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Writer: 日日日 (Akira)
Wonder Game - Chapter 35
Location: Wonder Game Stage
Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Umm. Excuse me for butting into this conversation as if I can’t read the mood, but do you have a moment?

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Yes, please go ahead! As expected of the “Mad Hatter” of this story! It is only natural for you to entangle yourself into other people’s conversations in absurd ways however you please, salute~☆

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Ahaha. It’s too bad I’m not the lead role, but, well, I guess it beats being a background character. ...In any case, there’s something I’d like to say.

Saegusa-kun. I’m speaking hypothetically here, but the agency where I’ll be working truly is tiny, with nothing to its name…

So even if you invest in it, you may end up just incurring a heavy loss.

Out of the kindness of my heart, I am warning you. I think you’d better withdraw from this deal while your wounds are still only superficial.

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Ahaha, so you’re doubting whether the diamond mines exist to begin with?

Just like in “A Little Princess”... My, just because the theme for this event was fairy tales, I went and researched way too many unnecessary things!

However! I don’t have the slightest intention to put the hard work and money I poured into this to waste.

Of course you’re correct when you say that the agency in question may be nothing but an insignificant, empty vein of ore.

...I am sure this is also the reason why, back in the student council room, that Yuzuru looked at me with such pity in his eyes.

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Huh, pardon? They’re still playing the music, I can’t understand you when you lower your voice like that!

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Aren’t all of you already used to talking in noisy environments like this?

Moving on! Your concerns aren’t needed, Your Majesty Tsumugi!

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Ah, so I’m the “Majesty” now, huh… I feel like I’m not fit to have that title, though.

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

But you are a feudal lord, or at least you’ll soon be in an equivalent position… In that agency, that is. I’ve heard rumors you were ushered in on exceptional conditions.

Or rather, I confirmed those rumors myself in detail. Leaving Switch aside, this treatment is only befitting for a former fine member such as yourself.

Natsume Sakasaki Wonder Game Dialogue Render

HeY, what’s with the “Leaving Switch asiDE”? Are you saying we’re inferior to fine?

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Now, now… The part about the conditions being outstanding is actually true. They’re wasted on someone like me.

This is unrelated, but my mother was very pleased with all of this, saying “My son is so amazing! The complete opposite of me!”.

Natsume Sakasaki Wonder Game Dialogue Render

AhaHA. That must be the most rewarding part of this deal for yOU, SenpAI.

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

It is. It feels like the heavy curse that’s been weighing on me has finally been lifted. All this time, I really just wanted for that person to smile… Even if she’s like that, she’s still my mother after all.

In any case. Since that’s the position I’m going to be in, I am well informed on the details of that agency and can say with confidence that it’s essentially just a micro-enterprise.

We are doing the best we can, but right now, our future is still shrouded in darkness.

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Is that so? I think that was only the situation until a few days ago… Now that Yumenosaki and CosPro have invested in it and guaranteed their support, that agency has finally seen the dawn of a new day, no?

Just as expected from Your Majesty! Thanks to your presence, that newly founded agency has evolved splendidly! You truly must be the “Blue Bird of Happiness” ♪

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Ahaha… Long ago, Eichi-kun once told me the same thing.

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Hmm. ...In any case, the days gone by have nothing to do with this. The future and the past are nothing but illusions, akin to ghosts.

To survive on the battlefield, the immediate present… The reality in front of your very eyes is the only thing that matters.

That agency has, by coincidence or otherwise, drawn attention to itself and was granted financial investment. And so it has “become” an enormous vein of gold.

We were the ones who made it one, so it goes without saying that we will dig up any gold, silver and treasures we find buried within.

So, you see, we won’t incur a heavy loss. Everything is going according to plan, and if nothing else, we’ll at the very least be able to easily make back the money we invested.

That agency stands at the very frontline of the idol industry.

I know of ways and schemes to turn this flow of events into money. I am a businessman, after all.

I pushed the issue of dealing with the deed to that troublesome plot of land that couldn’t be traded that easily over to His Eminence Eichi, who wants it…

And while I’m at it, I’m having him develop it for me, and I’ll use the building that’s planned to be constructed there for an easy profit.

To be honest, that was my primary objective. But then, the agency in question got involved in all of this, so I injected my poison into that as well. That’s what this is all about.

I am sure you already realized, but the majority of idols participating in this “Wonder Game” are inexperienced no-names who have yet to develop any distinctive characteristics whatsoever.

We at Eden are an exception to this, though.

All of you at Switch haven’t taken center stage much before, but you’re highly valued by the right people and seem to have a cult-like following… And yet, you’re by no means “orthodox idols”.

People who are out of place, or are troubled about their choice of a career path are being guided to your agency. You seem to be lacking in personnel anyway, and “Every Jack has his Jill”[1], right?

I negotiated with every single one of them, and most accepted the invitation.

Also, I tracked down Your Majesty’s acquaintances, since you’ll be holding a high position in that new agency, and got them involved in the current project.

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Aah, the former pupils from our bankrupt idol school… And here I was wondering why so many of them just so happened to participate in this. So it wasn’t a coincidence after all.

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

That much should have been obvious. They love and respect you, Your Majesty, so I am sure you will find it easy to make use of them in the new agency.

Tsumugi Aoba Wonder Game Dialogue Render

About that… Well, I am grateful for it, but… I happen to be the type of person that young people don’t really listen to.

But why are you going that far for me? I mean, it’s convenient for me and all, so it’d be unreasonable of me to complain about it, but…?

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Yes. You see, since it is so convenient for you, Your Majesty won’t be able to object to or obstruct this turn of events.

Making others submit through threats isn’t efficient planning. It’s much easier to make people run after the bait you’re dangling in front of them.

Do you understand now? The one who invited all those people that hadn’t decided on a career plan yet over to your agency was me.

I’m creating a debt of gratitude for them, who will become the residents of the town on top of that gold vein.

I employed a number of other schemes as well, all to make it possible for me to manipulate them as much as I want. With regards to that agency, I turned them into my very own vanguard.

People are stone walls, people are castles.[2] In other words, when you have complete dominion over people, you can make them overthrow even castles. Which is why seizing the intiative regarding the new agency was an easy feat for us.

Right now, CosPro is still suffering from a bad reputation following the events of “SS”... That’s why I decided it’d be a good time to spread my roots to other agencies as well.

Of course, I plan to use my long, slender body to slither into the very depths of Yumenosaki Academy itself as well.

Natsume Sakasaki Wonder Game Dialogue Render

How disgustiNG. Maybe I should light a fire and smoke you oUT?

In any caSE, I more or less understand the situation nOW. Senpai’s concern was completely unnecessary after aLL, since all is grist that comes to Ibara-kun’s miLL. He’s a manager with unwavering determinatiON.

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

Fu fu fu. ...Well, until His Excellence pointed out that I was “hurrying too much” and so on, I didn’t notice the pitfall beneath my feet, which is why I can’t act all high and mighty now.

‘Cause you see. I never would have thought that His Eminence Eichi, an advocate for efficiency, would give his friend such a gift without any ulterior motives whatsoever. It almost turned into a massive disaster thanks to that. Aah, how frightening.

Nagisa Ran Wonder Game Dialogue Render

…..Fufun ♪

Ibara Saegusa Wonder Game Dialogue Render

…...Just like His Excellence, who is grinning smugly over there, said: “Surprisingly enough, Eichi-kun does act on his emotions sometimes”.

Which should go without saying since he is only human, but I get so occupied with chasing numbers that things like this can slip my mind.

The scales have fallen from my eyes. I can only hope that this shedding process made me more mature along the way.

Emotions and mental state. From now on, I want to take ambiguous factors like these into account more.

  1. Ibara’s original turn of phrase translates to “a mended lid for a cracked pot”, which plays more into his idea of these idols being damaged goods in a way.
  2. “The people are your castle, your stone walls, your moat. Protect them, and they shall protect you.” - Takeda Shingen
Translation: Bakemonoremy
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