While Endo Michio was meeting Ishihara Tsuyoshi for the first time, Kingo and Ari were on a date–or rather, visiting a music store.

We moved from the campus to the downtown area and went to a music store in a corner of a department store. This store is a famous music store with branches all over the country and has a rich lineup of music instruments, especially guitars.

I was familiar with the store, having visited it many times in the past. However, Ari san was a bit nervous and restless. She looked at the guitars on display with rounded eyes.

“Welcome. I see you’ve come again.”

“Ah, hello. I’m here again today.”

Ari san reverently responded to the clerk who called out to her. She had been coming here since she decided to be in a band, so much so that they could remember her face.

“I-I’m finally going to buy a bass guitar today ! I’m looking forward to working with you !”

“Please take your time.”

The affable clerk sent us off to the guitar display area. The shelves were filled with a wide range of guitars, from reasonable ones priced at several tens of thousands of yen to professional ones priced at several hundred thousand yen.

To be honest, just looking at them was fun enough.

“By the way, what is your budget?”

“Seventy thousand yen. I received a lot of gifts from my relatives for passing the entrance exam, but I spent most of it on preparing for my new house. That’s why I’m giving away a lot of my New Year’s gift !”

This is the limit for us college students. We can afford to spend a little more if we start working part-time, though.

“I’ve already narrowed down the list for what I’m going to buy, but I wanted to get Kingo’s opinion at the end.”

“I see. The bass I’d recommend to Ari san……”

This is the first instrument Ari san is buying. Since it will also be used for stage use, I would like to choose the best one possible. However, the budget is limited, so it will have to be done in moderation.

“If it were me, I would choose the one that I like the look of. If it’s a good-looking guitar that makes you want to touch it, you’ll be able to practice more quickly.”

There are some guitar beginners. I don’t practice every day. Everyone starts out as a beginner, so you have to practice every day, even if it’s just a little bit. It’s natural, but many people get lazy and turn to interior design.

“I see……I would like this red one by Yamaha.”

Yamaha is a well-known Japanese general music manufacturer. As a Japanese manufacturer, Yamaha has a reputation for solid quality, and many professional musicians are loyal users of their products.

Having already had her eye on a particular model, she decided to try it out. While appearance is important, you could not make a decision without hearing the sound.

Ari san asked the clerk to remove the bass from the rack, and borrowed an amp and shield cable to try it out !

Ari san sat down on a round chair and held the bass in her lap.


She held up the instrument awkwardly with a forceful hand. She plucked the fourth string with her thumbs, and the bass’s heavy sound echoed from the amp’s speakers.

“While holding the string with your left finger, try playing it alternately with your right index and middle fingers.”


“Let’s change the strings and frets (the position where the strings are pressed).”

As I told her, Ari san’s fingers moved over the neck. The rhythm of her plucked fingers was traced and unnatural, but the powerful sound that resonated in the pit was definitely the tone of a bass guitar.

“Amazing….. Sounds cool……”

A voice of entranced but somewhat shuddering excitement escapes from the corners of Ari san’s mouth.

The excitement of making sounds with an instrument in one’s hands for the first time is sympathetic.

I have already forgotten the first time I touched a piano, but I still remember the feeling I had when I first touched a guitar in high school.

The powerful, pompous sound of the electric guitar shook my soul through my eardrums. From that moment on, I was hooked on guitars.

“I’ll take this one ! I’m going on stage with this bass !”

The sparkling-eyed Ari san seemed to be completely taken by this bass.

And so she bought this bass. The price was 69,800 yen including tax. It was just under her budget.

“How would you like the case?”

The clerk asked me on the way to the cash register.

“Doesn’t it come with this bass?”

“The case is included, but it is a thin soft case with no cushioning. And it is not waterproof, so water will normally seep in.”

“I see…… I guess I should get a case then.”

“I recommend this shockproof and waterproof semi-hard case !”

The clerk recommended a dark gray orthodox case. It is a convenient item with pockets for storing small items. However, the price is 13,200 yen. This guy is trying to make sales.

“…….We’re over budget, so we’ll have to wait another time. Until then, I’m going to keep this bass in my room. I’m afraid to go outside.”

Ari san’s spirit is beginning to wear thin at the sight of all these expensive items. She began to work on the bass guitar as if she were an overprotective mother.

I understand that all products in music stores are expensive, so it takes a lot of mental energy to buy them.

Especially for us students with limited financial resources, buying a bass is a big decision. It’s like jumping off a clean slate.

However, if you are going to carry your precious bass for practice, there is no harm in buying a case with a cushion to protect it from shocks.

“Then I’ll buy this case, too.”

I picked up the recommended case.

“K-Kingo !? If you buy that case too, we’re going over our budget !? I don’t have enough today…….”

“It’s fine ! This case is a gift from me to you.”

“Is that okay? Such an expensive item…..”

A purchase worth over 10,000 yen is quite a big purchase, even for a college student. But I have no hesitation.

“Yes. It’s a gift for your debut as a band member. Please take good care of it.”

“Kingo…..thank you. I’ll take good care of this case for the rest of my life as if it were my own, Kingo !”

“What about the bass !?”

You seem to be pleased with my gift, but there are more things to take care of, you know? Musical instruments are delicate, so please handle them with care.

“Sir. For beginners, I also recommend purchasing a shielded cable and a mini-amp.”

“…….I’ll be back as I’m on a budget.”

“I’ll buy it with the case !”

My wallet was scorched by the relentless sales pitch from the clerk.

Band members are always inundated with things.

I’ll do my best at my part-time job.

“Ehehe, my instrument, my bass guitar. Now I’m a band member too !”

We decided to take the bass home that day.

Ari san, eager to play the bass, put it in the case I had bought for her and carried it on his back, humming a tune and in a good mood.

“Hey, Kingo. Can I go to your room now? I want to show off my bass.”

Ari san begged with an apologetic look on her face.

It was almost sunset and time to prepare dinner. It would be impolite to go up to someone else’s house. Of course, I’m fine with having Ari san come over anytime. But….

“Unfortunately, I have to go to my part-time job now.”

“Oh, that’s right. I’ll come visit you again next time. Let’s have an all-night session then !”

I think she is a bit early for a session. I dare not say….if she doesn’t start practicing her part first. But it would be a pity to dampen her motivation.

But it would be a nuisance to the neighbors if you play your instrument all night long.

“(All night long !?)”

“(College students are so lively.)”

“(Grrh ! Are you harassing me while I’m on marriage counseling hiatus !?)”

By the way, if you play around in the traffic, it will be a nuisance to passersby. The road belongs to everyone.

“Hm, Kingo…..and Ari chan.”

We were waiting at a traffic light at an intersection when we heard a familiar female voice behind us.

When we turned around, Ryoko was standing there

“Ryoko san. Hello.”

“Hello, Ari chan.”

Ryoko greeted us in a friendly manner, but she seemed somewhat distracted. Her eyes were glued to the dark gray case protruding from Ari san’s back.

“I see you bought a bass guitar.”

Her voice was cheerful, warm, and soft. She sounded like a kind older sister watching over her younger sister.

But in fact, there was an unconscious but clear, pale dryness with the intention of [watching over] her.

Therefore, Ari san could not be honestly happy, and for a moment, her expression clouded over and she turned her head down. But after a moment, she raised her gaze and showed her back a little to Ryoko.

“Yes, I finally bought it ! Now I’m a bassist too ! I’m sure you’ll come see us on stage.”

After boasting of her bass guitar in a cheerful, rustling voice, Ari san left, crossing the pedestrian crossing at a green light with her busy footsteps.

The faintly visible look on her face as she left was one of frustration and sadness.

Ari san, she’s still trying to get Ryoko to join the band. She must have hoped that Ryoko would be a little more interested if she was shown a brand-new instrument.

But that hope was mercilessly crushed.

It was not anyone’s fault.

Ryoko had properly refused the invitation before. She did not want to hurt Ari san, and at the same time, she was careful enough not to give her strange expectations.

Ari san accepted it. As someone who has been in a band before, I can tell you that it takes a lot of effort. Even if it is a friend who invites you to join a band, it is not a matter of course that you will be accepted. Rather, it is normal to be turned down. She understood this beforehand. That’s why she is putting on a nonchalant face.

But she could not possibly be okay with it in her heart.

They are such good friends that it must be hard for them to refuse a serious request or to be refused.

It’s so sad to be so nervous about something like this.

I want to do something about it.

“Hey, Ryoko. Will you go out with me when you finish your part-time job?”

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