Goodbye Liar — Chapter 10︱Our Secret is Shallow (also known as “See the Lights”)

Art: Fū Miyami

On the trip to a bakery in the slums, IA is enraptured with a wandering street musician, while getting her daily croissant fix. IA is a famous VOCALOID idol and the aforementioned street urchin, Yukari Yuzuki, is part of the VOICEROID class — a caste of misfit, bootleg androids. Will the star-crossed lovers make their differing lifestyles work, or will the system bring them down?

IA sniffs a plume of steam from the kitchen area, but Yukari is in the den, strumming away at her instrument —so, who’s cooking? The slender, blonde-haired idol sneaks a peek at the kitchenette and sees a braid of glistening, snow-colored hair! There’s an orange scrunchie holding her thick locks in place and she has a sunset-shaded apron, clinging to her abundant bust. Comparatively, IA herself is, well, flat…

That’s her bassist, Akari, right? IA things reticently, Is she, like, Yukari’s housewife or something? Or a slave? What’s going on here?

IA attempts a natural saunter out of the bedroom and Akari catches sight of her, with an astonished ululation, “WHO IN THE WORLD? IS THAT YOU, ARIA? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”

Her pitch is so shrill that Yukari’s pressure on a chord, snaps a guitar string! The wire whiplashes and cuts the purple-haired musician’s finger! Blood is drawn and the two light-haired women both call out, “Yukari!” —in unison!

Yukari is visibly peeved and she glares at Akari, spitting out, “What are you doing? Suddenly shouting like that?”

Akari returns to her usual soft-spoken demeanor and she verbalizes, “Um, uh, s-sorry about that, Yu. I just didn’t really expect to see the girl from the other day here… I mean, neither Maki nor Kiritan know about this place.”

One of IA’s eyebrows twitched unconsciously, Yu? Are they dating or something? To go by such intimate nicknames!

“Well, I guess it sort of is my fault for not telling you,” Yukari says and then lets out a pained wisp of air, lamenting, “that hurt more than it should have. I think the flay, may have knocked some of my wiring loose!”

Akari turns off the burner and wipes her hands off on her smock, kneeling in front of Yukari to check the wound. IA’s ear-shaped ahoges stick straight up, like a pair of fox ears, and her thoughts are racing, Woah, woah, woah! She’s bandaging her finger like that — so naturally, too? What is this? A romcom?

Akari’s nimble fingers reconnect the wiring in a matter of seconds and she fastens gauze around the slit skin. Yukari’s eyes soften and she remises to her friend, “Thanks, Akariin, you always know how to take care of me.”

The rocker then rises to her feet and briskly walks past Akari’s stout figure, and she’s suddenly in front of the idol. IA grips her head, feeling faint and baffled at the flood of emotions. Yukari take’s the blonde’s hand gently and draws nearer to her face, with the words, “Ari, I didn’t frighten you, did I?”

Akari has a look of hopelessness written all over her face, IA could nearly see the kanji characters for despair (絶望) etched into the contours of her face. There’s a comedic woodblock sound and IA looks between the princely Yukari and her forlorn friend. Feeling an intense emotion of displeasure, IA abruptly cries out, “YUKARI, STOP BEING SUCH A TEASE! YOU’RE LEADING PEOPLE ON, YOU CAD!”

The vocalist’s paroxysmal reaction is, “I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, Ari! Did you hit your head in your sleep, or something?”

She called me Ari, IA internally coos, I’ve been waiting all this time for her to call me that.

The idol has to force a scornful stare, her head alight with pure bliss.

“Urgh,” IA exhales, crossing her arms protectively over her chest and grumbling, “you’re so dense, Yu—Yu-chan,” the bird-boned singer is unaware of what’s leaving her lips anymore, “t-to make both of us so upset—you really are reckless!”

“Wait, did you just call me Yu-chan?”

“Yeah, what of it?” IA snorts, and puffs up a stray strand of hair.

“I’ve been waiting for you to call me that,” Yukari says impassively, but from her, the phrase is cloying. IA’s heart murmurs in soft rhythms, and as the two of them are caught in the other’s stare, Akari loudly produces their breakfast platters. The couple is shaken from their trance and their vacant stares trace over the huffy “housemaid” — her round-cheeked face is inflated with a certain grumpiness and she proclaims, “I didn’t buy enough ingredients to cook for three people, so I’ll be on my way!”

“Ah,” Yukari says, clapping her hands together like a prayer, “so sorry, ‘kari. Her staying over was a really impulsive thing. I know breakfast is usually our jam, no pun intended!”

Akari feigns a snotty voice, but it so clearly fake and comically forced that Yukari has to swallow a few giggles, “You think you’re so cute, Miss Yukari, blinking with a single eye while groveling with a pretty girl over your shoulder! What do you expect to do, to make this up to me, huh?”

“Tomorrow morning,” Yukari says slowly, building to the climactic reveal, “I’ll take you to your favorite breakfast restaurant—”The Eggsplainer” and I’ll pay the tab. It will be all you can eat, is that enough!”

Akari’s face scrunches into a meme-worthy glare.

“Okay, okay!” Yukari continues their elongated comedy routine, “I’ll buy you melon bread, too, fresh from the bakery!”

The white-haired beauty’s face softens, like her features had been kneaded, like a ball of dough. The thick-set bassist trots off and chimes in a sing-song voice, “Catch you later, Yukariin! It was nice to see you again, Aria!”

“Thank you for cooking breakfast,” IA halloos back at the friendly character, “I hope we see each other under more… favorable circumstances next time!”

Akari jovially waves her arm back at both of them, humming a song about melon bread to herself. IA turns her heel to Yukari, like the swivel of a gear, and annunciates, “I guess you should have bribed her with the bread first?”

“Oh, no!” Yukari says with a cunning expression, “You see, to properly barter with another party. You must offer the lowest wager first, before revealing your trump card!”

YU!” IA fumes, softly pushing into her shoulders with balled fists, “Don’t go around tricking people, it’s mean!”

“Well, you know,” Yukari grumbles, “when you’re raised on the streets, hustling is like second nature. Anyway, let’s dig in! Akari is really bomb in the kitchen!”

IA tilts her head and sees two dozen dishes of traditional, Kansai-styled breakfast foods! It looks as scrumptious as something that would be served at an upper-class ryokan! There’s grilled mackerel, a dashimaki egg, tofu, sticky rice, assorted vegetables, and miso soup! Yukari has preemptively started digging in and she says with specks of cucumber splaying from her lips, “Akariin was born and bred a country girl, she was hailed from a family of extremely strict and hard-working innkeepers. Because of her dedication to the family business, they decided to let me take her with me and move out to the shit-hole city!”

IA eyeballs her indignantly and mutters, “Could you explain this to me, while using basic manners, because right now… your mouth is like an s-hole!”

Yukari blushes and gulps down the food, in what sounds like a painful quaff—she sips on a clay cup of matcha tea before continuing, “Like I was telling you, though. Akari is hella impressive, she can whip up a kaiseki-ryōri like no one’s business! She can even makes an imitation sous-chef’s multi-course meal —that girl is able to juggle a job as a professional cook and then she also somehow manages to plays bass in my grotty lil’ indie band!”

IA nibbles on a little bit of the mackerel and her heart reaches infinity, she gasps and her hand touches her cheek gingerly, “This is so good! Even among the elite chefs, I-I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such flavorful-ness and with such a refined texture, too! I’m in heaven!”

All of a sudden, IA’s phone starts ringing… the ringtone is “Sadistic Music∞Factory,” Hatsune Miku’s voice is crooning through the small speaker, and Teto’s voice ejaculates words on the other end, she exclaims, “Where the hell are you, Ari? Didn’t you remember that you had another music video shoot today?”

IA apologizes profusely and looks at Yukari, saying sadly, “I have to go! I lost track of time and forgot that I had an early morning recording!”

“Not a problem,” Yukari replies, though her expression is a little sunken, “I can eat two portions of Akari’s food easily. See you later, dude!”

“M’kay,” IA says, making sure all of her personal items are in her purse, “catch you later!”

Before Yukari can give a coy response, IA has already sprinted out the door of the rocker’s underground domicile. Yukari slurps down the food as fast as she can, feeling that her guitar was the only way to vent the spleen in the current of verklempt sensations. She grabs another acoustic guitar and begins to strum the strings, but IA lingers on with each presiding pit-a-pat against the body of the guitar.

At the VOCALOID’s consortium, the illustrious blonde is made-up and ready to go! IA stands in front of the strobing stage lights, and her mind is infected with the image of Yukari Yuzuki, as she sings:

音速のG6ほんの後もう少しで東京タワ

The G6 flies at the speed of sound.

ー真上の上空5万フィート

ーjust a little more, and we’ll be 50,000 feet above Tokyo Tower.

瞬きの隙間に通り過ぎた機上の人さえ見える光線放つ

We passed a plane in the blink of an eye. Now, we set loose a beam that even the people on board can see.

I KNOW YOU ALL CAN SEE THE LIGHTS

I KNOW YOU ALL CAN SEE THE LIGHTS

I KNOW YOU ALL CAN SEE THE LIGHTS

追いつけないスピードは TOKYO LONDON PARIS NEW YORK

Unsurpassable speed, to TOKYO LONDON PARIS NEW YORK

どこでも自由自在の よりも

We’re completely free, even freer than MR. TAXI.

いつの間にかもうTHIS-AHOLIC

Before we knew it, we were already THIS – AHOLIC.

まさに SUPERSONIC または HYPERTONIC

It must be SUPERSONIC, or maybe even HYPERTONIC.

渋谷時間基準のアポトーシス

Shibuya time, and standard apoptosis.

反証する可能性は SUPER-MAGIC

The likelihood of disproving it is SUPER-MAGIC

連れてくよもっと上へ IF YOU WANT IT

I’ll take you with me even higher IF YOU WANT IT

HIKKUP してる間に GONNA MAKE YOU FALLIN’

While you HICCUP, GONNA MAKE YOU FALLIN’

今だけは全て忘れて BOUNCIN’

Forget about everything for just this moment. BOUNCIN’!

今だけは全て忘れて BOUNCIN’

Forget about everything for just this moment. BOUNCIN’!

Fly into the sky with the super sonic speed

Reach out to the space because it’s all super-magic

And we’re falling to the lights

Quick falling to the night

G6 06S Speed of light

Let it bounce let it fly let it roll

In Tokyo London Paris New York

Because I know you can all see the light

And I know we can all feel the vibe

I KNOW YOU ALL CAN SEE THE LIGHTS

I KNOW YOU ALL CAN SEE THE LIGHTS

I KNOW YOU ALL CAN SEE THE LIGHTS

追いつけないスピードは TOKYO LONDON PARIS NEW YORK

Unsurpassable speed, to TOKYO LONDON PARIS NEW YORK

どこでも自由自在の よりも

We’re completely free, even freer than MR. TAXI

いつの間にかもうTHIS-AHOLIC

Before we knew it, we were already THIS – AHOLIC

まさに SUPERSONIC または HYPERTONIC

It must be SUPERSONIC, or maybe even HYPERTONIC

渋谷時間基準のアポトーシス

Shibuya time, and standard apoptosis.

反証する可能性は SUPER-MAGIC

The likelihood of disproving it is SUPER-MAGIC

連れてくよもっと上へ IF YOU WANT IT

I’ll take you with me even higher IF YOU WANT IT

HIKKUP してる間に GONNA MAKE YOU FALLIN’

While you HICCUP, GONNA MAKE YOU FALLIN’

今だけは全て忘れて BOUNCIN’

Forget about everything for just this moment. BOUNCIN’!

今だけは全て忘れて BOUNCIN’

Forget about everything for just this moment. BOUNCIN’!

TO BE CONTINUED

FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13784755/1/Goodbye-Liar

Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: https://myanimelist.net/profile/Egghe... Twitter: https://twitter.com/EggheadLuna #真柏Project #JunipersTree

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