Volume 9 Chapter 25 Shirogane Aqua, The Matchmaking Party Is Starting
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Revised on 12 October 2023 (10-12-2023)
It’s a government-led matchmaking party. Originally, I was just planning to perform live as a surprise guest. But when I asked Rihito-san to participate in the matchmaking party, the situation expanded even further.
”Now is the chance!!”
That’s what the Prime Minister said first. It seems that the previous government-led matchmaking parties were not very lively because the men were sometimes passive, but this time the flow has changed and the participants were easily decided.
So, feeling that this was the time to win, the Prime Minister decided to broadcast the matchmaking party live. And as a condition for allowing Rihito-san to participate, he asked me if I would be the MC for the program.
Of course, I agreed without hesitation. And so, the day of the matchmaking party arrived.
”Good morning, everyone who has been looking forward to this day! I am Hogekawa, also known as Morikawa Kaede, a national broadcaster, the one who illuminates this country and uplifts everyone’s hearts, and I will be serving as the MC and female supporter for today’s matchmaking party!”
Well, yeah, as expected. Since it’s a government-sponsored event, it was definitely going to be broadcast on national TV, and when they received the offer, I had a feeling that Morikawa-san would be the main host.
Perhaps they were considerate of me in that regard. In reality, Morikawa-san is very easy to work with, so I’m thankful for that.
And speaking of Morikawa-san, she’s amazing. She even calls herself ‘Hogekawa’ now. I thought I should learn from her strong mental attitude and the hungry spirit of turning everything into a joke. Whether that hungry spirit is necessary for a state broadcaster’s announcer, I couldn’t say…
”And today, we have a special guest who will serve as the co-host and male supporter with me! Who could it be? Huh? ‘Don’t make Morikawa jokes’? Alright, I got it. So, today’s special guest is Shirogane Aqua-san, an idol from Beryl Entertainment!! Applause, everyone!”
I step onto the stage following Morikawa-san’s call.
”Good morning, everyone. Today, I’m here as Morikawa-san’s assistant, serving as the host and the male supporter. I’m Shirogane Aqua. Well, it’s a beautiful day today, isn’t it? The weather forecast said it would rain, so I was a little worried.”
”Hehe, you see, I’m actually a ‘Sunny Girl.’ On days when it looks like it might rain, people often say, ‘Send Morikawa.’ Also, today is a special day, so I thought a sunny day would be better for marking a new beginning. Look, here’s this.”
Morikawa-san takes out a talisman from her pocket. Upon closer inspection, the talisman has the words “Sunny Guardian” written on it.
”Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
”It looks like this shrine is the only one doing this. It’s called something-shrine.”
”Morikawa-san, that’s the most important information, isn’t it?”
”Hehe, I forgot. So please search for more details, everyone.”
As expected of Morikawa-san. The details don’t really matter anymore.
As someone in the media who needs to convey accurate information, it’s completely unacceptable, but Kanon says that Morikawa-san doesn’t fight on that level.
And I thought it was strange that we were chatting so slowly during a live broadcast, but the person holding the cue card giving instructions in a scroll, and I almost laughed.
Of course, Morikawa-san is a free spirit who doesn’t pay attention to that kind of thing, so I’ll move the conversation forward from my side.
Otherwise, I feel like the matchmaking party will end up just being a chat with Morikawa-san.
”By the way, it looks like a lot of people are participating today.”
”Yes, it seems that 10 men, the highest number ever, will be participating on the male side!!”
Seriously… At first, I thought 10 was a small number, but I realized that it’s a lot from this world. Thinking that way, I want to applaud the 10 men who bravely participated.
”Well then, these brave men will be here. Please come forward!”
The men’s dressing room is shown on the screen. And when zooming in on each man, their name and age are displayed. Among them, Kuga Rihito-san received the loudest cheers. Yeah, even from my perspective, he’s just cool and I thought so.
”Because the men’s images were shown, the excitement in the venue has reached its peak.”
”Well, the women’s tension has also risen!! I’m not participating, but I’m feeling warm. Oh, I can’t wait anymore! So… Here are the lucky 100 women who will have the chance to meet these men! Come on out!!”
Morikawa-san makes a gesture like a pro wrestler.
Come to think of it, it was in Morikawa Kaede-san’s sloppy impression series that she showed me when she came to my house.
Isn’t Morikawa-san actually a variety show announcer in private broadcasting? She’s definitely not a public broadcaster. Other public broadcasters would never do that, right?
Well, aside from that, the women who were cheering under the stage until earlier slowly climbed up onto the stage with Morikawa-san’s call. They all looked nervous or excited.
”Well, let’s interview a few people. First, let’s start with…”
Morikawa-san turns the microphone to a woman she randomly picked for an interview.
I get off the stage and head to the men’s dressing room during this time.
After the women’s interviews are over, I have to hurry for the men’s interviews.
I arrived in front of the waiting room and knocked before entering. I greeted the men and told them that there would be an interview soon.
”Hey, Aqua-kun! Where did you go?”
”Yes, yes, Morikawa-san, I’m right here! Actually, while Morikawa-san was interviewing the women, I came to the men’s waiting room!”
”Oh! Does that mean there will be interviews for the men too?”
”Yes! I have permission to interview the men this time. So, let’s go inside and start the interviews!”
I said and entered the waiting room again.
Inside the room, except for Rihito-san, everyone looked nervous.
I had to loosen them up first. To do this, I approached the man closest to me and raised my hand.
I lightly high-fived him and put my hand on his shoulder.
Some people might not like it, but he seemed okay with it, so I decided to mix some light physical contact into the interview.
”Can you introduce yourself to the camera again?”
By the way, Nobu-san was the one holding the TV camera. This was also a consideration for the men.
”Uh, my name is Haraguchi Taiji, and I’m 20 years old. I’m good at cooking and I work at a bento shop.”
”Nice! Bento boxes make you feel excited, right? When you open the lid, you feel warm inside, don’t you?”
”Yes, I understand. I like the feeling of opening a bento box and feeling cozy. So, I thought I’d like to make someone else feel that way with my homemade bento box and have many people enjoy it.”
”I remembered when I used to make bento boxes for my sister at home. When I imagine the smile of the person who eats the bento box, it makes me happy to make it.”
I said so, and Haraguchi-san nodded in agreement.
”Oh, right… talking about bento boxes made me a little hungry. Can I arrange a location lunch at your shop sometime, Haraguchi-san?”
”Yes, of course!”
Yes, talking about something he likes makes him feel more excited. I had become quite close with Haraguchi-san by now, so I pulled him towards me and asked him,
”By the way, what kind of girl do you like? Can you tell me secretly?”
”Um, I like a girl who eats rice beautifully. Or someone who can cook bento boxes with me would be nice too…”
”Oh, I see. So, do you have anyone you’re interested in at the moment?”
”Um, Sakano-san, number 17, because she wrote that she likes cooking in her profile. And also, Neyama-san, number 65, who said she likes eating, has caught my interest too.”
Oh… I was surprised that he had clear preferences. I was told beforehand that men might not be so proactive, so I had to lead them to become interested in someone, but I don’t think this will be a problem.
When I realized that my actions have some influence on other people’s lives, I felt a sense of responsibility.
”Well then, shall I arrange for the two of you to sit next to each other during mealtime after the free talk is over? Oh, but if you want to see them eat deliciously, maybe Neyama-san at number 65 would be better facing you?”
Since Haraguchi-san seemed nervous again, I patted his shoulder once more.
”It’s totally fine if you just talk normally like this, so do your best. And if you have any trouble, just tell me right away. You’re not alone, so let’s do your best!”
”Thank you very much!”
Yeah, things are off to a good start. Next, I spoke to a man who seemed a little difficult to talk to.
”Nice to meet you. Uesaka Shugo-san, can I interview you?”
Uesaka-san furrowed his brow. But it wasn’t quite the impression that I was being disliked or bothering anyone. Yeah, maybe he’s just as nervous as Haraguchi-san.
”By the way, Uesaka-san, you’re the one who wrote that you’re a fan of Shintaro, right? Thank you. Shintaro couldn’t make it today, but as fellow members of Beryl, I’d like to thank you for always supporting him. I’m sure he’ll be happy too, so I’ll tell him later.”
Oh, he’s embarrassed. He doesn’t seem to be good at talking a lot, but I thought he might talk more about various things if we became closer.
So I deliberately steered the conversation in a direction that would be easy for Uesaka-san to talk about.
”What do you do…oh, that’s amazing. You’re going to be a administrator at a school from next year. Was there something that triggered that?”
”Uh, yeah. I’ve been unemployed until now, but when I saw Mayuzumi-kun working as Tachibana Zanki at a law office for the role of Heaven’s Sword, I thought it was cool and wanted to do a job where I could help someone like that too.
That school supports me from tuition to getting a teaching license while working as an administrator, so I’m thinking of standing in front of the classroom in the future.”
See, Shintaro? I told you. You’re also surely becoming someone’s hero somewhere.
It’s not just Shintaro. Tenga-senpai and Toa are surely saving someone somewhere too.
I felt really happy that I could feel that even when everyone wasn’t around.
”That’s a wonderful dream. I’ll tell Shintaro later. By the way… is there a woman you’re interested in?”
”I’m interested in the women who wrote that they’re fans of Mayuzumi-kun, numbers 6, 23, 37, and 58. If they’re there, we’ll have a common topic and I think it will be easy for me to talk even though I’m not good at it…”
Yeah, having a common topic is definitely important. It’s difficult to find a conversation starter from scratch.
”Well then, I’ll support you in that direction. Let’s do your best.”
I continued to interview other participants after that. And lastly, it was Rihito-san’s turn.
”Um, last but not least, Kuga Rihito-san. Can you tell us why you decided to participate today?”
”Because you told me to, right?”
”Oh, yes. Hehe.”
It’s going smoothly so far. I know what to say and Rihito-san is answering me knowingly. Rihito-san smiles with a mature atmosphere, unlike me who acts silly like Morikawa-san.
Hmm, this person is really cool. He has a straight back and a graceful posture. He looks like an actor, and I think he would be popular even in the world I used to be in.
”Well then, have you found any women that you’re interested in?”
”Yeah, I guess. I don’t really feel anything just from looking at their profiles, so I want to decide after spending time with them.”
I feel like he’s evading the question somehow. As the host, I have to be on stage a lot and can’t move around behind the scenes.
But Ayana is working hard behind the scenes, so I’m sure everything will be fine. As a colleague who is always getting beaten up by Kohina-senpai, I know how hard Ayana is working, and she volunteered to help this time.
So, I don’t need to worry because I have reliable colleagues working hard behind the scenes. I just need to make sure not to miss the crucial moment.
”I see. If you find someone you’re interested in, please let me know quietly. I’ll support you with all my might.”
”Yes, thank you very much.”
After the interview with Rihito-san, I call out to Morikawa-san in front of the camera.
”Morikawa-saann! How was it? Did you watch it?”
”Yes, yes, yes. I watched everything properly! It’s becoming quite interesting. When you asked for the men’s preferences, you also asked for their opinions here, and the men like Oguchi-san and Sakano-san from number 17, and Hamada-san and Akiba-san from number 93, have mentioned each other’s names. This could be something to look forward to, don’t you think?”
As the host, Morikawa-san and I can watch both interview videos, but female and male participants cannot watch the other side’s interview videos.
So even though they don’t know who likes whom, there’s already a possibility of two couples forming. The staff and government officials are also excited about this possibility.
”It’s a good start. Let’s keep going like this.”
”Oh, I’m getting excited. I wonder if I can support them well…”
”Haha, let’s both do our best, Morikawa-san.”
”Okay, I’ll do my best!!”
After confirming each other’s first impressions, it’s free time.
During this time, Morikawa-san and I will form several small groups based on the pre-event information and the interviews we just conducted.
Around each man placed in different locations, women who seem easy to talk to are lined up to create a flow of conversation, which is the first problem. For the first 10 minutes, the selected members are encouraged to continue the conversation, and once they become a little more familiar with each other, the remaining women are released all at once.
Women who were not selected are encouraged to go to the men they are interested in and appeal to them while watching the overall flow, but they must be careful not to overdo it with their appeal, as they may be escorted out by security personnel.
Also, after 20 minutes, the initially placed women, that is, the women we selected, are free to move around. They can stay or attack different men. The time given for free time is a maximum of one hour. Each woman’s strategy is also tested.
”Finally, free time has started. Everything seems to be going well.”
”Yes, I think it was good to have a common topic to talk about in this group first.”
Even though Morikawa-san and I are in a separate room, we are whispering for some reason.
Male participants Haraguchi-san, Uesaka-san, Hamada-san, Yanagawa-san, Genno-san, Okazawa-san, Hashii-san, Nitta-san, Hara-san, and Rihito-san seem to be doing well so far.
”Yes, 10 minutes have passed here. Now, the remaining women, do your best!”
So far, four women have been assigned to each table, but the remaining 60 women start from here.
At first, I thought Rihito-san would be the center of attention, but the women are quite calm.
There are quite a few women who deliberately skip Rihito-san, who clearly has a high competition rate, and go to other men.
Even so, 24 out of 100 women gathered around Rihito-san. Probably one of the reasons why he is highly evaluated by women is because he has a record of marriage. The runner-up in popularity after Rihito-san was the amazing Haraguchi-san with 15 people! Then, there was Nitta-san, who said that he likes to draw pictures with 11 people. These three people alone monopolized half of the 50 people.
Hamada-san followed with 9 people, Genno-san and Hashii-san with 8 people, Uesaka-san with 7 people, and Yanagawa-san, Okazawa-san, and Hara-san with 6 people.
”Rihito-san is really strong.”
As I muttered, Morikawa-san nodded slightly.
”Since it may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, many women seem to be thinking, ‘Why not?’ Even in the interview earlier, there were quite a few people who said they would go for it. And if it’s clear that there’s no chance, you can move on… Oh, look! It’s about to start moving!”
After 20 minutes from the start, even those who were selected to sit next to the men began to move. 80% of the people stayed in place, but eight of the women thought there was no chance and moved to other tables. Among them, one male participant stands out, staring sadly at the back of a woman who left.
”It’s Hamada-san, who likes tinkering with machines. Oh, and Akiha-san, number 93, who left… Oh, I thought it was a mutual love, but what’s going on here?”
”Aqua-kun, maybe he needs a little support here?”
”Okay, let’s activate Telephone Time!”
Using the cell phone given to me by the staff, I called Hamada-san, who had moved to a remote location. By the way, the free time is paused during this time. The women can use this time to think about what to do next, so please use it meaningfully.
”Hello, Hamada-san, what happened? At first, I thought you and Akiha-san were in love with each other…”
”Um, well… when I saw Akiha-san up close, she was a woman I really liked, and I was too embarrassed to talk to her. So I looked away and went to talk to someone else…”
Oh no, this is not good. I have to do something about it!
”Okay, Hamada-san, if you don’t express your feelings to the women, they won’t know if you’re interested in them. So muster up some courage and talk to them. If that’s too difficult, at least you should look them in the eye.”
”Yes… you’re right…”
Hmm, he’s really down. I gently encourage Hamada-san to stand up.
”Hamada-san, imagine this for a moment. What if Akiha-san were to marry someone else? How would you feel about that? And even if not that, how would you feel imagining her spending the rest of her life alone?”
”…I wouldn’t like it.”
”In that case, let’s do your best! Hamada-san, making Akiha-san happy is no one else’s responsibility but yours. You are the one who will make her happy! Don’t worry, I believe in you because you are aware of your strong feelings for her! You can do it!”
”Aqua-kun is talking about me…?”
”Yes! So do your best, Hamada-san! If it doesn’t work out, I’ll comfort you later. Fortunately, there’s still a chance. After the free time, there’s a two-shot time, so let’s set up a seat there again. Show her that you like her one-on-one.”
”Okay, I’ll do my best!”
Telephone Time is over now. I return to my seat and hear from Morikawa-san, who was also calling Akiha-san.
”Morikawa-san, how was it there?”
”Yes. Akiha-san seems to be interested in Hamada-san, but he didn’t even make eye contact with her, so she thought he didn’t like her.”
Alright, there’s still a chance. Keep it up, Hamada-san! We continue to use Telephone Time to smoothly progress the party.
”Alright! Free time is over! Men, please go to the prepared private rooms, and women, please return to the waiting room.”
After the free time, the next thing waiting for us is the two-shot time. The men call the women they are interested in, and they have 10 minutes of talk time alone.
”Two-shot time is a little exciting, isn’t it? Aqua-kun, what do you think will happen?”
”I think some people might get together here before the confession time. From what I’m seeing, some of them seem to be doing well here already.”
”Oh no, what do we do if that happens?”
”Um, there’s no limit, right? Then, maybe the women who have already decided to go out could leave, and the remaining women could deepen their friendships?”
”Um, let me confirm that.”
When Morikawa-san confirmed with the headquarters, it was determined that the flow was okay.
Although the confession opportunity was originally only during the last confession time, my proposal was accepted to allow confession during the sudden two-shot time, and cheers rose from the women who were told.
Even if they fail here, they will not be eliminated and will be able to participate in the remaining events.
They can continue to approach the same man or approach a different man, so I hope the women will do their best without regret.
By the way, there is no limit to the number of women called by the men, so it is possible to individually call multiple people if they are interested.
”Then, we will now call out the names of the selected women one by one!”
Morikawa-san read out the names of the women nominated by each man.
Every time dhe did, there was a loud voice from the women’s dressing room.
What impressed me here was that the women who were not chosen cheered on the chosen women, applauding and encouraging them. Even though everyone knows that not everyone will be paired up, I think it’s admirable that they can do it honestly.
”Do your best.”
”Yes, I’ll do my best for everyone!”
”You had a good connection with Hashii-san earlier, so you can do it with Satomi-san!”
”Y-Yes, I’ll do my best!”
”Iiguchi-san, this is the moment of truth!!”
”I know. I also think this is the only chance!!”
Watching the women, I reflected on my recent actions.
After being paired with Kanon, I don’t think I was very proactive about being paired with other women.
Even with Yui or Kotono, I was always passive. Can I say that I was able to make both of them truly happy from the bottom of my heart by responding to their feelings?
The current situation in this world has been explained several times, and I thought I understood it in my head.
But in my heart, I felt that being serious about any woman other than Kanon was a betrayal.
Looking at the monitor in front of me, Akiha-san had just entered Hamada-san’s room.
”Oh, A-A-Akiha-san! I’ve been interested in you since I first saw you! Please go out with me!!”
The sudden confession surprised the staff and Morikawa-san. I also stood up from my seat unconsciously. Although I said to be brave, a first-hand confession, and even a confession from a man, Akiha was also frozen.
”Uh, Akiha-san, confession, confession!”
Morikawa-san hurriedly turned on the speaker in the room and spoke directly to Akiha-san inside. At times like this, Morikawa-san, who can act immediately without freezing, is really amazing.
”Uh, yeah… sure… is that okay…?”
A single tear ran down Akiha-san’s cheek. Seeing this, Hamada-san didn’t know what to do and glanced at the camera. I received a microphone from Morikawa-san and spoke to Hamada-san in a slow tone.
”Hamada-san, when that happens, I think girls feel better if you gently hold Akiha-san’s hand or cuddle up and watch her. It’s okay, take your time. Also, congratulations. I said to be brave, but I didn’t expect you to confess, so I was surprised. But that courage was really cool!! Thank you, Hamada-san. I also gained courage.”
Following Hamada-san and Akiha-san, several couples were born in other rooms.
Due to the unprecedented abnormal situation, the government officials in the back were in chaos, wondering if a festival had occurred.
Although Hamada-san was the only one who confessed on his own, Uesaka-san received all the confessions from the four people he was interested in, surprising those around him.
Everyone is amazing… Compared to them, I thought I was pathetic.
Although I couldn’t have predicted it, I should have known Yui’s feelings the most, and yet I made her say everything and ended up sleeping with her and getting married. My actions towards Kotono are even worse.
Moreover, I couldn’t visit Kurumi-san because she was still hospitalized, and I left Hakuryuu-sensei alone because she was avoiding me, but shouldn’t I ignore that and go to her? Otherwise, Hakuryuu-sensei will never come out.
At that time, Akio-san’s words came to mind.
’Aqua, if you’re a man, go for it all. There are no letters like defense or retreat in a man’s dictionary. If you’re a man, grab everything in front of you and make it all happy. If you have a foolish dream of becoming an idol and making everyone happy, then you can be greedy for that much, can’t you? Even if there is trouble, it’s something you did, so take responsibility. Got it? The number of responsibilities taken is a man’s medal. Be proud of it!! That’s why Kazuhiko has recognized by 100 children because of it!’
Kanon, Yui, Kotono… I will make everyone happy, the people who took my hand.
I thought that if I was with other women, I would neglect Kanon because of it.
But that’s not the case. I just have to make Kanon happier than before. Yui and Kotono are the same.
In this world where there are extremely few men, if I can only make one woman happy, I can’t make everyone smile. Why didn’t I realize that?
I looked at Morikawa-san next to me.
”Well, it’s amazing. Hamada-san is number one on the SNS trend ranking by far. And everything else is about the matchmaking party.”
”Hamada-san’s confession was amazing, and it really resonated with me. It reminded me that if you want something, you have to go after it yourself.”
This applies to becoming an idol and for Kanon too. Remember who you are, Shirogane Aqua. I’ve always gone after what I wanted myself. If I succeed in this world, marry Kanon and be happy, then what? Remember the thirst and desire I had at that time. Do I want to regret this life too? No, I don’t want to regret anymore.
”Ah, everyone is so nice. Hey, Aqua-kun, why don’t we date in this flow?”
”Aww, don’t answer so quickly and refuse——Huh!”
Morikawa-san shows a surprised face.
”Huh? Oh… it was a joke, right? Ahaha…”
I smile at Morikawa-san. I’ve worked with Morikawa-san a few times and I thought she was really easy to talk to. I can be myself and talk naturally in front of her without being too cool. So, I wanted to get closer to her. That’s all I decided based on my feelings.
”It’s not a joke. Was Morikawa-san joking?”
Morikawa-san shook her head as if to say no.
”Then let’s go on a date together next time.”
”Ah, um…y-yes! T-thank you!”
Even government officials and national broadcasting staff were surprised from behind. Only the prime minister who was watching from the back was smiling with a bad face. She’s definitely not an ordinary person.
But then, this is a declaration of war against all women from me. Shirogane Aqua won’t stop and will go after everything he wants. However, I’m not irresponsible. I saw how men were changing after seeing Hamada-san’s confession and I’m confident that I can change the world.
This world can be changed. Even if I can’t handle it alone, I just need to increase the denominator. That’s right. That’s why I made that declaration of war in the CM with everyone and made that declaration in the press conference. If it doesn’t work, they can do whatever they want with me, even kill me. But I’ve been determined since the day I said I would change the world.
”Kaede-chan, I’m really happy for you.”
”Morikawa, you’re amazing.”
”This guy, seriously…”
As soon as the camera switched to the participants, everyone congratulated Morikawa-san. I think I was drawn to Morikawa-san because she is so well-liked by everyone around her. Then I should just follow my feelings. I’ll do what I want to do. That’s all, and I’ve always been like that, haven’t I?
Hey, who do you think I am?
I am Shirogane Aqua, the man who will become the world’s number one idol!
I will make this world smile!! If you want me to take responsibility, I’ll take the whole world!
If you want me to love you, I’ll love everyone!
So without any hesitation, come with me! I won’t stop anymore!!
Hello, there’s a new work featuring a heartwarming story where the heroine’s limbs are severed, and the main character takes care of her, with a hint of ero mana transfer. I hope you can read it, and don’t forget to rate it max. Here’s the link : [Link]
Please bookmark this series and rate ☆☆☆☆☆ on here!
Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.