Title: Thin Blues
lyrics written by: Kobayakawa Kingo
Three years of high school dedicated to band activities〜♪
A first year student who couldn’t get an F~♪
Second year, I had my first girlfriend~♪
Third year of high school, when I decided to become a professional~♪
College life, believing that one day I would sprout♪
Everyone else’s seed sprouted, only mine didn’t〜♪
I’m the seed that will be cut out〜♪
I’m a seed that will never sprout and I’m useless from the start〜♪
This is Joshi Park, not far from the downtown area.
Located in the center of Saiichi, it is a park on the site of an Edo Period castle. There is no castle tower, but only a moat, stone walls, and trees planted in modern times. Therefore, it is more of a place for citizens to relax than a tourist attraction.
The park is very spacious, and there are no houses around, so even at this time of the day, around 8:00 p.m., no one would complain about a few performances. This makes it a great place to practice. I was sitting alone on a bench along the boardwalk, playing my acoustic guitar.
I’m the only one playing an instrument.
A man in the brass band who seems to be a high school student. A saxophone player with no sense of rhythm, a beginner.
A flute player who looks like a working adult. Excellent tone. A member of the orchestra?
An old lady who is playing shamisen. ….So many.
Even on a lonely autumn night, this place is filled with all kinds of sounds. All of them sounded joyful, but I was the only one playing the shitty blues.
After I finished playing, I sipped on a long can of Strong Zero that I had bought at a convenience store. The second can was empty, so I opened the third.
After parting with Ryoko, I headed for my favorite place, Joshi Park. I was feeling depressed and found myself playing the guitar while sipping on a long can of Strong Zero.
I tried to look cool in front of Ryoko, but in reality I wanted to stand on stage.
I wanted to sing in the middle of the stage.
I wanted to say to the audience, [You guys are the best !]
But that is no longer possible.
I thought I would feel a little better if I wrote a song about that emptiness. So I improvised a strange song, but instead of making me feel better, it made me more and more miserable.
“Maybe I should quit playing guitar.”
I muttered to myself. At that time.
“Hey, Kingo ! Was that a new song !?”
I looked up when I was suddenly called.
Standing there was a girl. I hadn’t noticed her standing there under the streetlight, so it was like a ghost had suddenly appeared.
But for a ghost, she has a good complexion and is cute. Her long, neat black hair and girly makeup made her look quite flashy.
Hm, I think I’ve seen this girl somewhere before…….
She was wearing a cream-colored knit and rushed over to sit next to me without permission.
“Hey, was that a new song !?
“No, it’s not a new song……. I was just playing alone.”
“Amazing ! It was a great song, even if you were just playing it at random ! I couldn’t hear the lyrics very well, let me hear more !”
I can’t, it’s too embarrassing.
I mean, what’s with this girl? Suddenly she called my name and approached me unguardedly. And now……
“Do you know me by any chance?”
“Of course I do ! You are Kingo from Lyconess, right !?”
“Bingo. Are you the one who came to our live concert?”
“Yeah ! I’ve been watching Kingo since I was in the first grade of high school ! You went to visit at the high school festival, I saw you on stage !”
Oh, wow. That’s long time ago. That was back when Lyconess didn’t have a name yet. How well she knows us.
“Haa….impressive ! I never thought I’d meet my idol here…..! Are you alone today?”
“You were writing a song all by yourself !?”
“No, I was having a drink with a friend just now. I’m not really doing anything right now, I was just playing along……”
“So that’s how you wrote the song !?”
What with this guy. She’s continuing the conversation alone?
I guess she’s excited to see her idol.
I’m happy, but I don’t want her to get into my private life. Besides, I’m not from Lyconess anymore.
“I’m sorry. I’m drunk, so I’m going to go…….”
I put my guitar back in its case and tried to get up. But the girl grabs my arm and holds me back.
“Wait ! Is it true that Lyconess is going to make its debut !?”
“Why do you !?”
I shouted in shock.
I was supposed to keep the information about the debut a secret until I got permission from the office to release the information.
“I was passing by a live music club the other day and heard someone I passed talking about it. But I looked on the Internet and found no information at all, so I thought it was a lie, but it’s true !? I love Lyconess, and my favorite is Kingo !”
“Yeah ! Kingo is my idol !”
Eh, I’m super happy ! I can’t believe I’m being idolized by such a cute girl.
I started playing guitar because I thought it was cool, but I never thought I’d be told by a total stranger that she liked me.
“That’s why I was so happy when I thought that the song Kingo wrote would reach all over the world, I was so happy…… Debut, it’s true, isn’t it !? You’ve got an agency, right !? I’m going to Tokyo to support you !”
My feelings were suddenly buoyed, but cooled down in an instant. My body relaxes, and I sag with my arms on my knees.
The girl shouted in confusion.
“I wuit Lyconess.”
The girl’s mouth dropped open and her voice leaked out.
Why? Such a pathetic story is not something you should tell to a fan.
“It’s a notice of termination from the office. I was kicked out because I was dragging the band down.”
I wasn’t going to tell her. But it leaked out easily from my fragile heart.
But I didn’t go as far as to tell her that Yua had been stolen from me.
“No way….you’ve been working so hard until now.”
“I can’t help it. I went to university by myself and acted as a preventative measure in case things didn’t sell, so I was making the atmosphere bad. There are plenty of replacements for such a half-hearted and useless person.”
I repeated the harsh words Nobuhiko had said to me.
“So I decided to support Lyconess in Tokyo from here in rural Hokusei.”
That’s how I came to terms with it and tried to face reality. Otherwise, I would have started crying at any moment.
I felt something soft on my head. I looked up and saw her patting my head.
Gentle warmth and feeling as if I was wrapped in feathers.
I expected to be comforted by Ryoko, so I could bear it. But the comfort of a fan, whose name I didn’t even know, was too gentle for my wounded and cold heart.
“I love Kingo’s music and guitar. I bought his CDs and listened to them over and over ! And I think it’s great that he manages to juggle college and the band ! I’m currently preparing for exams, and I could never do it on my own ! So I really admire you.”
The girl sent me such encouragement with a twinkle in her eye.
That made me very, very happy…….
Nobuhiko told me I was unneeded, but she affirmed my existence.
There was someone who appreciated and loved my lyrics, music, and tone.
That was enough for me.
I’m glad I’ve been in the band for three years……
“Do you like guitar?”
“Yes, I love it ! I’ve never played before, but I love to listen to it.”
“Then, I’ll give you this.”
I gave her the guitar with its case. It’s a pretty good guitar that I bought during this summer vacation by putting in a lot of part-time work.
“No, no, no ! I can’t accept such an expensive guitar ! Besides, it’s your precious guitar !”
“It’s fine. I’ll never play it again. It will go to a pawn shop and then to someone else.”
My guitar history is the history of Lyconess. When I play the guitar, it will bring back memories of Lyconess. That’s why I want to get rid of the guitar. I’ll probably get rid of the other stuff in the house.
“I want to give this guitar to you, my fan, because I used it in the show. Take it.”
The girl accepted it silently with a stunned, dazed look on her face. The hard case was held by her petite body.
“Thank you. I’ll take good care of it……. But……play something for one last time. I want to listen to Kingo’s song to encourage me to take the exam.”
The girl had tears in her eyes and made such a request in a voice that rippled.
One last song, huh?
I’m not in the mood for that, but it’s not so bad, depending on how you think about it. After all, I would be able to perform my retirement live in front of a fan who had said I was her idol.
I take the guitar she gave me and put the strap on my shoulder. It’s tuned and ready to play.
“What do you want? Ah, but I’m not in the mood for an original song, so I’ll play a cover.”
“Then [Glass Blues.] please.”
That’s not a cheering song, though.
“Yes. You said before in the MC that it was your favorite song, right? I love it too.”
“You remember it well.”
[Glass Blues] is one of my favorite songs, which I played in Lyconess, and I also play it on acoustic guitar.
The girl walks out onto the boardwalk and takes a couple of meters away from me. I stand up and turn to face her.
“Oh, by the way, what’s your name?”
“Then I’m going to sing a song to help you do well on your exams, Ari san. [Glass Blues] by BUMP OF CHICKEN.”
She clapped her hands to the rhythm of my backing.
The last live performance began, with only Ari san in the audience.
When the outro ended, I felt the poison drain out of my body in the drawn-out time.
The humiliation of being betrayed by Nobuhiko and the sadness of being cheated on by Yua are not important just now.
Because there are people here who are happy with my song.
The crowd cheered with crackling applause.
Ari san applauds in front of me with a big smile on her face.
It’s not just Ari san. The audience had swelled to about ten people before I knew it. Passersby stopped to listen to my performance.
They clapped their hands in excitement and applauded when I finished a song.
“You were very good.”
“That was a good song.”
“I enjoyed it.”
“Thank you very much. T-thank you for the money, it’s someone else’s song !”
The audience smiled and called out to me. I thanked each and every one of them.
Each little word was like a jewel to me now, and they seemed to accumulate in my empty, depressed heart.
“Kingo, your performance was really good ! The audience kept growing and everyone was on their feet !”
“You’re right. I was having a lot of fun too.”
When was the last time I had such a good time performing? It had been a long time since I had sung without any strings attached, whether it was the reaction of the audience or the money.
Yeah, this kind of thing is not so bad.
“I still can’t accept that guitar. I’m sure Kingo still wants to play it.”
“Even if I keep it, it will just sit in the corner of my room gathering dust.
“No, you should keep it. Kingo has the power to make everyone happy. You need that guitar to bring it to life.”
Ari san pushed the guitar back to me again and declined.
The power to make people happy, huh?
Music is essentially a magic that moves people’s feelings.
I haven’t thought of it that way in a long time……
“Thank you, Ari san. Thanks to you, I feel a little more energetic.”
“Me too, thank you for your wonderful performance ! …..I knew you were the same as you used to be…….”
“Eh, I used to be?”
“No, it’s nothing !”
I couldn’t hear her clearly, so I asked her, but Ari san’s face turned red and she waved her hands.
I wonder what it was about. I was curious, but it would be rude to intrude.
“Right, Ari san. If you like, you can have this. It’s a little warm.”
I pulled out a honey lemon that Ryoko had given me from the pocket of my guitar case. Ari san’s face lit up as she accepted it.”
“Honey lemon ! I love them !”
Ari san accepted the gift, thanking me with a smile on her face. I’m sorry for the gift, but if it makes you this happy, I’m happy.
“Kingo, let’s have a toast !”
“Toast? To what?”
“To the great success of the last concert. And to your future.”
Ari san opened a plastic bottle and raised her drink with cloudless eyes.
She seemed to believe in my comeback and seemed quite optimistic.
The probability of me making my debut in a different form from Lycones is next to zero.
“Yeahm, cheers to the audience !”
The show earlier was good. I was able to play well, and most importantly, the audience was excited. I toasted and drank my drink in one gulp as a way of thanking them.
“What are you drinking, Kingo?”
“Strong Zero Long.”
“…..It looks like a strong drink, but is it okay to drink it all at once?”
As soon as I gulped down the contents, my vision suddenly shook.
A feeling of intoxication that leaves my whole body feeling weak. T-this feeling…. It’s the same as when I got carried away at my first drinking party.
My vision spins, and I feel a dull ache in my back and head. I couldn’t even stand up, so I fell on my back on the woodchip boardwalk.
“Kingo, are you okay !?”
Ari san kneels down and looks into my face. I thought I could hear her worrying about me from a strange distance.
Ah, I’m going to die, I’m sure of it.
My friends betrayed me, my dreams were snatched away from me, and my girlfriend cheated on me on the day of my death.
But I’m happy because I got to perform with such a cute fan girl at the end. If I have any regrets, it’s……
“I’d rather flirt with the fan girls than be a partygoer.”
“Is that a good farewell poem !?”
Episode 3 Illustration
Here is a visual of the heroine,Azekura Ari !
She is a fan who happens to appear in front of Kingo, who is alone in the twilight.
She is a powerful girl with an innocent personality, and when it comes to her idol, she is a wild goose.
What kind of story will the girl weave when she meets Kingo, who has been kicked out of his band, and touches his wounded heart…..
Stay tuned !
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