Volume 1 Chapter 1 Shirogane Aqua A New Life Begins
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Finally, the time has come.
I have longed to be on the other side of TV since I was a child.
Being all alone, I’ve been saved countless times by the smiles of numerous idols who gave me energy and courage from beyond the screen.
My longing, my yearning, my burning desire has become my dream one day.
After passing the audition at the industry’s top idol agency, enduring rigorous training, I finally grasp the ticket to my debut with heartfelt anticipation.
And today, I finally reach the day when I debut as a solo idol from being a trainee.
”All right! Let’s do this!!”
With determination, I burst onto the stage from behind the curtains.
The crowd cheers loudly, and I give a big smile to the audience in response.
Now, this is where it begins!
But as the intro of the song starts playing, a shadow falls over the spot where I was standing.
The yellow cheers from the audience that were directed at me instantly change into screams.
Sensing something amiss, I turn my face upward to where everyone’s gaze is focused.
What I see in my field of vision is a large lighting fixture falling towards the very spot where I stand.
By the time I realize it, it’s already too late.
While my body doesn’t react, the falling lighting fixture and the sounds around me seem to slow down in slow motion.
I don’t want to die like this.
My wish is in vain as my future, which was shining brightly before me, is engulfed in darkness.
I no longer understand what happens next. That’s because my life ended there, with everything plunging into darkness.
The memories of my past life are interrupted here.
At the young age of 20, it was quite an abrupt ending.
Yet, for some reason, I am alive now.
”But this face…”
When I woke up, I found myself in a hospital room. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and noticed something strange. Without a doubt, the face reflected in this mirror was mine. There was no mistaking that. However, the face staring back at me was definitely younger than the last time I saw myself.
A familiar sparkling name reached my ears. Yes, there was no doubt about it; that was my real name. Shirogane Aqua, to be precise. By the way, it’s also my stage name. When I turned towards the source of the voice, I saw a beautiful woman wearing a traditional Japanese kimono. She covered her mouth with her hand and her eyes welled up with tears, as if on the verge of crying.
The woman in the kimono dropped the small bag she was holding, and along with a single tear streaming down her cheek, she rushed towards me and tightly embraced my body.
But who is this person?
I couldn’t grasp the situation well, and at that moment, the nurses who noticed something was wrong rushed into the hospital room.
”Doctor, come here!”
As the nurses confirmed my presence, they hurriedly went to call the doctor. Meanwhile, the unfamiliar woman in the traditional attire continued to cry. I decided to gently stroke her head for now. The remaining nurses watched this scene with wide eyes. Hey, instead of staring, can anyone explain this situation to me?
* * *
After hearing the doctor’s explanation, I learned a few things.
Apparently, I had lost consciousness after falling down the stairs. By the way, I’m 15 years old, in my third year of middle school, just before graduation. It’s already January, but it seems like I haven’t decided on my high school plans yet. Huh? I haven’t decided yet? I was surprised, but there’s a proper reason for it. In this world, the male birth rate is abnormally low, causing a significant imbalance in the male-to-female ratio. For every 100 people, there are 99 women, and shockingly, just one man. As a result, men are considered precious and protected, and the government has implemented various male-biased policies. Despite that, it seems that more and more men are becoming herbivores or withdrawn, and currently, the issue of male shut-ins is a social problem causing concern. And here I am, perfectly fitting into that situation. In this world, I’m nothing more than a middle school student in name only. I haven’t been going to school since elementary school, and I’ve been living as a shut-in at home.
What the heck am I doing in this world…
After receiving the doctor’s explanation and returning to the hospital room, I turned my gaze towards the beautiful woman in the kimono sitting on the next chair. It turns out this woman in the kimono is apparently my mother. I was truly surprised by this. My mother’s name is Shirogane Marin, and it’s quite shocking that both of us have sparkling names. By the way, in this world, I have two sisters who didn’t exist in my previous life. My older sister’s name is Shitori, a college student, and my younger sister’s name is Lapis, a middle school student. The entire family having sparkling sparkling names is just beyond belief. I can’t even express it in words anymore. As I was thinking about such things, my mother tightly gripped the handkerchief in her hand and showed an apologetic expression. (Note: KiraKira name => https://cotoacademy.com/japanese-kira-kira-names-japanese-culture/)
”I’m sorry, Aqua-chan… I guess it was weird for your mother to suddenly hug you like that.”
Ah, I see… I don’t have any memories in this world, but looking at my mother’s expression, I can understand how I must have treated her. By the way, regarding the memory loss, it seems to be attributed to the impact of hitting my head, according to the doctor’s explanation.
”Um… Mom? I should be the one apologizing. I’ve caused you so much trouble until now, but from today on, I’ll do better.”
As I said that, my mother’s tear ducts broke.
”A… A… A-Aqua-chan…!!”
Ah… I made her cry even more. What should I do in this situation? I’m feeling a bit confused facing my mother and talking to her for the first time. My mother in my previous life had poor postpartum health and passed away shortly after giving birth to me. And now, the mother I’m seeing for the first time is a beautiful woman with a seductive charm, enhanced by her elegant traditional Japanese attire. As someone who doesn’t know mother, the woman in front of me feels more like an acquaintance or a neighbor rather than a mother. I was unsure about the appropriate distance or how to interact with this mother I’ve just met.
”I’m sorry, Aqua-chan… I lost control, and for you, who has lost your memory, it must have been weird to see an unfamiliar lady crying.”
I shake my head.
”No, it’s not like that. But more importantly, there’s something I want to ask you, mom.”
To avoid making my mother cry any further, I steer the conversation in a different direction.
”M… M… Mom? Aqua-chan calling me ‘Mom‘…”
I try my best to calm my increasingly crying mother, but she continues to cry. While we’re going through this, my mother eventually manages to stop crying, and I ask her about our family, this world, and how I was in this life to confirm everything once again. By the way, after listening to her and confirming everything, I realize that I was indeed a despicable person in this life. I was a shut-in who didn’t go to school, treated this beautiful mother like a slave, begged for money from her, and even attempted violence. And not only towards my mother but also towards my older sister, who is now a college student, and my younger sister, who is in middle school. Well… I did feel some guilt about taking over my current life, but hearing about my actions in this life made that guilt disappear. As I sit there, feeling troubled by my mother’s story, someone knocks on the door of the hospital room.
A nurse with an overly sweet voice entered the hospital room. She had wavy chestnut-colored hair and a makeup style that seemed to flirt with men, possibly in her late twenties. Unlike the nurse in my memory, she was wearing a skirt instead of pants. Moreover, the length of the skirt was so short that I couldn’t help but worry if her underwear might be visible. On top of that, her outer garment seemed a bit small as it tightly hugged her chest, excessively emphasizing its fullness.
”Aqua-san, the bath is readyyyy!”
Ah, the bath… Oh, right, my body feels a bit sticky. Since it’s an opportunity, I should take her up on it and freshen up. As I tried to stand up and follow the nurse, my mother stepped in and stopped me.
”Thank you very much. Then, I will personally take Aqua-chan to the bath.”
”Oh no, I couldn’t possibly impose on the mother. Please leave the assistance to me, a professional nurse.”
”Oh my, I can’t let the nurse go to such lengths…”
”It’s part of my job too, and there’s no need to worry at all. So, please, Mother, relax here…”
Huh… Wait, does that mean I can’t take a bath alone? That was quite embarrassing. While the two of them were engrossed in their discussion, I quickly asked another nurse nearby about the location of the bathing area and hurriedly went to the bath by myself.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.