Goodbye Liar — Chapter 12︱The Beach Episode (also known as “Invisible Lovers”)

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?

Yukari had cancelled her engagement with Akari, because IA has slept over again, this time they shared a bedroom. Curling twists of bed-hair rose up on the blonde’s head, she yawned with a full “O” and greeted Yukari bashfully, with a bump of coffee mugs. Yukari was still on the phone with Akari and the white-haired bass-player asked cautiously, “Yukariin, what was that?”

Yukari concedes to the pressure and lets a single phrase escape, “It’s IA, she helped me with my joints yesterday!”

“Hm,” Akari says cartoonishly, “well then, do you two lovebirds want to join that band and go for a quick drive down to the ocean shore?”

Yukari muffles the receiver and asks IA, “Do you have work today?”

“Nope!” she exclaims with a gaping grin, “Checked my agenda already, there’s nothing planned for me until tomorrow!”

“It’s a-okay,” Yukari chuckles benignly, “our princess is free from her duties in the kingdom.”

IA softly kicks Yukari in the back of the shin, whispering, “I can tell that you’re making fun of me, you know!”

“Ah, apologies, my dear peach princess!” Yukari sniggers, while IA turns up her nose, the purple-haired woman rejoins the conversations with Akari with, “I’m so sorry that I had to cancel our breakfast, slash luncheon, Akariin!”

“No worries,” Akari shrugs off with a hollow laborious type of laughter — her fingers knit the tuft of hair at the bottom of her braid, “the more the merrier, as I always say!”

“I don’t think IA has any swimwear, but she can wear some of mine,” Yukari contemplates aloud, “we’re around the same size, in the bust and figure department! Right, Ari?”

IA gives off a glowing flush, before answering with, “I wouldn’t know.”

“Ah,” Yukari recapitulates, “well, she’s playing dumb now.”

“I-I, uh, gotta go,” Akari sputter, “uh, Kiritan wanted to make a schedule with me!”

When they all pile into the RV, Maki seems surprised at the sight of IA. It’s unclear of whether she was left out of the loop or if she was just too intoxicated to comprehend the meaning behind Kiritan’s proclamation. The guitarist, clad in a blood-red sundress, approaches IA and says in a hiccough, “Is she, like, a groupie now or something?”

No one really affirms her theory, but Yukari speaks up and says, “No, she is my girlfriend. Not some random groupie!”

IA is unable to form words at the legitimacy of the title, and Maki is slack-jawed, Kiritan grins and nods proudly, and Akari smiles, but the smile is utterly unreadable. The RV careens down the side of a slope and they reach a beach full of pure white sand. It’s glistens like the fur on an ermine’s coat, and sort of resembles Akari’s long locks of braided hair!

The snow-haired human lets the sand fall through her fingers like an hourglass, and Kiritan plops down beside her and begins scoping out a plan for a sand castle. Maki unfolds a lawn chair and starts slathering herself with acrid-smelling tan lotion. Yukari smooths over the sand, in search for shells, and when she looks forward… into the pink, liquid sky… IA has already gone waist-deep into the ocean and her countenance is relaxed.

Yukari wades out in the sea next to her, a swell of foamy waters glides by her hips, and holds a conch shell out to her, moaning, “I can’t believe you came out here with your clothes on, we were all going to change into swimsuits, remember?”

“I just got too excited,” IA professes, “the last time I went to a beach, was as a small child. I’ve been caged in the world of fame for so long, that that cloistered look on reality, has made me… afraid to explore the outer-world.”

“Ah, haberdashery!” Yukari says with confidence, “Now, listen to this shell! I want to know if you hear the sea inside of it.”

“What if a crab or some other crustacean decides to come out and pinch me?” IA asks apprehensively.

“No,” Yukari says, buzzing her lips and laughing freely, “that’s ridiculous. Our hermit friend has already flown the coop!”

IA holds the shell up to her earlobe and there is a magical sensation of roaring waves running through, whether the feeling or vision or perception is real or imaginary is not certain. From the other side of the shore, Akari vacantly observes them with her bright, sapphire eyes. She remembers a time where Yukari used to collect seashells for her, their little bread-and-butter engagement couldn’t have lasted forever.

“Ms. Kizuna,” Kiritan catches her attention with crossed arms, “would you like to be the queen of my sandcastle?”

“Pardon?” she asks expressively.

“I mean,” Kiritan ahems and annunciates, “I would be honored if you would agree to be the queen of my castle.”

Akari looks down and then skeptically blinks at her, saying, “Does that make you the, uh, king?”

“No,” Kiritan says, impassively, “I am merely the court jester. Do not take your position so lightly!”

Maki is loudly snoring, her booty shorts have oil spilled along the seams and she has sunburns on her arms, from drunkenly passing out — within the tote bag, there would have been black and white matching bikinis for Yukari and IA, the school swimsuit with a nameplate still on the chest for Kiritan, a turquoise, competition swimsuit for Akari, and a skimpy American flag, thong bikini for Maki.

While Kiritan and Akari are preoccupied with creating a dam for their large, sandcastle — Yukari and IA entwine themselves into a deep kiss. The tide curls around their backsides. The creamsicle backdrop creates a dream-like setting for their romantic evening, and everything seems right in the world. Total peace and harmony befalls the smitten lovers, as the another rolling wave recedes.

歌い 祈り 瞬く日々を

When there comes a time


To remember the fleeting days of song and prayer

一人 二人 旅立つ傍で

These wishes shall ride my voice

願い この声にのせて

From beside those who set sail


A summer love


Took off for the skies

光っては ほら消えていく 胸の高鳴り

The butterflies in the stomach glow, then quickly fade

歌い 祈り 瞬く日々を

When there comes a time


To remember the fleeting days of song and prayer

一人 二人 旅立つ傍で

These wishes shall ride my voice

願い この声にのせて

From beside those who set sail


The seasons turn


Where are you?

雨に濡れた この悲しみを 胸にしまって

I’ll keep inside this sadness, dampened by the rain


Lover of my dreams


I’ll reach you beyond memories


I will sing until that day, when I can hold your hand

飛んで 飛んで 夢の彼方へと 想いかき分け進む
I soar to the limits of my dreams making my way through these emotions
旅も終わり 今この場所で
With the journey over
願い 叶え生まれ変わる
Here and now, my wish comes true and I am reborn

歌い 祈り 瞬く日々を

When there comes a time


To remember the fleeting days of song and prayer

一人 二人 旅立つ傍で

一these wishes shall ride my voice

願い この声にのせて

From beside those who set sail



Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: Twitter: #真柏Project #JunipersTree

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