And here comes the NTR.
On Monday of the following week, I was forced to face the rather unpleasant daily life in school. Mafuyu would turn her gaze away whenever our eyes met, while Chiaki would stare at me all the time. As for Senpai, she was incredibly happy to see us acting the way we were. On a side note, my classmates were incredibly pumped up ever since our decent result in the chorus contest. Instead of cooling themselves down from the hype, they began to focus their attention on the sports day, and were preparing themselves for it. To be honest, it was already tiring for me to be in the classroom; to add to that, I still have to practice hard for the live performance during the school festival as well, and that drained me out even more.
That thing happened on Wednesday. Tetsurou came flying out from the living room just as I returned home after our band practice. I had a bad feeling about this.
"Nao, Nao! Did you get yourself acquainted with someone from the music industry? It can't be, right?"
"...... What are you talking about?"
"Company M sent you a letter!"
I took a look at the aqua-blue envelope which Tetsurou stuffed in my hands. It's from the company that Tetsurou is under the care of. But it the name 'Hikawa Naomi' is written on the letter...... Why?"
"Listen to me, Nao— to put it bluntly, the music world is the nests of the vagrants, misers and perverts. It's for the best if you do not associate yourself with those people!"
"Those are all referring to you, yeah?"
"I-I am not a pervert! I did create you properly, no!?"
"Ah, enough! Shut up, you vagrant miser!" And also, apologize to all the people of the industry right now! "Wait, why is the envelope already opened?"
I snatched the envelope from Tetsurou's hand.
"Well...... I always write in my articles on how delicious Nao's cooking are, so there may be some OL at the prime age of twenty-eight who wrote you a letter of admiration. I have to check."
Consider this as me begging you - next time, just pass me the damn letter straight away......
I sat on the living room's sofa to check the contents of the envelope. There's only a ticket in it, as well as a simple invitation card without the name of the sender. I thought it is some sort of classical music event, but it seemed to be a live rock performance instead. Taking a glance at the address of the event, the place does not seem to be spacious.
"I thought they sent the letter wrongly to you instead of me." Tetsurou stuck out his head from above me and said, "But it seems like it is really something for you."
"Uhh, mmm...... But......"
I had no idea who sent it to me. The performers are a famous band that even I know despite my lack of knowledge in J-pop. It's written on the ticket that it is an exclusive concert for their fan club — so why will the company sent me something like that?
"Shall I call the editor to ask?"
"I asked already. He said a member of that band asked them to deliver it to you."
"Ehh? But I can't think of anyone who will do that."
The only professional pop musicians I know are Hiroshi and Furukawa, both whom I met when we performed together during summer. We do meet up occasionally at the livehouse as well. Could it be that someone came to know of me indirectly through them...... No, that's not quite possible, right?
"Whatever, just go and take a look, yeah? Doesn't seem like a prank to me. Just run away if someone throws a job to you."
Tetsurou said that irresponsibly before scooting back to the sound systems. I thought to myself: a typical parent would have said this: "This looks really suspicious, so reject them!". Am I wrong?
However, they are one of the few recent bands of Japan whose live performances were well received, and that did provoke an interest in me. And since it is hard to get a ticket to a fan club performance, I guess I'll just take a look? Though it will be slightly lonely to go alone as I have only one ticket, but if having two means I'll have to go through another crazy fight for the ticket...... I'll pass on that.
I went to Yoyogi on the Saturday night. Ever since the performance at the livehouse, the idea of coming to places like these by myself late at night is getting less and less repulsive. I found this to be a little frightening.
Located on both sides of the street are rows of fashion shops which are in the decline. As I head down the street, I saw a crowd gathering beneath a new building located at the corner. That should be it? Speaking of which, the small livehouse is not done taking in all those people who were still standing at the entrance and around the staircases? Wouldn't that be obstructive for the pedestrians?
There was no signboards and stuff placed outside as it is not a live concert that is opened to the public. I crosschecked the name of the building with that written on my ticket before making my way down the stairs to the basement. Upon seeing my ticket, the ticketing lady at the entrance flashed a slight smile and pinned a blue artificial flower above my chest pocket. What's this? All the audiences for this concert will need to get one of these pinned on their shirts? But I don't see anyone else receiving the same treatment as me. I made my way to the end of the stairs in confusion.
I will never get used to the feeling of pushing open the heavy soundproof doors.
It felt like the air in the livehouse was electrified. A set of drums were placed on the jet black stage in a way where we could only see its faint blue outline. The audiences were packed like a can of sardines, waiting for the performance to start. I still think I am not really suitable for places like these. I took a glass of ginger ale from the bar and sat myself on a round chair located at the back of the audience seats.
A large number of people began to squeeze me towards the stage from my back, and in the process increasing the thickness of the human wall. Then again, what sort of band is this? Who's the one who got me here, and for what purpose? I hugged my knees half in anticipation and half in unease.
The lights dimmed—
A loud roar which nearly ripped the hair off my head rang through the place. I could see the silhouette of a few people on stage. What came to my ears was a series of high-pitched feedback from the guitars. I knelt on the chair so as to get a better view of what was going on at the stage.
The spotlights on the stage lit up simultaneously at the same time. The cheers exploded right after that. My face was then assaulted by a series of vigorous tempo.
The lead vocalist sang with a high-pitched voice that was loud and clear, which was interrupted occasionally by a deafening scream. I remember seeing that person on the television or somewhere before. The band are deserving of their reputation as one of the leading bands of J-pop
— the tight, undulated melody created a sense of rhythm which caused me to leave my chair unknowingly so that I could get closer to the stage by a step or two.
The appearances of the members were all of a black theme. Their stylish and intricate costumes were perfect for them, and made them really eye-catching on the stage. Despite that, they did not hold back on their words. The lead singer peppered his sentences with lewd words without any hesitation, which I found to be really crass.
"The very first name we thought of for the band was <HoleBrothers>, 'cause all the members have slept with the manager before!"
"Oi, I never heard that before!" replied the bassist. Damn, that feels really atrocious. However, the audiences enjoyed that exchange. I guess they could only talk about these stuff during a non-official concert.
Their live performance was pretty impressive. When it was time for the encore, I was already satisfied to the point where it does not matter who invited me here anymore.
"We have a special guest for today. The guest will be appearing on stage as the guitarist! But since our guest should not be in a place like this, we'll be keeping the person's identity a secret!"
Feels like I had heard that somewhere before? Just as I was wreaking my brain in search for the answer, the spotlights flashed about randomly for a while before focusing all the rays on the left side of the stage. A short silhouette appeared.
Seems like a middle-school or high-school girl — that's my impression from my very first look at the person. That person's dressed in a black goth lolita fashion, probably to fit the style of the band. The fluffy skirt was incredibly short, which was coupled with a top which revealed the shoulders. In the person's hands was an aged Stratocaster filled with scars. Even though the face was shielded with a veil from the hat, the champagne gold hair looked like it was burning when the spotlights shown their rays on them......
The unexpected costume of the special guest caused the excited crowd to go into a thunderous frenzy, which swallowed my subconscious mumbling. I was sure that the person is Julien. But why is Julien here? And why is he crossdressing? Wait, is the person on stage really him?
The drummer raised his drumsticks in the air and rapped it as he counted down from 4.
A series of heavy metal beats from the drums shook me. The lead vocalist screamed a series of intensive twisting pitch as though he was trying to chew away the microphones.
The melody of the main guitar cleaved open the burning chaos and pierced its way into the darkness of the livehouse with a sharpness of lightning — and that's Julien. Those slender fingers slid up and down the strings with an incredible speed as if Julien was actually plucking the nerves of the audiences instead, and that resulted in a series of very distinct timbres. My knees were trembling non-stop, and I could barely straighten my body.
Till then, I had never really paid any attention to the so called death metal rock. The idea of 'using the voice as an accompaniment' and giving the guitar the freedom to run crazy with its main melody was a form of rock that I could never imagine. However, that was the sort of music with surrounds me. And despite being washed about by the torrential music, the sound of Julien's guitar remained crystal clear to my ears.
There are really times when the music can convey the truth which would otherwise be difficult to do so via words.
I knew straight away. It's similar to the timbre which shook me back then.
That's right. It's the sound of Mafuyu's guitar.
Upon seeing the artificial flower on my chest, the young and pretty female manager nodded her head and led me to the lounge. I see, so the flower is actually a backstage pass.
"Urm...... You can tell Julien I am fine with meeting him here......"
"It's okay, don't worry."
With that said, she pushed me into the opened room.
Rather than a lounge, it's more like a cramped storeroom filled with amplifiers, drums and lighting, and refurbished with a few tables and folding chairs. The room reeks of sweat, metallic smell and some other messy odor. Julien was still wearing the black leather sleeveless top. He sat in the middle of the four other members who had already changed out of their concert costumes and into their regular clothes. Somehow, it feels like...... though it's strange for me to be thinking of this, but...... it feels like he is a girl who was surrounded by four scary, burly men who stripped her away of her clothes. He looked very out of place.
Julien sprang off his chair and ran towards me.
"You're here! That's great!"
Seeing that he was about to hug me tightly again, I shoved his face away. Calm down, French.
"Is he the one whom Yuri invited?"
"Who is he?"
One by one, the band members came next to me. Feels really scary, since everyone of them look incredibly strong.
"Well, he is my precious' precious," said Julien as he turned his head to face me.
"So that means he's my precious' precious' precious?"
"Then...... that makes him my precious' precious' precious' precious!"
"Since when am I your precious, you homo!?"
"You're a homo as well, no!? Yuri's a guy!"
"You go outside and settle things with me right now!"
"Just as I wanted!"
And with that, the lead vocalist and the guitarist grabbed each other by their collars and made their way to the corridor as they stared at each other. What the hell is going on with the band......? The drummer, who looked like someone who is easily worried about others, pushed a chair to me and urged me to sit down, "Don't mind, those two are idiots." Problem is, I could faintly hear loud noises and furious roars coming from the corridor — there's no way I could chat idly in a situation like this!
"Sorry, Yuri. You guys better leave for now. It seems like they are really brawling it out."
The bassist who was observing the situation of the corridor said that with a frown.
"I'm sorry, Naomi. Let's go outside."
Julien grabbed me by my arm and ran out of the room via the door that is linked to the stage. I could hear shouts of "I'm gonna kill you!" and "I'm gonna impregnate you!" from behind me.
"I met everyone at the hotel which we were all staying at during the my performance in LA."
Julien sat on the round chair next to me and said that while sipping the drink from the paper cup. The noise of the crowded McDonald's as well as the ambiance J-pop music sounded much quieter in contrast to the earlier ruckus.
"The vocalist, whose name is Gata, barged into my room when he was drunk. He probably got into the wrong room, I think? He then took my violin out of the blue and strummed it as though it was a guitar. I punched him onto the floor in a fit of an anger, but that caused us to become friends."
I gave a hard sigh. I had no idea what to think about these people.
The whole thing about me being in a such a place feels really unbelievable as well. There must be something that went wrong somewhere to result in me sitting next to the prodigy violinist who frequently appears on the covers of magazines, and listen to him saying these retarding things while I am chewing on the fries.
Why did Julien want to meet me? And why did he specially invite me to see the concert?
"Right, I have a lot of questions to ask you, but first—"
"Why are you still crossdressing?"
He went to the bathroom to change out of his clothes before we left the livehouse. I originally thought he will change into a set of ordinary clothes, so I never did expect to see him coming out in the short jeans and T-shirt combo which Kagurazaka-senpai usually wears. He was wearing a pair of orange sunglasses and sporting golden hair as well. People will probably believe me if I tell them he is the newest uprising member of Hello! Project. It feels really embarrassing to sit with him. [TLNote: Wiki link of Hello! Project here. Main point is, it's a female idol collective]
"Oh...... you mean this? It's safer for me to disguise myself."
I see. I guess he is a famous person after all...... but there should be other ways of doing it, right?
"Don't you have other questions you want to ask?" asked Julien as he lowered his sunglasses slightly and tilt his head while doing so.
I'll probably go crazy if I am to continue talking with this person here. The feeling's just like how you dropped something without knowing and had walked a far distance away from it already, but you are somehow very concerned about what's behind you.
Then again, I do have lots of questions for him.
And the one which I am most curious about is—
"...... Did you learn the guitar together with Mafuyu?"
For some reason, Julien said that with pride. He shook his head and continued,
"I am the one who taught Mafuyu how to play. And also, I gave Mafuyu the guitar which she is using now."
I was speechless for a while. I never considered that.
And so...... this guy here is Mafuyu's...... teacher? Is that it?
I suddenly recalled the name that was carved inside Mafuyu's Stratocaster. Oh right. 'Yuri' was Julien's nickname back when he was studying at Moscow Conservatory, so it's spelled in Russian.
Despite the fact that there was no one among us who could read the name, Mafuyu was still intent on hiding it. So that means that she was unwilling to let anyone else know about her relationship with Julien......?
"Mafuyu's relationship with Maestro Ebisawa has always been bad...... and she was frustrated about how she could not play the piano. I went through a similar phase back when I was a child, and that was the reason why I learned to play the guitar in secret. I thought that Mafuyu can use the same method to find a place where she can escape to."
Julien suddenly moved his gaze away from me.
"Though Mafuyu still did not manage to find it......" murmured Julien as he gently swirl the orange juice in the paper cup.
"— It's not a place for her to escape to!"
Julien raised his head in shock. I was surprised by what I said as well.
Whatever I was saying is real though, so I repeated it once more—
"Mafuyu did not escape to the world of guitars."
"...... Why do you say so?"
Why? Because— it's obvious upon hearing it. I knew it instantly, and so should Ebichiri when he listened to the recording back then. However, there was no way I could express that with words.
"So what's the role you have been playing, Naomi?"
"That's the reason for inviting you to the concert — so that I can ask you this question. You are a critic, so why are you staying by Mafuyu's side?"
"Don't call me a critic!"
"But Maestro Ebisawa showed me the stuff that you had written!"
That was unnecessary, Ebichiri......
"Your articles are critiques through and through."
"Thanks for your praise." Though he's probably not praising me.
"Not only are you looking down on us, you grouped our work into different categories and wrote what's good and bad about them so that you can earn money through it. How can someone like you stay by Mafuyu's side?"
"Hold on......" What are critics to you? And my articles were not really well written, you know? "Look, why do you care?"
"Because Mafuyu is my precious!"
Julien said that emphatically as he looked into me with a faint smile at the corners of his lip.
So the two of you are indeed a couple, huh? Both of them used to be the topics of conversations because they are prodigies. Both have experienced the same excruciating and burning pain due to their loneliness on stage. And if the two of them meet each other at America under those situations—
All I need to do is to ask. But for some unknown reason, I could not bring myself to do it. Instead, Julien was the one who asked me the question in my heart.
"Naomi, what is your relationship with Mafuyu?"
Julien's question pierced straight into my heart.
What's the relationship...... between Mafuyu and I? I never thought about that question before. We came to meet by chance, and then we ran away together and sought our dreams together. And before I realized, Mafuyu is already by my side. I can't really explain even if you ask......
Julien tilted his head slightly.
"Is it such a difficult question to answer?"
"...... It is."
"You can't say you two are just companions who are in the same band! Because I have already heard that from Mafuyu."
I rolled the hamburger wrapping into a ball. I could not come up with anything.
"You cannot answer me even though you are someone who earns money by weaving lies?"
And Julien said that in a straightforward manner with an angelic smile on his face. Well, if I am to go into the details, I am not a critic, just a high-school student who had written a few articles so that I could earn some pocket money. I won't get angry even if there's someone who belittles the critics. Moreover, the only music critic whom I know is actually someone who is much more useless than Julien can possibly imagine.
So all I did is to answer by nodding my head silently. Just go ahead and look down on me if you want.
However, Julien suddenly looked at me with tears in his eyes and said,
"...... I am actually filled with regret."
What are you regretting?
"I really want to create and record lots and lots of music with Mafuyu. I wish I can go on an American and Europe tour with her forever. However, I am not by Mafuyu's side when she is in the most pain. The one who she needs is not me either."
Julien's gaze floated towards the middle of the air, as though he was looking past the ocean towards the gloomy faraway skies of North America. His feeble voice was just like the sound of the angel spreading his wings as he was about to vanish into the air. I was reminded of the ending of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto.
"The timbre of Mafuyu is really, really special, but I cannot protect her. But I don't get it. Why? Why can you do it?"
Julien suddenly grabbed me by my wrists and pulled his face close to mine.
"Why can Naomi play the bass by Mafuyu's side......"
His slender and fair hand landed weakly on the table with a *pa*. His long eyelashes were dropping downwards slowly. He then lowered his head and said not a single word. I thought to myself...... is he crying?
I finally understood what's in Julien's head.
I am in a position that is supposed to be his. The melody of the violin concerto appeared clearly in my mind all of the sudden. If Mafuyu and Julien were not hurt by music, they would have already recorded those pieces a long time ago......
A dream which did not manage to get past the oceans, and was swallowed up by the waves instead.
Julien lifted his head and showed an embarrassed smile.
"Nothing can be done even if I am to say such words to you, isn't it?"
Because you are nothing more but a critic— it somehow feels like Julien will continue on with that line. However, that was just my auditory hallucination due to my sense of inferiority.
"Have Maestro Ebisawa told you this already? It seems like Mafuyu is playing the piano once more."
That took my by surprise, and caused me to nearly forget about everything Julien had said up till now. Mafuyu's playing the piano once more? For real? I did remember talking about it a little after the concert, but...... are her fingers really okay?
"She's slowly recovering. Thanks to the rehabilitation, she's able to practice on the piano almost everyday."
"B-But she......" Mafuyu said nothing about it to me. Why? She told me some time ago her immobile fingers are caused by her psychological issues, and she was still unable to use both of her hands to play the piano during the chorus contest. So that means something happened after that? Something happened which resulted in the turn of events?
I stared at the young boy in front of me - the boy who is so unbelievably pretty.
Is it because — she saw Julien?
"And so we've decided to record a new album."
I was speechless.
Not only is she playing the piano once more, she's actually returning back to the music industry? She's returning back to the world which had harmed her brutally?
"The plans for her comeback is to perform a duet with me. Mafuyu has already agreed to it as well."
"Together with you.....?"
I see— so that's how it is.
Ebichiri once said that Mafuyu's fingers may recover if she can find the will to pick up the piano again. The reason for Mafuyu to take up the piano again — is it because she has reunited with Julien once more?
"That's why...... I am really frustrated about it."
Julien mumbled. I stared at him and asked,
"...... Why? Isn't it your wish to play your violin together with Mafuyu once more? And she will be performing with you......"
He then put on a faint smile.
"That's the reason why I am feeling so frustrated! You won't understand, Naomi."
That lonely smile of his looked just like a painting that gives the illusion of the frozen time.
"Thank you. I had fun today."
Once we were out of McDonald's, Julien thanked me with a brilliant smile on his face. That should be his true feelings, and not something said out of courtesy, right?
"And also...... I have said things to Naomi that are extremely mean, have I not?"
I jumped in shock and froze on the busy street which leads to the train station. I could feel someone bumping into my back.
"So you do realized it as well......?"
"Mmm. But...... I don't think I've done anything wrong to you, so I will not be apologizing."
With that said, Julien stretched out his hand towards me, but I ignored it. It's a little childish, but I couldn't help it. I am just a high-school student, so there's no way I will not be angry after listening to the things he had said.
"There's still no way I can allow Naomi to be by Mafuyu's side."
"You know...... It's pointless telling me that......"
"I won't allow it! How can someone as dense as you be by her side?"
"I can say how much I love Mafuyu for a hundred times, or play a hundred songs to show my feelings for her. But what about you?"
"Wait...... even if you put it that way......"
"Will you listen to me if I ask you to leave Mafuyu's side?"
Why are you taking the conversation in that direction!? Please spare me from that already!
"...... Well...... Mafuyu's the guitarist of our band, and there's no one else aside from her who can play the timbres like hers."
I was rendered speechless by that straightforward line from Julien.
"I am better than her in terms of the guitar techniques as well. You heard it just now, right?"
He's right. The timbre of Julien's guitar do sound similar to that of Mafuyu's before she joined the Folk Music Club — the same timbre which I dislike back when she claimed the practice room for herself. However, his tone is much more polished in comparison.
Therefore, despite my dislike towards Julien, I had no choice but to agree that his guitar techniques are indeed a level above Mafuyu's.
"Hey, can you give up on Mafuyu if I say I am willing to play the guitar for you?"
"What are you thinking...... and you won't have the spare time to do so, right?"
"That's nothing if it can make you stay away from Mafuyu."
I was dumbfounded, and stood motionlessly on the middle of the sidewalk. The pedestrian behind me knocked into my shoulder, which nearly caused me to fall. Is he for real?
"That's what it is like when you truly fall in love with someone."
Really...... so that's how it is like when you fall in love with somebody?
"I'll be by Naomi's side in place of Mafuyu. How's that?"
Julien grabbed me tightly by my wrist as he said that. I was confused by him.
"Urm...... that's impossible." In many different aspects.
"And that means you are unwilling to let Mafuyu go?"
What's with the 'and that means'...... Julien was putting on a wide smile on his face, an obvious proof that he had misunderstood my words. Well, it's not like I had any strength left in me to correct him.
"You are a critic, no? Why are you not speaking up when it's time for you to do so?"
Damn that bastard. Whatever. Just say whatever you like.
"Mmm. I get it. Well then, goodbye, my enemy."
Julien tilted his body to the side deliberately in a cute manner and waved his hand.
"Thank you for listening to our performance today. We will still be performing a few more times in Japan, so can I send you the tickets? I do wish to see you again."
I nodded with a stiff expression on my face.
As his guitar and personal belongings were left at the livehouse, Julien turned around and walked away in the opposite direction of the station. That small and undependable back of his gradually blended itself within the pedestrians beneath the streetlights before disappearing from my sight.
I sat on the road barriers by the side and sighed. That's really tiring.
Honestly speaking, he is a really inconceivable person. The anger in me did come close to bursting, but instead of blaming that on Julien, it's more of me being angry at myself because I was a worthless person who was unable to refute his words.
But he said he still wish to see me.
Actually, it's not like I really dislike him, and if I can, I do wish to see him again. However, I was just schooled really hard by him just now, so how should I go about facing him the next time we meet?
Back home, I found Tetsurou lying on the sofa with his legs resting against the back of the sofa in a 'V' shape. He was opening and shutting them to the rhythm of <Radetzky March>. Upon seeing me, he said to me weakly, "Nao, I'm hungry." I remembered telling you that I'll be late today and that you should settle your dinner by yourself......
But I already knew something like this will happen, so I tossed him the McDonald's paper bag which I bought earlier.
"...... This is my dinner?"
"Yeah. I bought it from Yoyogi, so it's really good." Though it tastes the same throughout the country.
There's probably no one in this world who is more pathetic than a middle-aged man with a freelance job stuffing the cold fries into his mouth while the tears slide down his face. Even I felt like crying when I saw that. Tetsurou stuffed the food into his mouth like a squirrel and mumbled,
"I worked hard for sixteen years and put in an endless amount of love to raise Nao to the person he is today...... Tell me, Misako, where have I gone wrong......"
"It all probably started with that marriage — That's what Misako said."
I meet up with my mother about once a month for lunch, and half of our conversation will be us badmouthing Tetsurou.
"It's not like I could do anything!"
Tetsurou suddenly threw a tantrum and flung the bag of fries onto the floor.
"I can't earn much just by writing critiques! I was poor, and Misako was nagging at me after she started her own career, so I had no choice but to marry her!"
What's with you being angry all of the sudden? That marriage did last for eight years, okay? And also, what do you mean by you can't earn much as a critic? You can afford a separate house, and it's not like you can't afford to eat decently or anything. I think you should apologize to those people who are actually slogging it out in their work!
"Fu fu. Well, I earn those cash outside of what I get from my critiques! To put it nicely, I am the industry's ruffian."
"That's not even nice to begin with!" And to put it badly, it means you're a criminal, okay? "Look—"
I was about to speak, but I swallowed my words back straight away. Is it okay to ask Tetsurou this? And will he answer me seriously after I asked?
The problem is, I have no one else to talk about it.
"— Tetsurou, why does one want to be a critic?"
Tetsurou blinked and stared hard at me. He then washed down the fries in his mouth with a glass of whiskey.
"What's wrong? Why are you suddenly asking me this?"
"Someone asked me that question, and I couldn't come up with an answer."
"Misako asked me the same question before, but it was a long time ago."
Tetsurou finished the glass of whiskey within two gulps.
"And what's your answer?"
Tetsurou's gaze dropped to the floor—
"I'll tell you this. Ultimately, the reason for everyone doing their job is so that 'they can make someone happy'. If you can't make someone other than yourself happy, then you won't be able to earn any cash. Am I right?"
"But even after I graduated from the university, I had no idea how to make someone happy. Since I studied music history, I guess I was left with becoming a teacher. However, I had no intention of teaching the children of others. Therefore, I asked my professor in a really honest manner, 'How can I make others happy?'. The reply from the professor was, 'The only talent you have is fooling others, so work hard in that direction, Hikawa'. And so I was hit by a sudden inspiration: if everyone is to read articles written by me with the intention of fooling his readers, then those who are not fooled by me will get some happiness in comparison to those who are fooled. I'll be able to earn from that, no?"
I was dumbfounded. I interrupted him subconsciously with,
"You said these things to Misako as well?"
"Mmm. It's those words which made Misako feel that 'this guy is hopeless. He won't be able to live by himself'. And she did tell me before it was those words which made her realize that we have no other option but to get married."
"And if I ever feel like there's no other option for me but to leave this house, it's also because I have heard these words from you......"
"Nao, that won't do...... You're saying out your monologue."
Ah, it's true....... And even though it was something I thought of only a second ago, I couldn't help myself but to think about it again.
I long knew I had asked the wrong person. I cannot complain a single bit even if Tetsurou is beaten to death by Julien and Mafuyu.