|Writer: 日日日 (Akira)|
|Location: SS Dome Event Hall (Waiting room)|
|Fufu. You’re so dependable, Sally... Thanks. By myself I would’ve lost to the pressure. So I’m really glad, that you guys are with me.|
|Ahaha! Don’t make light of my endurance~ This is my greatest strength.
Unlike you guys, I really came from an ordinary background. I’ve lived to this age without experiencing any tragedy or hardships, just taking it easy.
Even me becoming an idol was because my middle school friend told me―‘You would make a good idol, Mao-kun’...
And I just went along for a laugh. ‘Seriously~? You’re making me blush~ Then maybe I should become one~’―or something...
Since the school was close to home anyway, I took the entrance exam half as a joke.
Plus, Ritsu enrolled a year before too, so I was expecting to befriend him again after a while.
But the result of my entrance exam was so good, that I was starting to think, ‘Maybe I’m a genius?’ I mean, I only got average scores for my other entrance exams to normal high schools.
So I thought, maybe I could really become an idol... I watched a lot of programs on TV and imagined...
How interesting and pleasant it must feel to become a special existence like these people.
And so, thinking... ‘Alright, I should give it a try!’ I enrolled to Yumenosaki Academy.
I gave a slightly smarter answer during the interview the other day, didn’t I?
But honestly, that’s it. Then a bunch of things happened until I arrived at today. I only went along with the current, mistaking myself for a genius――
But in truth, I’m probably your run-of-the-mill average guy.
I wasn’t born burdened with some special fate like a story protagonist... so sometimes, I got envious of you guys, but...
I think I’m glad for my average self now. No trauma, HP constantly at max...
Nothing to wrench my gut. I’m full of energy!
When it looks like my comrade might get hurt, I can protect you and become your shield.
Plus, I’m sturdy and can hold out for long. I can’t do everything, but I know what I can do now.
Subaru. Hokuto. Makoto. Anzu. We can’t let it end here, right? We’re doing a miraculous upset from now on, aren’t we?
Anything else would be weird. Just so you know, I don’t accept abrupt endings.
Let’s persist on. Hold on through the pain and suffering just a bit more―and if that’s too hard for you, you can cling onto me...
Cry; and when you’ve spilled all the heavy, murky things, let’s rise up.
Our fight is just getting started, right?
|Yeah... Thank you, Sally. For some reason, I’ve gotten calmer after hearing you talk.|
|Heh, tales of the past get really embarrassing though. Not in my character too.
When you keep talking, doesn’t your brain completely focus on trying to get the other person understand?
Then before you know it, your worries just don’t matter anymore.
My underclassmen in the student council often went to me for advice, y’know...
And after grumbling and moaning over it, even when we couldn’t find an actual solution, they’d feel as though their concern really was puny by the end of it.
This case, of course, isn’t one that can be passed off as ‘puny’, but...
I want to give everything I can do―my experience, everything―to help you... Subaru.
Nah, not just that. I don’t want Trickstar to halt here.
|Yeah... I feel the same. I don’t want it to end here.
But it’s so strange. It’s weird; I can’t seem to lift even a finger... even though you’re all holding my hands, hugging me, sharing your warmth with me...
I’m pathetic, aren’t I... I’m afraid of the stage. I don’t want to go back there, even though singing and dancing with a smile in front of everyone was something I loved the most...
It’s so weird, right? Just what is wrong with me...? I’m just really afraid right now...
|...I don’t think you can help that. If I were at your position, I might not be able to take a step forward, like you.
Today, just a while ago, you experienced a deep blow to your identity. In front of your beloved audience, no less...
If my parents were slandered and defamed in front of me, I think just like you, I wouldn’t be able to keep my sanity. Especially since considering our standing, we can’t object carelessly.
It must be hard. I understand, Akehoshi... You and I, we’re twin souls.
We were born to similar standings. But a basic and decisive difference between us led us to diverging paths.
Due to some trick of fate, we’re now by each other’s side. Aiming for the same dream together. You’re not alone; everyone here is at your side.
...I’m frustrated that I can’t do more than encourage you like this.”
|No... It’s what I need right now, so I’m happy to hear it. Thanks, Hokke.|
|...I’m a poor speaker and I’m bad at comforting people, so I’ll move in the direction of resolving this situation.
Uhh, a quick browse on the internet indicates the riot inside the venue is getting calmer.
|Hmm. I think the audience were instructed to turn off their smartphones inside the dome...
And it wasn’t livestreamed. But it’s becoming a hot topic on the internet?
|You can’t keep people’s mouths shut in this day and age... especially since we have a lot of people working in mass media among the audience this time.
Amateurs are the scariest, though.
Information is being released and spread rapidly, so it’s shaping into a truth by consensus.
|I see... That’s really cruel. The matter of Akehoshi’s father is already something from years ago.
Things have finally cooled down to the point that people who ‘know’ only mostly know the rumors.
It’s been treated as a taboo in the idol industry, hushed up so no one would touch upon it...
But now that’s all gone to waste. After this, things won’t be the same.
Whenever Akehoshi stands on stage as an idol, everyone would recall what happened today and point at him, saying, ‘That’s the son of the Akehoshi’...
No one could ever look at him as just an idol.
No way I would accept something so unjust. This is a trap, a scheme; I’ll speak out, whatever it takes.
I’ll convince the SS Staff Association to declare the video a completely baseless fabrication.
Even that might end as an exercise in futility, but... I can’t think of any other hand right now.