Chapter 3 - 3 Cheers for Mankai Company!
[Itaru's Room]
Itaru profile
Itaru
Sweet, finally got some leg armor! Time to pwn these noobs!
[Knock knock-]
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
Hey Itaru, I brought the book.
Itaru profile
Itaru
I'm in the middle of something right now, so just leave it outside my door or something.
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
Sigh... I'm coming in.
Ugh, this place is a disaster zone...
Itaru profile
Itaru
Work's been keeping me busy lately.
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
But all you do when you come home is play games... You should at least do the bare minimum to keep things tidy.
Itaru profile
Itaru
It's all good. I know where everything is, and I keep them in prime locations for optimal use.
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
You sound just like my brother...
Itaru profile
Itaru
Which brother? The oldest one?
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
Yeah. He leaves things lying around and barely comes home but still gets mad when we clean up because he can't find anything anymore.
Itaru profile
Itaru
I think we'd get along real well.
Nice! Gauntlets acquired!
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
Get your message taken care of right away, or else we won't finish the book in time.
Itaru profile
Itaru
Yeah, yeah, I'll do it later.
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
There's no way I'm gonna let this book get swollowed up by this black hole, I'll watch over you until you actually start writing.
Itaru profile
Itaru
Aw, come on...
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
Please hurry.
Itaru profile
Itaru
Okay, okay. I'll do it.
I have it in my hands now. Happy?
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
When you're done, give it to Citron and Sakuya.
Itaru profile
Itaru
All I ever do is type things out on my phone and computer, so I'm starting to forget how to spell things. You feel me?
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
Nope, can't relate!
Itaru profile
Itaru
Oh, by the way, Tsuzuru...
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
What?
Itaru profile
Itaru
Since you do it for your brother, you can clean up this room, too, if you want.
Tsuzuru profile
Tsuzuru
You're just going to mess it up right away anyways. I wouldn't do it even if you paid me.
Itaru profile
Itaru
Oof...
[Tsuzuru leaves]
Itaru profile
Itaru
Okay, time to get started on this message.
What did Masumi and Tsuzuru write down?
...Ugh, just looking as Masumi's page is making my eyes bleed.
Tsuzuru's sounds more like a letter. I think I'll go with that.
...
(It's been a year already... I didn't think I'd stay here so long.)
(I came here for the free food, but everyone was always up in my business about things... Man, I wasn't even serious about acting.)
(I just joined so I could save on living costs... That was pretty horrible of me.)
(What a far cry I was, compared to Sakuya and Tsuzuru, since they actually wanted to act. Our attitudes during the first play were on different levels, too.)
[Flashback]
Itaru profile
Itaru
I figured bowing out now would give you plenty of time to find someone else for the job.
Izumi profile
Izumi
...
Itaru profile
Itaru
Well, there you have it. I'll talk with the others tomorrow, and-
Izumi profile
Izumi
Hold on!
Are you still completely unintrested in theater, even now? Can you really say you don't care at all about standing up on stage with the others?
[Flashback end]
Itaru profile
Itaru
(I couldn't just get up and leave after Izumi said all that. I don't even know why, myself...)
(And while I floundered with my decision, the others even tried to convince me to stay with their weird improv act. That was a pretty hilariously bad attempt.)
(Yet they still managed to hit me in the feels...)
(Deep down, I must've really wanted to stay here and continue acting with everyone...)
...
(Ans I'm glad I did.)
(I'm glad I'm here, and then I actually mean something to the troupe. Hell, I even found other intrests outside of gaming.)
This was all thanks to Izumi...
"Can't wait to put on more plays with you." That sounds good.
I still have some space left... Guess I'll draw some of my fave video games characters.
[Timeskip]
[Scene Change: Sakuya and Citron's Room]
Itaru profile
Itaru
Hey Sakuya, Citron. You in there?
Citron profile
Citron
We are.
Itaru profile
Itaru
Here's the book. Tsuzuru kept bugging me to hurry, so I just finished my page.
Citron profile
Citron
Oh! You got the goods, yes? I will be sure to take care of it!
Itaru profile
Itaru
You're making this sound way sketchier than it needs to be... After you guys are done, give it to the Summer Troupe.
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
Got it!
Itaru profile
Itaru
Oh, you keep this on your desk?[1]
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
I do!
Itaru profile
Itaru
Haha. Been a while since I saw this little retro robot of yours. Morning, li'l guy.
Citron profile
Citron
I shall get this done in a pickle!
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
Ahaha... I'm pretty sure you meant 'in a jiffy'.
What will you write about, Citron?
Citron profile
Citron
Hehe... I have a secret weapon.
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
A secret weapon?
Citron profile
Citron
Ta-dah!
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
Is that...a calligraphy pen?
Citron profile
Citron
I need my writing to stand out from everyone else's. It is time to show the fruits of my training under Sakoda...
Behold my secret move... Hiiiyah!
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
Wow, Citron! Your handwriting is beautiful! What did you write?
"Once in a century", huh... ?
That's...a long time.
Citron profile
Citron
It is the saying you use when you are thankful for having met someone.
Sakuya profile
Sakuya
Were you tring to write 'once-in-a-lifetime' instead...?
Citron profile
Citron
...
(When I happened to see the Spring Troupe's street act and Izumi invited me to join the troupe...)
(That was no coincidence. It was fate.)
(I knew I'd bring trouble to the troupe, since I was being followed, and tried to keep my distance from them, but Izumi still accepted me with open arms.)
(She stopped me from leaving, saying that I was already a part of the troupe.)
[Flashback]
Citron profile
Citron
Why would you offer such a thing?
Izumi profile
Izumi
Well, for starters, I need everybody up on stage when it's showtime. That includes you.
I know how hard you've been working on your articulation and intonation. Your performance is improving every day.
More to point, you always seem to be enjoying yourself at rehersals. It's really nice.
Having you around helps bring cheer to our group. You're a good influence on everyone.
And I'm sure the others feel just the same. We ALL want to keep working with you, Citron.
[Flashback End]
Citron profile
Citron
(I was so happy that she accepted me as an equal, regardless of my background.)
(There will come a day when I must part from here. But...)
(I'll never forget everyone and the times we've shared as a troupe. It would be impossible to.)
I will forever be greatful that I met you, Izumu.
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Note

  1. This is a reference to Itaru's backstage story, Anti-Adulting 101
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