Romaji: Ichizu na Kataomoi, Minorasetai Chiisana Shiawase.
English: An Earnest Unrequited Love, Wanting to Make it Bear a Little Happiness.
Concept and Novel by 鳥居羊
Song by うたたＰ (Watch it here)
Illustrations by wogura
(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] When I got home, I saw that… (Page 42)
…the package was already open. Is somebody messing with me? Someone had to have opened it, right? I used my key to get in the house. When I left, the package was definitely still sealed. Given that I came back from school and unlocked the door myself, something is definitely off about the situation. I’m pretty sure that my mom will be coming back late again today. Assuming that’s the case, did the package somehow open itself?
“But then again, if you really think about it, this package has been pretty suspicious from the beginning.”
“Give me a break already!” is what I’m thinking as I puff out my cheeks again. I quickly kick off my shoes, leaving a mess in the entryway. I’m sure my mom will yell at me later but right now I really don’t care. I quickly step up into the foyer and give the package a swift kick.
It starts tumbling down the hallway. I sorta feel like I heard something or someone say “ooomf!” just now. What? Is something inside?
“Wait a second, what? Is something in there?” I wonder out loud.
“Nope! Nothing at all. It’s just your imagination.” A voice replied.
Hmm…whoever is in there has some nerve. That wasn’t quite the answer I was expecting. I walk down the hallway with firm steps and look down coldly at the box.
“Ah, I see. So there’s nothing inside I guess.” I pick up the box and close the lid. When I found it earlier it was already open but it looks like whatever was inside still hasn’t come out. Grasping it firmly, I start shaking the box with all my strength. Shake. Shake. Holding it with both hands I shake it up and down, left and right, over and over.
This is pretty fun. I seems like there is some kind of muffled screaming coming from inside, so I think I’ll kindly keep shaking it a little bit longer.
“Aaaaaaaaahh, I’m sooooooooory. I llllllliiiiiiiie—“
“Eh? Did you say something? Sorry, I couldn’t hear you!”
“I-, I-, I’m sooooooooooooorrrry!”
“What’s that? Hello? Is someone there?”
Without realizing, I kept at it for almost 10 minutes. I’m a bit out of breath. Wait, did I forget about something half-way through? What was it? Shaking it was so fun I sort of forgot what I wanted to do. Uhhh….I really can’t remember.
“Um, have you forgotten about me? I’m right here.” The package started to open. The tips of two ears were poking out. I closed it tightly. Raising two hands over my head, I brought them down right on top of the package. Bam!
“Th-, -urts! That really hurts! How mean! You’re pinching my ears! Why do you keep shutting the lid on me? Is this a hobby of yours? Are you a sadist?”
“Eh? I can’t hear you~~”
Bam! Bam! Every time I hit it the lid, the package opens a bit and it looks like whatever “it” is tries to escape from inside. But it’s useless. It keeps falling back inside. Keeping up this rhythm is pretty fun. But really, what should I do? I still can’t decide when I should stop this teasing. I kinda want to hear what this thing has to say, but then again I sorta don’t. From the small opening in the top of the package it looks like two pink rabbit ears are poking out. They’re getting sandwiched by the lid every time I hit it. That looks painful, the poor thing. But, whatever, it’s fine. I was just thinking that when my smartphone suddenly made a sound. It looks like I got a message.
I let go of the box, gave it one more soft kick and then checked my phone. <1 new message>
<Congratulations! You’ve been selected as a trial user for our company’s new product!>
“I already saw this stupid thing. They don’t give up, do they?”
“But you’ve been completely ignoring it, right? Will you let me out of here already? Why do you keep tormenting me!?”
Finally that “thing” started to make its way out of the box. It pushed open the lid with its head and ears, but when it tried to crawl out, the box tipped over and it spilled out onto the floor. It looks sorta like a pink rabbit, but somehow a little different. It feels a little bit off to me.
What rolled out was something that looked precisely like a stuffed pink rabbit that had just been through a very rough time. But even thinking of it like isn’t exactly reasonable, right? I mean, stuffed rabbits don’t usually move, you know? This thing is something different, there’s no doubt about that.
“I wasn’t ignoring you. I was properly hitting your box, right?”
“Those are exactly words you’d expect from a sadist (Mimi says the classic Japanese “Do-S” phrase). So you acknowledge it yourself? But leaving that aside, congratulations on being selected! The recipient contract has been concluded. Thank you very much. As for any further inquiries, please consult with the online manua—“
“Suspicious! Totally Suspicisious!” I reached forward quick as a cat and grabbed both of his ears. He tried to get away, but I was holding way too tight for that. I slowly lifted him up to eye level and he started to calm down a bit. (descent Note: If you’re wondering how we already know it’s a “he”, that’s because Mimi keeps calling himself “boku”).
With those long ears and that appearance, when he calms down, he actually looks like a docile little rabbit. I look him over while tilting my head. He’s pink and surprising cute.
“So, what are you exactly? Are you a real rabbit? But then again, you’re pink, you couldn’t be.”
“No I’m not. You could call me a “beast of prey” I suppose.” (descent Note: could also be “ferocious animal”, that’s not shady at all, right?)
“Even though you look like a rabbit? Even though you’re pink?!”
“I told you, I’m a beast of prey. The pink should give it away. You could say that normal rabbits are quite categorically different from me.”
“So you plan on being stubborn about it till the end?”
Cracking a smile, I decide to give him one more chance to answer. I tighten my grip on those ears of his with a sharp squeeze. I don’t think it’s because I’m basically wringing him right now, but this rabbit is literally dripping with a cold, nervous sweat. (descent Note: This is more of that anime imagery stuff)
“Ah, um, well…shall I switch over to handheld-mode (cellphone-mode)?” He suddenly asked while quivering. Yeah, he’s pretty cute. I can’t help but smile at him.
“Why don’t you give it a try?”
<Commencing transformation to handheld-mode. Storing avatar. When deploying this autonomous antenna-based mode, please consult the handheld-mode user manual.>
In the blink of an eye, that rabbit-looking thing suddenly shrank, and with an electronic sound, began to rapidly switch between RGB colors, sparkling brightly.
Red, green, and blue semi-transparent blocks shifted around, slowly assembling into a long, thin, rectangular mosaic. Spinning and shrinking throughout that whole other-worldly transformation process, in eventually reached a size that could fit easily in the palm of my hand.
Wow! That was amazing! And it looks so cute!
“Hmm….That’s not bad. I kinda like you like this.”
“Nothing makes me happier than the customer’s satisfaction.” That small, smartphone-looking object in my hand spoke up. From the edge of the screen, a small, pink rabbit icon suddenly sprinted out. Reaching the middle of the screen, it spun around in a circle and sat down with a bow. Plop. Those longs ears are swaying back and forth. I feel like I’ve seen this thing before? Just where was it exactly…(descent Note: think back a little bit….)
“Please feel free to look over the usage specifications at your leisure. Allow me to introduce myself straight away. Well, I don’t actually have a name to be honest. I’m a trial product after all. My production code is [USA No.33](descent Note: Usa can be is short for rabbit). U-sa-no-mi-mi. (He’s reading his code while making a sort of joke, basically he is saying “Rabbit Ears/Usa no mimi” (ear = mimi)) Do you like the way that sounds? Well, if there are no other suggestions, then would you plea-“
“You’re acting really shady right now!”
“Wa-wait a second! As you can see, I’m quite evidently a high-precision instrument! I’m very fragile! Tossing me around is strictly prohibited! Dropping me is out of the question! Please avoid violent…ah, OW! Stop! Stop that! If you don’t like my name, then please sugges-“
“So anything’s fine? I can call you whatever I want?”
I drop that smartphone-like thing on the floor and raise my foot, about to smash it. I stop myself with only 3 centimeters to spare.
“Hmm, well then..let’s see…how about “Mimi” (ears)? Mi-Mi. Is that fine? It sounds very rabbit-like. It’s also very cute.”
“I think it’s a wonderful choice! I’d expect nothing less of you Mayu!”
“Well then, goodbye Mimi. I hope you find your way safely to a new home somewhere…”
“Ah, wait! Wait! Just one second! Why does it look like you’re going to try and crush me again!?”
“I already told you, you’re TOTALLY being shady right now.” This time I stop myself with only a single centimeter to go.
“Mayu-san! My sweet, sweet Mayu-san! I think that I can be of great help to you! I’m very useful! You won me, right? Out of all the 7 billion candidates in this world, only you were selected. I’ve come to you thanks to that amazing stroke of luck. This fortuitous encounter of ours…..” (descent Note: Mimi uses the word “deai” for “encounter” but instead of using the kanji for a fortunate encounter (出会い), Toriihitsuji-san uses the characters 出遭い which implies “encountering something bad/evil/unfortunate”, just a little bit more foreshadowing.)
I smash my foot down on Mimi and then casually kick him towards the wall. He slams into it and slowly falls down. It’s a total coincidence but he drops right into the trash can that just happened to be right below the place he hit.
He wasn’t lying. I really am having some good fortune today. Now that I think about it, today is my Lucky Day, right? Remembering that, I can’t help but smile. That’s right, it’s my special Lucky Day, so I don’t have time to waste on stuff like this. I gotta hurry and go meet up with Nijou-kun. I’ll help bring about another good fortune-filled encounter for the both of us. I pick up the trash can, grabbing the vinyl bag from inside it. I think that Mimi is still making a bit of a ruckus inside, but I go ahead and tie the bag closed. Was today the day for putting out non-combustible trash? Whatever. Let’s just toss it out anyway.
“Wa-wait! I beg you! Mayu!”
“What? Do you still have something you want to say? I hate troublesome things like you. I’m really busy today, do you understand that? You just don’t get it, do you?”
“If you throw me out, I’m sure you’ll regret it later!”
“As if!” I’m starting to get really mad. This guy is really annoying.
“You really will~” A muffled electronic voice shouts back from beneath the plastic.
“And why is that?”
“You’re friends’ email addresses, your schedule, your NND (nico nico douga) account, and all sorts of other things…”
“Why are you bringing all that stuff up?”
“If you lost them all, you’d be really upset, right?”
“What the heck are you talking about!?”
What is he blabbering on about? I’m really mad now. This is so annoying. I open up the bag again and pick up Mimi from inside. Depending on what he says next, I might throw him into the microwave. Shinomiya-senpai told me that if you put electronics into the microwave and heat them up, even a skilled technician won’t be able to fix them. Yeah, she definitely said that.
“Since you were chosen to receive an Advanced Next-Generation Smartphone like me, I was thinking that you didn’t need your old one anymore. So I erased everything on it and transferred it into me.”
“What? What did you erase?”
“Well, all the data in Mayu’s smartphone of course. Everything. Your friends’ email addresses, your schedule, your NND account, and various other things…”
“————–!!!!” I started panicking. I think anyone would. I immediately started looking for my smartphone, desperately searching through each and every pocket in my school uniform. Finally, I found it. I quickly took it out, and pressed the switch on the top. The usual screen pops up. All of my icons are there too. But everyone’s phone numbers…they’re gone! They’re completely gone! My school schedule, my daily planner, all the things in my memo app, my pictures, my saved passwords…it’s all gone! Nothing. Absolutely nothing.! They’ve all vanished.
“………I see. So this, all of this is your doing, Mimi!?!”
“Not exactly. It’s simply a feature of mine. It’s how I work. Keeping your personal information distributed across multiple devices is a security vulnerability after—“ Before he could finish speaking, I dropped him. Mimi bounced on the floor. I picked up my foot once more, so that I could properly crush him this time. This is a huge problem. But, whatever. Let’s break him to pieces first of all. If I do that, I’m sure that I’ll feel much better. There’s no doubt about that. I HATE troublesome things. If I crush him, it’s over. I can cure my frustration with one big stomp and then hurry off to meet Nijou-kun. There’s nothing more important than that anyhow. There couldn’t possibly be.
“Wait! Waiiit! If I’m gone, than all those things that are part of Mayu’s everyday life will—“
“Whatever. That’s all fine. I’m gonna smash you to pieces right now.” (descent Note: She is saying the line from the song: “Buchikorogasu” which sounds like “buscikorosu” (to hit and kill someone) but I guess she is too cute to say it so directly)
“Wait! Look at this! Look!”
I stopped my foot. This time I was only a millimeter or two away. I barely managed to keep from crushing him. That was close. What the heck did he just…?
There’s no way I could crush him right now. It’s not possible. For on the floor, displayed on Mimi’s touchscreen is my beloved Nijou-kun. It’s a side-profile pic. He’s gloomily staring out the window. It looks like it was taken in his classroom. It’s an amazing close-up. How the heck was this even taken? A close-up like this, capturing the very moment before he blinks, his expression just full of ennui…it’s wonderful. He looks soooo cool. Even though he’s a boy, he looks to have been well raised and is just stunningly handsome. (descent Note: She uses another old-school expression 眉目秀麗 (bimokushuurei), which is a verbose way of saying “good looking”) The very picture of elegance and beauty.
“….where was this taken from?”
I picked up Mimi off the floor and gently wiped away the dust from his screen. Mimi’s fate was already sealed of course, but I assume he knew that my way of disposing of him might be different based on how he reacted. I guess he’s hoping for me to end him as painlessly as possible. Looking at Mimi’s icon standing in the middle of the screen, it’s shaking, sweating nervously.
“That’s one of the special features that I, product code “USA No.33” possess. Basically, it’s an ability of mine. I’m multifunctional, light-weight, and compact. I’m also very energy efficient and good for the planet. All in all, I’m just very, very convenient. Have you finally come to understand that?”
“….so um, can you take more pictures like these?”
“YES. (he says in English) I’m glad that we’ve finally come to an understanding. My role is—-“
“You hacked in, didn’t you. You took over the school’s security camera and used it to take these. Ah, but this one is different. It was taken from the outside. This one had to be taken like that, right?”
“Wait, wait! How do you know all this?! That is some serious “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY” (aka confidential) information. Mayu, do you work for the NSA? Or perhaps the CIA even? Don’t tell me it’s CYBERCOM!?” (descent Note: These are US Intelligence/Spy Agencies)
“This one….and this one….” I’m busy ignoring Mimi who is just listing off a bunch of names I don’t understand. I don’t care about that stuff at all. I just keep flicking the touchscreen, flipping through picture after picture of Nijou-kun. Amazing. They’re all so well done. I’ve already been completely taken in by these photos. Ah, this one is great. It’s perfect. It was taken the moment he started laughing. It’s such a cute picture. I want it!
“Hmmm, just judging from the position of the camera, the angle from which it was taken…is this one his classroom? The camera had to be near the ceiling….there’s a few of these I can’t place exactly. But I guess you weren’t lying. It looks like you ARE pretty useful. I understand now. I guess I won’t be smashing you.”
“Ah, so are you telling me that’s all it takes? I guess Mayu-san really is just a normal middle-schooler. Well then, why don’t you forget all about that “Your Eyes Only” stuff. Preferably right away. Completely, if possible.”
“Um, no.” I shake my head. I don’t really get it, but I don’t plan of forgetting any time soon. NSA, CIA, and then CYBERCOM, was it? I’ll remember that for later.
“Well Mimi, since I’ve taken a liking to you, I guess I’ll do you a favor and keep you around. If I use this special feature of yours, I can take lots of pictures like this, right?”
“Hai (Yes), YES. Of course my lady (He calls her Ojou-san). It’s exactly as you say. So why don’t you just go ahead and forget—-“
“I figured. I knew it would probably turn out like this. But then again, “regret never helped anyone”. It’s just like that saying you Japanese people have.”
Mimi’s little icon in the middle of the screen is still shaking, covered in that nervous sweat. I’m smiling though. Oh Mimi, he’s just like a rabbit, and little animals all frighten so easily, right?
To be honest, there should be no way I could forgive Mimi’s excessive attempt at self-defense, almost making me trample over Nijou-kun’s precious face (descent Note: she is making a reference to “Fumi-e”, the way Japanese rulers in the middle ages forced suspected Christians to trample on pictures of Jesus to disprove the accusations against them), but I guess I have to take circumstances into consideration. I guess I’ll continue to modify my opinion of him based on his actions from now on. I suppose that I can compromise on that for the moment. I can make us of him after all. At least I think so. I guess that’s worthy of some consideration. Come to think of it, Shinomiya-senpai often says stuff like that, doesn’t she? I just remembered that for some reason. I dip my head down, lost in thought for a second.
With a quick shake, I get back to the matter at hand. I have to think about the present!
“That’s right, I have to go see him immediately. Nijou-kun….I have to see him today. So Mimi, like you were saying before, everything from my phone has now been copied inside of you, right?”
“Of course. Ah, also, I just thought of something I wanted to ask you. Do you mind?”
“What is it?”
“Well I understand why you might have Nijou-kun’s email address on you, but could you tell me why you also have the complete history of all his sent and received messages stored in your phone?”
“Well that’s because I forwarded all of them to myself.”
“Um, how exactly?”
“Uh, normally I guess. I accessed them on Nijou-kun’s user account and sent them to myself.”
“That’s what I’m asking you. How did you do that?”
“Oh, you want me to start from the basics? Well it’s just a simple matter of accessing his mailbox and then entering his user ID and password, right? I didn’t even set up automatic forwarding or anything like that. I just copied it and then erased the history. That’s it. There’s really nothing else to it. Why are you asking silly stuff like that Mimi?”
“Wait! Just wait a second! Now that’s pretty strange, isn’t it? How come you, a normal middle-schooler, have access to someone else’s password? Do you already have some kind of relationship with him? One where you’ve already gone beyond just exchanging telephone numbers?”
“I–, it-, it’s nothing like that!!” I get all flustered, quickly shaking my head back and forth. I think my face is about to turn bright red. It probably already has. My ears feel really hot. I’m sure there’s even some steam shooting out of them. (descent Note: Toriihitsuji-san can’t help himself can he?)
“Bu-but I told you, Nijou-kun and I haven’t even formally met each other yet! It’s surely our fate to do so, but it still hasn’t happened. I still haven’t had that kind of special, fortuitous meeting with him. But I’m sure it’s going to happen soon. Actually, it might even happen today. That’s right, what time is it?”
“It’s currently 6:16:20PM Japan Time. 21 Seconds. 22 Seconds. Shall I keep counting?”
“Ahh, really!? Only 6 hours left!? This is all your fault Mimi! You made me waste all this time on you! I’m definitely going to have you take responsibility for this! What do you have to say for yourself Mimi?”
“S-s-s-s-stop shaking me! Stop s-s-swinging me all o-o-o-over the place! Give me a chance to explain. Can’t you just behave normally? To put it bluntly, Mayu’s a “hothead” (irachi) I think. Please calm down!”
“A “hothead” (irachi), what’s that?”
“According to my dictionary it is the Japanese translation for “hothead”. To put it more simply, you are just unable to be calm and contained. Am I right?”
“Baka-Mimi (baka = dummy), I should smash you to bits!”
“Aaaaaah! Please stop hitting me! I’ll really break you know! I’m a delicate instrument! Please use of me only after consulting the manual for detai-“
“So Mimi, are you one of those people who always reads the instruction booklet? Like when you buy a new game? Do you always read those things before you start playing?”
“Ah, I’ve heard of this before. People in Japan don’t often read them, do they? That seems to be the case in countries where citizens lack good legal literacy. One of the main reasons for the failure of lawsuits resulting from the malfunctioning of various products is that the user neglected to read the manual before…huh? Mayu, why are you waving that heavy looking thing around? (descent Note: Remember the suspicious item she bought at the store that you might have even seen in the music video?) Is that batting practice? Are you planning on going out for the baseball team?”
“Uh-uh. I just bought it today. It was recommended for me by “Usausa Divination”. It’s my Lucky Item. It’s not like I’m planning to hit you with this or anything…”
“Got it. I won’t mention it anymore. Anyhow, let’s get back to the original question. How were you able to access the mailbox of your/our current target, Nijou-kun? Um, could you please stop swinging that already? I’m trying to help you here! The more you can tell me, the more I can configure myself to better suit your needs. You have to believe me! Please!”
“You’re still going on about that? You really are the type of person who gets caught up in all the pointless little details, aren’t you? Whatever. It wasn’t that big of a deal, so I’ll just walk you through it real quick.”
“I’d really appreciate it. If you could just kindly explain it to me….and if you could also just stop swinging that metal bar around….I’d be so, so grateful if you’d just do both of those things for me.”
“OK, so first, you make a phone call. Like this.” I tilt my head, holding up my hand and pretending to talk into a phone.
“I said something like, [Um, hello. This is Ootomo (a name) from the branch store on 3rd street in Yagihara-town.] I think. As for that Ootomo person, they’re a real employee there. I’ve actually been there and talked to her, so I know her quite well.”
“I see, so you use the phone to do it. I starting to get a handle on things. So basically your approach is to call the phone company posing as an employee from the store.”
“Um, I guess so? So next, you have to ask for someone. Something like, “Is Kuriyama-san there?”. That was the name of one of the managers which I overheard on a different day. I knew that when I called, Kuriyama-san would already be out taking care of something else. I knew that they wouldn’t be back anytime soon. But what I realized is that just by mentioning the name “Kuriyama”, the person on the line believed that I really was that “Ootomo” woman. It’s strange, really. After that, well, since I know Nijou-kun’s telephone number and his address, I told them to the person I was talking to. I also mentioned his birthday which I had Shinomiya-san find out for me at school. His date of birth, too. For some weird reason, if you can get all that information together, they’ll tell you just about anything. It’s really strange.”
“OH. (English) This is wonderful. You do have what it takes, don’t you? Such a terrifying talent…”
“At the end, it goes like this: I act like I’m really troubled. I speak fast, acting flustered. “This user has forgotten his ID and password and has come in to the store to get it reset. But we’re having some trouble with our computers over here today and I’ve already called the IT support people to take a look at it. For the moment could you just tell me his old information so I can write it down? Once we get things taken care of here, I’ll fax the changes to you guys over at the main office.” And it’s finished. That’s all there is to it.”
“OH. I can’t even tell you how wonderful that is. This has all been worth it. It seems like I’ve really found the perfect individual. I’m sure that I’ll be of great help to you Mayu.”
“Really? You’ll help me? The truth is that there are still so many things about Nijou-kun I need to find out. Do you know what they say Mimi? “If you don’t work hard, even good luck is meaningless. Those good things will just pass by unnoticed.” I couldn’t bear for that to happen to me. I’ll do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes to help realize this fate of mine!”
“This crossing of our paths is such a wonderful thing Mayu. I’m sure this encounter (he uses the ominous kanji again) of ours was inevitable. Admittedly, I’m programmed to be an atheist, but they say that there are something like 8 million gods (referring to Shinto “Kami”) in Japan, and surely one of them keeps watch over AI’s like me. I can’t help but think so.”
“What are you rambling on about now, Mimi? You’re funny.” My face can help but turn bright with a smile.
Mimi looks like a cute little rabbit, and everything he says is just the slightest bit off in a funny way. I don’t think that keeping him would be the worst thing in the world. When he’s in his smartphone form he doesn’t even take up that much space. How much does it cost to feed him I wonder? Or does keeping him mean that my electricity and phone bills are going to go up? Whatever. I can worry about that stuff later. While I was thinking about all that, the one little Mimi in the middle of the screen began to propagate. One rabbit became two, and then four, then eight. They starting hopping around the screen until they finally settled into a happy circle around a small table-like icon. It looks like some kind of meeting has started. This Mimi really likes to do whatever he wants, doesn’t he. There are all kinds of high-pitched electronic sounds coming from inside the screen. Why does it sound the rabbits are squeaking at each other? It’s strange.
Suddenly that mysterious collection of Mimis combined into a single icon again and turned to face me.
“Let’s get a move on Mayu! Let’s take the first step in our (ominous) encounter with fate!”
“Yeah! Let’s go!” There’s no counterargument to be had. It’s all so wonderful. Wait for me Nijou-kun! Carrying Mimi in one hand with my newly purchased axe held tightly in the other, I get ready to leave. I put on my shoes at the door. I’m in a great mood, looking straight ahead. Facing towards that happy future of mine and rushing towards it at top speed, it’s so very exciting!
Though the sun is starting to set, the sky is blue and cloudless. The stars have begun to twinkle. It’ll be summer soon. Looking up at the dark blue night sky, all the stars seem to be shining. It’s just so beautiful.