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Izumi:(Let’s see. Where’s the theater? I know the flyer had a map on it.)
The Mankai Theater.
(Is it at the very end of Veludo Way? Only one way to find out.)
(So this is Veludo Way, the Theater Heartland. Apparently I came here when I was younger, but I sure don’t remember a thing about it.)
(It lives up to the hype. Theaters as far as the eye can see! This is going to take a while. I'd better check every building sign to be safe.)


Tasuku
Urgh...


Izumi:Hm?
(He's bent over. Is he sick?)
Sir? Are you okay?


Tasuku
I...I'm good...


Izumi:(His face tells an entirely different story.)


Tsuzuru
Something wrong. ma'am?


Izumi:This guy looks like he's in pretty bad shape.


Tasuku
No, really, I'm good.


Haruto
Tasuku!


Izumi:Hm?
(They must know each other.)


Tasuku
Haruto...


Haruto
You know you're not supposed to sneak out of the hospital!


Izumi:Wait, what?


Tasuku
Look, it's either that or I spend my whole life cooped up in there.


Izumi:(Okay, this is WAY more complicated than I expected. Or is it? Something feels off..)


Tsuzuru
Hey, um...


Izumi:(Wait, did they say street act?)
(Ooohh, I get it now!)


Tsuzuru
You think they'll be okay?


Izumi:Yeah, let’s give them some space.


Tsuzuru
Are you sure?


Izumi:Yeah, come on. Watch how this plays out.


Tsuzuru
If you say so...


Tasuku
Come clean with me! My condition is incurable, isn't it?


Haruto
That's not true!


Tasuku
Don't lie to me, Haruto. I saw you and the doctor talking.


Haruto
You did?


Tasuku
Blissfully ignorant isn't how I wanna go out. I want to know what's wrong with me.


Tasuku
Please, Haruto. Please.


Haruto
Not here. We're making a scene. Let's talk in the hospital.


Tasuku
...Fine.


Izumi:(Aaand, scene.)


Tasuku
Thank you for watching.


Haruto
Thanks, guys!


Izumi:(It's true. I felt like I was part of the story! And I was, sorta!)


Tsuzuru
Wait, acting? That was a play?


Izumi:It's called a street act. Basically, it's a roadside improv performance.
Troupes do them for advertising and extra tips.


Tsuzuru
Oh, wow! So, it's like a theatrical flash mob!


Izumi:Exactly. It happens a lot in cities with a lot of smaller theaters. Really throws you for a loop the first time you see it, huh?


Tsuzuru
Wow... That's the drama street for you, I guess. I've got a lot to learn.


Tasuku
Hey, sorry if we spooked you two, And thanks.


Haruto
I was sweating when I showed up and saw you talking with some pedestrians.


Tasuku
Well, maybe if you hadn't taken so long showing up I wouldn't have had to.


Haruto
Oh, so you're saying this is MY fault?


Izumi:I'd be lying if I said I wasn't spooked a bit, but I had a great time.


Tasuku
You're welcome to come see the God Troupe perform anytime.


Izumi:Sure thing!


Tsuzuru
Excuse me, um, is the God Troupe accepting new actors right now?


Tasuku
Yeah, why? You wanna join?


Tsuzuru
I was thinking about it. Do you have a group dorm or anything?


Haruto
Not really. Those not living with their parents tend to rent apartments together nearby.


Haruto
Only a select few have steady income. Most have to lean hard on family support to get by.


Tsuzuru
Oh, wow...


Haruto
Course, it's a whole 'nother story if you've got the experience and chops to back you up.


Tsuzuru
I see, Thanks for the info.


Tsuzuru
I'll be going, then.


Tasuku
Thanks again.


Izumi:(He wants to join a troupe, huh. He reminds me of myself, back in the day.)
(I should give these guys a tip, too. They deserve it.)


Haruto
Thank you, have a nice day!


Izumi:(These boys have flair and acting skill in spades. They've got to be popular, right? I guess competition is hot on Veludo Way.)


Izumi:(Here it is. The Mankai Theater...I think.)
(It looks very... historic? Old? Who am I kidding... It's falling apart!)
(There's a performance today, but I don't see anyone around. I think I may see a tumbleweed or two, though.)
(If I came all the way out here just to find out this letter is a prank, I swear...)


Izumi:Mom, it's been eight years since Dad disappeared. Aren't you worried about him?


Izumi:(For as hard as Mom comes down on the guy, I'm sure she's just as worried as I am.)


Izumi:(Isuke Matsukawa is the name of the sender. What's his relation to Dad? Did they work in the same troupe?)


Sakyo
Hey, you've got some business with this theater?


Izumi:Er-
Excuse me, are you Mr. Matsu...


Sakyo
Am I who?


Izumi:(No...Please no. Don't let it be this guy!)


Sakyo
Do I know you...? No, it couldn't be...


Izumi:Me? No way! It's not like I got a letter or anything telling me to come here. I'm just your friendly neighborhood Passerby A, just... passing by. Nothing to see here.
(Don't tell me Dad wound up in debt to this guy?! If that's how this story is going I'm out!)


Sakyo
If you're not here for anything, then get lost if you know what's good for you.


Izumi:What? But, why?


Matsukawa
EEEK!


Sakoda
Hey, hey, hey!


Izumi:?!
(What's that noise?!)
(Is that a backhoe?!)
Prologue - Mankai Company
Passerby A Ooh, check it out. It's a street act.
Passerby B Oh wow, I saw those guys in a play the other day!
Passerby A Man, the actors in the God Troupe are crazy good.
Passerby B Their acting just draws you in!
[Scene Change:In front of Mankai Theater]
[Flashback]
Izumi:The Mankai Company. That's the troupe Dad used to be a part of, right?
Whoever sent this letter addressed it to Dad. That means they know him. I could find something out if I met with them in person.
Mother Do what you want, sweetie. I want no part of it, though.
Mother He's probably dead in a ditch somewhere for all I care. I moved on, and so should you.
[Flashback End]

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