346 – To you who sings
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"If you girls need anything else, let me know, okay?" Suzume's adoptive mother, Cherry, smiled and tucked a strand of her lilac hair behind her ear. "You've all been working hard, so take it easy, alright?"

Rin smiled and said, "We will, Cherry nee-san!"

A cozy lounge in Fantasy of Good Health hotsprings main building. The onsen where the Project MirAIs girls had coincidentally run into each other and were now doing an impromptu off-collab... minus the streaming.

After spending some time coaxing the Prodigy girls into it, and after rummaging around the main building to find all the necessary equipment, a proper karaoke lounge had been setup, complete with a stage, lights, and a giant TV to display the lyrics.

And now it was time for a group karaoke session!

Chihiro crossed her arms and stared at the TV. After that, she looked at her phone and said, "Black voodoo magitech. I swear that's what we're using." She looked back at the TV and said, "There isn't even any plug connecting my phone... How is it casting?"

Asako walked over to close the shades and said, "Better to not think about it too much. As long as it works, it works."

Alphy nodded from her spot at a beanbag chair. "It's beyond your understanding, Chi-chan. You'll only hurt your head trying to figure it out."

"...That makes it sound like some eldritch Outer God technology from the Cthulhu Mythos."

Alphy blinked and tilted her head, thinking. "Cthulhu... That name sounds familiar. Was it that octopus monster Papa captured when he was roaming the void?"

Chihiro gave Alphy a blank stare. And then she shook her head and said, "You know what? I'll take your advice, Senpai. Let's just stop thinking."

Yuri paced in the back of the room, nervously tugging on her sweatshirt. "Are we doing this? We're really doing this. It's just karaoke. You've done it a lot before, right? Right. Ichi took me out a few times. But it was just us, and he's goofy so it wasn't a big deal. But this is for real."

Shu sipped on a can of soda and then glanced at Yuri. Seeing her pacing, Shu laughed and said, "What are you so worried about, Riri?" She grinned and said, "It's not like we're really on stage, right?"

Yuri paused. And then she shakily walked over to a chair and sat down. "Oh my god. That's right. We have to perform."

Suzume walked over to Yuri and handed her a bottle of green tea. "Relax. There is plenty of time to be accustomed to performing, Yuri."

Yuri took the bottle with trembling hands and said, "I don't think it's as easy as you make it seem, Suzu-chan..."

Asako grabbed an orange soda from the cooler and said, "Just stop caring. The point of all this is to have fun, so it's not like it matters, right?"

Rin giggled and said, "That's pretty funny, Aneue. If I remember right, wasn't a certain someone shaking in their feet before the big concert?"

Asako blushed and said, "S-Shut up. I was just caught off-guard by all the crazy tech we were using."

"Suuure." Rin smiled and then said, "Oh! Can you toss me a fruit punch pouch, Aneue?"

Asako chucked a can at Rin's head.

It was fast. The equivalent of a professional pitcher launching a full-speed pitch.

Even if Rin caught it, the force would send the pouch splattering.

But that didn't happen.

Rin easily reached out to grab the juice pouch and then skillfully spun it around in her hands, dissipating the force. After that, she popped off the attached straw and stabbed it in, smiling.

Chihiro watched all of that and took off her glasses, rubbing her face. "Every day, I wonder more and more if you Senpais are human..."

Rin sipped on her juice and tilted her head. "What do you mean, Chi-chan? Of course we're human."

"That's exactly what a pretender would say. But I guess it's too late to be worrying about that sort of stuff at this point." Chihiro sighed and plopped into a cozy couch before scrolling through her phone. "I've got the songs loaded." She looked up and said, "Who's going first then? And are we doing duets?"

Asako dragged a chair over to sit by Rin. After that, she crossed her legs and tapped the side of the chair. "Mm... We should probably warm up first. I dunno about you guys, but it's been a while since I've done any singing."

Rin sipped on her juice and said, "Right. I forgot that Aneue keeps procrastinating on singing practice."

"I-I do not! I just... like doing other projects more." Asako averted her gaze and sipped on her soda.

Rin giggled and looked towards Chihiro. "I'm fine with starting whenever, Chi-chan!" After that, she glanced at Yuri and said, "Though I think we should let Yuri-chan go last."

Chihiro nodded. "Makes sense. Although..." She looked at Yuri and said, "Won't you be even more nervous going to sing after all the Senpai, Riri?"

Yuri froze. "That's..."

"Oh!" Shu smacked her fist into her palm and said, "Right! If you go first, you can get all the nerves out right away!"

Yuri trembled. "M-Maybe. B-B-But..."

Chihiro reached up with her index finger to adjust her glasses and smirked. "What's the matter, Riri? Didn't you want to be our group leader? Backing down now's a bit pitiful, isn't it?"

Yuri glared at Chihiro. And then she looked at the TV screen.

It was a simple display. A list of songs with preview music videos.

And it wasn't like they were streaming. Just singing. So there wasn't a need to perform or dance or do anything special. Just... sing.

So Yuri shouldn't be scared. But...

Yuri bit her lower lip, clenching her hands against her knees.

At that time, Alphy stood up and said, "You should be kinder, Chi-chan. Being a leader is difficult, you know? Especially when you've found yourself in a new world. At least, that's what Papa said."

"Tch." Chihiro wiped the smirk off her face, looking a bit guilty. "...Fine."

Alphy looked at Yuri and said, "Don't worry, Yuri-chan! I'll go first and cheer everyone's spirits."

Asako paused in the middle of sipping her soda and said, "...Are you sure about that, Alphy? With how good you are..."

"That's why I'll go." Alphy smiled and said, "After all, it's just proof, isn't it? That someone without any talent can improve and be comfortable with her own voice."

Asako raised an eyebrow. "...I think saying that you don't have talent is a bit much, Alphy."

"Mm... I'll show you my first recordings later tonight, Asa-chan. You can tell me if I still have talent after that."

Rin winced.

Asako noticed and blinked. "Sis?"

"Ahaha..." Rin let out a dry laugh and said, "Um. Remember to turn the volume down when you listen, Aneue."


Alphy walked in front of the TV and then glanced at Chihiro. "Anyway... Let's start! Are you ready, Chi-chan?"

Chihiro nodded and looked down at her phone. "Yeah. What song do you want, Senpai?"

"Mm..." Alphy looked thoughtfully at Yuri and then said, "...*To you* from *The Time of Tears.*"

Chihiro swiped on her phone and then nodded. "Got it." She tapped on the screen. And the moment she did...

[Play: Dear You - Higurashi no Naku Koro ni]

...The song started and Alphy started to sing.


Song lyrics hard. Wanted to do a chapter of singing, but... Yeah. Difficult. >.> Next time.