|Season: Spring (春)|
|Writer: Mitsuki||Chapters: 8||Translator: appositewhite & Cnenstarsen|
|Carriers of Jade - 1
Carriers of Jade - 2
Carriers of Jade - 3
1 - 貓見愁 = likely a pun on 鬼見愁, meaning someone so vicious and terrifying that even ghosts fear them. Ritsu replaces the first character (ghost) for cat. I know my localized pun isn’t even close, so here’s the explanation.
2 - 解圍 = to be rescued when one is surrounded by enemy troops, specifically.
Carriers of Jade - 4
1 - Yes, those half moons on your fingernails. Shoutout to Eichi’s thing with weird comparisons I guess.
Carriers of Jade - 6
1 - 統籌, tl’d as coordinate = to plan all-round, specifically.
2 - 穿針引線, tl’d as pull some threads = means to act as a middleman. Literal meaning is to thread a needle. It’s also been translated as “pulling strings” so I combined that and the sewing imagery into this.
Epilogue - 1
1 - What Eichi’s watching is Luoxiaohei itself. The series is eng subbed here! It's pretty cute.
2 - Soothing-type = iyashikei, spirit = youkai
3 - The black furballs in Yuzuru’s card. On that note, I’d just like to say Tenshouin Eichi saying “all of them were conscious ♪” is possibly the scariest thing I have ever translated.
Epilogue - 2
1 - 身藏美玉, tl’d as “hiding jade within” = tl’d fairly literally (it might be a title reference! The chapters are called Carriers of Jade) but it can probably extend to other valuable things like talent and skill, causing other people to condemn the person due to jealousy and whatnot.
2 - Black Ships = Western ships that sailed to Japan in the 1800s as part of the Perry Expedition, kurofune in Japanese. Read about ‘em here! Feel free to correct me if you actually know history.
3 - 红着眼, tl’d as bloodthirsty = means to have Intense Emotions. Usually used for crying I believe. Literal meaning is “eyes going red,” so I tl’d it as such to keep the colour ref.
4 - 宰割, tl’d as slaughter = also means to exploit.
|Location: Soundproof Lesson Room?|
(Today, AKATSUKI’s practice ended without a hitch. Perennial accumulation of hard work will never lie, nor go to waste.)
(Our loss in the S1 knocked down our fame and standing. However, if our member’s hearts are unwavering, our strength will not be affected in the slightest.)
(If it’s about strength, AKATSUKI’s light will not be shadowed over by haze.)
(I definitely do not doubt that.)
(However, in order to deal with sudden, unexpected situations like before, I must consider the addition of new elements during a live, and maybe implementing a secret weapon would be a good idea.)
(However, when it comes to opponents with ulterior motives, using a hidden weapon of such for the element of surprise, it just gives me a headache…)
(I must deeply consider this situation before acting. If it negatively impacts our otherwise flawless performance, then it’s not worth the candle.)
(However, we must at least heighten our resilience. We cannot allow to be caught by surprise, yet we do not even have a way to cope with the surplus…)
(That is much easier said than done, however. Kiryu and Kanzaki don’t have poor reflexes, but they aren’t used to using their brains.)
(...Well, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have the right to be accusing others. My lack of a sense of urgency is my weak point.)
(In any case, that’s in the long run. The School Festival is coming up soon, and there’s a lot of work to be done for that.)
(Other than that, there’s also that thing… I have to, as soon as possible…)
Oh, it’s the transfer student. Come in and talk, don’t just stand there idly, that’s unbecoming. Do you have business with me?
If it’s about practice, it has ended already. I was thinking of some important matters, so I stayed back for a while.
You’re cleaning up all the practice facilities as an on-campus job?
Hold on for just a while, let me clean up.
I’m sorry for taking up some of your time.
If something similar happens again, immediately come and make it clear to me, don’t be concerned like what happened a few moments ago.
You seem rather uncertain. Have I said something that you can’t accept?
Hmph. You’re still scared of me, even up until now? This isn’t like the you who transferred and and turned Yumenosaki upside down.
The look on your face says "I have a reason to be scared"- I’m not wrong, am I?
Then say it. If it’s a problem directly concerning me, I am willing to hear you out and take your suggestions to heart.
…No wonder. It seems you’re more imaginative than what I had pegged you to be.
You’re still scared after what happened during the S1 and DDD. Even someone in my position must say, that is very wise.
Obviously, I won’t forget our defeat so easily. If you had thought that I’d think "Oh well, that’s that," I would be very troubled, you know?
However, I’d have never thought you would say that "It’s because I’m not experienced enough, so I feel like I can’t lift my head up in the presence of such an outstanding idol"...
Since you’ve said that, I see you in a different sort of light now.
Being able to acknowledge your own shortcomings and thus being humbled, that’s not a quality you’d find in someone so easily.
Many people are harsh to others, yet are quite tolerant with themselves.
Even though they themselves are not up to par, they keep pushing the blame onto others, and thus neglect themselves.
The number of people who can acknowledge their own shortcomings is already small, and I don’t even need to mention the number who know humility.
Which is why you do not need to bow your head like that. I can shorten it for you: this way of thinking will be the source of your growth.
This is as you will constantly be unsatisfied with the you who both naïve and incompetent, and thus you will gain the motivation to chase after a mighty figure.
Come and plant your foot firmly down at Yumenosaki, and let dreams germinate and bloom.
With hard work and following the rules, your blood, sweat and tears will surely be repaid in full.
…Hey, don’t get cocky. The praise stands for today only.
No, it only stands for the time we are in this training room.
Other than this, you are still a clumsy, clueless, amateur producer who will only drag idols down.
Get that information into that thick skull of yours first.
Good, you accepted my criticism well this time.
It seems that you’ve understood my words without any feelings of wallowing in meaninglessness. That is good.
As a producer, how have things been going for you? From since you first came to this school, has there been any change?
…If you have something to say, say it outright. You’re wasting time.
Hmm? You have definitely felt some change in the school, however, as it is not related to idols and producers, you feel unsure of whether or not to say it?
Seriously, how incorrigible.
Listen carefully. Yumenosaki is a school for idols, so once something happens here, it is definitely related to idols in some way.
There isn’t any sort of change not concerning idols that exists.
If you say that, that means you haven’t been thinking deeply enough, nor are you seeing the whole picture.
You are confined to mere appearances, and have not truly understood the relationship between people, events, and objects.
So tell me, what change exactly did you notice?
In exchange for holding up your time, I’d like to suggest a more effective and higher quality thinking method to you.
Since we’ve already come to this point, just saying it plainly is fine?
|Location: Garden Terrace|
Oh, Hajime-kun is on a break today.
Something to do with having unit activities, preparing for the upcoming “School Festival”.
Ritsu-kun, do you know anything about this? I’m quite curious.
Ritsu-kun? Wake up, it’s already past noon… You should have slept enough already.
Ecchan, you’re so noisy…? Hehe, seeing that the kidnapped innocent good boy has escaped, the baddie panics.
Even if I do know something, I wouldn’t tell you aaaanything, Ecchan.
I’m the “innocent good boy”’s partner, and Ecchan is the big baddie♪
I want to help the good boy escape from the baddie’s grasp. Quietly accept your defeat, big baddie…☆
It’s very disrespectful to say that. Even though I did once play the villain, this whole “big baddie” and “kidnapped child” thing doesn’t sit well with me.
I was just thinking that, if Hajime-kun isn’t here, then the Tea Club, with only Ritsu-kun and I, would be less interesting.
|It’s all your fault, Ecchan. If it were with Maa-kun, it wouldn’t be like this…♪|
Even though you’re always sleeping away in the corner without a care for anyone else during club activities, yet have no introspection… How impressive.
I certainly can’t turn out to be the same as Ritsu-kun. Well, if that’s the case, why don’t I think of some interesting things to talk about?
Hmm… Lately, I’ve heard about this really interesting cartoon. Ritsu-kun, would you like to watch it with me?
|Don’t wanna. So Ecchan still has this kind of childishness within him, huh?|
Childishness, huh. I feel that watching cartoons has a lot of meaning to it.
Seriously, even though we’ve all had a childhood, yet the older we get, the more we’re unable to understand a child’s thoughts and feelings.
Why is it that they feel happy when stuff that isn't even worth mentioning happens? Or why do they cry? We’re so unable to understand, unable to get it into our heads… it’s as if they’re aliens.
During this time, cartoons will help us out a lot. Especially if they’re cartoons aimed towards children.
Through these cartoons, we can understand a child’s thought process, and understand what exactly makes them happy.
|Ehh~ …Ecchan, have you decided to quit being an idol and switch jobs over to being a nursery governess?|
It’s not like that. Think about it for a while, Ritsu-kun.
To many adults, children are their greatest weakness.
Thus, if I am able to grasp the thought process of a child, won’t I be able to control an adult’s heart, then?
This is something that’s extremely confidential, you absolutely cannot bring this to the light of the public.
|So when Ecchan watches cartoons, he’s also thinking about this kind of thing… you’re such a dark person, aren't you?|
But I’m able to walk proudly and confidently in the sunlight, aren’t I? Vampires are even darker, wouldn’t you think? ♪
If you apply the same logic, “kidnapping” is also one of the many hobbies that vampires have. Towards your victim, you only need to take one bite, and the victim becomes a vampire themselves.
They can’t object or change it. From the way they were like just when they were first turned, they will also die that way.
What an efficient method. Although it’s not very just, I do admire it♪
Though, Ritsu-kun is just a “self-proclaimed” vampire, so being around Ritsu-kun should be safe.
Yes, a “self-proclaimed” vampire… hehe, this kind of thing is what true childishness is♪
The only “self-proclaimed” vampire here is that thing which calls himself my brother.
What kind of vampire doesn’t like drinking blood, and can only drink tomato juice and eat dry-cured ham. How irritating.
Ritsu-kun, you won’t tell me Hajime-kun’s situation, yet you tell me all these facts about your brother without a second thought.
Up until recently, we were enemies of sorts, you know? Wouldn’t it be better to be more on guard when talking to me? ♪
No matter how much I guard, it won’t have any effect on Ecchan.
Everything Ecchan wants to know, everything Ecchan wants to have… There’s never been a missing gap, has there?
Anyways, I don’t care what happens to that creature who calls himself my brother. Can we not talk about him anymore? I suddenly feel sick.
You were the one who first brought him up, Ritsu-kun… Ah, please don’t stare at me like that.
My body is very frail, so if Ritsu-kun drinks my blood, I’d most likely die♪
Even if I were starving, I still wouldn’t drink Ecchan’s blood… It stinks of medicine. Just smelling it makes me want to die.
Ah… I’m feeling rather thirsty. After waking up, I haven’t drunk anything, my throat’s so dry, it feels like it might start smoking.
Ecchan, can you go brew me some tea?
|I refuse… if you want to drink tea, go brew it yourself. You have all four limbs, and your body is also perfectly healthy, there’s no reason for you to rely on others.|
|Turning down an old man’s plea for something to drink with such a flat expression… So you really are a demon after all, Ecchan…|
|Saying you’re an old man while coquetting… You’re not being very convincing.|
Who said that the elderly can’t coquette… There isn’t an age limit or anything on coquetting.
I’ll sue you for discrimination you know, Ecchan~?
As expected of Knights' strategist. Ritsu-kun sure is cunning.
With just one or two sentences, you can turn the tables on your opponent… even though it’s in front of me, it’s the same.
I have quite a bit of confidence in my words… Not many people can converse with me about this sort of thing as my equal.
If it was my childhood friend… Although he can talk well and confidently in front of others, he’d probably concede defeat about three lines in?
Of course, he seems fierce and harsh, and often lectures me with a sort of incredible arrogance.
However, I’m very clear on this point- whenever he does it, it’s practically like raising a white flag♪
|You’re so evil, Ecchan. That childhood friend of yours is rather complicated?|
Yes, I think so too.
Well… I wonder why he keeps beings so complicated, why he keeps tolerating me.
Why he never gets angry at me, why he never says “Eichi, fight me!” like normal boy.
If I’m being honest… It’s rather troubling.
|Location: Garden Terrace|
Did you hear something just now?
Hm? No. What did you hear…?
Oh, I hear it now. It’s a cat meowing.
It’s getting louder and louder…it’s noisy~
Hey Ecchan, don’t you feel like cats are troublesome lately?
|“Cats are troublesome”? What does that mean? Have you been dealing with cats lately, Ritsu-kun?|
No…it’s the cats that one-sidedly give me trouble.
I always hear cats meowing when I’m sleeping lately.
It’s not loud, but it sticks to you…before I knew it my brain was full of cat noises, and I couldn’t get rid of them no matter how I tried.
I can’t even sleep as well anymore. Uu, I hate being sleep deprived…
This never happened before. Maybe it’s because the cats around school have increased?
Sometimes I’ll find what look like cats’ muddy footprints around places where I sleep. I even have to fight my heavy eyelids as I look for somewhere else to sleep…
If it goes on like this, there might come a day where I unfortunately fall asleep on the way to finding a new bed…
And then I’ll be barbequed by the sun. That’s possible, you know?
You’re the student council president, right, Ecchan?
That’s to say you’re in charge of everyone and eeeverything in Yumenosaki.
So shouldn’t you manage the kitties and have them leave me in peace~?
If I really end up collapsed and dried out in the middle of the road, that’ll be Ecchan neglecting his duties. Neglecting your duties, you know…♪
Mm, being asked to manage kitties really is something I’m lacking experience in.
Indeed, I hope that everyone can become outstanding idols. However, I don’t pay attention to what slackers experience.
But I also can’t turn Ritsu-kun down, even indirectly. If the cats do increase, and bring trouble to people…
|Ahh, the calls turned grating again…|
More shrill and forlorn than anything. Did something happen?
Ritsu-kun, can you accompany me to the garden to take a look? Always sitting around drinking tea becomes meaningless after a while, doesn’t it.
|Okay. The sun’s about to set too, I can stand this level of sunlight for a little while ♪|
|[Scene Change: Garden]|
|The calls came from that direction, but now it’s peaceful, with nothing there.|
|Hehe, maybe they knew you were coming and got spooked, Ecchan. Ecchan’s the “black cat of cats”1… ♪
|Where does a weird saying like “black cat of cats” come from? Am I that scary?|
Ah, so the cats are here, and there’s two of them too ♪
Oh, they ran away.
Yuzuru, are you interested in cats? Your eyes have gone all focused.
…Kaichou-sama. My sincere apologies.
I was so caught up in the moment, I hadn’t even noticed your arrival. I truly am sorry.
If Young Master were here, he’d likely punish me severely. But even if it were so, I would not have an excuse…there really is nothing to be said.
I can only apologize again. I truly am sorry, Kaichou-sama. Please forgive Fushimi Yuzuru’s rudeness.
You have nothing to apologize for, you know? I’m not even angry.
Mm. Why is it that when it's just you and I interacting alone, there always seems to be some distance?
There’s no need to mention Tori, but even in front of Wataru, your reactions seem to be livelier than now?
Though it hasn’t been long since you transferred to Yumenosaki, I’ve accepted you into fine, which means I acknowledge your abilities and character.
Now we are both comrades that belong to fine. How can there be distance between comrades?
Should I consider carrying out some stronger measures? For the sake of fine, and for the sake of deepening my relationship with Yuzuru ♪
The more you chase after him with questions, the more you’ll make him feel like he was rude…just now, you did badly too, Ecchan ♪
Hoho, thank you for your rescue2, Sakuma-sama.
I understand your thoughts, Kaichou-sama, but I am first and foremost a servant of the Himemiya family.
The Himemiya family’s standards and etiquette have already become one with my flesh and blood, and I am unable to act against them.
What kind of measures will you carry out, Kaichou-sama…? I feel quite a bit perturbed hearing you say that.
When the time comes, I would be grateful if you didn’t force me too much ♪
|What do we do now, Ecchan? The cat ran off. If we go back like this, they’ll probably keep making noise anyway.|
|Mm, what should we do? I don’t have any ability to control animals.|
|Kaichou-sama, Sakuma-sama, did you especially come here just to find the cats?|
|That’s right. Just now Ritsu-kun heard an unusual noise in the tea club.|
You mean the crying noise, I presume. I also heard it, and that’s when I realized the two cats from earlier.
It was a cry from the smaller cat, the fat cat seemed to have been chasing it.
Maybe it had angered the big cat. The cat world has its own rules, after all.
But it was a very intelligent kitten. Even though there were a few close calls, it still nimbly dodged the big cat, and escaped.
I found it very interesting, so I couldn’t help but watch.
I was supposed to prepare for the Young Master’s homework tomorrow, but time slipped away without me realizing.
It would be more appropriate to say I got carried away with the cats. How unsightly.
Eh~…I don’t think cat watching counts as wasting time? Provided they’re quiet enough.
Running around being busy with this and that is what’s wasting time is. Life should be spent leisurely~ ♪
|…Your words were a powerful attack, Sakuma-sama. Please allow me a few hours to digest them.|
Both of you, look. The little one from before has come back again.
Ah, it rushed straight towards me. Do you think it’s safest by my side?
Such a good, smart child. Come here, let me pet you…♪
Do you like me rubbing your belly? Your eyes look like half moons.1
I like how soft your belly is, too. Scratch, scratch scratch ♪
Eh~…Ecchan fell into the enemy’s trap just like that…
Ah, is that the big cat you were talking about over there?
Ahaha, all the fur on its back is standing up, and it keeps growling. It looks funny all angry and ashamed like that.
It looks like it’s protesting against us, telling us to hand over the little thing.
We’ll never hand the “good kid” over to you, awoo…~
Sakuma-sama, what finesse.
Making such a scary expression with no shame at all, and even letting out strange noises…
But it was quite effective. The big cat was acting high and mighty only a second ago, but it left angrily with its tail between its legs just now.
|Hoho, maybe these are Ritsu-kun’s true colours.|
|…Sakuma-sama, why did you have to show that expression to the kitten too?|
Because it was noisy earlier. I want revenge ♪
Disturbing someone’s peace and quiet is unforgivable. Pay the price for carelessly disturbing me earlier ♪
You seem to have generated the opposite effect. The kitten isn’t scared of you at all.
It left Kaichou-sama alone, and now it’s clinging to your trouser leg, Sakuma-sama. Both you and Kaichou-sama are the same, very popular with the kitten.
I’m the only one treated coldly. Maybe it’s because I have King’s smell on me?
|Yuzuru, do you feel lonely?|
No. I’d only feel lonely if Young Master treated me coldly. No, if it came to that I would probably feel fear.
Whether it’s a wild dog or cat, avoiding harm in favour of benefit is a basic survival instinct.
Just now, it ran directly to Kaichou-sama and hid behind him.
Because between me, Sakuma-sama and Kaichou-sama, you’re the one with the most deterrence, Kaichou-sama.
Even if Sakuma-sama hadn’t taken action, you would have still been able to scare away its enemies.
If one were to find one of us to be their shelter, you would be the best choice.
You’re right; even this tiny kitty knows that you must depend on the person who will be the most advantageous to you.
Just about every living animal has self-interest at its core. You and I are no exception.
|Are you laughing at yourself by saying that?|
I have no intention of that. There is no meaning to laughing at your natural instinct; rather, you should make use of it.
But then again, Yuzuru.
The reason humans can become “humans”, and are different from “beasts”…
I think it’s because humans are able to control their instinct, rather than be controlled by it.
Even if they won’t receive a lick of compensation, they’re still willing to pour their kindness into others, and devote their everything.
You must understand if I say it like that, Yuzuru.
And so, I have lots of expectations for your future in fine ♪
Mm, your chin feels nice too.
There’s a bit of soft flesh behind the bone, and it goes in when you touch it.
It feels like my finger’s stuck inside, I can’t take it out anymore ♪
You want to shake hands with me? Okay~
Come on, hold out your paw, take my hand, and up we go~ …and the other paw ♪
If there’s anything that can beat the belly of a cat, it’d be the paw pads of a cat.
Ecchan, how long are you gonna keep the kitten to yourself?
I still haven’t gotten to pet it and you’ve coaxed it over to your side again…
You’re so domineering. It’s not like it’s your cat, Ecchan.
This is war, Ritsu-kun. You’re full of holes, so naturally I took the opportunity.
It’s my win this time ♪
|Hmph…fine. You won’t be able to gloat any longer anyway, Ecchan ♪|
|Oi, Eichi! So you were here.|
|Ah, Keito. The transfer student’s here too.|
Eichi, don’t you have activities for the Tea Club today? Why are you outside here?
How long have you been idling here? Are you feeling alright?
What are you doing all gathered here? Hm? This is…?
Ooh, this little one isn’t scared of people at all. Good child, good child…♪
|Fukukaichou-sama didn’t do anything at all, yet the kitten won’t leave his side.|
|Hehehe, now even Ecchan’s lost. And it’s a total defeat too, a total defeat…♪|
|There’s no other solution than to make Keito my enemy now.|
|…What, were you all in the middle of a competition of some sort? Eichi, did I make you lose?|
|No, Ritsu-kun’s only joking around with me. Right, Yuzuru?|
|Yes. The sight of Kaichou-sama and Sakuma-sama warring over a cat amongst themselves was very interesting. I gained a lot from it ♪|
…It sounds like I’ll only get stupid answers if I ask further. Well, as long as everything’s alright.
Where did the cat come from? I haven’t seen it around school or nearby before. Is it another new stray?
Just on the way here we saw two or three unfamiliar cats, and we were thinking over the situation the workers in school informed us of…
As expected, the transfer student wasn’t just spouting empty words.
Eichi, come with me to the student council. I have something to discuss with you.
You too, transfer student. This is a problem that you noticed, so you’d also want to know how to solve it, right?
Keito’s always entwined with work, like some restaurant’s strange combo menu…if I’m ever out of a job, I should just look for you, Keito.
You definitely wouldn’t let me stay idle like that ♪
|That’s right. I’d make you properly reflect on how you’d fallen into a state like unemployment despite your family background and ability.|
|Haha, I was just joking. I still have a lot of things I want to do, how could I bear to be unemployed? ♪|
|Ecchan, are you going to take care of the annoying cats?|
Mhm, that’s right, Ritsu-kun. I think that’s the issue transfer student and Keito want to talk about too.
It’s not just cats; haven’t you noticed more and more stray animals around school?
The transfer student told me that it feels like the number of wild animals around school are slowly increasing.
You should be more precise when expressing yourself; saying “wild animals” is a severe misuse of language. But considering the amount of experience you have, being able to notice this issue is worthy of praise.
That says that you’re treating each day in Yumenosaki seriously. I’m very pleased.
You thought that there would be no correlation between this issue and idols, and perhaps it wasn’t so important, didn’t you.
But the large amounts of stray animals will threaten the plants growing in the school, as well as the animals in the breeding pen.
They’ll ruin the ecological environment in the school.
The stray animals will bring with them more bacteria, disease, or parasites, and this might affect the health of the idols.
All in all…This is a very serious problem. And it won’t be easy to take care of it suitably either; it’d take a lot of time as well as effort.
We can’t put it off any longer.
|So~ …you guys aren’t going to exterminate them all, right…?|
We won’t, Ritsu-kun. Don’t mind him with his face all scrunched up like that; Keito’s solutions are always nice and gentle ♪
Come here, cute little kitten…
You and your friends have brought some problems, so Keito and I have to leave first and take care of it.
For now we’ll just have to let Ritsu-kun take care of you. Get along with him, okay ♪
|Location: Student Council Room|
|Now then, transfer student. How do you think we should solve the stray animal problem?|
|Wait a second, Eichi. That question is beyond her capabilities, isn’t it.|
I don’t think so? This is part of managing idols too. It’s work that a producer has to take on.
I don’t support compartmentalizing learning content too much. Making connections is part of a student’s responsibility, after all.
|...Alright then, let’s listen to what suggestions the transfer student has.|
Hm. So that’s what you think.
You don’t wish to bring the animals harm, and reject the use of traps or the like.
A simple wish, but worth respecting ♪
You’re right, it’s easy for violent methods to accidentally bring harm to students. That would go against our original intentions. What’s your suggestion then?
…To increase the number of workers, and strengthen management?
That’s a pity. Neither of those are realistic.
Increasing the number of workers around school would involve multiple factors, and the situation we currently face may not occur frequently anyway.
You’d understand if you thought about it a little more. It’s a rare occurrence after all, it might be the result of animals migrating.
Say it were actually so. After a while, the number of stray animals within school lessen and steady. What will happen to the newly hired workers then?
Will we disturb the ranks of the other workers and force them into other posts?
That’s why I say that it’s basically impossible to add staffing for something so unconventional. It’s the same for the student council members.
Oh, did you mean hiring relevant professionals outside of school? …No, that still wouldn’t work. That would increase the management cost.
It’s already difficult carrying out management as of right now. We can’t afford to bring in any more staff.
So “strengthening management” is but only a pretty, baseless thought. Even if you work hard, trying to squeeze water from a completely dry sponge will only prove futile.
Even if we force out more staff, there would be little result.
In the end, relying on people to manage animals efficiently won’t be much help. Unless we raise them in an enclosure, like the breeding pen.
The habits of humans and animals differ far too much. People are only effective when managing other people, it seems.
To rely on us to “strengthen management” towards animals would only be a waste of effort.
Ah, I said too much, sorry. Did you have any other thoughts?
Nothing more…? I shouldn’t expect too much from you after all.
Keito, you’re the one who’s too strict here.
It’s not strange that the transfer student would think of the problem that way. Your opinion will always be influenced by your experience.
But since you’re a producer, your sights must be set higher and farther than those of idols.
Idols have to be sure of their direction and embody an image, and charge full steam ahead without a single worry—not stopping even if they hit a wall, smiling the whole time.
Because that’s what people want idols to be.
As the producer in the background you must have gentler and more flexible ways of thinking, because you face all sorts of “relationships”.
Relationships between idols themselves, idols and workers, idols and the audience; relationships between idols and companies, idols and work, within each job, et cetera.
You not only have to discuss with the idols what performance would be most fitting for them…
You also have to think about what relationships to coordinate1 and how, in order to lessen the pressure on the idols, and remove obstacles so their careers can run smoothly.
How to maintain the relationship between idols and fans, idols and different business partners…
What kind of work an idol should prioritize at what time, and what kind of image you should create for them…
How to choose when there are all sorts of opportunities in front of you, and how to fight for one when there aren’t any...
Although you don’t appear onstage, you must consider what happens under the neverending spotlight.
You’ll notice the things that not even the idols themselves would notice. At times like that, your opinion as the person closest to them will weigh heavily.
When an idol gets drunk off their fame and becomes complacent, when should you sober them up? When they can’t go on anymore, how do you lift their spirits?
And so, you need a composite and complete field of vision. When one plan doesn’t go accordingly, find another way.
A problem full of twists and turns might look like a straight road from another angle.
Eichi, stop. You made it too complicated, the transfer student won’t understand.
Be more concrete. What do you think about the situation we’re dealing with right now?
Mm. Regarding the stray animals, it’d be quite the problem if they’ve settled down at school.
This isn’t just a problem that concerns Yumenosaki, the neighbouring businesses and residents will also be affected.
This is a district-related issue, which means Yumenosaki is ill-equipped to handle it.
Since we lack power, we shouldn’t be the only ones shouldering a problem that concerns the entire district.
No matter how you slice it, they shouldn't just be waiting for Yumenosaki to fix this.
The way I look at it, what we should do is to find a societal solution ♪
The Tenshouin family’s stockpile of connections are useful during times like these.
I’ll make allies out of relevant organizations nearby later, and ask them to strengthen the arrangements, and to take in and rescue the stray animals in this district.
The Tenshouin family can introduce people and sources of funding to them, and lessen any pressure they might have in that area.
But there’s no direct connection between all this and Yumenosaki, so there’s no need for the academy to shoulder the cost and the risk.
All the Tenshouin family needs to do is to pull some threads2 and sew together these “relationships”: finding the appropriate people, guide them into one place, and develop their bonds. That’s how it’ll be.
It’s all very simple, isn’t it ♪
|Location: Student Council Room|
Mm, as expected of Eichi. We’ll leave the rest to you then, thank you for your hard work.
How is it, transfer student? Do you feel enlightened after hearing what Eichi said?
It’ll take some time for you to understand it completely. Write it down first and you’ll slowly come to new realizations.
Hoho, rather than that, I’d prefer if you remembered the other things I said to you, transfer student.
“I hope you can learn to not fear me”, “I want to get along with you”, for example ♪
I hope I can still be with you peacefully like this outside of work, both of us enthusiastically conversing with each other.
…It seems it’s still too early for that, which is understandable. It would be nice if there were an opportunity that pulled us closer.
Oh, this? This is a cartoon1 I’ve been watching recently.
I heard other students mentioning it and remembered during my break, so I watched some of it.
It’s a bit different from the style of Japanese animations, but still very interesting.
I watched right up til break ended and didn’t even close the webpage. I only got back in time to hastily turn off my computer ♪
You seem very curious. This is a rare opportunity; would you like to listen to me talking about the story?
|…Transfer student, I’d like to remind you beforehand that there’s a big possibility Eichi’s idea of “interesting” is different from normal people.|
|Since that’s what you’re saying, you can listen too and then judge, Keito ♪|
|Oi, I still have documents to organize—|
|On a rainy night, a little girl picked up a stray black cat, and brought it home.|
…Mm, that’s a very slice of life beginning. This is a soothing-type2 story of a girl and a stray cat, then?
No, the cat is black; could it have camouflaging purposes?
That’s somewhat correct. It was no ordinary cat. Not afraid of showers, didn’t eat cat food, had a blue tongue, tail could operate the elevator, seemed to understand the human language…
And, it could split its tail.
It could split into many tiny black cats3, and all of them were conscious ♪
|Is this a supernatural story? Or was it actually not a cat?|
Mm, it was actually a spirit cat. Because it stole the treasure of a powerful deity, it was brought great harm by the deity’s spirit henchman.
It only barely escaped by turning into the shape of an ordinary black cat and coming into the human world.
|Oh? What happened then, did the henchman let it go?|
After that, the spirit rushed to the human world. In a twist of fate, the spirit cat found another spirit companion to help it hold off the enemies.
As both sides refused to budge, the deity suddenly remembered something, and called all the spirits to their side.
It turned out that the deity had once pledged that if anyone were able to steal their treasure, they would grant one of the thief’s wishes.
But it’d been so long, the deity had forgotten. So, this had actually all been a silly mistake ♪
Poor spirit. It experienced so many unnecessary obstacles because of the deity’s carelessness, and was powerless before the deity as well.
Even though it had some power, it couldn’t even use it because it was injured from the fight at the beginning.
Keito, don’t you find this development interesting?
So your taste still remains something people would be afraid to compliment, Eichi. Most people wouldn’t find that point meaningful at all.
Comparatively, I have more sympathy for the little girl who took in the black cat. She’d be a normal human, I assume? Most likely with a rather naive personality.
I suppose she’d always by the spirit cat’s side, and the two go through these experiences together?
That’s usually the setting; it’s convenient for creating conflict.
Mhm, bullseye ♪
The little girl experiences everything. She knows the spirit cat’s true identity, sees the deity, and comes across other spirit creatures as well.
|Honestly. A normal person has their daily life disrupted and gets wrapped up in things like spirit creatures; I’m getting a stomach ache for her sake just thinking about it.|
She didn’t find it painful though? Being with the spirit cat was warm and interesting, and it always made people smile from the bottom of their hearts.
This kind of theme was one of the work’s main selling points.
Is that so…it truly is a lighthearted piece, then.
It’d also be a good watch if a story like this had battle or strategy as its selling points.
|Hoho, the points you focus on are unique, Keito. You truly are a person with experience writing.|
Because the core selling point is very important, you know. It relates to the theme of the work, so you have to decide on it right at the beginning.
By deciding the core, the creator built a clear direction for the story, avoiding the plot or characters going out of control.
Like you as…as an emperor, deciding on plans to nurture Yumenosaki’s idols, perfectly understanding everything in the academy.
Mhm, that’s a fine comparison.
It’s like you said, Keito. I hope that Yumenosaki can become a soil that allows flowers to bloom. And so I stand at the academy’s peak, with the entire academy in the palm of my hand.
But everything has an exception, and there will be events beyond my foresight. The transfer student’s arrival, for example. And another example…
The revolution started by Trickstar and the rest. ♪
|Location: Student Council Room|
Isn’t that exactly what you had hoped for? Everything happened as you predicted.
Honestly. When DDD had just begun, even I was clueless like everyone else. I had no idea what on earth you were planning.
With the way things have turned out, don’t you dare say you’re actually the same as that muddled spirit, forgetting the ending you wrote yourself.
Hoho, I was just kidding. You’re too serious, Keito ♪
Indeed I cannot be the same as that spirit, mixing everything up…but Trickstar’s somewhat like that spirit cat.
I hadn’t finished the story just now, you know?
The spirit cat stole the deity’s treasure, and so news of it began to spread amongst the spirits.
Other stronger spirits also had their eyes on the treasure, and formed groups to go after the spirit cat.
Although the spirit cat had resolved the misunderstanding with the deity, it still wasn’t safe. Getting tangled up with the other spirits had proven to be a tough situation.
The story stops here. Next up is question time ♪
Why do you think the spirit cat had fallen into such a state, transfer student?
That’s not entirely right. If it was an especially strong spirit that stole the treasure, do you think they’d still dare go after it?
If three-year-olds carry gold into a busy market, the gold will be snatched away, and the children will die.
An ordinary person who’s never committed a crime but hides jade within them will still be condemned.
If a person lacks the ability to protect their status, wealth and reputation, they’d only be seen as a fat sheep ready for slaughter in the eyes of a bystander.
Presently Trickstar has beaten fine — who were at the top of the academy — and won DDD, becoming representatives for SS, an unrivalled sight.
But are they strong enough to guarantee they can come out unscathed under such great fame?
Trickstar is a newly formed unit, after all. Their winning streak wasn’t entirely due to their own strength.
If they were to meet an audience that took a little time to think about it, they’d all be well aware of that fact.
They haven’t shown any overwhelming strength. And so there’ll definitely be lots of other units aiming for Trickstar, right?
If you defeated the representatives of SS, your fame would skyrocket.
Mm, Knights definitely won’t let go of their defeat to Trickstar either. They’re sure to challenge them again.
Will the rising stars be able to weather this raging storm and continue to shine on the dark land? ♪
But reality is different from a fictional story. There are no kind-hearted people to give you spoilers, telling you the direction of the story.
And no pressure from the readers forcing the writer to only write a happy ending.
In reality, any ending is possible. Some people dazzle brighter than fiction, and some fall into a darker chasm than any writer could dream up.
For Trickstar, the road has only become steeper since the completion of DDD.
Oh, don’t worry. I have no intention of schadenfreude or being a bystander.
I want to see Trickstar represent Yumenosaki on the country’s highest stage, dazzling. For that moment…
I hope you can be with Trickstar, transfer student, and work hard for a beautiful and bright future ♪
I hope the words I said to you before were of some use.
When you encounter difficulties or obstacles, I hope my words can serve as reminders and help you find the best solution.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to announce to the world that everyone’s dreams can blossom here.
I hope you can be part of that as well.
That’s enough, Eichi, don’t say too much. Can’t you see that the transfer student has a complicated expression on her face?
Too many expectations will crush a person.
You sure are considerate, Keito. You’re full of dreams for Yumenosaki’s future too, yet you’re talking like that ♪
Sorry, transfer student. I said too much.
Sickly people are always greedier, with more expectations than the average person.
As soon as I think about the future of Yumenosaki, my heart starts to race.
I believe in you, transfer student. Your coming here and meeting us definitely wasn’t just coincidence.
Even if your transfer was only God’s idea of a joke, I still believe it was one played with kind intentions.
In any case, there’s already no way for you to back out of Yumenosaki, right ♪
And since it’s come to that, the only thing you can do is to march on with the desperation of a man defying death ♪
If I put it like that, your situation is very similar to mine. You won’t be upset if I say that, right?
That’s good then ♪ I believe there’s still a long future yet…so please work hard and spur yourself on instead of taking your time ♪