|Writer: 日日日 (Akira)|
|Location: Theatre Club Room|
|…Anyway, you came at the perfect time, buchou. Can you open this box?|
|Hmm? Oh, an antique safe! A Pandora’s box with unidentifiable amount of machineries!
I happen to enjoy solving and making these things♪
|I like puzzles too. It’s one of our few common grounds, I guess.
That aside. This box apparently has two compartments… but I can’t get to the second one no matter how hard I tried; it’s troubling me.
|I see… It appears to have a complex and curious design, through combinations of countless gears, nesting, and various materials.
I dare say whoever created this was quite the monomaniac.
|Who gives you the right to insult people’s fathers?|
|Eh, your father created this, Hokuto-kun?|
|That he did. He was an alumni of Yumenosaki, and he apparently hid this box in the academy grounds before he graduated.
It happened that I’m on a break and have a lot of time on my hands, so I headed out to look for it from the morning.
|Eehh! You were treasure hunting!
That sounds like a whole lot of fun! How could you not invite me, Hokuto-kun…!?
|He told me where he hid it, so all I did was yank part of the floor in the secret underground archives and blandly dig at the earth.
It wasn’t something so fun as treasure hunting.
That got me needlessly spent… Looking back on it, I should’ve dramatized my story to pull your interest and make you do the labor for me.
By pretending it’s actually a treasure hunt and all that.
|You are bad at using people, Hokuto-kun.
Maybe it’s because your childhood demanded you to act like you could accomplish anything, perfectly, on your own.
But you are not on your own anymore, are you?
|I want to return the exact same words at you.|
|Fufufu. Anyway, this box seems quite difficult to solve… Please give me five minutes or so.
Just waiting might bore you, so you may play with this♪
|…? What? A mask?
Geh… Is this Hokke Mask’s mask?
|Nostalgic, is it not? I found it while cleaning up for a new year!
It was with the Five Oddballs costume Shuu created long ago!
It was a prop from a role you played, so you should have it. Well, you can give it to me to add to my mask collection too~♪
But it is your mask, so it looks off when placed alongside my masks.
|I should’ve thrown it away after standing on that stage with you… Did you retrieve and keep it, buchou?|
|Yes. I thought a different need might call for it in the future.
We used the club budget to get it made, so would it not be a waste to throw it away?
You are aware I was subjugated as part of the Five Oddballs back then.
Club members kept dropping, and we had an economic sanction in which our budget was cut.
I thought I should find use for every item on hand, so I retrieved it for recycling purposes.
Costumes, stage properties, stage sets… I have been using them with care for a while now.
|I didn’t think you’d have a cheapskate mentality, buchou.|
|I have done my share of street performances~ I understand the gravity of a few coins.
While not vital for a human to live on, it is the natural mindset to be assumed by any who chooses to eat through doing art.
Don’t take youth and money for granted…♪
|…Buchou. I’ve always meant to ask this, but why did you make me stand on the same stage as you that day?
Was I purely a stand-in to fill the blank, to comply to the rules of the unit system?
At that time, you were thoroughly mangled as one of the Five Oddballs, and you were probably too driven to a corner to have the leisure to think…
So I wouldn’t question if you said there was no particular meaning.
But I can’t help thinking you had some sort of motive, when I look back to the days I’ve spent since then to this day.
In hindsight… now I have avenged you, who was killed as a villain that day. So was it for a revenge plot that you included me?
During those times, I was the closest person to you. Not the other Five Oddballs, and obviously not the student council president…
It was me, who spent every day training with you in the Theater Club.
I’m a person, I get attached to things and people I always have around. I even look up to you as an actor.
And then I had to watch you getting unreasonably vilified and crushed underfoot before my eyes.
Of course that sprouted a desire for vengeance within me. I was discontent, I couldn’t stand the unfairness of it; my heart was set aflame in wrath.
…I was so frustrated, buchou.
My anger from that time led me to the revolution we caused after. But my earliest motive was that: a childish grudge.
Revolutions and all that lofty spiels came following after.
You were the one who sowed the buds of that revolution.
And then you once again engineered yourself to be slain in DDD, directly assisting our revolution.
If you weren’t there, our revolution wouldn’t have succeeded… It wouldn’t even have started.
Why are you always like that? Why do you always long to be the monster slain by heroes? Why do you go out of your way to sacrifice yourself?