you really did a great job(translator and editor alike).

  22. And another of the many anons here. Thank you very much for the translation, easily among my top two on here along with Onii-Ai. I very much hope your willing to do volume 2 as otherwise I'll never get to see what happens with their airport rescue and their band.

    For love and Revolution!


    This is the pdf file i just made for vol 1.

  24. Awesome translation cant help to reread from chapter 1 ~ 20 again

    Hope that you will continue to translate it as this is a really good novel [ a blend of classical music with romance.. what else can we ask for ]

    PS : as a guy , i admit that i felt touch near the end of volume 1 hence i hope that you might translate the rest of the volume

  25. @5:39 thanks for the pdf..

  26. Awesome. This LN is plain awesome! On top of that you provide a lot of nice links from Youtube and Wiki! I hope you would continue translating this until volume 5 :)

  27. Thanks for the pdf anon and thanks again for the translation.

  28. Well, there is not much to be said at this point that hasn't already been said. So I'll just thank both Translators (from the Chinese version and of course nek0 buddy and anyone that may have helped him) and the editors that did a marvelous job and projected the feeling of the novel they way it was supposed to, managing of course to grasp this huge amount of readers.

    I really hope you continue this series despite the difficulty, you've done a great job and it would be a real shame to be forced to stop reading now.
    Is a shame that the best I can do to support you is saying "thank you". But as I can only do that I do it in the most sincere way I know. With a drink, so if you ever manage to meet me, remind me of I just stated and I will gladly pay for your booze. :P

  29. Congratulations! Yet another novel has been completed. Thank you everyone who has contributed to this translation.

    On another note: There are so many lurking anons! I counted 21. So know that we are all supporting you and we all appreciate your hard work very much.

  30. thannksfor the translation XD
    Really hope you will continue the series :)

  31. Me love you long time?

  32. Thank you for your translations. I adore this series, I absolutely love anything with classical music in it... after Nodame Cantabile I thought there would never be such a good classical music / romance series! I think your translations are really smooth and the tone is really consistent. Please continue translating this! Else I'd have to try and locate this and read it myself.

  33. Just wanted to add my thanks to the list. I had a wonderful time reading your translation.

  34. PLEASEEEEEE, pretty please, continue this masterpiece, it would be such a waste not to translate all 5 volumes, im fascinated by this series like i wasn´t for a long time by anything. im begging you , please continue this xD

    you are doing a super job, thanks for that

  35. Dear me, this series is really really good! I've read all the way from the beggining to the end of this volume! You've done a good job translating this one!

  36. As usual, I would like to thanks everyone involved in finishing this. It is a very enjoyable read. Hope you can finish the seires.

  37. If only an anime based on Sayonara Piano Sonata will be made >_<

  38. Thanks for the translation
    Found this years after reading the manga, the manga such a masterpiece too
    Sometimes the manga do it better but the novel is great too with many scene that's not on manga