I promised to hurry, ne? Well this is about as fast as I can go. Today we have the next part of the story chronicling cute little Mayu-chan’s path to the dark side. That thing she bought….just what is it exactly?! I hope you enjoy part two of the story!
(Note: Please feel free to enjoy this translation, but don’t forget to buy the novel as thanks on Amazon (full of wogura’s amazing art) and also buy the album here. You can check out all of Utata-P’s translated “happiness” songs on my channels!)
[Ichihana Mayu] Just Before School’s Out (Page 27)
A special connection between two people. There’s no doubt about it. It’s the most important part of human existence. It’s not something you can touch. It’s not just an abstract thought either. I don’t have time to think about all that “mind-body dualism” crap. (Though come to mention it, Nijou-kun was reading a book on that stuff) It’s an important, precious, truly irreplaceable part of life. It’s a relationship, a two-person connection. As for me, it’s Nijou-kun and I.
Both people feeling like being together is the absolutely most important thing, certain that there is nothing more wonderful in all of existence. It’s something so simple that even I, a 9th grade middle school chibi, having only lived 14 years on this earth is able to understand. Rather, I should say that I can’t understand the thinking of anyone who doesn’t feel that same way. Those adults who are always saying difficult things, they are actually the idiots.
All things eventually break. I learned that in science class. That one’s mind can change? Even if they didn’t teach that in Social Studies, everyone knows it. But relationships are different. The connection that’s formed, even if one-side were to perish, to vanish forever, it stays behind. As long as someone is there to remember, that’s enough. Just knowing is enough. Though it’s a bit mysterious, that vague thing we call a “relationship”, “a connection between two people”, it’s actually something that can never be eliminated. There’s someone who you think about with all your heart. Or perhaps there was someone. A guy liked a girl. He loved her. Even if you tried to lose that “connection”, even if you tried destroying it, as long as someone remembers, even if it’s just a single person, then you could say that it would last forever. Amongst the infinite network of people and all their interconnections, somewhere in the world, secretly, quietly, Nijou-kun and I, our “connection” will keep going, lasting for eternity. Even if only existing in the corner of someone’s memory. That’s what I call “strong”. It’s a truly wonderful thing. To say it clearly once more, it’s a special connection between two people. It’s the most important thing in the world.
Nijou-kun is really cool. He’s tall. His hair is so shiny and silky. Even though he’s a boy, if you catch a sideways glance at him, you’ll see that his eyelashes are surprisingly long. He goes to a high school just one train-stop past mine. His grades are tops in his class. He’s in the archery club and pretty athletic. He looks like he’s had a great upbringing, his words are polite, his manners are perfect. He’s a top student without any flaws. He’s the type that even teachers look up to. He’s nice to everyone is his class and his club, but he doesn’t have a girlfriend. It’s strange. But not matter how you look at it, that’s not a flaw of his, rather, since commonsense would tell you that someone like Nijou-kun would surely have a girlfriend, his reason for being single is definitely for my sake. “Usausa Divination” would never lie. (Note: This line rhymes a bit in Japanese. “Usausa uranai wa uso wo tsukanai”) So there’s no reason to doubt.
“Ha…”. I let out a sigh. I stare out the window, resting my cheeks in my hands. Won’t this last class of the day do me a favor and end soon? If it doesn’t finish soon, it’ll keep wasting away these precious 24 hours of my Lucky Day. I can’t let that happen. It would be terrible. Getting irritated, I take out my smartphone and secretly touch the screen. Let’s check Usausa Divination.
Huh? The numbers  suddenly pop up. More precisely, it says [403 Forbidden]. What the heck? I know there’s some English written after the numbers. Is it saying something isn’t allowed, “forbidden”, or something? I don’t really get it. But I know that I can’t connect to the site.
Whatever. I check to see if there’s anyone to chat with. Anyone online? Thinking that it’d be doubtful, when I actually look, I find a single person. They aren’t my friend, but rather a senpai (elder student). But I’m still rather happy. It’s Shinomiya-senpai, who is always so kind to me. She goes to the same highschool as Nijou-kun, so she’s really smart. It’s an academic highschool after all. (Note: A high-school geared towards preparing kids for university) She knows all kinds of things, and is very knowledgeable about the things she specializes in. That’s why I respect her. Even though it feels like her views and knowledge are a little biased.
I send her a message. I touch the screen and tap out a typical greeting.
<Hi Senpai! It’s Mayu*! Can we talk now?>
<Hello Mayu-chan. Are your classes over?> She’s always so polite, even though I’m younger. (Note: It’s not obvious in English, but Mayu is talking about the way she is using polite language to her junior) But she’s a real beauty, with the aura of a princess (Note: She says “ojousama” for those who care), so I suppose it suits her.
<Not yet…This is the worst! Even though it’s useless information, he just keeps talking. This’ll probably go on for another 10 minutes or so.>
<Well, let’s forgive that for now. When they pass out the evaluation sheets, be sure to write “the class was hard to understand”. It’s quite the opposite of “The teacher is easy to connect with”, but if you write something like that, it’ll be obvious you aren’t taking things seriously.>
<Ah, you’re right. As expected of you Senpai. I’ll be sure to write that down.>
<And Mayu-chan, be sure you’re not caught chatting.>
<It’s fine. I’m properly hiding it in my textbook. But that aside, something’s wrong with my smartphone. I can’t connect to my fortune-telling site.>
<Your usual “Usausa Divination”, is it?>
<That’s right. It says “403” or something like that. I don’t know what it means.>
<I don’t know either. It’s just a hunch, but I think it’s something with a nuance like “I understood what you said and confirmed it, but I refuse.” It’s probably trying to say “you can’t do that” in a somewhat polite manner.>
Senpai always has an interesting way of putting things. The way she phrases stuff is pretty unique. But it’s actually quite fun this way. That’s why I’ve taken a liking to her. To be honest, she can be a little scary at times, but she’s usually really nice.
<Senpai, do you know any other good sites? I got lot of things I’m worried about today. I can’t believe I can’t check it right now.>
<Well, I can do weather fortune-telling pretty good, but I don’t know if I can meet Mayu-chan’s needs.>
<Ah, actually, that’s great! Please give it a try for me!>
<Alright, let’s give it a whirl!>
A little bit of silence. I glance at the second-hand of the small analog clock on my smartphone screen. Even though it doesn’t make the sound, I can almost sense the tick, tock, tick, tock as it moves. The pause in our chat lasted barely 30 seconds before a reply came back.
<High stratus clouds. The jet trail from the plane that just passed overhead is slowly dispersing. The swallows’ flight paths seem a little low. To sum it all up, it looks like it might storm.>
<Eeeeh? That’s sounds a little bit like bad luck, doesn’t it?>
<That’s one way of looking at it. But if you’re properly prepared, things will turn out fine. No big deal.>
<But it still worries me! Today is a really, really important day! I’m freaking out over here!>
<It’s all about how you look at it. And what you carry on you. The latter is probably the most important.>
<As they say: “If you’re prepared, you’ll be happy”, right?> (Note: Mayu’s slightly misquoting a Japanese saying)
<That’s just about right. You want to go buy what you need?>
<Ah, that sounds great! Should we go together after school? Will you go shopping with me?>
<OK. I have a few things I need as well.>
I stick a smiley face onto the end of my message. While I’m typing, I can’t help but break out into a smile as well. I knew it, Shinomiya-senpai is really kind. I can look up to her.
Finally, the teacher motioned for the class to end. We all stand and bow, saying “Thank you”. (Note: Standard practice in Japanese schools) I secretly stick out my tongue. My chat is over too. I give the website one more try.
Huh? It worked? A little question mark pops up above my head. (Note: Torihitsuji-san likes to put these kind of anime/manga tropes into written form. Just image the dokidoki cuteness for yourself) All that 403 stuff, that “forbidden”-whatnot, all that worrying…whatever. As long as I can connect to “Usausa Divination”, there’s no problem. I start scrolling through it at once.
It looks like the site has been completely redesigned. That appealing floral pattern, the cute rabbit clock, today’s pop-up message, they’re all gone. The new wallpaper has a totally psychedelic feel. What do you call this kind of thing again? Moudan aatto? (she’s trying to say it in English), modern art? (same word in Japanese) Dazzling colors. A shocking shade of pink. A red triangle. A curved star pattern. Just staring at it makes my eyes start to hurt. A flood of red, black, and yellow, they’re all swirling around in a mish –mash of geometric patterns. I can’t even get a basic sense of perspective. The whole thing leaves me a little unsettled.
But all that aside, I quickly tap on the hyperlink that says: “If you’re looking for fortune telling, it’s right here. It’s totally on the mark!”. The transmission LED starts blinking again. At the exact same moment, a Chrismas-style gift drops down right into the middle of the screen. The ribbon unties and it opens. A pink rabbit pops out. It starts jumping around. Hop-hop. It’s long ears waving all over the place.
“Wow, what an update. The whole thing is completely redone.” I mutter without thinking. Whatever, the classroom has already gotten loud and it looks like the teacher isn’t up for continuing and is about to make for the door. So it’s no big deal. If someone asks, well it’s just a perfectly normal fortune-telling site, so there’s nothing wrong here.
<Mayu, your fortunes are just amazing right now. Today there are only good things in store for you.>
“ARE YOU SERIOUS!?” This time I really shouted. I clamp my hand over my mouth and quickly look around. Whispering to myself “it’s ok, it’s ok” as I let out a sigh. I’m safe. People just glanced over for a second. Standing out isn’t an “in” thing nowadays. I’m always trying to keep from looking like a weirdo and there I go screaming out loud. But I should have figured. It’s my Lucky Day. Until the clock strikes midnight I have all kinds of opportunities with Nijou-kun lying in wait. I better try and make something happen, right?
<Your lucky items are a rabbit, an axe, and a long piece of metal, I think. Or rather, I’m sure. I really recommend that you get your hands on these things as soon as possible.>
Um, what? I blink my eyes and tilt my head. I’m imagining those 3 items popping up one by one inside my head, each of them enclosed in a fluffy, white, imagination cloud. (Note: there he’s goes again with the very explicit, cute imagery). I’m imagining a single rabbit sitting atop one of those fluffy, cushy clouds. Next I have him hold an axe. Next is…a long piece of metal? What the heck is that? Ah, whatever, I use my imagination to make the handle of the axe grow longer. But it still doesn’t feel right. I can’t imagine that 3rd item clearly. Let’s make him hold the axe again. Now isn’t there something else that would help balance him out just right? Metal….a long piece of metal….something long….just what the heck is it!?
(Next part is a Japanese joke) While we’re at it, why the heck do we count rabbits with 羽（”wa”, meaning feather, this is the counting kanji in Japanese that is used for birds and inexplicably for rabbits as well.）One feather, Two feathers….
“Huh? One feather? Why would you ever say two feathers? They aren’t birds, what are people thinking!?” I wind up whispering out loud again….but seriously, that’s weird.
Whatever, I think I’ll figure it all out soon. That long piece of metal, the whole mystery around how Japanese people count rabbits, instead of sitting here worrying about it, I’d best take action. Shinomiya-senpai is always saying that like it’s her motto. I feel the same way.
“Anyways, time to shop! Let’s go!”
I get all my things together, grab my bag and practically skip out of the classroom. I still got time! This good fortune of mine is guaranteed for 24-hours straight. Wait for me my darling Nijou-kun! Fate will eventually pull us together, much like how the earth and the moon revolve around one another. Just like “Usausa Divination” foretold! I’m sure of it.
As I run down the hallway, I’m holding my smartphone in one hand. I have to check my e-mails. Typing in my ID and password, this is the account I use for all my important business. The LED light starts flashing again. I got quite a lot of messages piled up. It looks like most of them have been forwarded (FW) to me with the sender history removed. With just a glance I can tell that there is a boatload of spam amongst them. Why the heck do people do stuff like that? I just don’t get it. I can’t understand. I mean, it’s pointless, right? I really don’t know what people who keep trying hopeless things are thinking. But that’s precisely why I can’t just ignore it. Knitting my eyebrows (mayu!) again, I start thinking about how to respond to each one. If I don’t set things straight right now, there’ll definitely be more trouble in store later. I’m sure that whoever sent these things will understand that they’re a bother. And if they don’t…well, I better tell them!
Shinomiya-senpai was waiting for me. She was wearing a parka on top of her school uniform. I guess she threw it on on her way here. Senpai is a very practical person, but she also has a sense of style. Trying to properly having one “cute point” is a great idea I think. I gotta try to emulate that!
“By the way Senpai, you like rabbits too, right?” I ask while tilting my head. Swaying on Senpai’s back, right where the hood on her parka is, is a pair of long ears. They’re hanging down and swaying side to side. They look just like rabbit ears. Just like a fluffy purple rabbit. It’s really cute.
“Oh, you mean this? I suppose you could say it’s my favorite. It keeps me warm, it’s good when it rains, and it’s quite practical while also being reasonably cute.”
“I really think it suits you. It’s just perfect!”
“Thanks. You’re always looking cute too, Mayu-chan.”
“Wow! I’m so shocked to hear that from you. Mayu-chan (I) know you’re just saying it to be nice, but I’m really happy!”
“It’s true. I’m not trying to flatter you. I think Mayu-chan is just lovely….hey, look at this. Don’t you think that this is just the right mix of cute and practical, too? It’s just right for making an outdoor grill and the likes.” While Senpai was praising me, she suddenly picked up something heavy from amongst the items on display at the store.
Hm, I guess so. I don’t really know what it is, but Senpai called it cute with a serious face, so I guess she really means it. Right now we on the 3rd floor of a shopping mall that’s right next to the station we got off at. I think this store is for people who fall into the “mountain girl” genre. So I’m totally clueless here. I have basically no idea how or why you use any of the things lying on the shelves around us. The top part is long and narrow. The little glass lamp in the shape of a leek (MIKU REFERENCE) looks neat and all, but I really have no idea what to say about this thing that Senpai is currently holding. I guess I’d have to say that it looks “heavy”, yeah.
“Do you know what this is Mayu-chan? This is a 2-cycle engine that is a super-rare find nowadays. The design is simple and beautiful. The air intake and exhaust are done with the bare-minimum of required parts. It has a “beauty in function” you can sense that today’s DOHC 4-cycle engines are completely lacking. I think it’s great.” (Note: look up the difference in engines on wiki if it interests you.)
“”Beauty in function?” You mean like the elegance of tea ceremonies or something? I think I remember our etiquette and manners teachers saying something like that.”
“I think it’s basically the same thing. That whole “functional beauty” deal.” Senpai smiled kindly. She looks really happy. Smiling as she holds that thing which looks so heavy I don’t think I could even pick it up. Does she really plan to buy that? It’s looks like it would be a huge pain to carry that home. I wonder if you took it to the register and asked them to send it via Kuroneko home delivery (a popular domestic shipping service in Japan), would they do it for you?
Whatever. It doesn’t really have anything to do with me. I need to get back to looking for today’s Lucky Items.
“Let’s see…an axe…an axe…hm, how about this?”
It was actually quite close to the chainsaw that my smiling Senpai had just picked out. I try holding it in my hands. It’s pretty heavy. But it is actually a little easier to carry than it looks. The grip is designed for you to be able to grip it firmly and securely with the palm of your hand.
“Ah, Mayu-chan, have you taken a shine to that one?”
“Eh? Well…I was just trying it out. But I have to say, for as heavy as it looks, it actually seems pretty nice, don’t you think?”
“That’s impressive. You got a good eye for stuff like this. 590 centimeters long. 1200 grams. A blade made with 1055 carbon steel. (Look up the details if you like) The handle is glass-fiber nylon. I think it’s great. It isn’t cheap, but you get some pretty good quality for the price. It’s a good buy I’d say. “
“So this one…is it expensive?”
“Well, the quality is great for its comparative price range you could say. Since you’re asking, I guess I could say that I’d recommend this one.”
“Hm…what should I do? Senpai, are you going to buy that?”
“Yep, I’ve already decided. I’m buying it.”
“Are you gonna get them to ship it for you with Kuroneko Post?”
“Nope. I’m taking it back myself. I wanna try it out as soon as I get back.”
“I wonder if I should do the same….”
Anyhow, I hold it behind me and wander around the store, looking around. For my first Lucky Item, I think this axe will do just fine. What was next? Something long, right? Long. Something long. Metal. So basically…some kind of metal implement?
I keep searching while wandering around all the disorderly display cases in the store, looking left and right. Searching for the thing that will help bind Nijou-kun and I together. That is to say, the item that will complete my current quest. I gotta find it.
Looking through that wooden shelf in the tools section, there was all kinds of items propped up inside. Ah, could it be? Right then it felt like a [!] mark popped up right above my head. I poke my index finger into my cheek, tilt my head a bit, and look it over. (descent87: gah! The descriptive cuteness!) I guess I found it. I knew it the moment I saw it. It’s has to be this. It’s fine, right?
It’s really, really long. The handle is black metal and the tip is red. (Note: could it be….?) There’s a subtle curve. Well, I can’t say if this is decisively it or not, but then again, the item that was in my fortune, that Lucky Item, it was totally vague. I wish it could have been a little more specific. While it’s making me a bit uneasy, I must admit that fortune-telling is pretty vague to begin with. All those unclear things that are divined for you, you gotta go out and find the meaning in them for yourself. I know that to be the case, so there’s no use thinking about it any longer. I have to move forward. Since I believe in fate, it’s much better for me to act and then think, rather than wasting time worrying right now.
“This one please!” I point it out to the very first store clerk I see.
I’ve already decided, so they’d best get it for me straight away. They should just sell it to me immediately, but instead this part-timer is just standing there, looking back and forth between me and the item I want to buy. It’s like they’re at a loss for words. Their eyes look like dinner plates.
What’s their problem? “Are you sure this is what you want?” It looks like they’re about to ask me that. So annoying. I hate this. It’s fine, isn’t it? I’ve already decided to buy it, so shouldn’t you hurry up and make yourself helpful?
“This! This one! I want to buy it. Do you understand?”
How rude. This person is driving crazy! I puff out my cheeks (descent87: OMG, OMG KAWAII), wanting to make them hurry. I start tapping the heel of my loafer on the floor. So annoying. This completely unhelpful clerk better start moving soon. Hoping to snap them out of it, I grab the thing and stick it out towards them.
“Ah, yes, I see. Um, so…you want to ship this, right? Kuroneko?” They ask. Still not helping. What a useless person.
“No! I’ll be taking it home myself, so just wrap it please.”
“Mayu-chan~ Are you done shopping?” Look, Senpai has come back already. She’s carrying the chainsaw they wrapped up for her.
“Ah, just a little bit more. I’ll be finished here in a sec.”
“I’ll wait for you outside, OK?”
Ah, so frustrating. I let out a sigh.
Why does it feel like all the people I run into are such dummies?
Today is a super-important day for me. I don’t have a second to waste before midnight. Can’t you understand?
I’m upset. I really upset. If I’m not careful, my Lucky Time will be over before I know it….