Trauma Button A Paradox Live Fansite
Stage Battle "RAGE" - Part 1
[sfx: people talking]

[sfx: slam]

Shogo: President! What's this about VISTY disbanding!?
President: There's no need to get so worked up about it. It's not going into effect immediately. And besides that, if you can show results in the upcoming Paradox Live, then I'm sure the company's tune will change in a hurry.
Shogo: ...!
President: I'm sure you understand, Shogo-- rather, I'm sure that as the leader, you understand most acutely what kind of situation VISTY is in right now.
Shogo: We're...
President: The sudden withdrawal by Miyama Kei, the central pillar of the team, was a fatal blow. The membership of your fan club has plummeted, and live performance sales are nowhere near where they used to be.
Shogo: But even so, there are still a lot of Stellas who have kept on supporting us! Our Stella Lives have been--
President: Your efforts are appreciated. And your participation in the Paradox Live is further proof of the effort you're putting in.
Shogo: Exactly! So--
President: But do you think you can win against 1Nm8?
Shogo: ...!
President: More than that, your opponent going into the first round are none other than cozmez-- the reigning champions.
Shogo: ... [sigh]
President: Just being hardworking isn't enough to make it to the top in this business. You come from an entertainment business family; you should know this well.
Shogo: ... [shudder]
President: You shouldn't worry so much about going all-in on singing. You could definitely take up the path of being an actor. After all, you're the son of none other than the legendary actor, Yamato Takumi. You keep getting offers for acting in various programs, and--
Shogo: No!!
President: ...?
Shogo: I don't want to be an actor...! I definitely... I don't want to be like my father... [swallowing thickly] I'm myself... I don't want to be just a knockoff of someone else... [trying not to vomit]
President: A-are you alright? Are you not feeling well?
Shogo: [gasping] ... no, it's fine... I'm going to have to excuse myself for today.
[sfx: footsteps, door opening and closing]


Kantaro: Whoa... what the hell's with this?
Aoi: Are you egosearching again? You may need to just get off your phone for a bit, Kantaro.
Kantaro: [ignoring that] Anyway, look at this.
Toma: What's up, what's up~? Is the makeup I hyped up on yesterday's Stella Live getting buzz?
Kantaro: Absolutely not. It's the same hater as before.
Toma: Oh, yeah, you mentioned there was that girl who's been hounding us, yeah?
Aoi: They said something about how any time we released a new song they'd be there to trash talk us.
Kantaro: Right. So I'm pretty sure she's the one behind this, too.
Toma: Hm? ... Yeesh, what's with this thread? "Let's talk about the VISTY that Kei left behind, or to call them by their proper name, LeftoVISTY"... isn't that a bit harsh?
Aoi: [sigh] This keeps happening because you never learn and just keep egosearching.
Kantaro: Of course I'm gonna keep on doing it. I'm an idol, after all.
Toma: C'mon, what's being an idol got to do with it?
Kantaro: It's got everything to do with it! We're idols, so we need to be popular at any cost! And, it's not like I'm just egosearching for the fun of it...
Toma: You say that, but you've got your eye on the "likes" counter all the time, don't you? You care way too much about the feelings of internet randos, Kantaro.
Kantaro: Hah? You're one to talk, Toma! You're so concerned with your looks, you're always checking yourself in every reflective surface you pass by!
Toma: ... [sigh] Hey, hey, hey, hey, come on, don't put it that way! I mean, I'm in charge of VISTY's beauty sense, after all.
Aoi: He's right, Kantaro. Right now, you're the one who's got a problem.
Kantaro: That's not... I'm just telling the truth. Aoi, even you're...
Aoi: What about me?
Kantaro: Lately, it's like, you're acting really weird! And sighing a lot.
Aoi: ...
Kantaro: ... this atmosphere bites.
Toma, Aoi: ...
Kantaro: Ever since we decided to participate in the Paradox Live, everyone's been saying, "oh, do your best, try your hardest!", and you guys are acting all excited and like everything is totally fine, but... are you guys actually excited at all?
Toma: ... [sigh] I mean, what else can we do, right? Because we just got thrown up against cozmez without warning! ... We have to act excited, even if it's forced, or else our emotions will just get pounded into the dust.
Aoi: ... [sigh] I agree. I was so happy when we were chosen to participate, but now... to be honest, I'm really scared to go on stage. I can't believe it had to be like this.
Kantaro: You guys aren't okay at all...
Toma: Maybe it'd be a different story if it was the old us, yeah?
Aoi: Back then...
Kantaro: Of fucking course you're gonna talk about this...
Toma: If it was the us who we were back when we had Kei...

[flashback begins]
[sfx: crowd cheering throughout]

Toma: Thank you! We love all of you, Stellas!
Aoi: We feel your love!
Kantaro: Keep it coming~! You guys really love us, don't you~?
Shogo: We're able to shine thanks to the support our Stellas give us! Right, Kei?
Kei: ... yes. If our music has made all of you happy, then we're very happy as well.
Toma: VISTY is going to keep on rising 'til we reach the top!
Aoi: We'll shine like a bright star, until we're the highest in the night sky.
Kantaro: And you guys will follow us there, right?
Shogo: Let's go together!
[sfx: crowd cheering, fading away]

[distantly, from behind a closed door]
Kantaro: That was great~!
Aoi: It really was perfect, wasn't it?
[sfx: door opens]
Toma: Ah, that felt great! Nothing beats the feeling of a successful live performance!
Kantaro: I practically thought I was gonna collapse during the encore~!
Aoi: The feeling of the entire venue becoming one with the music... no matter how many times we do it, I can't get enough of it!
Shogo: Yeah! I think that was our best performance yet! I'm sure our success tonight will propel VISTY even higher!
Toma: So you think we're finally gonna be top idols~?
Kantaro: This is wild! VISTY is already trending at #1 on SNS!
Aoi: Kantaro, you're egosearching again. It's not a good look, you ought to cut it out.
Kantaro: Even haters are people who are paying attention enough to hate, and it's fine, your dear Kantaro-kun's got thicker skin than that~
Aoi: For real...! Kei, can you say something to him about thi-- hm?
Shogo: Oh? Kei? What's wrong? You're making a really serious face.
Aoi, Kantaro: Huh?
Kantaro: Kei?
Kei: ... the truth is... I have something I need to tell all of you.

Shogo: ... Kei, what do you mean you're quitting...
Toma: You're kidding, right? Like this is just a prank, isn't it?
Aoi: Right? I mean, tonight was...
Kantaro: We were at our best, weren't we!?
Kei: Mm. It's specifically because it was the last one that I would be doing that I wanted to put on the best performance that I could. I'm sorry to say that tonight is the final phantom live that I will ever do.
Shogo: The last...?
Kei: I will no longer... perform any phantom lives. I just can't...
Shogo, Toma, Aoi, Kantaro: ...!
Shogo: What... do you mean by that...?
Kei: ... I have my own personal reasons. I have to let go of music and of phantom lives. With that in mind, I can no longer perform on stage with you.
Shogo, Toma, Aoi, Kantaro: ...!
Kei: I know that quitting now, at this moment in time... is very selfish of me, isn't it? ... but I have my own reasons for needing to move on.
Aoi: Your reason to move on...?
Kei: ... I'm sorry, I can't say any more about it.
Toma: ... not even to us?
Kei: Mm.
Kantaro: ... forget it. Fine! I get it! Why not just say it straight up? Just say we're obstacles to you! That we're not on your level of genius, so if we kept hanging off of you, it'd just be holding you back!!
Kei: That's not it at a--
Kantaro: Then what is it!?
Kei: [sigh] ... I'm sorry.
Shogo: Kei, can you at least tell me one thing? Do you... no longer share the same dream as us?
Kei: Yes. The harshness of reality has woken me up. I don't think I can even see my own dreams anymore.
[flashback ends]

Toma: He couldn't see his own dreams anymore...? Hell, maybe we really weren't good enough for him after all, huh?
Aoi: Back then, Kei's presence was so overwhelming... we were completely dependent on him. Whatever the reason for it is... we should reflect on it.
Kantaro: ... you guys are missing the point!! He said he wasn't going to do phantom lives ever again, but he's doing them right now! With his new teammates!
Toma: 1Nm8, right? They were really amazing in that last stage performance.
Aoi: Yeah. I really felt a strong sense of resolve. No surprises there, Kei's a genius after al... the moment he gets on stage, he shines so bright.
Kantaro: ... you could at least diss him a little...
Toma, Aoi, Kantaro: [sigh]
Toma: So, where do we go from here?
Aoi: Don't ask me.
Kantaro: Then who should we ask?
Toma, Aoi, Kantaro: [sigh]


[sfx: passing train]

[sfx: microwave beep, microwave door opening]

Kanata: Ah! HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT! Takeittakeit Nayuta take it!
Nayuta: H-hey, wait, don't pass it off to m-- ow! Ow! HOTHOTHOT! Ah-- ah, no, now the plate of fried rice is all squashed...
Kanata: Looks like five minutes is too long, huh... alright, we'll just give your chuukadon three minutes, Nayuta.
Nayuta: Hrmmmmmm.
Kanata: Don't give me that face, Nayuta... how was I supposed to know that putting it in would make the quail eggs explode like that?
Nayuta: Hmph!
Kanata: [sigh] ... [laugh]
Nayuta: [starts laughing]
Kanata: [laughing] It was terrifying!
Nayuta: [laughing] All of a sudden it was like BOOM and it exploded! [laughs] Microwaves are badass!
Kanata: Right!? We should have bought one way sooner!
Nayuta: [laugh] Nothing beats super hot food.
Kanata: It's like magic. It's a magic box!
Nayuta: It really is!
[sfx: eating sounds]
Nayuta: [mouth full] So? What do we do about it?
Kanata: [mouth full] About what?
Nayuta: About that way bigger box.[1]
Kanata: Paradox Live, you mean?
Nayuta: The winner of the next round gets CLUB Paradox this time. We want that box to ourselves, too, right? We're going for it?
Kanata: Yeah. This time, we'll seize victory with cozmez's real sound. No doubt about it. We're gonna prove that you and I are unbeatable.
Nayuta: [giggle] You're getting heated up too, aren't you, Kanata?
Kanata: You're the same, aren't you?
Nayuta: Mm! As long as I get to stand alongside Kanata in that box... that's pretty much all I ask for.
Kanata: Nayuta...
Nayuta: But, on our way out after, we'll definitely take everything with us. Fame and money are ours for the taking!
Kanata: And we'll do it flashily?
Nayuta: Of course we will. That's our style, after all.
Kanata: We'll crush all those losers into the dirt. Our real-ass hip hop is gonna give them a beating.
Nayuta: [laughs] ... well, then first things first, we have to make sure we don't lose the next battle.
Kanata: Ah, those dumbasses that keep calling themselves "idols"? What's the point of us going up against people like that?
[sfx: phone clicking]
Kanata: Hah? What're you doing?
Nayuta: Hm? I'm just looking up stuff about VISTY.
Kanata: Is there even a point to looking?
Nayuta: Ah, here we go. ... hm... heh? Looks like that dude from 1Nm8 used to be in the same group as them.
Kanata: For real?
Nayuta: Mmhm. And they do some livestreams... what the hell's a "Stella Live"?
[sfx: click]
VOD!Shogo: All of our Stellas are the source of our strength! I'm Visty's big brother, Shogo!
VOD!Aoi: I want this sweet time with our Stellas to last forever... I'm Aoi! Come with us into the land of dreams!
VOD!Kantaro: My smile is worth a million Likes! Social media expert Kantaro~! Whoo! Everyone go drop a follow, okay?
VOD!Toma: Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all-all-all? That would be me-me-me! It's Toma!
VOD!Shogo: And the four of us are -- say it with us -- VISTY!
[sfx: incredibly fake stock cheer sfx]
VOD!Shogo: I hope our shining dream is able to dance on today too!
[sfx: incredibly fake trumpet sfx cut short in the middle]
Kanata and Nayuta: ... [shuddering] Gross.
Kanata: The fuck is with these guys!?
Nayuta: They were like this back during the Opening Show, too, like they were putting on an act or something.
Kanata: Are they trying to make fun of us or something?
Nayuta: Sure seems like it.
Kanata: Ah, goddammit! I'm getting pissed! I can't believe we have to go against these clowns first thing!
Nayuta: It's a real pain, isn't it?
Kanata: Times like this... think we should do that?
Nayuta: Sounds like a plan to me. It's been a hot minute.
Kanata: Shall we?
Nayuta: Let's.

[1] This seems like a random transition, but 'box' is basically a colloquial way to refer to public buildings, e.g. libraries or -- in this case -- concert halls.

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