WA2 Light Novel – Volume 1, Session 07


SESSION 07
17 days until the show

Haruki’s Piece

“…Whew.”

The day after our strategy to convince Touma failed—in other words, Wednesday—after school…

It was six o’clock in the evening. After making a brief stop at home, I now stood in front of the door to the Ogiso house.

“I know this is sudden, Kitahara-kun, but could you come to my place this evening?”

Because, this morning, Ogiso had asked me to do so.

“This should be fun…”

It had been decided, by request of the other members of the Ogiso family, that I should come by one of these days to explain everything about the band… apparently.

Of course, I agreed with no objection, but Touma wasn’t even officially with us, so I wasn’t sure how this was likely to go.

On top of that, Takeya, in his usual fashion, had begged off to go hang out with some girl. In other words, I was stuck convincing them by myself. I seriously couldn’t tell how it was likely to go.

My anxiety only worsened as I followed the directions I had been sent by text.

I had turned down Ogiso’s offer to come and meet me at the station, wanting to prepare myself mentally, but now that I thought about it, I should have asked her how things were looking with her family.

“…Well, here I am.”

All I could do was explain everything as completely as possible. Even though I wasn’t sure how much persuasive power I had on my own.

When I rang the intercom, Ogiso’s face appeared, as though she had been waiting for me.

“Welcome, Kitahara-kun. Sorry to make you come all this way.”
“No, it’s fine. May I come in?”

She urged me along into the house.

As I pumped myself up to do everything I could, I was led into the living room, where I found—

“Huh? …Touma?!”
“…”

Kazusa Touma, sitting there with an expression on her face that would be exceedingly difficult to describe.

…Why?

°

“Whew, that was exhausting…”

I left the Ogiso house at eight o’clock. The stars above me looked incomparably beautiful, somehow.

“Ugh… Why did I have to get dragged into this…”

Meanwhile, Touma walked next to me, grumbling complaint after complaint.

“You don’t have to talk like that… I mean, it worked, right?”

Yes—to start from the conclusion, the persuasion attempt had been a success.

Luckily, Setsuna had already told them a fair bit about the Light Music Club, so once we gave them the full details of our activities, it was all relatively favorably received.

The Ogiso family was what one might consider the classic image of a family: a slightly strict but well-composed father, a kind, good-natured mother, an energetic and excitable younger brother. They were, for better or worse, exactly the kind of family you might find in a drama, irreproachably respectable. And, when faced with such people, speaking honestly was the best policy. If we met them with an attitude of sincerity, then they were sure to understand, appreciating how thoroughly we had thought the matter through.

I mean, this was Ogiso’s family. They had to be good people.

All of which is to say, though I had worried before we began, Ogiso’s own support proved that fear groundless, and we reached a splendid victory.

And, as they seemed to like us a bit, we were even amiably invited to stay for dinner.

“What the hell is with that family, anyway?”
“Don’t say that. They’re good people. Maybe a little more cozy and domestic than most people would be used to, but…”
“It was way creepier than I expected,” Touma muttered with a repulsed look on her face. As I was working to convince them, she had just sat next to me, going, “Yeah,” or “Mm-hm,” every time the discussion turned to her. She had looked extremely awkward.
“All butting into each other’s lives, concerning themselves with everything, talking about everything together, they think that’s normal… I don’t get it at all.”

I almost told her not to talk like that, but didn’t. I wasn’t exactly in any position to talk when it came to other people’s families, either.

“But it’s just like a band, if you think about it. You have to have a relationship where everyone is concerned about everyone else.”
“Eh…”
“Listen, Touma, are you really joining the Light Music Club?”

That was what I didn’t understand.

Yesterday she had left in a fury—what had changed her mind? Ogiso could have caught up and said something to her, but Ogiso hadn’t told me anything about it.

“…Maybe I won’t.”
“Wait! Please, please, I’m begging you!”
“Shut up. You’re so pushy.”

Touma sighed. The night breeze carried it off.

“A-All right, all right. I’ll quit asking questions.”
“…Not like I could say ‘no,’ anyway…”
“Huh?”
“…Listen up, Kitahara!”

Touma suddenly fixed me with a glare.

“I don’t give a damn what happens with the Light Music Club. I’m not going to help you with anything that’s doomed to fail. The moment I think there’s no hope for it, I’m leaving.
“But,” she continued, “since I agreed to do it—I’ll do it. For now.”

Touma spoke with a thoroughly burdened air, but there was something easy in her tone of voice.

“Touma…!”

She had truly, officially joined our group.

I still didn’t really know why, but the point was, my “neighbor” had become a club member. She was going to be… in our band.

A week before, I couldn’t have imagined it.

“Thank you so much, Touma… Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Shut up and die, Kitahara.”

Touma spoke in irritation, but she could say whatever she wanted. Right at the moment, because of her, I was deliriously happy.

“Just so we’re clear, from this point until the performance, you will do absolutely everything I say. At the very least, this band has to be something that can perform in front of other people without embarrassing itself.”
“Yes, anything you say.”

As I walked toward the station, I clenched my fists tightly.

Today, I had managed to gain so much all at once.

A new member with genuine talent. Permission from Ogiso’s family to rehearse. A rehearsal space, Music Room #2, that we could use every day. The sense that we were really and truly on the way toward realizing this performance.

And…

“Oh… H-Hey, Touma. Um, since we’re in the same club and everything. We could need to contact each other for something, so if I could maybe get your phone number, or…”
“…” Touma screwed up her face for a moment, which made me think the answer was “No.”

Then she handed me her phone. “You do it,” she said.

“Huh? Me?”
“…You don’t have to.”
“No, no, I will!”

I hurriedly exchanged our addresses through the infrared connection.

When I handed it back to her, finished, she accepted it curtly.

Maybe she didn’t know how exchanging addresses worked…?

“…What.”
“Oh, no, nothing.”

And so, I had gained one more thing.

Kazusa Touma’s contact information.


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