Male Idol V13c53

Volume 13 Chapter 53 BERYL, Carrying Each Other’s Feelings In Our Hearts!


Edited by: Kanaa-senpai


 The order is Mayuzumi → Toa → Tenga-senpai → Aqua.


 It’s finally the fifth stop of the nationwide live tour in Hiroshima.


 ”Mayuzumi-kun, you have a live performance starting tomorrow, right? Do your best!”

 ”Yeah.”


 I nod in response to Awashima-san’s words.

 Ever since we performed together in Heaven’s Sword, I’ve been curious about her.

 And since that incident, we’ve been meeting occasionally in private to talk.


 ”Awashima-san, good luck with your work too.”

 ”Yeah! I’ll do my best!”


 Maybe it’s because we played lovers in the drama.

 I can’t help but be interested in Awashima-san.

 Even though she’s usually cool and perfect, there are moments when she’s a bit clumsy…


 ”Awashima-san… isn’t it the other way around?”

 ”Ah…”


 Awashima-san realized she was using chopsticks upside down and blushed.

 It’s hard to tell because both ends are pointed.


 ”Sorry…”


 Awashima-san looked dejected.

 Seeing that, I looked at my own chopsticks, deliberately used them upside down, and started eating.


 ”Yeah, it’s easier to hold this way.”

 ”Right!?”


 Although it felt like a breach of etiquette, seeing Awashima-san smile made me feel okay about it.

 Why is that?

 I called the nearby waiter over and said, “Sorry.”


 ”No, starting now, using chopsticks like that is the correct way in our restaurant. Honestly, I also found it difficult to use.”


 Is this… okay?

 Awashima-san and I thanked the waiter.


 ”Mayuzumi-kun, this is delicious.”

 ”Really.”


 Awashima-san and I have similar tastes in things we like.

 So I felt happy because I could empathize with her and share things we both like.


 ”Thanks for the meal today.”

 ”No, thank you.”


 We take turns paying for our meals at our dinner gatherings.

 Last time it was me, before that was Awashima-san, and before that it was me again, and before that it was Awashima-san… and so on.

 So, it looks like it’s my turn next… I need to find another good restaurant.


 ”Awashima-san, want to take a little walk?”

 ”Is it okay? I have plans in Hiroshima tomorrow…”

 ”It’s fine. Just a short walk.”

 ”Okay, I understand!”


 I walk along the night street with Awashima-san.

 It was a good choice to pick the least popular restaurant among the ones Awashima-san suggested.

 Thanks to that, even though I’m not good at talking, I can extend our dinner gathering a little after leaving the restaurant like this.


 ”It’s strange, isn’t it?”

 ”Huh? Mayuzumi-kun, is something wrong?”


 The day before the Hiroshima live event, I’m a little surprised at how calm I am, not feeling too nervous.

 How much can I do right now? Can I demonstrate what I’ve practiced properly?

 Actually, I’m more excited about that.


 ”I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s live performance… If I fail, I won’t be able to face it. No, I won’t be able to face the people who came to see me, but right now, I’m full of the desire to test myself.”

 ”Mayuzumi-kun…”


 Awashima-san, who was facing me, showed a gentle smile.


 ”Do your best, I’m cheering for you. Sorry, I can only say ordinary words.”

 ”No, I’m happy. Your words have motivated me even more.”

 ”Really!?”

 ”It’s not a lie.”


 With Awashima-san’s words, I felt even more determined.

 I am filled with the determination to do it.


 ”Anyway, be careful not to get injured or sick.”

 ”Thank you. When I get back… can I contact you again?”

 ”Yes, of course.”


 I wonder what Awashima-san thinks of me.

 Spending time with her is fun, and I find myself wanting to be with her more.

 But, is this love? Even when I’m with Aqua and the others, I enjoy it and wish we could stay together longer. That should be just friendship, not love.

 Besides, when I see Aqua and Kanon-san together, I feel like the atmosphere they create is different from ours.

 Aqua said, “You’ll realize it when the time comes. But try to realize it as soon as possible.” Will I, who is clueless, be able to notice it properly?


 ”Today was fun. Thank you.”

 ”Me too.”


 I watch as Awashima-san’s taxi drives away.


 The next day.


 ”Shin-chan, did you forget anything?”

 ”I’m fine. I’ve been preparing my stuff for a week now.”


 I reassure my worried mother multiple times that everything is okay.


 ”Mother, I’m off.”

 ”Hey, do your best! If you need anything, talk to Aqua-kun!”


 Mother, if I talk to Aqua, things will get more complicated. Without saying that, I leave home.

 Now, it’s the Hiroshima live starting today. Let’s do our best!



* * *



 ”Toa-chan, do your best for the Hiroshima live starting tomorrow.”

 ”Leave the notes to me!”

 ”I’ll definitely watch the live on the internet!”

 ”Yeah, thanks everyone!”


 As I leave, I smile and thank my female classmates.

 Just about a year ago, I used to shut myself in, and now I can talk normally surrounded by many girls. Sometimes I still think it’s like a dream.

 All of this is thanks to Aqua.

 At that time, Aqua took my hand and led me out into the outside world, which is why I am who I am now.


 ”Sorry for making you wait, Fujibayashi-san.”

 ”No problem.”


 Fujibayashi Misono-san.

 Originally aspiring to be an idol, she auditioned for an idol role. Through a training camp, she discovered what she truly wanted to do and ended up getting a job as a staff member at Beryl.

 Due to a job transfer, Kotono-oneechan was no longer my supervisor, so she has been my manager since April.


 ”Um…”

 ”Hmm? What’s up?”


 Fujibayashi-san looked at me with a worried expression, as if she wanted to say something.


 ”Are you really going to meet her?”

 ”…Oh, about that. Yeah, I’ll meet her.”


 I understand why Fujibayashi-san is worried.

 But for me to take the next step, I absolutely have to meet her.

 I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do, but I felt the need to meet her to continue as Beryl, not be left behind by everyone, and to catch up to Aqua.


 ”Okay. But please don’t push yourself too hard, okay? Kotono-san also told you the same thing.”

 ”Yeah.”


 Kotono-oneechan, even though she quit as the manager, she’s still worried about me.

 It makes me happy. My heart naturally feels warm.

 I can feel this way because Aqua reminded me that girls are actually kind. So, I was able to express my gratitude sincerely to my mother and my little sister Subaru, who have been supporting me since the day of the incident.


 ”Thank you both so much. I’ll try going to school.”


 The night I said I would go to school, did mother and Subaru cry for me?

 I will never forget that scene from that day.

 I don’t want to make my family cry again.

 So, I have to become even stronger.


 ”We’ve arrived.”

 ”Thank you.”


 Is this the prison…?

 I stepped into a prison for the first time in my life to meet her.


 ”Please wait here.”


 Guided to the visitation room, I wait for her, the one I had scheduled to meet.

 Even though I had prepared myself, the trauma from that time seems to resurface.

 It’s okay not to force it. The counselor also told me that.

 But I’m tired of relying on those words.

 That’s right. Remember.

 Shintaro and Tenga-senpai, they both overcame various obstacles inspired by Aqua, right?

 Tenga-senpai was pushed by Aqua and managed to win back his beloved Haruka-san from a terrible guy.

 Even Shintaro, who had no immunity towards women, is getting along well with Awashima-san thanks to Aqua.

 And Aqua has shown me the future after overcoming many times. I will surely never forget when Aqua went to retrieve Kanon-san.

 So I also want to meet her and go to the next place. Just like everyone else!


 ”Come in.”


 My body tensed at the voice of the prison guard.

 Taking a deep breath, I slowly raised my gaze, and there stood Yumesono Mayuko, with handcuffs on both hands, in front of me behind an acrylic panel.


 ”…Why did you request a visit with me? There’s a restraining order, you know. There shouldn’t have been any need for you to see me again.”


 My heart felt squeezed tight at the sound of her voice.

 Seeing that, Fujibayashi-san, who was accompanying me, spoke in my place.


 ”What’s with that attitude? Shouldn’t you start with an apology or have something else to say?”

 ”Well, yes. But even if I apologize, it won’t erase the wrong I did to him. Besides, only I would feel lighter by apologizing and feeling guilty. Of course, if he asks me to apologize, I will. But without knowing the reason for coming, I have nothing else to say.”


 That’s right. If I don’t speak up myself, nothing will start.

 I close my eyes and grit my teeth, then I pump myself up by pounding my own heart with a clenched fist.


 ”Thank you, Fujibayashi-san. But, I’m fine now.”


 I gaze at Mayuko-chan’s face again.

 It’s okay. I’m not scared.


 ”Why did you attack me back then?”

 ”Because I wanted to have s*x, there’s no deeper reason. Just so you know, most reasons for s*xual crimes are that trivial.”


 With such a reason… Mayuko-chan’s words make my body stiffen.


 ”If satisfying their desires is all that matters, they don’t care about the other person. Besides, hardly anyone truly believes they’re at fault for getting s*xually aroused by the other side. Instead, they blame the other person. They never think they’re wrong. That’s the reality. That’s why the repeat rate for s*xual crimes is abnormally high. Isn’t that despicable?”


 It was truly a selfish reason.

 To think I suffered for years because of such a reason fills me with anger and a sense of helplessness.


 ”So, why was it me?”

 ”It was because I liked you. Also, you seemed small and easy to approach. Plus, you are my childhood friend, so I felt comfortable without any guard. Also, I was troubled back then, so I thought you might just be being nice to me.”


 Fujibayashi-san, who usually doesn’t show much emotion, looked visibly upset towards Mayuko-chan.

 Meanwhile, as I sat in the chair, I quietly listened to Mayuko-chan’s story.


 ”That’s why you shouldn’t be kind to girls who seem indifferent. Girls have never experienced kindness from guys, so they easily get carried away and misunderstand when a guy is nice to them.”


 Aqua disagreed, saying that it’s wrong to think that way.

 Regardless of gender, it’s natural for people to be kind to each other.

 However, I can understand what Mayuko-chan is saying. In fact, it’s a common belief in the world.

 With fewer men around, women have limited opportunities to interact with men in the first place.

 That’s why guys need to be really careful when interacting with girls.

 Me, Shintaro, and Tenga-senpai all thought that was normal, and most people just accepted it as a given. It might have started with a small gap. But, due to the abnormal ratio between men and women, that gap kept widening, creating an insurmountable barrier between men and women.


 ”Hey. Can I ask you something… What do you want to achieve by being an idol? Sure, there are girls who can marry or date you guys. But have you ever thought about the feelings of girls who can’t be like that? You talk about making girls happy, but there are girls out there crying when faced with reality.”


 Mayuko’s words deeply shook my heart.

 I’ve also wondered if what we’re doing is wrong.


 ”I don’t think so.”


 Quietly listening to our conversation, Fujibayashi-san interjected.


 ”Surely, among the girls, there are those who are seriously in love with the members of BERYL. But, that’s how it is in real society too. Just because you like a guy, it doesn’t necessarily mean your love will be reciprocated. Just as there are first loves, there are also heartbreaks. Do you, a fortunate girl, understand that?”

 ”Me, fortunate? Me?”

 ”Yes. Because, most girls can’t even experience heartbreak. But, thanks to everyone in BERYL, we can understand what it means to love. We can experience it.”


 Mayuko-chan showed a troubled expression at Fujibayashi-san’s words.


 ”…But, isn’t heartbreak painful?”

 ”But, falling in love can make you feel happy. It might not be something a novice like me should say, but isn’t that how we grow and become adults? That’s why I’m really grateful to everyone in BERYL. I come from a branch family of the Fuji household, and I was fortunate enough to have the academic and financial means to attend a good university. Even so, until I met everyone in BERYL, I had only exchanged words with a few men.”


 I’m encouraged by Fujibayashi-san’s words.

 I still have a long way to go.

 I came here thinking I could figure things out on my own, but in the end, I’m being helped by someone.

 Even though I want to change, I feel frustrated that I can’t change easily.


 ”So, why don’t you try being a little more honest too?”


 At Fujibayashi-san’s words, Mayuko-chan let out a light sigh.


 ”…What I did was really stupid. I understand that. And Toa isn’t bad either. I feel sorry and if you want me to apologize, I will apologize properly. But, I am a criminal. So, this sense of guilt shouldn’t be lightened by apologizing even a little. Because, that’s the sin I committed and the punishment for it.”


 I see…

 Mayuko-chan seems to have been reflecting on her actions here in her own way.

 I think it’s good enough just to understand that.

 Hearing Mayuko-chan’s true feelings, the answer within me naturally became clear.


 ”I… don’t intend to forgive what you did, Mayuko-chan.”

 ”Yeah, that’s fine.”

 ”You don’t need to apologize either.”

 ”Okay.”

 ”So, make sure to atone for your sins and leave this place.”

 ”Understood.”


 It was just about time for the visit to end.

 I stood up and turned my back to Mayuko-chan.


 ”Can I apologize just once?”

 ”If it’s not about the incident.”


 Mayuko-chan stood up from her seat and bowed to me.


 ”I’m sorry for speaking badly about your friend, BERYL, and you guys’ fans.”

 ”Yeah, I understand. I accept your apology.”


 Actually, I should be the one apologizing to the fans and Aqua.

 Without Fujibayashi-san, I wouldn’t have even realized that.

 Aqua must also understand this and be trying to change the world.

 That’s why I’m taking a step forward here.

 I turn to Mayuko-chan and gaze into her eyes.


 ”Mayuko-chan… I said I would never forgive what you did. But still… thank you for liking me. However, I’m sorry. I can’t respond to your feelings.”

 ”Thank you… very much. Please help me settle these feelings of mine.”


 What Mayuko-chan did is unforgivable, but my present exists because of that incident.

 If Mayuko-chan hadn’t caused that incident, I wouldn’t have joined Otomezaki, met everyone from BERYL, or been active as an idol like this.

 Ah… why is life so complicated and troublesome?

 There are countless things that don’t go as planned, and there are many painful and difficult things even in this short life. But overcoming them, the words that came to my mind now were ‘thank you.’

 Accept and appreciate everything. It’s Aqua’s favorite phrase.


 ”Fujibayashi-san, thank you for today. Thanks for coming along with me.”

 ”No, this is also part of my job…”


 Haha, that’s a typical dry response from Fujibayashi-san.

 But, that kind of response is comfortable for me.

 Aqua is enough to keep me on my toes.


 The next morning, I put on my shoes at the entrance to head to the live performance in Hiroshima.”


 ”Good luck, onii! I’m watching on TV!!”

 ”Toa, take care! If anything happens, make sure to talk to Aqua-kun right away!”


 Hey mom… If I consult Aqua when something happens, it might take an unexpected turn that no one imagined, okay?

 It sounds fun in its own way, but normally, wouldn’t it be Kotono-oneechan or President Atori for that?


 ”Mom, Subaru… Thanks! I’m off!!”


 As I leave the front door, I get into the car driven by Fujibayashi-san, who came to pick me up again just like yesterday.

 Alright, let’s head to Hiroshima!!



* * *



 ”Akira, does my dress look weird?”

 ”It doesn’t. It suits you well.”


 Haruka-nee shows a smile at my words.

 I felt the urge to hug her, but I held back and resisted.


 ”Is it really okay for me to attend the banquet?”

 ”Of course it is.”


 Dinner party. We, BERYL, who were invited to the world conference (summit) held in Hiroshima, are going to attend the dinner party.

 Aqua, my junior, said she would bring Kanon-san to represent his wives, and I heard from my junior that if Haruka-nee attends, Kanon-san will support her.

 So, I thought I would take Haruka-nee to Hiroshima since it’s a rare opportunity.

 I want Haruka-nee, who has gone through a lot of tough times, to create many happy memories. That is my wish.


 ”Hmm, maybe this tie suits Akira-kun better.”


 Haruka-nee happily chooses my tie.

 Just seeing that joyful smile makes me 100 times more motivated.

 My junior said that just seeing Kanon-san’s smile makes him 10,000 times more motivated, so I think we truly are soul friends.


 ”Oh, Akira-kun, can I also buy this and take it home?”

 ”Yeah, go ahead!”


 Some tea snacks?

 Haruka-nee thought she was buying snacks for herself, but it seems that’s not the case. She had the snacks she purchased wrapped neatly by the store clerk.


 ”I heard Hakuryuu-sensei was home alone, so I was wondering about that.”

 ”Oh, I see.”


 Unlike me, Haruka-nee really is considerate.

 By the way, as my junior mentioned, Kanon-san accompanied the banquet, Manager Kotono managed BERYL’s work, Emily-san went for a duet, Kaede-san arrived early for reporting work, and Yui-san couldn’t make it due to work commitments.

 Haruka-nee gets along well with my junior’s wives.

 Concerned about Haruka-nee, who couldn’t make friends here due to restrictions caused by that man, my junior’s wives mentioned inviting Haruka-nee to join them for a meal while they were having dinner with my junior.

 Hmm… I should probably give something as a token of gratitude to my junior’s wives too.

 Argh! Unlike capable juniors, I’m so clueless that I didn’t even notice such things!! I need to reflect on this!


 ”Hey, Haruka-nee. What do you think my junior’s wives would be happy to receive? I also want to give something since Haruka-nee, you’ve been so kind to them.”

 ”That’s great! Akira-kun, I think that’s a wonderful idea. I’ll help you choose too.”


 Seeing Haruka-nee smile, I couldn’t help but smile too.

 The advice about “It’s better to express your feelings to the one you like” from my junior really helped.

 Though it’s still a bit embarrassing to say I like you, I want to be able to say it in public like my junior someday.


 ”Thank you, Haruka-nee. I was able to choose a nice gift thanks to you.”

 ”Hehe, I’m sure Aqua-kun and the others will be delighted.”


 In the end, I ended up buying presents for the other juniors and my manager, Miyuri-san too.

 I hope everyone likes it, but since it’s a present Haruka-nee chose, it should be fine.


 ”Today was fun, right, Akira?”

 ”Yeah!”


 I love it!!

 Just the two of us having dinner, chewing on white rice, I savor not just the food but also the joy.

 On the way back, we stopped by my junior’s house and gave everyone presents, and they were all so happy.

 Just that makes me happy.


 ”Well then, shall we go to bed soon?”

 ”Yeah…”


 At night, I turned off the lights in the room and gently touched Haruka-nee’s body next to me.


 ”Ah… n-no, stop.”


 Hearing Haruka-nee’s trembling voice, I quickly turned the lights back on.


 ”S-sorry. It’s, it’s just the usual.”


 Haruka-nee, with her teeth chattering, shivered slightly. I couldn’t even embrace her like that, and I got angry at myself for only being able to watch over her.

 Even though the number of times has decreased compared to before, it doesn’t mean that Haruka-nee is free from the flashbacks of suffering from domestic violence.


 ”Thank you, Akira-kun.”


 After a while, Haruka-nee’s flashbacks start to subside.

 I heard that when flashbacks occur, there is a possibility that things like hugging or touching could either improve or worsen the situation.

 Feeling frustrated by my own helplessness, I continue to act as if everything is normal to reassure Haruka-nee.


 ”Let’s sleep without turning off the lights tonight.”

 ”Is it okay? Tomorrow is the live event…”

 ”It’s fine. Despite appearances, I do have good stamina.”


 I used to look skinny and unhealthy, but thanks to weight training and running, I’ve gained some muscle.

 As I face Haruka-nee in bed, we talk about the enjoyable things that happened today and laugh together.


 ”Mmm…”


 After about an hour, Haruka-nee seems to have calmed down and falls asleep.

 Just by looking at her sleeping face, I feel happy.


 ”Akira-kun… I like you.”

 ”I like you too.”


 As I gaze at Haruka-nee-nee’s sleeping face, a determination forms within me.

 Seeing my passionate junior involved in volunteer activities, I’ve always wanted to do something too.

 Careful not to wake Haruka-nee, I get out of bed and retrieve a piece of paper from the drawer.


 [Support for DV Victims]


 Through my own research, I discovered organizations that support women, men, children, and the elderly suffering from domestic violence.

 I don’t want to see more people like Haruka-nee. I wanted to help those suffering from DV as soon as possible.

 I gaze at the Poison Chalice figure on my desk.


 ”Kamishiro… Can I become a hero for someone like you?”


 When I turned on my laptop in the living room, I wrote to Beryl expressing my desire to support those in DV situations and sent her an email. For now, this should be fine. It’s a first step, something my junior who always gets scolded for reporting things late taught me.

 Taking the first step, after feeling the night breeze a bit, I went to sleep on the same bed as Haruka-nee.


 Good night, Haruka-nee.


 ”Akira-kun, are you ready?”

 ”Yeah!”


 Haruka and I got ready to leave the house.

 Luckily, it was sunny outside, as if celebrating our journey.

 Let’s go to Hiroshima!



* * *



 ”So, Ai, I’m counting on you for the house.”

 ”Yeah, leave it to me! Well, I’m just staying home, though.”


 If Ai didn’t have work, she would have come with us.

 I glanced at Kanon next to me.


 ”Shall we go then?”

 ”Yeah, let’s go to Hiroshima!”


 We headed to Hiroshima by plane.

 Wait, where’s Emily?

 Late!? Oh no, she couldn’t make it in time because she was helping someone!?

 Hey, the plane is about to leave! Emilyyyyyy! I shouted Emily’s name from the sky as she missed the plane.


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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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