Volume 9 the dissociat.., p.15

Volume 9 - The Dissociation of Suzumiya Haruhi, page 15

 

Volume 9 - The Dissociation of Suzumiya Haruhi
 


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  “I am really sorry, miss.”

  Emiri-senpai said to Kuyoh, who had already turned into an inanimate object that does not make any sound.

  “Can you please let go of me? If you don’t, I am not able to serve your order.”

  “______________”

  Her eyes looked like those of goldfish, not even blinking at all and to put it crudely, not even looking anywhere in particular.

  “Miss”, Emiri-senpai’s voice sounded like a shepherd somehow, “I beg of you, you should understand what I am saying right……”

  I seemed to have heard the two of them producing sounds of charcoal burning in the boiler. Am I the only one who heard that?

  “______________”

  Kuyoh slowly loosened her grip. From the pinky finger to the thumb, just like worms slowly leaving Emiri-senpai’s wrist one by one, and moving even more slowly back to the knees.

  “Thank you.” While holding onto the cup of coffee, Emiri-senpai bowed politely, before putting the cup in front of Kuyoh. Seeing Kuyoh resuming her doll-like state, I finally let out a huge sigh of relief while asking.

  “What are you doing here, Emiri-senpai?”

  “I am working part-time.”

  I knew that just by looking. If you are not working here you would obviously not be wearing an apron and bringing the coffee over. I wanted to know why you are working here suddenly as this question captivates more of my interest than the location of where the Tsar hid his gold.

  But Emiri-senpai nonchalantly left a subpoena on the table while speaking to me in a soft tone.

  “Please keep this a secret from the president. Because the student council’s rules state that working part-time is prohibited.”

  And it is okay for Nagato? No, compared to that……

  “Please enjoy your meal.”

  Both of our responses still remain unsynchronized. Emiri-senpai left with the tray very quickly. Looking at how skilled she is at the job, it seems as if she had been working here since three years ago. Had she always been the one bringing us our cold drinks and taking our orders? The reason for not noticing till now could be because one person becomes insignificant in such a large crowd kind of theory, or some influence coming from space…… if there really is one. I think it should be the latter. If Kuyoh can do it, I am afraid Emiri-senpai can do it too.

  “Who is she?”

  Regarding Sasaki’s question……

  “A… senior from my school.”

  I can only answer this way. Just when I am comparing Kuyoh’s apparently extremely eye-catching and yet attracted nobody’s attention’s looks to Emiri-senpai, who is skillfully pouring tea for newly-arrived customers……

  “Hehe.”

  Someone let out a strange laughter, seemingly from being unable to hold it back any longer. That is Fujiwara. He curled his full-of-sarcasm lips.

  “Hahaha, I had indeed seen something interesting. This is what I call a farce among the farce. Wahaha, isn’t this something that could only be seen once in a lifetime? What an interesting farce. Haha.”

  I am really tempted to just pour the coffee on his face, but this time traveler seemed really amused. If he is not in front of me I think he would probably hug his stomach laughing. In fact, his body has started quivering from all that laughing.

  Tachibana Kyoko with her face filled with astonishment slowly changed it to that of giving up, as if being unable to keep up with the speed of development of things and shrugged her shoulders. Sasaki and I checked each other’s responses, wordlessly inquiring what exactly Fujiwara’s response meant. But since there is no answer in the first place, it is naturally impossible to have an answer to that. Kuyoh’s ashen white face is being covered by the rising fumes from the cup.

  Due to the sudden addition of the part-timer Emiri-senpai, the trio other than Kuyoh and Fujiwara (including me) are totally astonished. Just as I was getting bored facing this time traveler who produced disgusting laughing sounds while recalling the matter and the alien lifeform who totally ignored the steaming coffee in front of her, remaining static without moving an inch like a broken ore radio(!)……

  “______________”

  Kuyoh suddenly stood up without any warning, moving without a sound and in regular steps at a standard unrivaled by even the most skilful ninja towards the automatic sliding glass door. It is indeed an industrialized tool, although the people around cannot detect her, the sensory mechanism in the machinery managed to and the door immediately opened with a zoom sound. Kuyoh did not forget to bring her umbrella she bought from the convenience store back with her, and she finally disappeared to somewhere unknown. Maybe she sensed the anger among the few of us. But, what exactly is this fellow here for?

  “Me too……”

  Tachibana Kyoko revealed a smile that is strong-willed despite appearing tired.

  “I am really a little tired today, so I shall go now. I actually wanted to talk more. Sasaki-san, I may have to trouble you next time. Ah, I will settle the bill here. It is alright. I would like to really thank you all today.”

  She stood up and walked towards the counter and told the staff something about “Please issue me a receipt, just round up the numbers” or something like that and paid before waving to us and finally opened the umbrella and carried it home in the drizzle.

  I am also very unhappy after being taken as a joke by the time traveler and thus decided to leave. I still want to return to my bedroom for my nap together with Shamisen.

  “Goodbye, Sasaki.”

  “Hm.” Sasaki calmly raised her head to look at me and said, “I think I will be contacting you soon, I also know that this caused you trouble. But Kyon, I really do not want this matter to drag on for too long. Plus the next national mock examinations are coming up soon, it is better to clear these things quickly.”

  “Fully agreed.”

  I agreed with this opinion from the bottom of my heart. Lucky it is you, the same Sasaki I know from middle school.

  Fujiwara also somehow managed to resume wearing his uncaring expression while listening to our conversation, but did not comment in the end nor do anything that would make me uncomfortable. Although I am a bit mindful of the sudden appearance of Emiri-senpai that seemed more to astonish me, but once I think that she probably came here to observe Kuyoh, it becomes understandable. If the person facing Kuyoh is Nagato I am afraid she would not be able to control herself as well, and that Asakura Ryoko did not come back to life, is really wonderful. After all, something like having a small knife piercing my body, even in my topsy-turvy life, is one of those experiences that I would reject totally.

  Because I left the café just like this, I have no idea what Sasaki and Fujiwara talked about.

  I do not wish to know either, that was how it was at that time.

  Chapter 3

  α-5

  Monday. Morning.

  Thanks to the fact that they spent Sunday in complete leisure, my legs were feeling light today.

  As the days began to approach the middle of the fourth month, I, who would no longer go to the first year school building by accident but quickly adjusted to my new seat in the class of 2-5, turned around and spoke to the black-haired head in front of me.

  “What’s wrong? Defeated a month early by May sickness?”

  Haruhi, who had arrived at school before I did, sighed and languidly attached herself to her desk while looking fatigued.

  “No…”

  Haruhi simultaneously raised her head and let out an “Unh”, which grew up to a yawn.

  “Just a little lack of sleep. I’ve been going to bed late. I was busy with a lot of stuff yesterday, you know.”

  Speaking of which, just what were you doing? Listening to the radio late at night or something?

  “Why must I reveal my private life to you?”

  Pouting her lips like a crocodile, “Teaching that kid from my neighborhood, cleaning the clubroom, doing weekly remodeling, that’s already ‘a lot of stuff.’ Altho
ugh I do listen to the radio every once in awhile. Also, I had to gather materials.”

  While recalling the Bespectacled Professor, I asked,

  “Materials? What materials?”

  “Argh, you’re really like a kid aren’t you. Really, you should be able to ask more than “what materials” at this stage. I wonder why it is that no matter how much time passes, guys never age mentally? Childlike intellectual curiosity is innocent and charming, but if you’ve got a face like you’re conducting an investigation, it makes me to not want to tell you. You’re old enough already, use your own head to figure out what I do.”

  Is the reason that the more I think about the things you do, the more it seems like you have no place in school, the result of my own misunderstandings?

  “Kyon, you listening? It’s been a year since you’ve become a Brigade member. Develop an ability to read your Brigade leader’s inclinations and intents, and then act on them ahead of time. With the way things are currently you’ll always remain the lame brigade member. Because on my inner list, you’re dashing straight to the very bottom.”

  Laughing with her intrepid smile, Haruhi opened the notebook I use in first period’s Japanese class, and with a method I can only see as waving her pen around, stupidly drew some lines on it.

  “If you put it into a graph it’d look kind of like this.”

  On the longest line was Koizumi, and the lines which were footnoted “Mikuru” and “Yuki” were about the same length. If you’re wondering about me, mine was about a 5mm line that wasn’t raised anywhere near the other meritorious brigade members. This really doesn’t make me sad, though.

  “Then the Computer Research Society’s president’s about this long, and Tsuruya is, hmm, already here. Look. You, you’re even losing to outsiders! That flyer from before wasn’t satisfactory at all, you know.”

  You’re probably thinking something like, “That’s pathetic considering you’re the most senior brigade member.” As to that, the Computer Research Society’s president’s a generous guy who’s donated a grand total of five computers to us and the height of Tsuruya’s social status couldn’t be placed even after the passing of a Chinese calendar sexagenary cycle. I’ll give my sympathy vote to the Computer Research Society’s president, so go ahead and raise his line a little more. This is trite.

  Haruhi, her expression turned to that of a booing hometeam supporter irritated at the opposing team’s stalling, said,

  “Stupid! Be more spirited! There’s about one month until the SOS Brigade’s one-year anniversary. At that time, we’ll be rapidly handing out many applications. If some first year brigade applicants come, are you planning on somehow playing out your upperclassman status? ‘Cause for your information, I will not be using the seniority system!”

  So are you planning on using Nobunaga’s system? If it were the Warring States period, in a battle you should capture and imprison the enemy military commander, but at this school something like the student council’s opposing influence should be more than enough to treat the cancerous SOS Brigade. Koizumi is the pillar backing up the student council president, and Tsuruya’s family, although she appears not to know, backs the Organization. If one of the president’s scandalous affairs were to be exposed, he probably has a retinue of foot soldiers to cover it up for him. Although he probably wouldn’t want that.

  It seemed that Haruhi wanted to continue her sermon mode, but that was that, since both the bell chimed and Okabe-sensei entered the room, thus suspending her plans.

  But is that Haruhi still planning on gathering new members? And putting aside her goal, how is she even going to achieve it?

  But even if I worry about it there’s nothing that can be done. As for myself, there’s Sasaki and Tachibana Kyoko, whom I met on Saturday. I’m anxious about that Kuyoh-something alien, and the time traveler who wasn’t there that day but will probably be reappearing soon. It is indeed a pending problem, but I’ll admit that if he doesn’t come to start a fight, deep down I’m fine with laying it aside.

  As for the “if you’ve got it, bring it on” spirit, I’m fostering that feeling as if it were the larva of a stag beetle becoming a chrysalis. He can lay whatever traps he likes. But I’m going to make him pay a high price when it comes to reparations. Even in boxing, the might of a counter is greater than that of a simple straight. That’s the way it always turns out in the boxing manga I was reading. And Haruhi is someone who repays all of her debts and grudges two hundred million-fold indiscriminately.

  No, there’s no point in meaninglessly wasting words.

  There’s just one brief thing that I’d like to say…

  If you make yourself an enemy of the SOS Brigade, do not think you will live easy.

  At lunch break, after giving Taniguchi and Kunikida a few words of non participation, I put down my lunch box and headed for the Literature Club room.

  Even if you look around the school, you won’t find a place that has a heavier atmosphere at this current moment, and Nagato Yuki was keeping to her totally predictable movement patterns.

  “Mind if I come in?”

  Nagato, sitting in her chair reading a Western occult book, didn’t raise her head.

  “……”

  “Let me eat here. The classroom is just too noisy. I figured it’s good to eat somewhere a little more calm every so often.”

  “Hmm.”

  Nagato raised her head in the manner of a self-rightening doll in a slow-motion film, her sweeping eyes floating over me and then returning to reading.

  “Have you already eaten?”

  “……”

  With a nod, Nagato’s slender neck inclined forward slightly.

  Her response seemed pretty questionable, but figuring out Nagato is not something for lunchtime.

  “About the alien called ‘Kuyoh’……”

  Sitting down in the chair and wrapping my lunch box in a wrapping napkin, I said,

  “She serves as the hand of the faction that orchestrated the attempt to freeze us to death in winter, right?

  Nagato, using her hand as a replacement for a bookmark and returned her eyes to me, replied,

  “Yes.”

  “What was it you said before… um… she’s a humanoid whatever that gives off the same aura you do.”

  “Perhaps.”

  “Could she have come for -that-, observing Haruhi or something?”

  After taking the time required for a star to blink,

  “I don’t know.”

  Something like, your mutual cognizance is incomplete, right?

  “Yes. That she is interested in Suzumiya Haruhi’s data alteration capabilities is unquestionable. It’s one of the reasons for her dispatchment to this planet.”

  Nagato said this in a businesslike manner.

  “They, the Sky Canopy Dominion—”

  A word I couldn’t ignore entered my ears, so I stopped her.

  “Sky Cano… what?”

  “Sky Canopy Dominion.”

  Nagato, who pronounced this quietly, said,

  “That is the Integrated Data Sentient Entity provisionally chosen name for them. It is great progress. Until now, we have not even had the concept of attaching names.”

  While holding my chopsticks, I thought of the meaning of the name “Nagato Yuki,” and she said,

  “From our point of view, it’s derived from beyond the zenith direction.”

  She added in a flat voice.

  “And the ‘zenith direction’ is,” I said, pointed my chopsticks at the ceiling, “Over there?”

  “…”

  Allowing the time for the mental multiplication of seven squared to pass, Nagato replied,

  “Over there.”

  She pointed towards the mountain range outside of the clubroom’s window. Although I understand the fact that it’s north, it’s an existence that cannot be seen no matter your methods, even by radio telescope. It wouldn’t really matter which direction it came from. Bothering oneself with a loca
tion’s compass direction is the job of a diviner. And more than that,

  “Nagato. Are those bastards planning on doing something like throwing us into another dimension similar to the one in the last disaster they forced on us?”

  “I am currently unable to see any such indication.”

  Nagato, who had raised her arm behind herself diagonally, returned her hand to the work of holding her page and said,

  “A humanoid interface capable of conducting linguistic contact with us has showed us her form. I predict that for her, hereafter some physical contact will become necessary.”

  “That girl…”

  This reduces the peculiarities about the girl called Suoh Kuyoh by half. There’s a lot of things I’d like to accuse the Integrated Data Sentient Entity of, but I will acknowledge just that they have a good sense in interface making. If you compare Kuyoh to Nagato, Kimidori-san, and let’s even throw in Asakura Ryoko, the latter are greatly preferable.

  Nagato said without emotion,

  “I will defend against the basic attacks from the individual known as Suoh Kuyoh. I cannot allow any additional dangers towards you and Suzumiya Haruhi.”

  Your words are more reliable than any of anyone else’s. However, Nagato……

  Nagato replied before I could open my mouth.

  “Or towards Asahina Mikuru or Koizumi Itsuki.”

  And you as well, Nagato.

  “……”

  Towards Nagato’s fixated eyes, I answered by putting in my own judgment.

  You may not take yourself into consideration, but I am different, and so is Haruhi. You can blow aside Kuyoh and the Sky Canopy Dominion, but having no concern for yourself is behavior I absolutely will not allow. Being protected all the time isn’t interesting. The things I can do might be as insignificant as common space dust, but there should still be something I am able to do.

  “……”

  Nagato lowered her eyes back to the pages of her book, and I, who had taken my opportunity to speak, started on my lunch. There’s no comparison between these days and the first day she invited me to her 708 apartment room. To think that this silence, uninterrupted by any words, could give rise to such a sense of comfort……

 
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