Even though I had been thrown out of the classroom, my steps were light.
I was immersed in a strange sense of freedom.
If I were to use an analogy, it would be the feeling of watching a noon-time TV show that you normally can’t watch on a day off because of a cold. That feeling of enjoying an ordinary program that seems fresh and new. It is close to that feeling.
At that moment, my phone trembled in the pocket of my uniform pants.
It was an incoming message from a former childhood friend.
08:40 Rua: Hey Kazu, did you see my video last night?
08:40 Rua: Everyone said you’re a terrible guy!
08:40 Rua: What should I do? I think I’m going to announce your name in my next video.
08:40 Rua: Then you might get attacked by my fans.
08:40 Rua: Go drag your desk to the classroom and apologize miserably to me!
08:40 Rua: Then I’ll forgive you. Shashasha!
“Aah, forget it. Blocked”
Bubu-bubu, shut up. Pig.
No matter how beautiful your face or voice is, if you have the worst personality, you’ll only be recognized as a “pig. Well, that’s a valuable sample for cognitive psychology, that pig.
Where shall I go?
I would like to go to the library, but unfortunately, it is next to the staff room. A place where the teaching staff might find me is a no-go. Or perhaps the rooftop, a common place for skipping school? No, it’s always locked. The only schools where the rooftop is unlocked are the ones in the novels.
Then there’s only one place.
The basement stacks.
Among the students of the school, its existence is almost unknown. Even the faculty members don’t know about it. Only I, a book lover and a regular in the library, was given this secret place “specially” by a senior member of the library committee.
The door —–is locked, but it is not.
The old padlock hanging on the doorknob can be easily opened with a little trick. I learned that trick from an older student.
I go down the long stone staircase next to the gym equipment room. The ceiling here is so low that I have to bend down a little to get my head under it. It’s like exploring a cave, and it’s always exciting.
“……, is anyone there?”
A voice is heard from the other side of the door.
Some kind of strange, out-of-tune voice is coming from the basement stacks. What is it? Rats don’t squeak like this.
It’s a little scary, but I’m curious. ……
Ghosts and shady people are similar in the sense that they are both gloomy. Friends, buddies.
Curiosity got the better of me and I opened the door to find a girl standing there.
“Kyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!? Who are you?!”
I was extremely surprised.
Her voice was so loud that it seemed to echo throughout the school. I rushed to close the door.
“It’s nothing suspicious. Just lower your tone a little bit, please.”
She gasped and clamped her own mouth with her little hands. The gesture is childish and kind of cute.
From the color of the ribbon on her uniform, she must be a freshman in the same high school.
She is white, small in stature, and has a big bosom.
I would have loved to see her face, but her bangs were so long that they hid her eyes. Through her glossy black hair, her timid eyes were staring at me.
“I’m Kazu Suzuki, from the first year of high school.”
“……Class 2, Amane Minase …….”
The voice was fragile and beautiful, as if a bell had been rung.
“What were you doing in a place like this?”
“Oh, um, I’m …… practicing my singing and dancing. ……”
It seems that the voice I heard earlier was her singing.
“I-I’m ……, I’m a voice actor, ……, and the big deal, …….”
“Oh, you’re that person.”
As can be seen from the example of my former childhood friend, there are several celebrities who attend this school.
The basement library is filled with bookshelves, and there is even a large mirror. I wondered if she had brought it all the way down here to practice her dance moves. The enthusiasm is almost too much.
“It’s certainly a great place to practice alone. But what about classes?”
Minase-san bit her lip and looked down.
“When I came to school this morning,……, my desk and chair were out in the hallway,……, and there was a sign saying, ‘You don’t have a seat, lol……,.'”
I’ve heard that story somewhere.
“Why? You’re a voice actor, aren’t you? You’re a special student.”
“No, I’m not. I’m not successful at all. My face and voice are like this.”
“I can’t see your face well, but I think you have a pretty voice?”
Minase’s cheeks turned bright red and she shivered.
“N-not at all. There are many voice actors in the world who have better voices. Compared to someone like Rua Takayashiki, I am not a successful voice actor at all.”
I don’t know about the world of voice acting, but I guess that’s how it is.
“I think it’s because of …… that I’m going to make my CD debut as a unit with Rua.”
“You mean there’s someone out there who doesn’t like that?”
“Yesterday, I got a lot of complaints on my SNS.”
“From Rua-san’s fans. They said, ‘If she works with you, she’ll lose her dignity.”
There are some fans who are not so nice. So piggy fans are piggy, pigception.
“What made you decide to team up with that thing in the first place?”
She stared at me with a scowling look on her face.
“U-uhm…..You shouldn’t say too many bad things about Rua-san at this school. ……”
“There is no one here.”
It doesn’t matter who was listening, though.
“It’s office policy. They must have thought I would be a perfect choice to make Rua-san look good.”
“A supporting role, huh?”
“Maybe they decided that since we go to the same school, it would be good publicity for the school.”
“What does the school have to do with it?”
“Rua-san’s office and mine is called Teikai Music, which is owned by the same company …… this school.”
I see. Everything was connected.
“I don’t care if I have a minor role. It’s an opportunity for me to make my CD debut. At the very least, I don’t want to be a drag.”
“That’s why you’re practicing here.”
Not to mention the desk and chair that were left out in the hallway. It must have been Rua pig. I don’t know if she had her boys in the hot group do it, or if she did it herself, but she was angry at being paired with a girl of a lower rank, so she did this bullying. This sounds like the kind of thing she would do.
Even though Minase was put through that, she never said a single word of resentment, and she is looking forward to the future.
(…… isn’t that cool?)
I’m on her side, then.
“I’ll practice with you.”
“I can only give you my impressions from an amateur’s point of view, but if that’s all right with you.”
Her face lit up.
She holds my hand and jumps up and down. Her bangs bounce around as well, and I can see her big, bright eyes glimmering.
Isn’t she much prettier than that pig?