The time passed quickly and finally it was after school. For me, it’s an event I can ignore and go home immediately. If anything, it would be a waste of my time to go. Because Nanase and I aren’t even friends, and I don’t have any intention to do so in the future.

But I was afraid that if I refused to go, things would get even more complicated. Besides, Nanase had said she was taking a break from performing. I didn’t want her to use the time she had left to hang around with me.

So I had no choice but to accept the invitation.

(In the first place, we didn’t even decide on a meeting time and place.)

Everything with that junior is too random. It’s like watching the old Shinkai. And because of her power, she is more troublesome than Shinkai.

(Hmmm, can I go home today?)

I didn’t make a promise like a contract, and I’m not under any compulsion. So I decided to go straight to the entrance, thinking she’d just forget about it and went home.


Just as I was about to lift my bag, I heard a small sigh from the seat next to me. Of course, it was none other than Yukihana. She was staring at her phone. I could see a little bit of the screen, but it looked like it might be a game about capturing sites. I really understand, but Yukihana looks like she’s depressed with a difficult expression on her face.

(What’s the point of playing a game if you’re depressed when the objective of the game is to have fun?)

I left the classroom thinking that she should delete such a game immediately. And then I walked straight to the entrance.

“Ah, Senpai.”

Nanase was waiting for me in a hidden place just outside the entrance. I see, if you’ve been waiting at the entrance all this time, you don’t have to go out of your way to meet up with me. I’m genuinely a little frustrated because I feel like I’ve been outsmarted.

“So, I’d like to hear your answer here.”

As if she trusts me, Nanase looked into my face. Or rather, this place stands out as expected, so I’ll have to respond immediately and move. That’s why, I…

“….Let’s move on quickly.”

I said that and left the school without waiting for Nanase. I was in a hurry, but Nanase was happy to follow behind me. Fortunately, there were not many people around, so no one was paying attention to Nanase. With this, I wouldn’t stand out either.

After leaving the school to some extent, I stopped and looked back toward Nanase. There she was, staring straight at me. Well, it’s time for me to ask her something.

“Well then, let’s continue where we left off. What do you want from me?”

“Yes. About that…..”

I said so, and Nanase started glancing around, looking uncomfortable. Seriously, what is her purpose? Since I lack too much material to judge even if I consider it, although honestly it would be meaningless, I’ll try to think about it. But there’s no answer.

And finally, Nanase opened her mouth…..!

“I want you to do something a little more high schooler-like with me !”


For the first time in my life, I raised my voice in a nonchalant manner.

We were at a shopping mall a few blocks away. There are restaurants, entertainment, and even a pet store. Around us, students from various high schools were enjoying their after-school hours. Shopping, enjoying sweets, and even stopping by a video game arcade–I guess that’s part of the high school youth.

I was there, for some reason, pounding the drum sticks single-mindedly.

“S-Senpai, you’re amazing. That’s the hardest one, and you still have no misses……Ah, you just passed the 700 combo mark.”

“On the contrary, you have zero sense of rhythm.”

The best record for Nanase is up to fifty combos and from that point onwards, she hardly ever hit any combos. She probably doesn’t have any talent for this kind of game. Then the song ends and so my combo streak. The result is, of course, a full combo. I think it’s time to go.

“Hey, what are we doing?”

” Of course, Mastering Taiko.”

“No, I mean, why are you making me do this?”

When I came to the mall, I wondered what we were going to do here, but somehow I was brought to the game center first. And the next thing I knew, Nanase was putting coins into this machine. By the way, I didn’t pay any money. Because it was all gone along with my breakfast and lunch money.

“Senpai, when I told you to enjoy your high school life, you said you weren’t that type of person. But, I didn’t see it that way.”

“You didn’t see it that way?”

“Senpai, I just thought you were a more cheerful person. So I decided to play a game with you that seemed to be popular with everyone.”

What is she talking about?

You think I’m a cheerful person? I may have been like that in the past, but that feeling doesn’t exist now. And enjoy it? It’s true that the games I play now are good for brain training, but that’s all there is to it, and I don’t find them particularly interesting.

“Look, since you said that you’d go out with me, you should keep your promise. Anyway, I’ll buy you a few drinks and we’ll have all the fun we can handle !”


Contrary to Nanase who seems to be having fun, my expression gradually becomes cloudy. I feel like I used to have fun doing things like Tetris, but I don’t have the feelings I had back then. In other words, I’m really wasting my time.

“Let’s try that one next.”

Nanase chose a rhythm game again. This one is apparently played using buttons and screens attached to the outside of the round screen. Moreover, various videos seemed to be playing on the screen. When I looked at the people playing the games, I noticed that they were wearing gloves. I guess they are trying to reduce friction and mistakes.

Then Nanase put in enough money for both of us and immediately stood in front of the screen. Apparently, she had chosen the mode to play together.

“Senpai, hurry up !”


Anyway, I decided to listen to that junior’s selfishness. I had no particular reason to do so, but it was pointless to come all the way here and then go all the way back home.

And I stand in front of the machine. This game seems to have a variety of controls, so before the game begins, I try to observe the controls of the person who is currently playing. I think I can play that one.

“Well then, Senpai, let’s see who has the higher score !”

“Hmph, keep talking.”

So we chose a song by a popular artist. Each player could choose the difficulty level, and I chose the hardest one. Nanase was my choice and chose the same one.

“Okay, Senpai, let’s go !”

And so began a new type of rhythm game. I see that the icons gradually increase in size and move from the center of the screen. And sometimes, I was asked to trace the icons.

I calmly prioritize the icons one by one and keep touching them as they appear on the screen. For a moment, I was almost overwhelmed by the speed of the game, but I could handle it if I had good dynamic vision and reflexes. All I had to do was play carefully to avoid making mistakes and try to avoid unnecessary movements as much as possible. If I do that.

“Well, that’s about it.”

I finished the song with no mistakes. Nanase, on the other hand, was looking at the screen and nodding her head in frustration. I could hear banging noises coming from beside me while I was playing. I’m sure she was playing messily.

“Senpai, you’re amazing ! Have you ever played this game before?”

“No, it’s my first time.”

“First time? …..How did you achieve so much?”

“This is a rhythm game originally designed by humans, and someone must have cleared it in the design stage. Then it’s not like it’s impossible to clear.”

From the middle of the game, I even predicted what kind of action would be required next. Surprisingly, this kind of design shows the character of the creator. Perhaps, the person who created the rhythm game with this song is a person who has a bad character. I was forced to operate the game in such a way that my arms were deliberately entangled in the middle of the game.

“I knew it, but Senpai is out of standard.”

Nanase looked surprised, but her face changed to something challenging. Apparently, she wants to beat me in the game no matter what.

“If it comes to this, Senpai, let’s try that next !”

And so we played more and more games (at Nanase’s expense). All of them were new and some of them were Nanase’s specialty, but I won all of them. I had so much leisure time that I was even playing without Nanase’s knowledge. For example, I could try to block any of the five senses. I tried to play with one hand.

Well, in short, I was conquering in the true sense of the word.

“Ugh, Senpai, you are relentless.”

Nanase, perhaps realizing the difference in strength by now, muttered confidently. The last game was finally played.

“This is the last game.”

Nanase then pointed to an old-fashioned punching machine.

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Lord of the Mysteries
Lord of the Mysteries
1 year ago

Thanks very much for the chapters!

1 year ago

Ooohhhh…I’ve played both of those games. Even now when we already have 3 kids (our eldest is 7 now), whenever me and my wife go out on dates, we usually stop by the arcade. And these 2 games were the ones we usually play, along with the basketball shooting one. It’s something we always did from the time we were dating, lol

We’re fairly lucky that we have the games over here in my country. I’m quite sure they’re talking about the Taiko no Tatsujin and Maimai Dx arcade games here.