Volume 9 - The Dissociation of Suzumiya Haruhi, page 4
Haruhi the Ultra Director announces.
That is to say that she did not really think about it before and the announcement is just something she thought of impromptu. This is what I call real cheating. If a first-year watched this and was interested, I would advise him or her to think again.
And also those commoners whose eyes lit up upon seeing Haruhi in her cheongsam and Asahina in her maid costume should be warned as well.
In addition, the first-years walking in the courtyard here have graduated from middle school, which means they had completed their mandatory education and have matured in thinking somewhat. When they see Koizumi and I craning our necks while sitting at the booths, they decided to maintain a safe distance from us.
3 Moving from 4th to 5th instar typically only takes a day or less to happen.
Everyone, your judgement is indeed as ingenious as the rats scrambling to leave a drowning ship. The happiness enjoyed by those with a normal and healthy high school life could never be understood by these people in front of my eyes. But I personally had a lot of experience with this particular point and so am very willing to give advice. At this age, growing a year older is like a butterfly moving from the fourth to fifth instar of the larva stage. Even if you wanted to have fun, you should never step near bushes after being warned of landmines buried nearby. As a human, it is important to be able to differentiate between good and bad isn’t it?
I muted the source of noise pollution as produced by Haruhi and turned my head to the side.
Nagato appears as if she is trying to conserve energy and is remaining in standby mode. There is nobody near her table either. It seems that students interested in literature and writing have not debuted yet. I wonder if this will be a headache or joy for Haruhi?
The only activity conducted by the Literature Club last year was the publishing of the club magazine as directed by the puppet student council president under Koizumi. Haruhi, who fell for it immediately, forced us into doing so. Due to a blunder back then, all copies have already been distributed for free except one, which is left on the Nagato’s table for perusal. Everyone who contributed to the magazine, including me, was given a free copy as well as a keepsake. However, it seems that people are usually reluctant to share anything that is hard-earned. Although Taniguchi kept complaining about it back then, he refused to give up his copy anyway.
So anyone who hasn’t read the magazine before and wishes to do so would have to pick up the sample on Nagato’s table.
Just as I continued staring curiously at Nagato seated in a corner with a book in her hands…
Nagato slowly raised her head. Her eyes, though lifeless, radiated an unseen glow as she turned towards me. As her actions are overly natural, I did not realize that our gazes had actually met and it took me a while before I returned to my senses. At that moment:
Just the act of noticing that this voice, as loud as the ruffling of the gentle wind, actually originated from Nagato’s lips took nearly a second. I bore with the intense gaze of hers.
“What happened to the cat?”
“What what happened?”
“What do you mean by what what happened?”
Nagato thought for a while, but her head did not move at all.
Although the query I posted just now remains unanswered, I already knew what she wanted to ask.
“Are you referring to Shamisen?”
Nagato nodded her head slightly.
“He’s still very energetic, and he no longer talks now.”
After saying this, Nagato lowered her head to continue reading.
So she is worrying about my cat at home. Indeed, Shamisen is the host for that… what is it called? Anyway, these whatever data lifeform whose name I can’t remember unless I’m reminded are now inside Shamisen thanks to Nagato. Back to the topic, nothing much actually happened to that cat except that his overeating combined with the lack of exercise caused him to become fatter. Ever since Haruhi had picked him up and thrown him at me, he was still able to enjoy everyday life as a cat without many changes.
I suddenly remembered this seasonal greeting: “Spring is the season where the skies are clear and the cats are fat”. Is that really true? I also hoped to be able to laze around like Shamisen during spring break; unfortunately I don’t think it is possible anymore.
“What a busy spring break.”
Koizumi said that in a depressed tone.
Since his eyes are transfixed on the sky, I thought he was simply talking to himself and so chose to ignore him.
“Don’t you think so?”
Seeing no reply from me, he decided to turn over and ask instead. I don’t know if there are any problems with my eyes, but I believe I see signs of fatigue in those eyes of his.
He started playing with the bangs on his forehead.
“Your eyes are normal, very normal. You are right, I am really feeling fatigued.”
Going crazy with Haruhi all day, normal people are bound to get tired.
“I am not talking about the normal fatigue that you and I know about. Do you still remember my actual identity and mission? Do you still remember why I was posted here in the first place?”
In the beginning it should have been to monitor Haruhi, I guess it’s now changed to licking her boots?
“I apologize, but I am sure you remember that I am an esper. Also, where and when can my powers be activated, and which person’s change in mood will allow me to use my powers. I am sure you still remember all these, correct?”
You have already repeated this numerous times, of course I do. You declared your actual identity to me after Nagato and Asahina-san. This is considered the latest news regarding the members of the SOS Brigade.
“That is good. Then I can get straight to my point.”
Koizumi gave a look of relief, let out a long sigh and lowered his voice.
“I am not getting enough sleep these few days. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night or the early mornings even when I do not want to, every night without exceptions. Thus I cannot quite go back to my normal state of being.”
If you cannot sleep at home at night, then just sleep in class during lessons. It is said that sleeping five minutes during lessons is equivalent to sleeping an hour normally.
“My condition is not exactly insomnia, and the problem does not really lie with me, which I am sure you have realised. We already know each other so well, even if we want to talk in circles, let’s leave it for other, more unique topics instead.”
Koizumi’s squinting eyes revealed a seldom-seen seriousness. Haven’t you always loved talking in circles? I guess you now have a taste of your own medicine. Although you are less credible than Asahina and Nagato, it is true that we already know each other for quite a while.
“‘Sealed Realities’ and ‘Avatars’ you mean.”
These should be the areas Koizumi’s power will work.
“Correct answer. Recently, the frequency of their appearance is increasing again. It began just after spring break and has continued to today. To be even more precise, it began one day after spring break. Because of that, my working hours are no longer bound by night or day and without any break. Currently we are on twenty-four hour standby already.”
Koizumi let out a self-ridiculing sigh.
“I originally thought I had already gotten used to this, after all defeating these Avatars is really part of our job, or should I say part of our duty. But such occurrences have decreased exponentially in the past year. After Suzumiya-san set up the SOS Brigade, her emotions have stabilized a lot. Especially when Suzumiya-san and you returned from that place, the change is even more obvious.”
I also seemed to have heard about the decreasing occurrences of such incidents before Christmas last year. It is just before Christmas back then, when Taniguchi
But right after that some people did something rather absurd…
I found some inconsistencies within this theory.
“Koizumi, didn’t you see how Haruhi was just now? She was literally dancing around jovially. In fact, I wondered if she was even standing on the ground in the first place. Who knows, maybe she had grown wings or something. And that Sealed Realities and Avatars, shouldn’t it only appear when Haruhi was facing great pressure or troubles? She is so busy nowadays that she doesn’t even have time to think about any problems, so she could not be bored either. This completely makes no sense.”
“Indeed, the Haruhi I saw was full of drive. Looks like she would not be feeling bored. But I have one request, I hope you can recall the events that happened on the last day of spring break.”
I am thinking back about it all this time.
“Is there nothing suspicious to you? This shouldn’t be so. If it is really so, then there must be things you have not thought of yet. And that happens to be the most important thing.”
Koizumi shrugged his shoulders and continued with a tone similar to giving an idiot clues to answering a simple question.
“The last day of spring break. That is the beginning of Suzumiya-san’s change in emotional stability which she isn’t conscious of herself. So, what exactly happened?”
Change that she isn’t conscious of again? Haruhi’s lack of consciousness about changes and Koizumi’s psychiatrist-like analogy of these issues are the roots of most of my headaches.
“Didn’t we go to the flea market that day? Haruhi mentioned that she wanted to participate in the flea market next time. In fact, we deliberately took a train and walked miles to that city just to take a look at it……”
“I am referring to the incident just before taking the train.”
Can you not be so long-winded!?
I closed my eyes and slowly drifted along in my ocean of memories……
Haruhi suddenly wanted to go to the flea market, it was the last few days of the spring break. Oh yeah, it was the time when we were planning to shoot the trailer for the sequel to our first movie.
She made Asahina-san wear her waitress costume and Nagato her magician’s hat and cloak. Then, as if holding a press conference, made both of them stand in a line while she held onto the yellow loudhailer. She then said to Koizumi and I, who had just returned after being chased out of the clubroom.
“Don’t you all agree we’ve got too many things in this room? Just now, I was attempting to find the Ultra Director armband but failed. Maybe it is mixed with something else elsewhere. Perhaps it is time we sort out this mess.”
Wasn’t it your idea to bring all these useless things back for collection like a crow? Nagato would only have books at the most, Asahina-san her tea leaves and tea set and Koizumi his many different board games. Other miscellaneous junk of various sizes occupying space were all brought in by Haruhi.
Haruhi sat on the chair meant for the brigade leader.
“Normally, I would definitely take one when I see anyone giving out fliers about some event coming up. I nearly forgot that I took a particular one recently.”
Saying that, she took out a flier from one of the drawers of the table.
“This is a notice about a flea market coming up. Although it is a bit far, we can get there in about fifteen minutes if we take an express train. If it is possible I really wanted to join, but we’re currently really busy. Also, it takes time for the application to be approved as well.”
The reason we are all so busy now is no thanks to you.
I took the flier Haruhi was using as a fan from her hands and returned to my seat. A flea market huh. In this period of time, I guess this means we take out any of our things to be sold or something.
I looked at this flier that gave Haruhi inspiration for yet another target.
“Tea is coming.”
My personal tea cup suddenly appeared before me.
Asahina-san is always such a gentle and caring person. Even though she is wearing the waitress costume used for filming, she will never forget to pour us tea or stop smiling. Such a gesture almost made me tear up. The waitress costume she is wearing now is just so different from the previous maid costume, what a refreshing change…… after all such a job has always been more suited for her. Normally, waitresses do not usually hold a showdown against aliens.
“Hmm, this costume is really cute, as long as she doesn’t go out……”
Asahina-san seems very mindful of the length of the skirt and continuously kept her legs closed tight, after that, seemingly satisfied, she would happily hug the serving tray and walk back to where the teapot is. Gradually, she finished pouring tea for all members. Although the world is huge, to be able to see Asahina-san in her waitress costume, an image that would make all her supporters salivate, should be reserved for me and the Literature Club clubroom only. And Nagato reading books in the magician’s costume too. I should really take photos of them to preserve these memories.
I thought about all these while sipping my tea with my head bowed down, moistening my dry throat.
After finishing her tea in five seconds, Haruhi suddenly screamed at me loudly and slammed her teacup on the table. What an impatient person.
“It’s not possible this time around, but we will bring something along to participate next time. Quickly sort through the things you have at home and fish out those that will fetch high prices when sold! There will definitely be something. For example, collectibles which you know you will never use but are unwilling to just throw it away, and thus leaving it to collect dust in one corner, presents which you have not even unwrapped after receiving……”
What about those never-before-seen robot models that come with magazines that were bought when I was young? Although there are a lot of them, but because piecing them together is just too much work, so they have been left there for quite a while.
“Those will do.”
Haruhi rudely snatched the flier away from my hand before folding it back up to be kept in the drawer.
“Robot models? I have a feeling that the robot model itself thinks that it will be destroyed in your hands. You might as well sell it to the people who can appreciate it better.”
Compared to the robot models which only kids will buy, why don’t you sell the notebook computers you snatched from the Computer Research Society instead? Those will definitely fetch a good price.
“Those are valuable possessions! Speaking of that, it is time to get them over to upgrade the notebooks already.”
Haruhi next turned her attention to Asahina-san, who was busy blowing at her cup of tea.
“Mikuru-chan should have loads of things as well, right? Like those old clothes and unused cutlery, since you buy things so often.”
Asahina-san widened her beautiful eyes.
“Y-You are quite right. If I see anything cute I will buy it. But after putting it on, it doesn’t seem that suitable, or may feel very weird… W-Wait, how did you know?”
“Looking at how you are usually is good enough. When walking past departmental stalls with you, your eyes will always light up, sending out electric waves as strong as a child wanting to buy a toy. The ‘I will buy it next time’ look is already plastered all over your face. I wonder how you still have any pocket money left.”
Asahina-san, after hearing this much, shivered all over for a while. But Haruhi had already turned her attention away to the next person by now.
“Yuki surely has a lot of books. There should be enough to open an ‘old books’ stall. The shelves of the clubroom are already filled to the brim, not to forget the floor as well. Look, the floor looks like it’s going to fall through soon.”
Nagato slowly turned her head to face Haruhi, then to take a glance at the shelves, finally giving me
I think Nagato will never let go of her books. Also, her house is not only just filled with books but rather the house has only books and nothing else. Just when I thought of correcting Haruhi…
“Kyon, in that case, you should go to Yuki’s house with a cart to help carry her books. You could also help pack them up in a box.”
Nagato turned her head to stare at me again. I suddenly had a strange and familiar feeling, reading the message in her eyes. When did I feel this before? …Oh it was around the same time that stupid Nakagawa called me about his ridiculous confession. During the last winter break when we were cleaning out the clubroom, Nagato said nothing about her dozens of books on the clubroom shelves. After all, she doesn’t want to lose any of her books in the clubroom or the ones in her home, I think.
“You are right…” Koizumi said with one hand holding onto his teacup. “Although I brought the games here, I could find no opponents at all, so perhaps I should use this chance to reduce the range of my collection.”
Can you not face me with that bitter smile of yours?
Haruhi hastily jumped onto the director’s chair and sat on it.
“So, everybody, remember to free the last day of the spring break on your schedules! We will visit the flea market, and if we see anything interesting, use the activity funds to buy it!”
Regarding the “activity fund” she is talking about, needless to say, it does not belong to the SOS Brigade but the Literature Club instead.
During the spring break when the school appears to be hinting that “you can have some fun for a while” and closed their doors on us, under the leadership of Haruhi, SOS Brigade members are deprived of even their right to have a fitful rest till noon, being dragged by the nose to visit various places. Even on the last day of the spring break, we are forced to meet at the open space in front of the train station……
“You’d finally reached this point. I am still worrying whether this incident had already been wiped from your memory.”
Even if I wipe this incident from my memory, I am pretty sure there would be no advantages to it anyway.