Volume 10 Chapter 36 Kurumi Kokona, The Goddess’s Melody
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
On December 24th, Christmas day, I was able to leave the hospital a little earlier than planned, thanks to everyone’s cooperation to ensure I could spend the year-end and New Year holidays with my family and friends.
”Today is the day of discharge. Mom must have felt tough.”
”Sensei… Thank you so much!”
Maria-sensei and my mom embrace each other in joy. Mom is shedding a few tears. I’m sure she cried a lot when I wasn’t looking.
”Kokona-kun, you worked really hard. It’s because of your efforts that you can be discharged today. Once again, congratulations on your discharge.”
”Sensei, thank you very much. I am truly grateful for all your help!”
”Hehe, well, I won’t say goodbye since this isn’t the end. You’ll still come to the hospital regularly from now on. It might be a long journey ahead, but let’s continue this relationship. Take care!”
”Yes, sensei! Thank you for everything!”
Maria-sensei is now a very popular doctor at the hospital. At first, she had a gentle yet somewhat distant atmosphere, but after Aqua-kun’s concert, her hobby in painting became warmer. Perhaps influenced by that, she became much easier to talk to.
”Kokona-chan, congratulations on being discharged!”
”Uruha-chan, thanks for telling me all about what happened while I was absent from school.”
Uruha-chan suggested a diary exchange with classmates to make it easier for me to return to class. Thanks to that, even though I was apart, it didn’t feel lonely as everyone was there in spirit.
Aqua-kun should be busy, but every time, he writes something in the exchange diary, and every time I see it, I can’t help but think that I still like him. He looks like a prince on the outside, but being a prince on the inside is cheating.
”Kokona-san… I, I…”
”Come on, Lisa-chan, don’t cry…”
I can’t help but shed tears too.
Lisa-chan revealed to use that she is Hizume Sayaka, the Vtuber. Even though she is busy even after school, she often came to visit and accompanied me in post-operative training and helped me with my studies. I was really happy.
”Well… Is it about time?”
I wonder if Maria-sensei is busy and already has the next patient scheduled? When I tried to thank her for being busy, Maria-sensei raised her thumb towards us and showed us a smiling face.
”Well then, shall we go?”
We all looked at each other.
Maybe everyone had prepared a surprise for us, I thought. But it seems like my mom, Uruha-chan, and Lisa-chan don’t know about it.
When we looked at each other, we followed Maria-sensei and headed to the large building next to the hospital.
Wasn’t it the St. Mary Hospital Cathedral where the Stars Orthodox worship? What could be here? When we entered the building, more than half of the seats were already taken.
Prompted by Maria-sensei, the four of us sat in a row on the long bench. Now that I think about it, coming to a place like this might be the first time. Wow, so this is what a cathedral looks like.
It’s not extravagant, but it has a solid, historical feel. The cathedral, with natural light cleverly incorporated, forms a profoundly sacred space without artificial lighting.
”Yuu-chan, over here!”
The lively children come along with their moms, sitting on the long bench next to us. Hehe, I make eye contact and exchange smiles with the girls beside me.
”Is there something going on?”
”It’s probably a special Christmas service at the church.”
”I see, that makes sense. I might get some sweets.”
As we chat, someone familiar passes by near the stage.
”Oh, it’s Kanon-san.”
As always, she’s beautiful, even making me, a girl, sigh. Kanon-san, wearing a simple dress, looks very elegant. Even in her gestures, I can feel that she is different from ordinary girls.
And today, it’s different from the usual visits; there are Mary-sama and some, well, not “erotic,” but impressive-looking Sisters around. So, it feels even more… huh?
”Hey, isn’t that Claire-san?”
”Oh, it really is.”
”I-I was surprise!”
Claire Chisato, our classmate. Come to think of it, isn’t her family’s home a church somewhere? Did she come to help with something through that connection?
When I see Claire-san chatting casually with adults, including Kanon-san, she seems really mature. Amidst everyone’s attention, Mary-sama stood in front of the microphone as a representative of the five.
”Thank you all for coming today. I’m Mary, an honorary board member of St. Mary’s Hospital.”
Not in a formal tone, but in a friendly manner, Grandmother Mary-sama spoke as if talking to a neighbor, instantly captivating everyone’s hearts. Even with just these words, I can understand why she’s so popular among the Stars.
”Today, everyone, do you know what day it is?”
To the child who answered energetically, Mary-sama showed a gentle smile. Somehow, somehow… I couldn’t help but think Mary-sama is really cute.
I wonder if Kanon-san’s cuteness comes from Mary-sama.
”Thank you. Yes! Today is Christmas.”
Mary-sama seems very happy.
Her shy smile overlaps a little with Kanon-san’s.
Speaking of which, when Mary-sama was young, I have only seen her in photos, but she was incredibly beautiful.
When Kanon-san grows up, will she become such a cute beauty?
”The truth is, today was supposed to be the Christmas Mass by the Stars Orthodox Church held here, but I asked for a little favor and asked to borrow it today. Kythera, thank you.”
Mary-sama looks at one of the two sisters.
Oh, come to think of it, that person, wasn’t she the highest ranking person in the Stars Orthodox Church? I think I saw her in the footage of Aqua-kun and Kanon-san’s wedding. Come to think of it, the blindfolded sister next to her was also coordinating the ceremony at that time.
Kythera-san returns a smile to Mary-sama and bows gracefully.
”And thank you, everyone at St. Mary’s Hospital, for listening to this old lady’s selfish request. Thank you, Kanon, Emily-san, and Claire-san for helping me.”
As Mary-sama properly thanked each of them, she quickly changed her expression and looked forward. In her expression, I felt a strong sense of leadership and a beautiful figure. And with the regal aura that surrounded her, the air in the cathedral instantly became tense.
”Well then, my Christmas present… no, I consulted with some special people about wanting to do something for you all. Yes, please accept this feelings and wishes.”
The sound of leather shoes echoed in the silent cathedral.
Everyone present held their breath. Mayuzumi-kun, wearing a suit and with his hair slicked back, bowed in the center of the stage and then moved towards the pipe organ at the back.
With a dignified behavior and perhaps due to the experiences accumulated so far, I couldn’t sense any trace of insecurity that I saw when I first saw Mayuzumi-kun at school. It’s surprising how much a boy can change in just a short time.
The girl sitting on the opposite side looks ahead with a pounding heart. Is she a fan of Mayuzumi-kun? While thinking about that, the sound of high heels echoes inside the cathedral. Beautiful… It’s incredibly beautiful, almost surpassing Kanon-san. But that…
”Oh my, well…”
”W-What’s going on?”
Everyone who was looking ahead freezes. Normally, they wouldn’t notice at first, but everyone knows about her appearance during the cultural festival. I saw the image later as well… So, I immediately figured out who she was.
Maria-sensei, who was standing behind me, mutters and then kneels down in a posture as if praying.
Ah, yes… With the atmosphere of this grand cathedral, I can understand why it feels a bit divine when combined. Aqua-kun receives the microphone from Mary-sama and addresses us.
”I am Shirogane Aqua, a director of the Shirogane Foundation. The song I am about to perform, ‘first aid,’ was composed and written with the thoughts of everyone who is currently fighting against illness and injuries, as well as their families and the healthcare professionals who support them. I would be delighted if you could listen to it until the end.”
Hmm? I wonder what this is. When I turned over the Satsu (Counter for Books) that had been passed around from before, there are the lyrics written in Stars’ words and a translation that explains their meaning. Could this be the lyrics of the song they will sing?
”The pipe organ performance is by Shintaro Mayuzumi-san. Shirogane Aqua-san will be the vocalist.”
The soft and gentle melody of the pipe organ resonates within the cathedral. The fantastical atmosphere and solemn air intertwine, enveloping the heart in a soaring sensation.
’Do not be afraid to touch someone
Surrender yourself to the exhilaration
Of connecting hearts, deeply filled with love
Oh… oh! What a beautiful singing voice! There was a program on the national broadcast that examined why Aqua-kun’s singing is so captivating.
It encompasses all the qualities of a pure voice – charm, accuracy, rich emotional expression, and the ability to sing with a wide range.
It’s even possible to sing this soprano-like song without feeling out of place in women’s clothing. When I realized that, I was truly amazed.
’I feel your warmth, I don’t want to hurt you
With gentle touches, wrapped in warm light
Aqua-kun’s song overwhelms everyone, leaving their mouths half-open. But Aqua-kun isn’t the only amazing one.
’Don’t close your heart, wishes will surely
Become tomorrow’s nourishment
Believing that miracles happen when
Everyone’s feelings overlap, I never give up, no matter what.’
Playing the pipe organ is much more challenging than someone who has never played an instrument can imagine. I understand because I played the piano as a child. The pipe organ and piano are completely different, and I quickly realized that mastering it requires considerable effort.
’Everyone has the right to seek forgiveness
Don’t stop believing in someone
I won’t let you suffer alone
If you’re falling, I’ll grab your hand and lift you up
Toward the surface illuminated by light.’
Appearing in dramas, events, performing live, streaming, all while attending school… Not many girls can put in such effort. Yet, these two…
’Believe in the connection between people.’
Ah… The lyrics penetrate my heart. At first, I was overwhelmed by everything, but my heart was drawn as if guided by the world created by Aqua-kun and Mayuzumi-kun.
’Don’t be afraid to touch the heart
Entrust yourself to the comfort
When overlapping with someone, and immerse yourself deeply in that love
Naturally, I held hands with Lisa-chan and Uruha-chan who were next to me. I still remember the time I was hospitalized. The two of them stayed by my side, comforting me when I was anxious.
’Feel my warmth, I’m afraid to touch you
Because I don’t want to hurt you
Wrapped in gentle light, Ah, ah-‘
I don’t remember how many times I embraced and cried with mom.
I think it would have been anxious if there were only two family members. However, I’ve heard that there were many people who supported mom so that she didn’t have to carry everything alone, just like Risa-chan, Uruha-chan, Kanon-san, Aqua-kun, our classmates, and Maria-sensei were there for me.
Not only people from the company where mom works or the hospital staff, but also teachers like Sugita-sensei and Otomezaki, classmates’ moms, and government officials who supported the transplant surgery made sure mom did not feel lonely.
’If you close your heart, I won’t be able to come get you
Don’t forget that someone is always there for you
Don’t give up on believing in something
To bring miracles closer, we are thinking about the future.
Everyone is wishing to take a chance on
Even the slightest possibility
I don’t want to leave you behind in the darkness
Anyone will do, would you like to entrust your suffering heart to someone?
Don’t give up until the very end.’
Surgeries and illnesses were tough, but this experience taught me that no one can live alone. I want to use this experience to someday help others. I wanted to become a strong person from the bottom of my heart.
’I won’t give up. If there’s salvation there, I won’t give up.’
Until the last note melts away and disappears, everyone silently listens to that melody. In the quiet cathedral, only the sound of people’s breathing can be heard.
”Thank you for listening.”
Warm applause fills the cathedral.”
It was truly amazing. I felt a sensation as if my heart was intoxicated by the special time spent in a fantastical space filled with a sense of unreality.
”As mentioned earlier, this song was created to convey that you are not alone as you take a step forward.”
Hmm… While listening to the song, I recalled everything from the surgery to even before that, in a chronological order.
”No one can live alone. That includes me. So please accept your own weaknesses. And when you see someone who is struggling, please reach out to them. If we can create a world where we can compensate for each other’s weaknesses and fragile parts, everyone will surely be happy. At least, that is what I believe. I sang this song with that wish in my heart.”
I thought it was such a wonderful song filled with wishes. There were so many things that were difficult and painful when I was ill.
Even now, I can remain calm in this state because everyone has been by my side.
”I want to dedicate these words, this song, to everyone who has reminded me that ‘you are never alone.’”
This time, a thunderous applause enveloped the cathedral. Aqua-kun is truly remarkable. Listening to this song right now, I believe there is someone, somewhere, being saved.
Standing next to such a person may require considerable effort, but it ignites a renewed determination within myself. While giving up might be easy, having learned the importance of not surrendering, I am resolved to approach Aqua-kun once again.
Though Aqua-kun and I may be like the moon and the tortoise, seemingly unreachable, there is never a reason to give up before even trying.
”I would like to express deep gratitude to St. Mary Hospital, which provided this venue, and to all the members of the Stars Orthodox Church for their cooperation in showcasing this musical piece.”
The venue is a bit noisy. I thought Stars Orthodox Church and Aqua-kun’s relationship might not be good. Certainly, the wedding was led by the Stars royal family, and Stars Orthodox Church took charge of the ceremony, but that was just a formality for the royal family.
What Aqua-kun and the Beryl are trying to do doesn’t align with the path that Stars Orthodox Church has been indicating. Although Aqua-kun has never mentioned anything about Stars Orthodox Church before, the fact that Aqua-kun appeared at the event with Kanon-san this time, it seemed like a big deal for Stars Orthodox Church to be able to demonstrate that they are not on bad terms, for the time being.
”If you don’t mind, please listen to the next song.”
I smiled and exchanged glances with mom, Lisa-chan, and Urara-chan, who were sitting next to me, and responded with a smile.
I have to enjoy this Christmas present from Aqua-kun and the others even more. Now, the venue falls silent once again. I listened attentively to Aqua-kun’s beautiful singing voice.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.