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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817330662545387095/episodes/16817330666175466323

It was the last Sunday in February.

On the day of the entrance examination for Hokusei University, the weather was strange and gloomy with light clouds covering the sun from the morning.

According to the forecast, it was going to be cold all day and the weather was going to gradually break down.

The weather was not so clear, but I had been feeling excited since the day before, and I could not calm down.

Today is the day of Ari san’s final battle, but I also have something to do.

In other words, cheering on Ari san.

Ari san asked me to support her on the street on the day of the final show. In other words, it’s a big stage for me, too, and I can’t mess up.

So I prepared myself from early in the morning and was steadily getting ready to go out.

I loaded my equipment into a minivan parked in front of my apartment.

“Guitar” “In.”

“Shield cable.” “In.”

“Amps.” “Two amps in.”

“Microphone?” “That’s in there, too.”

Ryoko reads out the list of equipment in her notebook and helps me prepare. Ryoko borrowed her father’s car to transport the equipment. Ryoko was also very enthusiastic about giving her support to Ari san.

Today is not a battle for Ari san alone. It was a battle of the four of us.

“All right, we’re ready to go ahead of schedule ! There might be traffic, so let’s get the hell out of here !”

Thanks to Ryoko, the preparations went without a hitch. All that remained was to drive safely to the university and get ready for the real thing.

Ryoko jumped into the driver’s seat. I was about to close the rear door and run into the passenger seat when I heard.

“Kingo ! ! !”

I hear a man’s thick voice calling me. The familiar voice of a man who was not supposed to be here struck my ears and made me tense up on the spot as if I had been doused with cold water.

I turned around fearfully.

It must have been a misunderstanding.

He couldn’t be here.

However, that expectation was shattered miserably. In reality, he was there.

“Nobu……hiko……”

Harada Nobuhiko. My former partner, companion, and best friend. But he was a traitor who kicked me out from the band and even took away my beloved girlfriend.

“L-long time no see, Kingo.”

“Yeah, it’s been a long time. Have you lost some weight?”

For some reason, I remained calm in the face of such a person. Or maybe my emotions have not caught up with me.

Anger, frustration, sadness, contempt. The moment I saw Nobuhiko’s face, a mainstream of emotions came rushing into my chest, but I turned away from them because they were too heavy to bear as a single one.

Perhaps mistakenly believing that I was happy to see him again as I stood there stunned, Nobuhiko walked up to me with an eerie affectionate smile on his face.

“It’s been a long time. I’ve missed you ! I knew I’d see you here.”

“Well, this is my home after all.”

Are you an idiot, coming to my house and talking like you met me by chance?

No, he’s always been like that. He has a habit of saying the obvious in a strange way. I used to think that was what made him funny, but now I can only be appalled.

“I’m here to follow guidance. Hey, Kingo, I know you must be surprised by my sudden visit, but…..how about we’ll have breakfast now?”

“B-breakfast !? Ah……but I’ve already had breakfast. I’m sorry. I’ve got someplace to go. If you need to talk, can we do it again tomorrow.”

I was getting a headache. Perhaps because of this, instead of swearing, I condescendingly refused the offer. Perhaps human beings become more normal when they are placed in situations that are difficult to comprehend.

“I see. Do you have something to do? Well then, I guess it can’t be helped. It’s my fault for coming to see you out of the blue. But unfortunately, I don’t have much time. So I need you to do me a favor….could you please write something on this piece of paper?”

Nobuhiko took out a clear file from his backpack with awkward movements.  His face was smiling wryly.

“Eh, sign? What kind of paper is this?”

“What does it matter? Well, I dare say it’s like a letter of intent for you and me to walk the path of success together.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t get it.”

I really don’t get it.

I took the paper out of the file as if I had just seen something scary. However, Nobuhiko quickly snatched up the paper, folded it in half, and pressed it against the car window. I’m sure you’re trying to make it easier for me to sign, but if you do that, I won’t be able to confirm the contents of the document.

“I know you think you are helping me to sign, but if you do that, I can’t check the contents of the document. My grandfather told me to think carefully about signing and sealing.”

The law has changed, and I am now an adult at the age of 18. I can sign a contract without the consent of a parent or guardian, but as an adult I’m obligated to take on that responsibility as well. Even if it’s a favor from a friend, I have to be careful. ……He’s not my friend anymore, though.

“Don’t be so firm. You and I are friends. We’ve divided our paths, but you promised me that you would help me. I want you to show me proof of that promise, that’s all.”

“C-cooperation? Did I promise you that?”

“Remember ! You promised to let me use your songs from now on.”

“Oh, that. Yeah, I remember.”

The day I was fired from Lyconess comes to mind, albeit vaguely.

I had neglected my musical activities, and I had to step down as if I had been fired so that I wouldn’t be a drag on Lyconess in the future.

However, I knew that simply leaving the band would cause trouble for Lyconess. So I promised him that he could continue to use the songs I wrote for Lyconess. Nobuhiko urged me to make an end to this. I agreed to that.

Nobuhiko must have been deeply relieved when I reminded him of that, and he smiled a big smile like Ebisu sama. I had never seen such a face before.

“I’m glad to hear that ! This document is like a memorandum of understanding.”

“You don’t have to do that, I said you can use it, so play it as you like.”

“I really appreciate that. But Tokyo is a formal place, and everything has to be put into form. I don’t know about you, but since they want me to do it, I’d really like you to sign here. Okay?”

Hmmm, I see. If you are going to work as a professional, you have to be very precise in that area.

I understand that point. However……

“H-hey, Nobuhiko. Don’t you have something to say to me before asking for my autograph?”

Yes, Nobuhiko did a terrible thing to me. After kicking me out of the band, he did the outrageous thing of taking Yua away from me……

If he is going to ask me for something like that, there should be another word first.

Nobuhiko meditated and took a deep breath. Then, slowly opening his eyes, he put his arm around my shoulder and brought his face close to mine.

“I understand how you feel, Kingo. But now is not the time to argue. We have a crisis at Lyconess.”

“Lyconess?”

I felt as if I was being choked by the word “crisis” in my ear. At the same time, I was overcome by the urge to know the truth.

“What crisis? What happened to Lyconess?”

“There is no time for details. Time is of the essence. Kingo, you are indispensable to get out of this predicament. To save Lyconess, please be willing to shed your skin and sign the papers.”

What…..he’s in such a pinch that he doesn’t even have time to explain !

“That’s a big deal ! All I have to do is sign here?”

“Yes ! Please, Kingo ! For the sake of the Lyconess !”

“Sign…… sign…… for Lyconess……”

Lyconess……Lyconess……. The word goes round and round in my head.

The band I love.

Everything about my youth.

I don’t know what’s going on, but I’d do anything to save Lyconess.

Click–

I push in the head of the ballpoint pen with my thumb and push the nib out of the pen…….

“[Kobayakawa Kingo] and……”

I was in a kind of a confused state and signed as I was told, unable to think deeply.

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