Volume 9 Chapter 39 Shirogane Aqua, Stadium Rehearsal
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
”Good grief, no matter where you go in this country, it’s always desert.”
Akiko scratched her head while looking out the window. Her way of speaking and her atmosphere reminded me of Akio-san, who I was indebted to in my previous life.
I thought maybe she had been reincarnated like me, but it seems that’s not the case. It made me feel nostalgic, or rather, I was genuinely happy to see someone I thought I would never see again.
Fi-chan looked at Akiko with a puzzled expression.
”Akiko… smoking is not good for your health.”
I nodded at Fi-chan’s words. If it was just a casual habit, it might have been fine, but Akiko has been smoking intensively since yesterday. Akio-san didn’t smoke in my previous life, so I thought it was something different about Akiko compared to Akio-san.
”Cigarettes…? Ah! Well, I’ll give one to Fi-sama and Aqu-boy too.”
”No, Akiko-san, we don’t smoke… Wait, huh? What’s this? It’s not a cigarette?”
”What is this? It has a sweet smell.”
It looks like a homemade cigarette at first glance, but Fii-chan is right, it does have a sweet scent.
”That, well, it’s a tobacco that’s popular these days for being good for the body. If you smoke it, you can relax and have good dreams at night. And it’s a high-quality product made by the headquarters, so it’s a rare item that’s hard to come by.”
When I look closely at the tobacco, it has the word “Emily” on it.
”There seems to be a 3-type available. They were Claire for high-quality, Emily for the highest grade, and Aqua that only circulates among a few people. Among the things that the general public can get, Emily is the highest grade. Aqua, with the same name as Aqu-boy, seems to be a rare item that not even the national leader can easily buy, so it’s not something we can get easily.”
”Oh, I see.”
I didn’t think there was something like that.
Well, I don’t think I’ll smoke it myself, but I’ll accept it gratefully to use it as a topic of conversation with Kanon.
So, I put it in my pocket.
”Oh… if it’s the same thing, I think Her Majesty the Queen Shams used to smoke it. I think it was called Aqua…”
Mana-sama, who also received something like a cigarette from Akiko-san, carefully observes it as if holding it up.
”What!? That’s great news! Alright! Miss, I don’t need money for this job, so I’ll ask for payment with that!”
”I understand. I don’t know what will happen, but I will convey that to Her Majesty the Queen Shams.”
”Oh, please! Well, I’m glad I took this job!”
While Akiko-san seemed cheerful, for some reason, both Rinon-san and Kukuri-chan’s faces seemed pale.
”Rinon-san, Kukuri-chan, are you okay? Did you get car sick, by any chance?”
”N-No, I’m fine. I apologize for causing you concern.”
”…Geez, because of that idiot…”
”Hm? Did Kukuri-chan say something?”
She was looking down, maybe she got car sick?
I tried to peek at Kukuri-chan’s face to see how she was doing, and she showed me her usual smile.
”No, it’s nothing. Oh, but… I might have gotten a little car sick, so is it okay if I lean on Aqua-senpai?”
”Of course. Come here, Kukuri-chan.”
Kukuri-chan leaned against my arm snugly.
Fi-chan looks at it enviously with her finger in her mouth, but she is already sitting on my lap. On the opposite side of Kukuri-chan, Mana-sama is sitting at a distance where I could touch her breasts, and Rinon-san is right in front of me, with a beautiful bare leg in full view. Ah, I feel happy being surrounded by cute girls like this. Is it okay? Even though it’s work, I’m being treated so wonderfully.
By the way, Shitori-onee-chan is accompanying us now, but the Prime Minister and Shams-chan are having a separate conversation and doing their own thing.
”Oh, Aqu-boy, you can see the venue! That’s it.”
Wow, it’s huge! Is this the stadium where I’ll be singing… We drive straight to the entrance for authorized personnel.
”We’ve been waiting for you. Thank you for coming from far away today. Please come this way.”
”Thank you very much for inviting us. Please let us assist you in making the performance wonderful.”
Shitori-onee-chan fluently returns the greeting in the local language. Although I don’t understand the words, judging by the other person’s expression, it seems to be a positive response.
I let out a voice of admiration as I look down at the landscape from the VIP room prepared for the meeting.
I felt excited when I thought about singing at that center, but at the same time, I felt a great amount of pressure.
”Are you Shirogane Aqua?”
I felt like someone called my name and turned around. Then, the woman in the image that was attached to the materials handed to me was standing there with a smiling expression.
”I am Aria Catalini, an opera singer who will be performing with you for this project. Nice to meet you.”
”Nice to meet you, I am Shirogane Aqua. I feel extremely honored to be able to perform with the world-famous opera singer, Catalini-san. I will do my best not to hold you back, so please feel free to tell me if there’s anything!”
I returned the greeting in the language of the Stars, despite feeling slightly awkward.
Currently, I am focusing on accepting jobs in my own country and I intend to prioritize that in the future as well. But if there are interesting opportunities for overseas work, I plan to accept them eagerly.
I have discussed this with Ako-san as well.
That’s why I have been learning the language of the Stars from Kanon, Shintaro, Tenga-senpai, Pegonia-san, and also spending time with Mary-sama and Emily-san.
I now realize the results of the practice I’ve been doing secretly and quietly for everyday conversations.
”Hehe, thank you. It’s the first time I’ve been able to sing seriously with a man, so I was really looking forward to it.”
”I’m also really excited to be able to perform with the best singer on the best stage!”
”Oh… You really know how to flatter. I see, that’s why all the girls in Stars are crazy about you. I also like the character Yuujin that you play.”
”Thank you very much! But it’s not just flattery, Catalini-san’s singing voice is really wonderful.”
”Well… I’m really envious of Kanon-sama.”
As the two of us were chatting happily, Shitori-onee-chan, who had finished talking with the staff, came towards us.
”Aa-chan, what should we do? The staff said it’s okay if we rehearse lightly downstairs…”
Shitori-onee-chan glanced at Catalini-san and nodded slightly, exchanging greetings with a smile. I followed suit and spoke to Catalini-san.
”If you’re okay with it, would you like to sing a little downstairs? It’s our first rehearsal and it’s already in the main venue…”
”Oh, that’s fine. It sounds fun! And it would be good to understand the sound and everything early on, I think.”
So, with the permission of Shitori-onee-chan, the two of us actually descend to the place where we sing.
”Wow, this is amazing! It’s more powerful to look up from below than to look down from above…”
”Your Highness Finis, you shouldn’t get too excited. Your Majesty will scold you again.”
”A-chan, amazing! Just imagining singing from here, your sister might cry. I wanted to show it to President Atori, mom, and others…”
”Aqu-boy, you’re incredible. Singing in a place like this… we have to be on guard.”
”Aqua-senpai, wonderful! This will undoubtedly become a historic achievement!”
”Let’s take lots of photos for the Saint…”
Looking around the audience seats from below again, it was an incredible sight.
A switch naturally turned on inside me.
”Now that the sound staff is ready, let’s start the rehearsal. 3, 2, 1…”
Catalini-san’s singing was nothing short of magnificent.
As expected from a professional opera singer. Her volume, pitch accuracy, and the extension of her voice were superb, and on top of that, her emotional expression was excellent.
”It was so much fun. I’m looking forward to the actual performance now. Thank you for today.”
”No, thank you for giving me such a wonderful experience.”
I shook hands firmly with Catalini-san.
To be honest, I was desperate to keep up with Catalini-san during the rehearsal.
In terms of the basic aspects of being a singer, Catalini-san is definitely better at singing than me.
That’s why my heart trembled. I still have room to aim higher. I thought I might be able to sing better songs.
Luckily, there is still a little time until the live performance.
It was so much fun.
Certainly, I also had fun, but I think there was a difference in the standards of fun between me and Catalini-san.
I still can’t understand the language perfectly, but it seemed like Catalini-san’s fun was listening to a male singer who is on the same level as her and being able to perform together.
Many people might say that’s fine.
But I’m different. If there is something higher than now, I want to aim for it.
Then it should be even more fun and the songs should become better.
Fortunately, she showed off her skills completely during the rehearsal and showed me an example to follow.
Catalini-san might have been singing seriously, but for the main person like her, I wanted her to sing with even more effort without thinking about me.
To achieve that, I need to go one step further.
After returning to my room in the palace, I lightly slapped both cheeks to reinvigorate myself. Then someone knocked on the door, so I answered.
”Aqua-senpai, it’s time for dinner.”
”Ah, thank you, Kukuri-chan.”
Kukuri-chan, who came to pick me up, was wearing a calm-looking one-piece dress. With her hair tied up, she looked more mature than usual.
”Kukuri-chan, both your hair and the dress suit you really well.”
I took Kukuri-chan’s hand and walked through the corridor, escorting her. This time, it is also my duty to serve as Kukuri-chan’s escort.
”Thank you both for coming. It is a small and secret gathering, but please enjoy.”
”Thank you for the lovely welcome as well.”
I exchanged greetings with Shams-chan, who welcomed us. Actually, it was supposed to be held yesterday, but everyone was quite tired, so Shams-chan kindly postponed the welcoming party for a day.
”Aqua-sama, is there anything inconvenient? We can improve it immediately, so please feel free to let us know.”
”No, not really… Oh, if possible, I would like to have a place where I can do voice training or go for a run…”
”It would be good to use the courtyard in that case. I don’t think it will rain, but let’s inform the subordinates to also open the training room and music room exclusively for the royal family.”
”Thank you so much for everything!”
”Well, it was us who invited you. It is only natural for the inviting party to do their best. Besides… it would be the custom in your country to repay kindness with kindness, right? It is a respectable culture. Please take good care of it.”
Her Majesty… Shams-chan, I remember she’s around the same age as Kaede…. I guess being a young queen makes her reliable. Yes, surely that’s the case.
I’d also like to become a mature person like Shams-chan or Kotono if possible, but unfortunately, I can only see myself becoming a future adult like childish Kohina-senpai or when Kaede gets flustered. Maybe it’s just my imagination.”
”Aqua-sama, I have brought a replacement glass, so please take this.”
”Oh, thank you. Mana-sama.”
At the timing when I was alone, Mana-sama kindly brought me water.
When Shams-chan is not around, Fi-chan accompanies me as the representative of the queen, but unfortunately, Fi-chan is still a child, so Mana-sama accompanies me as support.
Mana-sama is a very considerate person who not only takes care of me but also pays attention to those around her. If someone is in trouble, she will speak to them before they say or do anything. She’s such a wonderful person.
”Calling me Mana-sama… Aqua-sama, I am just a regular person. Please, just call me Mana. And there’s no need for formal language either.”
Mana-sama whispers in my ear, leaning her face close to mine. At that moment, my arm is gently pressed against something big and soft, causing my body to react involuntarily.
”Um… well then, Mana, thank you for today. You’ve been a great help.”
”Oh no, it’s my role to support Aqua-sama and ensure smooth work, so it’s only natural.”
Oh no… m-my arm is sinking into a deep, deep abyss. This is bad. This is really bad! Mana, please, could you back off a bit?
I wanted to say that, but my male instincts got in the way.
”I will be in a nearby room during Aqua-sama’s stay, so if you have any troubles at night, please call me immediately. I will do anything I can to help…”
Huh… anything? No, no, that’s not what I thought, right!?
Mana, please consider your position more! It’s not good to say such careless things in front of men.
I’m sure Mana is a good girl and doesn’t mean it in that way, like Kukuri-chan or Emily-san. But it’s a statement that could be misunderstood if I’m a clueless man.
”Thank you, Mana. But thanks to you, it’s comfortable for now, so it’s okay.”
”…Yes. But still, if anything happens, please don’t hesitate to tell me. I intend to serve you until you are satisfied with everything I have to offer.”
Huh? Did I feel like there was a pause at the beginning just now, or is it my imagination? Well, whatever. I return a smile.
Mana-sama also shows the same unchanged smile and slowly moves away from me.
By my side, the Prime Minister, who had approached without me realizing, murmurs something.
”I was worried watching by your side, but now I’m starting to feel sorry for Mana-chan.”
”Hm? Prime Minister, did you say something?”
”Oh no, it’s nothing… In a way, she’s avoiding it properly, so I don’t know if there’s a sense of crisis or not…”
I receive the food from the Prime Minister.
Hmm, it’s delicious. Shams-chan’s consideration has prepared not only the country’s cuisine but also other dishes, and it’s convenient to have it served buffet-style so I can eat casually.
Well, even though Kohina-senpai has taught me good manners, if I had to have a formal dinner with the royal family, I would have been so nervous that I wouldn’t have been able to eat much.
But then, after successfully finishing the welcome party, we all returned to our rooms, and I soaked alone in the bathtub prepared in my room.
”Aa-chan, are you really okay without your big sister watching over you? Can you sleep alone? Should I sleep next to you? Oh… some people can’t sleep if the pillow is different, so with your sister’s lap pillow…”
”Haha, it’s okay. Shitori-onee-chan is the one who has been working hard and must be tired. Rest in your own room. Thank you for today. Goodnight.”
I gently push away the lightly dressed Shitori-onee-chan.
”Well then, goodnight. Aqua-senpai.”
”Thank you for today, Kukuri-chan. Goodnight. See you tomorrow.”
From Kukuri-chan, a faint scent of a pleasant smell after a bath lingers. In a word, it is a noble and glamorous scent that reminds me of a painting of Marie Antoinette holding a rose.
”Now, should I reply to some emails before going to sleep?”
I scroll through the screen.
[Regarding today] from Ako-san
[Business contact] from Kotono
[Today’s class] from Shintaro
[Thank you for your hard work] from Yui
[About the new song] from MojaP
[Regarding December’s photo shoot] Nobu-san
Mmm, yeah, this area is serious, right?
And also, Yui and Kotono. They’re a bit… um…
Well, I think that kind of thing is cute too, though.
No… but still, Kotono, you shouldn’t send work-related messages. It’s actually funny and makes me laugh.
[Aren’t you cold there?] My Sweet Honey Kanon
[Hey, how’s the Arabian Peninsula?] Toa
[I watched TV~] Ai
[The new program was interesting!] Ayana
[Is the live-action adaptation of No-rin still not out?] Grandmother Mary
[Everything is normal here] Emily-san
[Aren’t you lonely without Mom and Kanon-san?] Mother
[Lapis also wants to go overseas with Nii-sama] My Lovely Sister Lapis
For now, I’ll reply to Lapis as a top priority.
Next, I’ll reply to Toa, and since Kanon’s message seems long, I’ll reply to her last.
Oh, and while I’m away, I’ll send a reply to Emily-san, who is taking care of Kanon and Grandmother Mary.
[Of course, you’ll buy souvenirs for your senpai who always takes care of you, right?] Kohina-senpai
[I don’t think so, but there won’t be a situation where I’m the only one without a souvenir, right?] Kohina-senpai
[Of course, because I have taken care of you so much, one is not enough, right? 10… no, maybe about 20…] Kohina-senpai
Um, for now, let’s just throw them all into the spam folder… I mean, maybe it’s because the message body is written in the subject, but the pressure is intense. The last email was so long and it was cut off.
Oh, by the way, Kohina-senpai, I remember when she didn’t know how to send emails because she didn’t have many friends. I recall teaching her and Ayana how to send emails when we exchanged addresses.
Speaking of which, earlier in the email to Ako-san, she asked me to buy souvenirs for Kohina-senpai. She said she’s looking forward to it, so please do it. How much is she looking forward to the souvenirs…
Oh well, there’s no helping it… should I see if I can secretly go shopping during the free time after the event? I’ll consult Mana about it.
[Today’s erotic image] Pegonia-san
[I stepped on poop, am I really that unlucky?!] Kaede
Hmm… I can ignore these three from now on.
By the way, is it just my imagination, or is the more I scroll down, the more stupid the emails become?
But Kaede always looks so happy. I guess I’ll just send her a smiley face in return for now.
After that, Tenga-senpai, I don’t know if he’s into Morse code, but if it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have realized it was Morse code. And also, definitely ignore Pegonia-san! …But, I’m curious about the image, so I’ll check that out.
When I realized it, morning had come. I stretched my body in bed.
Ugh, because of the naughty image Pegonia-san sent me, I must have fallen asleep without realizing it.
Hmm? I feel something strange around my stomach.
When I uncover the blanket, for some reason, Fi-chan, who is lightly dressed, was sleeping while hugging me like a pillow.
I sit Fi-chan on the bed.
While Fi-chan loosens her shoulder straps, she rubs her sleepy eyes.
”Well, isn’t it morning already…? Faa~…oh? Why is Aqua-oniichan on Fi-chan’s bed… haha, I see~nano. Did Aqua-oniichan sneak into Fi-chan’s bed because he was aroused by her fascinating body? Good job. Fi-chan’s body isn’t capable of bearing children yet, but she’s already…gyaa!”
I gently chop Fi-chan’s head from above.
”Fi-chan… this is my room, you know.”
”Oh…now that you mention it, I fell asleep while sneaking into Aqua-oniichan’s bed.”
I scolded Fi-chan, reminding her that it’s not okay to do things like this on her own to an adult man.
”I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to~nano…”
”Fi-chan, as long as you understand, that’s enough.”
I gently stroke Fi-chan’s head. If she understands, then that’s fine, since this is something that happens often at her age.
”Well then, if I ask, will Aqua-oniichan sleep with me?”
”Well… I’m fine with it, but I think you should consult with your big sisters first. Also, since I’m a man and Fi-chan is a girl, I’ll ask Kukuri-chan, the Prime Minister, and Shitori-onee-chan as well.”
While Fi-chan and I were talking, someone knocked on the door from outside.
”Sorry for bothering you early in the morning, Aqua-sama. Is Her Highness Finus here by any chance?”
Ah… I look at Fi-chan’s face. I’m sorry, Fi-chan. Even though I’m trying to keep my voice down, I think Mana is definitely angry.
I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can save you. So please, get scolded properly by your big sister.
”Aqua-sama, I sincerely apologize. Even though she is a child who doesn’t know proper etiquette, sneaking into a gentleman’s bedroom…”
”No, no, it’s just something children do, I don’t mind at all. I told Fi-chan myself and asked Mana not to be too angry.”
”Yes… If Aqua-sama says so, understood. I am truly sorry for the trouble caused.”
Mana bows deeply.
In the end, after breakfast, Shams-chan also apologized, and Fi-chan got scolded by her big sisters for her misdeed.
She looks so down, it’s a bit pitiful, maybe I should play with her later to comfort her.
And so, my days in the Arabian Peninsula Federation passed.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.