Delta In The Darkness - Scene 1
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Translator: Mr. Steak
Chapter 2: Nobody Notices
“In the corner of your room, an incredible feat of magic is likely occurring. A phenomenon unexplainable by modern science is manifesting before your very eyes. However, your bed is a little too big. As a result, the magic is just barely hidden in the bed’s shadow, and you cannot see it. Such is the nature of magic.”
Five o’clock in the afternoon. The summer solstice was recent, so the sun was still high in the sky.
The first thing Horokusa Junpei had done after leaving House Oumei Rokkaku and returning to his apartment building, was knock on the door of his neighbor, Takanashi Nerina.
There was no response. He tried opening the door. It was unlocked. He silently pushed open the door and peeked in to find Nerina flopped down on the bed.
“Takanashi, I’m coming in,” Horokusa called out and stepped into the room. However, Nerina showed no reaction and continued facing away from Horokusa.
When he got closer, he understood the reason for that. Nerina’s body was rocking back and forth, and earphone cords could be seen extending out from his long hair. He was still wearing a dress like earlier that morning. Long hair can mean a variety of things, but Nerina’s hair was truly quite long. If pressed to estimate the exact length, it was, on average, forty centimeters. Assuming a head of hair has around 100,000 strands, then all of his hair tied together would span a whole forty kilometers. Except, that calculation disregards the length required to tie them together in the first place. And besides, Horokusa wasn’t the sort of person to find amusement in such calculations anyway.
The highest frequencies of the music Nerina was listening to were just barely audible. Horokusa stuck his hand into Nerina’s field of vision.
“Wah!” Nerina leapt up as if spring-loaded and retreated until his back was against the wall. “Y, you scared me…… What do you want, Horokusa?”
“You need to lock your door. You could’ve been attacked.”
“By who?” Nerina asked, tilting his head with a serious expression.
“I know this is sudden, but can I use you for a job tonight?”
“Sure. How long will it take?” Nerina asked, taking out his earphones.
“Pretty much the whole night. All the way until morning. How does a hundred bucks sound?”
“Make it a hundred thirty. And meals included.”
“Deal. But you don’t get to choose what you’re eating.”
“What time do you need me?”
“Come to my room in ten minutes and I’ll give you the rundown.”
“I think I’m gonna ask Shiko-chan to help too.”
“Wait, but…… she told me Beniko invited her over.”
“Yeah…… I know.”
Horokusa left Nerina and shut the door behind him. Then he crossed the hallway and knocked on the opposite-facing door.
He waited for a little bit, but there was no response. He knocked again.
“Shiko-chan!” He tried calling out in a loud voice. However, he didn’t want other people on the floor to overhear him, so he wasn’t able to shout very loudly at all.
The door opened, and Kaguyama Murasakiko appeared before his eyes in all her yawning splendor. She was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. Brushing the hair from the front of her face, she peered lazily at Horokusa. She had freckles underneath her eyes and was rubbing at the area.
“What is it?” she said in a tired voice.
“Are you free tonight?” Horokusa asked.
“A date? Or, mahjong again?”
Of course, Horokusa had never once gone on a date with Murasakiko before.
“It’s a job.”
“Huh? Tonight?” Murasakiko seemed to wake up all of a sudden. Her expression became mature in an instant. “Oh, I see. I’m really sorry, but tonight’s no good. I have a prior engagement.”
“You’re going to Beniko’s, right?”
“Y, yeah. Wait, how did you know that?”
“Beniko’s apparently attending a party tonight hosted by the Odawara family. And she felt like bringing you along for the ride too. I guess she notified the Odawara household of the details. I know because that’s what I was told.”
“Well, I definitely made plans with Beniko, but…” Murasakiko’s expression looked unsatisfied. “A party hosted by the Odawaras? What do you mean? This is the first I’m hearing about that.”
“Well, that’s whatever. Anyway, you just have to show up at the party, and that’s the extent of the job I have for you.”
“But why? What kind of job is it? Oh! You want me to be your escort or something, right? Not a chance.”
“No, no, no.” Horokusa smiled awkwardly as he shook his head. “That’s not it. Erm…… Anyway, could you come to my room in five minutes? I’ll hold a briefing session there.”
“Yeah, it’s kinda complicated…… Nerina’s gonna be there too.”
“Oh? Ren-chan’s coming to the party too? Ah, now I get it. Yeah, I see. He’s gonna be your escort, right?”
“No, no, no. Definitely not. Anyway, I’ll fill you in later…”
Horokusa returned to his own room.
He sat down at his desk and set the phone in front of him. He checked the yellowish scrap of paper affixed to his desk lamp with a magnet and dialed the number written there.
“Hello…… This is Nakahashi Electrics,” came the deep voice from the other end.
“Ah, hey bud. It’s me, Horokusa.”
“Oh wow, long time. You been good? What’cha callin’ for?”
“I’ve been great, thanks to you. So um…… I’d like to borrow some small wireless transceivers. The kind that goes in your ear and doesn’t stand out. I need three people to be able to communicate wirelessly…”
“What range, and for how long?”
“The range is… hmm, two, three hundred meters at most, I’d guess. And for the duration, around twelve hours.”
“That range is fine, but… Twelve hours is a bit rough for a single charge. You’ll definitely need to change the battery halfway through.”
“That’s fine. Could you have them for me by tonight?”
“Yeah, even right now would be okay.”
“Are the batteries of the rechargeable kind?”
“Of course. I’ve got ones that’ll reach a full charge in like ten minutes using your car’s twelve-volt. And that’ll last you six or seven hours. So as long as you keep an extra pre-charged battery with you and switch it out on the fly, there’ll be no problems.”
“Got it. Um, so I’ll be heading over to pick them up in about an hour. I’m counting on you.”
“Yep yep. I’ll be here.”
Horokusa hung up the phone.
Nelson, who’d been sleeping in the corner of the room, stood up, stretched, and lumbered over to Horokusa’s feet. He raised his head and stared up at Horokusa. Apparently, he wanted to be let outside.
“Sorry buddy, I’m a little busy right now, so I can’t come with you. You’ll have to take a walk on your own.”
Horokusa stood up and opened the door, and Nelson made his lazy way out into the hallway.
Translator and Editor Notes:
Short section, but hey, I’m releasing it super quickly.
About the chapter quote:
Damn, they just keep getting weirder, don’t they? Lol. I’m not sure I understand this at all, but… I suppose to underlying meaning is something to the effect of: something is too big and blocking the way to see what’s most important?
I feel like there’s been an overarching theme about things being “too big” and clouding one’s comprehension of the whole situation. Starting with the “Neophilia” quote at the very beginning, and then it touched on that theme again with the description of Oumei Rokkaku, with the emphasis on smaller parts being understandable but the whole causing confusion. Hmmm………
About the scene:
So! The plans for the party are starting! We already have a vague impression of how the night goes from the description in the prologue (namely, that Beniko and Murasakiko were inside the hall, while Horokusa and Nerina were watching the window), but I’m still hype for the actual scene to play out.
Oh yeah, that completely random tangent about hair length was hilarious lmao. Why, Hiroshi Mori? Why do you include these random-ass diatribes?
I don’t have much more to say about this section. As always, thanks for reading!!
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