Chapter 7 - 3 Cheers for Mankai Company
[Omi & Taichi's Room]
Omi profile
Omi
Hmm...
Well, there's really only one memory from this year that sticks out in my mind the most...
(During our performance of The Stranger, I really had to confront my past and overcome the pain that haunted me from those days...)
(If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have grown at all into the person I am today.)
(That performance helped me fully accept my past. Thanks to it, I was even able to face Nachi again.)
(Nachi and the Wolves were what made me strong... The Autumn Troupe was what helped me remember that.)
[Flashback][1]
Omi profile
Omi
By the way, Nachi, there's someone I want to introduce to you.
Izumi profile
Izumi
Huh?
Omi profile
Omi
It's thanks to this person here that I'm able to keep moving forward.
I used your dream as a crutch, but thanks to her, I was able to make it my own.
It's not just her, either. Right now, I have a group of friends who're just as important to me as the Wolves were.
I'm going to work hard alongside them and Izumi, so I can become such an amazing actor you won't even dream of making fun of me.
[Flashback end]
Omi profile
Omi
(Izumi has been suporting me ever since our debut performance.)
(She helped me realize that it wasn't just for Nachi's sake that I decided to act.)
(If none of that happened, I would've felt too guilty about Nachi and ended up quitting.)
(I wouldn't even have been able to visit Nachi's grave.)
(I owe so much to Izumi and Nachi. If not for them, I wouldn't have ever discovered my love for acting.)
(Nachi... I'm not here as your replacement. I'll work hard to become a great actor while holding the memories we've shared close to my heart.)
...
(I should add a photo in here, too. What would be good...?)
Haha.
(This was a good time. This was just after we formed the Autumn Troupe, huh?)
(Juza and Banri look like they're about to commit a crime, and Taichi's stiff as a board.)
(So much has changed since then. I finally know how to take photos of Juza when he's smiling, and Banri and Taichi have mellowed out a lot more as well.)
They're practically different people now.
Oh, this photo is from one of the Summer Troupe's rehearsals.
(Tenma got pretty upset at me since I took this one right when he flubbed a line.)
(Sure, it was some bad timing, but I think it really captures the essence of theater.)
(This one really brings back memories, too.)
[Mini Timeskip]
Omi profile
Omi
Wow, when did it get so late?
(It's so easy to get lost looking at old photos. I should be more mindful. It's too hard to pick just one picture to use, though...)
Hm?
(This one's from that time that I asked Izumi to try the macarons I baked.)
Haha. How cute. She's all smiles.
(Not that I'm tooting my own horn, but this is a pretty great photo. She always looks like she's on the top of the world whenever she eats.)
(I really do love when she looks so happy.)
All right, I'll print this one out and stick it on my page.
"I'll always be here, waiting for your next food request"... Okay, done.
Taichi profile
Taichi
Hey, I'm back!
Omi profile
Omi
Taichi, perfect timing. Here, take this.
Taichi profile
Taichi
Oh, it's the message book!
Omi profile
Omi
Yeah, I just finished writing my letter.
Taichi profile
Taichi
Okay! Time to put these to use...
Omi profile
Omi
What are those?
Taichi profile
Taichi
Hehehe!
I got colored markers just for this! I figure'd it'll make my page stand out more compared to everyone's else's
Omi profile
Omi
Oh, that makes sense... Although everyone so far has been going all-out, too.
Taichi profile
Taichi
Woah! Masumi's page sure stands out...but seriously not in the way I was imagining!
Yuki's page is super cute, and it's not fair that Mucchan and Kazu teamed up!
There's no way I can win Izumi's heart up against these pages...
Omi profile
Omi
Yuki and Kazunari are actual designers, so of course their pages are great, but I know she'll love whatever you make as long as you put your heart into it.
Taichi profile
Taichi
Yeah, you're right!
All right! I'll put my all into this message and blow away the competition with my sincerity!
Omi profile
Omi
That's the spirit. Well, I have to prep dinner now, so I'll see you later. Good luck.
Taichi profile
Taichi
Thanks!
[Omi leaves]
Taichi profile
Taichi
Hmm...
(When it comes to memories I have with Izumi, I guess the most significant one has to be from our first performance...)
[Flashback]
Taichi profile
Taichi
I know. I feel like complete garbage!
Izumi profile
Izumi
If you had a reason for it, I'd like to hear it.
Taichi profile
Taichi
I used to belong to the God Troupe.
I got ordered to infiltrate the Mankai Company as a mole.
The deal was that if I could ruin their next play, I'd get a spot on the God Troupe's main roster. So... I did it...
I'm so...so sorry...!
[Flashback end]
Taichi profile
Taichi
(I did those unforgivable things, fully expecting to be yelled at by Izumi and kicked out of the troupe.)
(And I wouldn't have been surprised if I was.)
(But Izumi didn't kick me out. She and everyone else forgave me and welcomed me into the company.)
(I'll never forget what they've done for me.)
...
(Our second performance was pretty tough, too. I never thought I'd have to play a female role...)
(Man, I remember how I shadowed Izumi for a whole day that time to get inspiration for my role... That experience made me like her even more.)
Wow, I've used up a lot of these traffic light character stickers Izumi gave me.
I guess that just means there have been a ton of fun things going on.
(These stickers helped Omi and me understand each other better, too.)
(And now, we're able to move forward while being open with each other.)
(I'm able to accept not only my past regrets but the sad and good times, too. It's thanks to that I can finally live in the present.)
(It's amazing that Izumi helped totally change my perspective on things with these regular old stickers.)
Oh, yeah! I'll draw this traffic light character for her, since she likes it so much. It's something that only the two of us know about. Great thinking, me!
[Timeskip]
[Sakyo's Room]
Taichi profile
Taichi
I'm coming in, Sakyo!
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
Okay.
Taichi profile
Taichi
You're up next!
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
Is that the message book? I'll take care of it after I'm done with this, so just leave it there.
Taichi profile
Taichi
You look pretty grim. What's up?
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
I'm calculating our expenses. Want the full breakdown?
Taichi profile
Taichi
No thanks, I'm sure it's even more terrifying than the spookiest ghost story!
[Taichi leaves]
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
Geez, our money's being blown on such useless shit...
...
...Sigh.
(I guess I should write her something that's be hard to tell her in person...)
(Actually, no. The others might end up reading it, so never mind that.)
(What have they got so far?)
Huh?
The hell's wrong with Usui's page? It looks like he wrote a page of curses for her...
Ugh.
(I'm usually pretty tough on her, so I was thinking of encouraging her a bit...)
(But after looking at these fools' pages, I don't think I need to. They're running wild with this crap.)
(I still can't believe she manages to control this unruly bunch.)
(Well, she's the one who chose them in the first place, so she knew what she was getting herself into.)
(Though I have no idea why she still insisted on dragging me into this mess, knowing what she did about me...)
[Flashback]
Izumi profile
Izumi
Would you come to the audition? Please?
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
...You've really grown into that director role, huh.
Izumi profile
Izumi
...
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
But just so we're clear, you're still that rascal of a little girl to me.
Izumi profile
Izumi
Huh?
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
I'll think about it. Later.
[Flashback end]
Sakyo profile
Sakyo
(Not only do I have a deep attachment to this company, I refuse to compromise and demand a lot of her. Sometimes, I think I even go too far with my words.)
(But strangely, that never gets her down. She just deals with all and keeps moving foward.)
(Even I'm shocked at the rapid process our troupe's made in such a short period of time.)
(I know our goal was to be as successful as the former Mankai Company, but to think that we're able to continue putting on shows the way we have been...)
...It's a miracle.
(It's a miracle created from all of her efforts and willpower.)
(We've had many close calls, and there's still a lot of work to be done. But the miracles she's created have made our troupe into what it is today.)
...
(We've reached quite the milestone, so I guess I can go easy on her this time. Hmph. I'm not sure one page is enough for this...)
(I don't care if the others get in my business about this. It wouldn't kill me to be nice once in a while.)
...
"You've done a lot for us this past year, but we need to put in much work to draw in even bigger crowds."
...
"In order to do that, we have to"...
...Ugh. I'm just repeating what I always say.
Damn, I don't have anymore space left...
"I'm grateful that you asked me to join the troupe. Like I said before, I know you're trying your best."
...
"But don't push yourself too hard."
All right...
Time to give this to the Winter Troupe.
[To be continued...]
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  1. This scene takes place in The Stranger event.
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