Part 2: Seal, Part 2Music: Culture Festival! (A)
I hope you like 19 second loops.
Natsumi: It's supposed to rain all evening, so make sure you both take an umbrella with you.
Ah, thanks for the loaner!
Natsumi: Have fun today. And Shinohara, you be sure to think about where to go on that "date" of ours!
Sound Effect: Shine
Uhh, she's not your mother, you know...
Seiko had woken up ungodly early and pulled my futon away, forcing me up with a chill and a sneeze. We both combed our hair and put on our school uniforms, then scarfed down the breakfast my mom had made and flew out of the house. If we didn't hurry, we'd be late for setting up!
Yeah, it's really coming together. Ah, but I forgot, I have to go get the bowls from the prep room! Seiko, you go on ahead to class, will you?
Roger that! Oh, and I'll take your bag for you. Give it here.
Every student in the junior and senior high alike was busy getting ready for the festivities, which were due to start in around 30 minutes. I wondered if I'd have any extra time afterward to go check out the other classes' projects.
We'd previously washed the bowls we were planning to use and laid them out in the home ec prep room. With those bowls in hand, I proceeded toward class 2-9. I climbed the usual staircase and headed toward the usual room, stepping carefully so I wouldn't drop any dishes. The plan this year was to host a red bean soup restaurant. I could smell the sweet red bean paste more and more clearly with every step I took. I'd eaten so much food at breakfast, and here we had even more food rearing its head. But when it comes to sweets, I say bring it on!
Naomi heads into class 2-9.
Ah, morning! Yeah, that looks like it'll be plenty.
Morning, Kishinuma. Morning, Satoshi.
Hmm? Satoshi seemed a bit out of sorts. He was just staring blankly. Was he still half-asleep? It bothered me to see him like that, but I literally had my hands full, so I really couldn't dwell on it. I pushed on into the classroom. ...But I couldn't actually see what was in front of my feet, and I have to admit, it was kind of scary. It would be a real challenge not to drop anything.
Gyaah! Seiko! Stop grabbing my ass! Haven't we already said our good mornings, anyway?!
Oho, but how can I resist an opportunity like this? Naomi, hands restricted, unable to fend off my advances!
Ahh! Ah, ahh...ahh...ahhhh!!
Sound Effect: Clatter
Oh, now that's no good. Our tableware has to be kept clean! Guess we'll just have to go wash it all again. Here, I'll help.
...Thanks. Sorry for the trouble.
Music: Culture Festival! (B)
And so began the culture festival. All day, we wore the clothes Suzumoto prepared for us and served red bean soup to our schoolmates. She had a lot of costuming experience, having worked on that side of things in the drama club for quite some time. She even did the sewing herself, putting all her practice to the test. And the kimonos she prepared for us really were all of exceptional quality. So good, in fact, that they became the centerpiece for us, bringing in students from the junior and senior high divisions alike. It made for a busy day.
When we weren't tending to customers...we were chasing after that slacker, Kishinuma, or taking time to check out some of the other class projects. In the end, not only did we have a really fun day, we also wound up being the most popular classroom in the whole festival. All in all, a rousing success!
As our busy day drew to a close, we all stood around talking. We kept saying we should clean up but that kind of...didn't happen. Before I knew it, there were only seven of us left in the room: Satoshi, the class rep, Seiko, Morishige, Kishinuma, Suzumoto and myself. It seemed everyone else had already gone home. Our homeroom T.A., Ms. Shishido, showed up with Satoshi's little sister in tow, but they were it. We nine became the de facto cleanup crew.
Background Sound: Rain
Those dumbasses who went home without helping are sure going to get a piece of my mind tomorrow, though!
*sigh* Not much of a class rep if I can't even hold everyone together long enough to clean up after ourselves.
Though you managed to keep Kishinuma here, surprisingly.
Oh, shut up!
Video: Déjà Vu
This video covers the remainder of the update.
Suzumoto? I just wanted to say, it's been really fun having you here these last few months. I can't tell you how many times your positive energy helped bolster my spirits!
We may not have said much to that effect, but we've all been watching you blossom here. I lent a hand where I could and did my best to help guide you, but ultimately, you walked your own path and have become a fine young woman.
It takes a special person to achieve what you've done without even realizing it. It's been an honor to serve as your homeroom T.A. I wish you the best at your new school.
This was to be her last day at Kisaragi Academy High School. Everyone here loves her, so this was a sad occasion indeed. She was truly a kind person, possessing no ulterior motives and harboring no ill will toward anyone. The thought of her leaving was just plain depressing. But time waits for no one, and sadly, the time had come to say our goodbyes. As one final hurrah, our occult-obsessed class rep asked us to perform some friendship ritual called "Sachiko Ever After."
Upon mentioning it, she procured a paper doll from her bag. It looked a lot like those proxy dolls you'll sometimes see in Shinto shrines, designed to absorb bad karma in somebody's place. Visually, this whole thing just seemed like the setup for a cursed seance or something. It was kind of scary, and I wasn't the only one who thought so.
If we do it right, then all of us will be together forever! ...Or we'll always be friends, anyway. That's the gist of it.
So how does it work?
Music: Unrest (A)
Seriously, don't do this! It's dangerous! Our lives are on the line!
Hmph. Don't you think that's going a bit overboard?
Nhee hee hee...
Satoshi had always been easily spooked, and in true form, he was pleading for his life that we stop what we were doing. It didn't sound THAT scary, though!
Don't worry, Mochida! This isn't my usual creepy fare.
I gotta say, it's rare to see you get this worked up.
I kind of felt bad for him... But this was for Suzumoto. We all wanted to give her the best possible send-off. So all I could really do was silently wonder what had gotten into him.
(He's really serious. Like, as serious as I've ever seen him. What is it, Satoshi? What is it that has you so worried?)
*giggle* Sorry, but I'm through trying to convince you. Just be a good boy and wait for us to finish, okay?
(A...time loop? Is he experiencing deja vu like me? Is some new destiny being born inside of him, like the class rep had said before? Come to think of it...this does feel a little familiar. This room, this atmosphere...this charm...)
With a pallid face, Satoshi quickly rushed over and grabbed the paper doll himself. He was joining us after all, it seemed. Everyone else smiled at him as if to say, finally, you've come to your senses! But I was just starting to get a really bad feeling about this.
(No... No, there's definitely something wrong here!)