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Exhibition Show - Part 1

[sfx: glasses clinking]
Yohei: And taking stock of the alcohol... 'ight. Seems like everything is accounted for. From that, all that's left is... lemon and lime... the pantry should be alright for now... I'll let Ryu and Shiki deal with the cleaning, so I don't have to do that... but s'still too early to start on dinner for them. ... I could've stood to sleep in a bit later more.
[sfx: door opening, bell ringing]
Yohei: Sorry, we're not open y-- hah, s'just you.
Iori: "Ah, s'just you"? What kind of greeting is that, danna? I was out around here on a bit of minor business, thought I'd swing by while I was in the neighborhood!
Yohei: Well, go on and take a seat.
Iori: Much obliged. Heave-ho!
Yohei: I assume you want a gimlet?
Iori: Ahahah. I'll be holdin' off on drinking just yet. S'too early in the day for that.
Yohei: Coffee, then. I was going to make some for myself anyway.
Iori: In that case, sounds good.
[sfx: coffee pouring]
Iori: Aaah, smells great. Using a nel drip-- real fancy and professional of 'ya.
Yohei: Saimon's taken it up as a hobby. He's always sayin' some crap like "every cup of good coffee has one minute of a song in it". I have no idea what he's on about.
Iori: For all your complainin', it looks like you've gotten good at it. You could turn this place into a coffee shop during daytime hours!
[sfx: coffee pouring]
Yohei: Sounds like a pain. Here you go.
Iori: Ah, this's'good! You could definitely serve this in a coffee shop.
Yohei: I don't plan on putting it on the menu.
Iori: Speakin' of him, though, is Mister Glasses not here today?
Yohei: Ah. Saimon's day job is teaching at a university-- he's usually not here around this time. He usually shows up in the evening, but... ... you come to look for him?
Iori: Ahaha. Not particularly.
Yohei: Besides that... today is Tsubaki-san's... ... he went to visit his wife's grave. If you need him for somethin', you're gonna have to come back another day.
Iori: No worries, no worries. See, I came here to rekindle our old friendship, danna!
Yohei: The hell's with that...
Iori: ... I'd have thought you'd have gotten rid of that a long time ago.
Yohei: Hah?
Iori: The maneki-neko you got from the old man.
Yohei: Ah.
Iori: When I saw it sittin' around last time I was here, I got to thinking... to tell you the honest truth, I was real happy.
Yohei: ...
Iori: Good job on you, takin' such good care of a piece of junk like that.
Yohei: ... 'course I didn't throw it away. It's a memory from the old man, and from my past.
Iori: Is that so?
Yohei: I'm still grateful. The fact that I can still do music like this is thanks to the old man... and you, too, Iori.
Iori: Ahahah! Hey, c'mon, don't say somethin' so embarrassing! The old man is one thing, but I didn't do nothin' worth thankin'. But anyway, speakin' of that--
Yohei: Don't change the subject like that!
Iori: Don't worry about it! If you keep worryin', you're gonna worry yourself bald.
Yohei: The fuck I will. So. What're you getting at?
Iori: I was gonna ask about the music. Mu~sic. Back when we met, you weren't exactly in the habit of composition, were you?
Yohei: ... right.
Iori: So I was gonna ask. How'd that danna that I knew turn out like this? What set you off?
Yohei: Ah, that's... [sigh] It started here, at Bar 4/7. It was raining. I came in here because I needed to take shelter from the rain... and I met Saimon. And her. That was what started it.


[sfx: birds, footsteps]
Saimon: ... [sigh] It's been a while, Tsubaki. ... I came to see you.
[sfx: flowers rustling]
Saimon: Aren't they beautiful? I brought these flowers because you share the same name... Tsubaki[1]. I know that it's not exactly customary to present them to a grave... but I thought, knowing you, that you wouldn't mind. ... I invited Yohei, too, but he got mad and told me that I shouldn't be so insensitive. ... [chuckles] Isn't that surprising? Before I even realized it, that mouthy and wild young man had started to grow up. ... ... it's so incredible that we were able to perform at CLUB Paradox... ... ... but... I wish you had been able to be there with us... but. No. As long as we keep doing music... then Tsubaki, you're always going to be by my side, as well as Yohei's... that, and the very spirit of music as something that connects people to each other. ... do you remember that day? That legendary show that we saw at CLUB Paradox. Buraikan's performance.


[flashback begins]

[sfx: music fading in, footsteps]

Saimon: What's the matter, Yohei? You've been zoning out for a while now. [chuckle] Is Buraikan's sound affecting you that much?
Yohei: Hah? What are you talking about, Saimon?! After hearing music like that, it'd be way weirder to walk away unaffected!
Saimon: ... [chuckles]
Yohei: Right, Tsubaki-san?! You get it, right!? Buraikan's sound was AMAZING! It reached even deeper than my soul! From the first moment of the first verse, it grabbed me and dragged me all the way up to the stratosphere, it was incredible--! And then everything me, the sound, everything and everyone around me, it all melted together! Aaaaaaggh! I'm too stupid to even try to explain it but--! You get what I mean, right!?
Tsubaki: [laughs] Yes, I understand it. Buraikan have something special to their music. It connects people to one another.
Yohei: Music that... connect people to each other?
Tsubaki: Mmhm! That's probably what you mean when you say you felt like it was all melting together.
Yohei: Then...!
Tsubaki: I felt it too. Like, "aah, we're all connected in this moment"... I felt the walls inside of me falling away, hearts and souls connecting on another level entirely... I thought it was truly amazing!
Yohei: [laughs]
Saimon: So, to rephrase, this is a feeling that was borne of music-- or rather, a sort of sympathetic emotional phenomenon. After all, sound is just a vibration of the air, waves transmitted through spa--
Yohei: Knock it off with the nerd shit!! You can't explain music with physics, it's somethin' you gotta feel with your heart!
Saimon: ...
Tsubaki: He's really got your number, Naoakira~
Saimon: Heh. Even so, that feeling of being swept up in Buraikan's music that Yohei is talking about is still the result of knowledge and theory.
Yohei: Hah?
Saimon: Take Yasha and Shura from Buraikan as an example. On first glance, you'd think that it's the overwhelmingly charismatic Yasha that's doing all of the heavy lifting in the lead, but looks can be deceiving.
Yohei: Why do I feel like I'm gettin' a lecture...
Tsubaki: Come on, let's hear him out!
Saimon: The construction aspect of Buraikan's tracks is rock-solid. It's freedom you can only get from a basis in theo-- ah... how to put this... you can't dance freely on top of the music if the foundation isn't solid. So Yasha's overwhelming talent is built on a bedrock of Shura's knowledge and theory. They're polar opposites, but they support and elevate one another. Because Buraikan's sound is borne of both Yasha and Shura, that's why their performances are able to be so overwhelming.
Yohei: Hey, Tsubaki-san. Mind translating what he's trying to say?
Tsubaki: Let's see... basically, Naoakira is a Shura fanboy[2]?
Yohei: Ugh, that was confusing as hell! You could've just said that from the start!
Saimon: ... w-well... I will admit that even if our styles are different, you could say that Shura, as a rapper, is the goal I'm aiming for.
Yohei: ... you mean that?
Saimon: Hm?
Yohei: I mean, are you serious? About wanting to make music? Like Buraikan?
Saimon: Well, I mean... achieving Shura's level is something of a pipe dream aspiration, by no means do I think--
Yohei: Saimon, are you really going to try to do hip hop without aiming for the top!?
Saimon: That's...
Yohei: After hearing that sound yourself, are you really content to just call it a pipe dream!? Are you really okay with that!?
Saimon: ...
Yohei: You're really smart. That... how music is constructed shit. You understand that, right?
Saimon: ... hah... yes, but there's nothing you can do with just that. You can't make music with theory alone. And more than that, I could never do it alo--
Yohei: Then-- then in that case, I'll become your Yasha!
Saimon: Ah?
Yohei: ... w-well... I mean... maybe I can't be as amazing as that, but I've got a knack for music, too... right, Tsubaki-san? You said I've got a gift for it, that I'm like a genius, right?
Tsubaki: [laughs] That's right, Mister Genius.
Yohei: I think I understand it now, after listening to Buraikan's sound. That's what I want to do.
Saimon: ...
Yohei: Yeah... for the first time... listening to music has made me feel happy. My heart trembled. It was overflowing. Something like this... it's the first time I've ever felt something like this...
Saimon: Yohei...
Tsubaki: Yohei-kun...
Yohei: That's the kind of music I want to make. That kind of real music, the kind that pulls your soul out along for the ride, that kind of...! That's why you have to team up with me, Saimon. I'll make you Shura.
Saimon: ...! Make me... Shura...
Yohei: Yeah. Tsubaki-san taught me music, so if I'm going to do hip hop, then it has to be with you, Saimon. Right?
Saimon: ... [laugh]
Tsubaki: [laughing]
Yohei: What? What are you laughing at?
Saimon: What should I do, Tsubaki? It's certainly some marriage proposal.
Tsubaki: Isn't it?
Yohei: Tsubaki-san, even you...
Saimon: I happily accept, Yohei.
Yohei: Wait, really!?
Saimon: What kind of fool would say "no" when asked that by the guy who managed to pull a hip hop arrangement of Chopin after hearing Tsubaki play it for him once?
Yohei: Huh?
Tsubaki: Man, Naoakira's not honest at all.
Saimon: ...
Tsubaki: Do it again, but properly this time.
Saimon: ... Yohei.
Yohei: Wh-what? Why are you suddenly acting all serious?
Saimon: Will you be my Yasha, Yohei?
Yohei: ... yeah. You and me. Together, we'll take the top someday. We'll take the stage at CLUB Paradox, and even rival Buraikan.

[flashback ends]


[sfx: glasses clinking]

Iori: So that's how it is~. So that's how your little love story began, huh?
Yohei: There's no need to make it sound so gross.
Iori: Isn't there~?
Yohei: What?
Iori: So? What happened with that Tsubaki chick in the end?
Yohei: ... what do you mean, what happened?
Iori: You were in love with her, weren't you?
Yohei: ... nothing happened. From the moment we met, she was already together with Saimon.
Iori: Why should that stop you?
Yohei: Be serious. I was just a brat back then. She thought of me like a little brother, nothing more.
Iori: Mm.
Yohei: And not long after that concert, she and Saimon got married, anyway.
Iori: So, in a way, wouldn't that mean that you're teaming up with an old love rival, dann--
Yohei: And more to the point, she's no longer with us. ... she died. From... a disease.
Iori: ... my condolences. Right. You said that he went to go visit a grave.
Yohei: Yeah. Tsubaki-san was... ... she taught me music. That much was more than enough.
Iori: I see.
Yohei: You leaving?
Iori: Yeah. I got some little business to take care of here and there. Thanks for the drink! Say hello to Mister Glasses for me, too.
Yohei: Will do.
Iori: [chuckles] I step away for just a little while and suddenly you've become quite the eligible young bachelor, huh?
Yohei: What was that?
Iori: I've got no plans of losing. The one who are gonna compete with Buraikan at CLUB Paradox... that's gonna be us. Akan Yatsura.
[sfx: door opening, bell ringing]
Iori: Buh-bye, now!
[sfx: door closing]
Yohei: ... [sigh] Well. Guess I'll start on dinner. [laugh] 'I'll make you Shura'... even if I was just a young brat, that's still one hell of a thing to say...!

[1] Her name is both written and pronounced the same as the Japanese word for the camellia flower.
[2] She literally says that he's a Shura oshi -- and you probably know what that means, but if you don't, "oshi" means like fan or stan, your oshimen is your favorite member of a group or your bias -- but I think this is funnier.

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