Q: What sort of story is this?
A: Please determine the answer with your own eyes.
TN Note: Mouseover the conversations to read the romaji for extra context!
This is a university in a rural area of Japan. There, a man quickly ran down the hallway and through the crowd towards the cafeteria.
It’s lunchtime, and I, Kogawa Kei, am the only one to come late to our table at the busy uni cafeteria. Sprawled across the long rectangular table are many nearly empty containers of ramen and donburi sold at the cafeteria. Man, you guys eat too quickly.
Masuoka Ryuutaro and Anobu Shin, who’d arrived earlier, looked up from their smartphones and gave their usual response.
While looking for a seat, I answered Sano Uzuki, who had long, plentiful hair and wore a bandanna.
Next to me, Shin and Ryuutarou start their usual Anime chat. Part of my usual lunchtime routine includes listening to these two Anime critics’ discussion.
Of late I’ve been too busy to watch Anime, so I don’t really know what they’re talking about; still, I enjoyed listening to these two.
Hearing the two of them talk about anime, Okada Gakuto joined in. While listening to the three of them go on and on about anime, I’d finished my lunch before I knew it.
Ah… nothing like a sip of warm green tea to calm the mind. And right at that moment I heard a voice so close, as to tickle my ears.
Nagase Ukyou had came up to me spouting silliness, to which I appropriately countered. When I honestly told her that I didn’t feel like talking, Ukyou ended up looking at me with her mouth agape.
While in the midst of this sort of daily life, I realised something about this group. We consisted of all sorts of characters, with a variety of strengths.
Shin, Ryuutarou and Gakuto knew a lot about Anime. In particular Shin has a sharp mind, whilst Gakuto was calm and analytical. Dan is good at drawing, whereas Ukyou lived at her own pace.
As for me… well nothing in particular came to mind. Just that I felt a little envious of everyone. Hanging out with these guys, I guess I just wanted to have something I was good at too. That line of thinking has been getting worse of late as I’m always thinking of such things.
While I was the midst of my chuunibyou fantasies, I’d accidentally said something out aloud, and was overheard by Dan. This is bad…
In my embarrassment, I’d accidentally raised my voice in trying to brush the matter aside. I quickly tried to cover up this mess.
Our group was trying to make a game for next summer’s Comiket. If I had to describe it, I’d say it was a sort of fan activity. The ones working on this are myself, Dan, Shin, Uzuki and Ryuutarou – five of us in total.
And I was in charge of coming up with the scenario for this self-made game. I guess I’m pretty well suited to this role, since I like to write.
To Dan’s question, I answer proudly.
Ryuutaro noticed immediately.
Shin then followed up.
Gakuto piled on the negativity.
Um, as expected, my idea was shat on. I already knew what this trio of critics would think…but on the other hand, there were also fools who’d be interested in this sort of thing.
As expected of the Three Good Listeners. Dan, Uzuki, and though to a lesser extent, even Ukyou… you’ve done a good job listening to me. You guys are kind.
-I said with a smug face.
In this atmosphere where everyone was silent, one person opened their mouth.
Ryuutarou hit the nail on the head.
Your eyes are scary. Your eyes are scary, Ryuutarou. Have you obtained the 「Intimidation」skill or something? Though, in the face of Ryuutarou’s skill I continued resolutely.
I had no hope of a positive response, but I decided to ask anyway.
The game production group agreed unanimously. I was prepared to have to start over, but it was easily settled.
Well… perhaps they were all passing the buck to me somewhat. Even so, I was a little happy that my idea was accepted, and so with this joyous momentum, I called out to the others.
The five of them nod silently. With this, our project will finally get off the ground. I hope it goes well. I still have some uncertainties, but at least we’re taking the first step towards something new.
At Gakuto’s suggestion, we all stood up and made our way to the dish storage area together; and having returned our dirty dishes, left the cafeteria. Looking at the clock it was now 12:50 in the afternoon. The next class was starting in 10 minutes, so I was about to pick up my pace when the floor suddenly began to shake.
Just as I was thinking this, the shaking intensified. The whiteboards along the corridor swayed violently, with some even coming off the walls. Several vending machines in the corner also toppled over.
Even then the shaking continued to intensify with no sign of letting up. We all crouched down on the floor.
Seeing Ryuutarou comforting a panicking Uzuki, I too called out to the others.
Gakuto was desperately crawling on the ground, face down. Looking around, Dan, Gakuto and Ukyou were desperately trying to get away from this place. A loud scream echoed from the wide lobby on the floor below, yet still the shaking got more violent.
And then, disaster. The floor where we were lying cracked, creating a huge fissure, as if the university were cut in two.
We crawled on the floor, struggling to get away from the widening hole. Everyone else was surely doing the same. Yet such struggling was so impotent in the face of such a disaster, It was surely just a matter of time before we fell in. Oh no… my hands are numb. I’m at my limit.
Shin was dangling at the entrance of the hole, desperately enduring the shaking. This was a really bad situation.
Just as I reached my hand out to him, the cliff right next to me finally collapsed, unable to withstand the tremors. …..Along with Uzuki and Ryuutarou.
Their voices rang out as they were sucked into the darkness of the deep, deep hole. It happened almost instantly. Are they dead? The moment I thought that, I looked over to Shin.
Shin was no longer there.
Why…?! He was there just a second ago…
The next thing I knew, I was the only one around.
Gakuto… Ukyou…. even Dan….
I felt nothing but despair. Until a moment ago, everyone was alive. We were all just living a normal life. And yet…. why?!
As I realised my vision going black, I felt the strength leave my hands. Aah… I’m… going to die…. even though it’s far too soon.
Ah… I still have a lot of things I need to do. I finally have a goal in mind, only to not be able to achieve it. I haven’t even thanked my family yet.
Also, before dying, I at least wanted to graduate from virginity. It would’ve been nice to have a girlfriend…. If I’m reborn, I’ll get rid of this bad status ASAP. Ah… the one I had hidden in my closet…. I forgot to destroy it. Ah, well, let’s just forget about it all. My hands are at their limit anyway.
If I’m reborn, I want to become a ‘person who fulfils all their wishes’…… and also, it’d be nice to be born in a game like world… haha..
I let go.
As my consciousness fades, I hear the cold voice of a woman.
As the voice in my head disappeared, my vision lit up for a moment and then turned to darkness.
Thank you for reading to the end!
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How did you like my first flair at a fully solo WN translation? Let me know your thoughts! Constructive feedback is always appreciated.
 Kansai-ben is a distinctive dialect of Japanese often spoken in the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara etc). In anime its often spoken by the outgoing, money-minded girl who isn’t local. Also stereotypically used by the comic character. (Osaka people are stereotyped as money minded and jokesters)↑
 Karaage (唐揚げ) is a Japanese style fried chicken. So Karaage Donburi is fried chicken with Rice. Eg: https://www.justonecookbook.com/chinese-style-karaage-don ↑