Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai:Volume 2 Karaoke
Yozora, Sena, Yukimura, Rika, and I were all in the clubroom.
Sena was playing galge on her PS as usual.
The rest of us were all doing what we normally do.
And then, all of a sudden, I heard a singing voice from the T.V.
It came from the galge Sena was playing.
Wonder if she got to the end just now... I gave a little glance over at the screen, and saw the image of a blonde haired girl singing a song.
Judging by the background art, I'm guessing she was at a karaoke box.
Sena was sitting there, spacing out without even moving her hands, and listening to the song.
After the song ended, Sena turned around and said,
"Hey, I figured I might as well ask, but... Have any of you guys ever done karaoke before?"
To Sena, who looked somewhat embarrassed after asking her question I replied
"Well, I went a few times back at my other schools."
Not that I made it a habit or anything though.
"So have I," said Yozora.
Sena and I were so shocked we both yelled at the same time, to which Yozora said, "...Why are you so surprised?" with an unhappy look on her face.
"Well, it's like, you don't seem to be the type for karaoke so..."
"Mu... I may not look it, but I've been to every single karaoke box in this city."
"That's pretty amazing..."
"I wonder about that."
Yozora looked just a little bit proud of herself.
"Of course it is, mastering all the karaoke boxes in town by yourself can't be easy to do."
Normal people wouldn't ever even think to do it.
"...Why are you assuming I did it alone?"
Yozora asked with a pout on her face.
"Obviously if you go to karaoke it's with your friends."
I let out a yell of disbelief at what Yozora uttered just now.
Yozora made a tiny grin and said,
"Singing karaoke with your friends is a lot of fun you know. Tomo-chan can't sing well, but she's a good listener and knows how to have a good time, so time just flies by when I'm with her."
"...Oh. Tomo-chan huh..."
Tomo-chan is Yozora's air friend's name.
"Kodaka. Why are you making that face?"
"No real reason."
I couldn't look her straight in the eye.
"......To think that Kodaka and even Yozora have gone before..."
Sena said with a disappointed face while slightly shaking.
"Have you never gone to Karaoke before Sena?"
I asked, and then Sena's face when bright red as she yelled back,
"No, I haven't! What's wrong with that!? As if a high class lady like me would ever bother with you vulgar commoners' games! I don't have the slightest bit of interest! I wasn't sad at all when those annoying bitches from middle school told me, 'Let's go do some karaoke after school~ Oh right, Sena you probably like playing with guys more than karaoke don't you? Gyahaha!' I have never, not even once, thought of wanting to go to some stupid karaoke box!!"
"O-okay I get it. Just calm down will you..."
I tried soothing Sena, who apparently just had her trauma switch flipped on.
As I did, Rika opened her mouth and said,
"Senpai. Rika hasn't even sung karaoke either."
"Yes. I've been interested for some time now, but I just couldn't stand going into a place like that all alone."
"Ahh, I know exactly what you mean."
"So on that note, would you be so kind as to go with me Kodaka-senpai?"
"Hmm... sure, why not. It's been a while since I've gone too."
"Thank you very much."
Rika happily smiled.
It's times like these that Rika is seriously cute.
"H-hold on Kodaka."
"If you're going to sing some karaoke just leave it to me. I know a good place."
"Will you show it to us?"
"That'll be a big help. I don't know any of the places around here."
I was still a kid back when I lived here, so I have no idea about karaoke and other stuff that costs money.
And even if I did, it's been a whole 10 years so it's probably changed a lot by now.
Rika quietly clicked her tongue.
"Aniki. I too have never gone to a karaoke establishment," said Yukimura.
"Then why don't you come too?"
"It would be my pleasure."
Yukimura happily gave me a soft smile.
"Okay, so when do we wanna go? Tomorrow's Saturday, but..."
"I'm fine with tomorrow afternoon."
"Rika can go whenever."
"I have no problems with that arrangement."
"Okay, then tomorrow it is. Where should we meet up?"
"My favorite place is about 10 minutes from West Tohya Station by foot."
West Tohya Station is the stop just before Tohya Station, the one I take to school every day.
"Okay, then we'll meet in front of the entrance to Tohya Station."
"Okay." "Roger." "Understood."
"Then all that's left is the time-"
"H-hold it right there!"
Sena yelled while making a face like an abandoned puppy.
"What do you want, Meat?"
Yozora made a tiny grin and an evil smile rose on her face as she said,
"Oh Great Meat-sama, we are talking about karaoke, that vulgar commoners' game that you don't have the slightest interest in and have never, not even once, thought about wanting to do, so what do you want?"
Yozora was as ruthless as ever with Sena. Seriously, "Great Meat-sama"?
"Did you have something you wanted to say Meat? If you don't then please leave us alone so we can continue our plans for tomorrow which have absolutely nothing to do with you."
"The store I go to doesn't start free time until 1 o'clock, so why don't we all meet up at 1 in the afternoon? That way we don't have to worry about lunch. Also-"
"Don't ignore me!"
Sena said with tears in her eyes.
"What is it this time Meat? You have nothing to do with this so go play your games by yourself or something. Or are you really trying to say that you want to come sing karaoke, that vulgar commoners' game, with us?"
Sena's face turned beet red.
"I-I don't want to go at all! But, you know, I'm the daughter of this school's principal! I have to let papa know where the school's students are going on the weekends and stuff! I-it's my job so I figure I have to go along with your vulgar commoners' games, or something like that...!"
"I see. Then I'll let you know about a bunch of karaoke boxes in the city you'll want to look at for your work."
"One place students from here go to a lot is 'Echo Echo' on Yanagawa street. It's close to school, looks nice, has good equipment, doesn't cost much, and has a lot of places to eat and go shopping near it so it's very popular among Saint Chronica students. However, the place we're going to tomorrow is 'Screams From the Abyss' which is rather plain looking and doesn't get many high school customers, so I doubt you'd want to go there for your job. Therefore, you should go to 'Echo Echo'. By yourself, of course!"
"Eh, ah... b-but..."
"No need to thank me for the info. I'm happy just knowing I could help you with your work. Give it your best for the school okay! By yourself, of course!"
"...Hey, if you want to come with us then just say so."
I offered a helping hand to Sena who was quickly running out of options.
"What, so you want to come with us? Why didn't you just say so then?"
"......I-I want to... go with," mumbled Sena.
"I couldn't hear you!"
Yozora's face was covered in a sadistic smile.
"...I-I want to go with."
"Eh? What was that?"
"I want to go sing karaoke with you!"
"I see, I now know what it is you want to do."
Sena's face lit up for a second...... but,
"I know what you want to do, but I don't want to go with you."
Sena was speechless at Yozora's cold words.
"...Hmph... If you really want to come with us, then try begging me."
"I want you to wholeheartedly say 'Please take me with you' and beg me to take you with."
Sena's face twisted with humiliation, and then, as if she were squeezing it out with all her might she said,
".........P-please... t-take me... w... with you..."
"I'm sorry, I couldn't really hear you. Maybe it's because you don't really want to go?"
"Please take me with you!"
"What happened to the begging me part?"
"Beg...!? Ghh... I-I-I... I... Be... g... y... ou."
"Put your heart into it!"
"I beg you, please take me with you!"
Sena screamed with a face twisted by both humiliation and anger.
"Hmph... well said."
Yozora said with a tender tone to her voice.
"But, I refuse."
She's a demon...
"What the heck do you want me to do, you idiot!?"
"Ahh, forget this! I'm going with tomorrow and that's that! Besides, why do I have to beg for your permission to go with in the first place!? At first it was just Kodaka and Rika going, and you just happened to join them!!"
"So you finally noticed? You are seriously slow in the head."
Yozora said without any hint of hesitation.
A look as though Sena regretted what she'd just done from the bottom of her heart rose to her face.
"Idiot! Retard! Die, stupid Yozora!"
Sena threw out a few childish insults and ran out of the clubroom.
After she did, Yozora said,
"Now then, let's decide on our real meeting place. How about over at the Tsuyama book store by Nishi Station around noon?"
"How much of a demon are you!?"
"It was just a joke."
I let out a deep sigh.
These two are seriously hopeless.
Why do they have to fight over something as trivial as going to sing karaoke together...?
I brought Kobato with me since she said she wanted to come too, and headed for West Tohya Station.
When we arrived at the station, it was 12:50, exactly 10 minutes before when we said we'd meet up.
There I saw an odd looking group of people.
It goes without saying that the people in question were all from the Neighbors Club, all of who were there waiting for us.
Yukimura in his maid outfit.
Rika wearing her white robe over her school uniform.
...Why the heck are they wearing the same clothes they wear at school?
Sena was in a mini-skirt and camisole, and although they were normal looking, for someone like Sena who already grabs a lot of people's attention they only served to make her stand out even more.
Yozora was, umm... I guess boyish would be the best way to describe it.
She was wearing jeans, a tank top, and a casquette.
Although Yozora normally has more of a "traditional Japanese beauty" look with her long black hair, those casual clothes fit her surprisingly well.
The way she looked with one hand in her pocket leaning against a pole and a nonchalant look on her face made her look like she fit right in with the city.
It was the first time I'd ever seen Yozora in her casual clothes, so I ended up staring at her for a while.
Two cute girls with blond and black hair, a maid, a white robe wearing girl, and Kobato in her goth loli outfit. This is one hell of a ridiculous looking group.
The fact that hardly anyone was inside the station was my one saving grace.
"Now then, we're all here so let's go," said Yozora, so we all started walking.
"You guys were all here pretty early. We've still got 10 minutes before we were supposed to be here."
"I came here 5 minutes after Rika."
"I arrived 20 minutes prior to you, Aniki."
"Rika came 15 minutes after Sena-senpai."
"I got here 5 minutes before Yukimura."
"...Why are you all phrasing it like some kinda math problem?"
As I said that I thought of something, so I turned and faced Kobato.
"Kobato. Try figuring out when everyone got here based on what they said. By the way, we got here at exactly 12:50. You have until we get to the karaoke place."
"Fueh!? Umm...... K-kukuku... solving a problem like that is no problem at all if I access the Akashic Records... You need only wait a short while..."
Uh, this shouldn't be that hard of a problem...
I started worrying about my little sister just a tiny bit.
After following Yozora for about 10 minutes, we reached "Screams From the Abyss" (by the way Kobato couldn't solve the problem).
The karaoke box was isolated in a nearly empty alley in a run-down looking part of the shopping district.
Just as Yozora told us, it was a plain looking one-story building with a gaudy looking sign, that didn't match the building's appearance at all, which read "Karaoke Box, Screams From the Abyss". If that sign wasn't there I doubt anyone would be able to tell it was a karaoke box.
With Yozora leading the way we entered the store, and were greeted by a timid-looking 30 something year old man who made a face that looked like he just saw something very odd.
"Ohhh? So this is a karaoke shop is it?"
Rika, Yukimura, and Sena were all looking around the karaoke shop.
Yozora took a quick look at them before walking up to the counter and showing her card to the clerk, as if she'd done it many times before.
"Free time. Drink bar."
She finished her order with the fewest words possible.
She sounded very natural when she said it too, it made me think that this is how she always does it.
However, the clerk made a troubled face and said "Umm..." for a second or so as he looked over at the rest of us and then said,
"A room for 6?"
Yozora let out a slightly confused voice and then said,
"One moment please."
I'm guessing this place makes you pay first, since the clerk starting messing with the register.
"For 6 people with the free time discount and drink bar, your total comes to 5400 yen."
Yozora had taken out a 1,000 yen bill, but for some reason let out a yell in disbelief.
The clerk made a confused look on his face.
"5400 yen? Why is it so expensive?" Yozora questioned.
Sena and the rest came up to the counter. The clerk made a troubled face and said,
"Umm, for one person free time costs 650 yen, and the drink bar is 250, so for one person the total is 900 yen..."
"What... did you..."
Yozora had a look of utter shock on her face.
"...Just to be sure, all 6 of us are in the same room, aren't we?"
"...Wait a second."
So she said to the clerk, and then walked back to us.
I raised an eyebrow at Yozora's mysterious actions.
"Something's wrong with the bill..."
"What do you mean?" asked Sena.
"The part about charging for the drink bar 6 times is fine, but why do we have to pay 6 times for one room...!?"
"...Is that weird?"
"Meat. What do you do in a karaoke box?"
"...? You sing songs, don't you?"
Yozora gave a small nod.
"Exactly. If you're using one machine in one room, it doesn't matter if one person sings 30 songs or six people sing five each. It's the same amount of money going into RASJAC, so why do we have to pay for the same room six times?"
"So it's a scam!?"
Uwa, idiot! Keep your voice down...!
The clerk gave us a nasty look.
Of course, Yozora paid it no mind and said,
"Yes, it's practically a scam. I've never had this happen when I came with Tomo-chan... I never guessed this would happen..."
Yozora seemed to be seriously surprised.
"It's not really a scam... This is just how karaoke shops work, isn't it?"
I have heard of some karaoke shops only having you pay a set fee per room, but there are lots of shops that don't do that too. This store isn't really all that odd at all.
"Kodaka. Even if this is the standardized way of doing things, that doesn't make it any less odd."
"Hmph, for once I agree. Papa always tells me that those on top must not overlook wasteful uses of money."
Said Sena right after Yozora.
"I know, why don't we do this?"
"It's like this..."
Sena came up with a certain plan and Yozora gave her a rare comment saying, "Hmph... Not bad for a lump of meat."
And so, Yozora headed to the counter for a second time.
The clerk was startled, and then appeared to be a little scared as he showed us a vague smile.
"I said 6 people just now, but I take that back. I'll be going by myself as usual. Free time, drink bar, 900 yen."
The clerk made a troubled looking face at Yozora's declaration, and then looked back and forth at Yozora and us.
"I do know those people, but I didn't take them here with me. We merely happened to come to the same shop."
The clerk was flustered by Yozora's new statement, and after stuttering over his words going "Eh, Uh, Umm..." he finally gave in and said, "U-understood... One person comes to 900 yen..." and thus ended his transaction with Yozora.
After being handed her room number plate, drink bar cup, and remote controller, Yozora gave us a quick glance before heading into her room.
The next one who went up to the counter was Sena.
"Umm, this is my first time, but I'll be alone. Free time and drink bar please."
The clerk made yet another troubled looking face and his eyes started swimming again, but in the end he said,
"...New users have to register a card with us, so please fill out this form..."
He handed Sena the blank form while trying to hide the emotion in his voice.
Sena's idea was to go with "6 individual karaoke customers" instead of "A group of 6 customers".
That way we'd still pay the same amount, but get 6 times as many rooms.
...Of course, she's right, but it's definitely a huge pain for the shop.
On top of that, it means we have to sing in a room by ourselves, completely defeating the point of coming here together.
I was really looking forward to hearing everyone else sing too...
Yozora and Sena have really good voices.
As Sena was filling out the form, the clerk continued to look back and forth between us looking like he was seriously about to cry.
Sena finished paying, and went into a different room than Yozora.
I figured I might as well go up next.
"...HoW mAnY iN yOuR gRoUp SiR?"
Now his voice sounded like he was about to cry along with his face.
"...Ahh...... 4 of us. It's out first time here."
I didn't have the nerve to tell him "by myself" after seeing that look on his face.
Well, basically that's how Yukimura, Rika, Kobato, and I paid 3600 yen and went into a room together.
"If it means being in the same room as Aniki, I would not have minded paying 10 times that sum."
"If you told the clerk that they'd probably burst into tears of joy."
"Rika wanted to sing with Senpai too. Let's sing the Gamudan theme song as a duet."
"...I think it was called... SEED? If we do that one I probably know it. I have no clue about the others though."
"Kukuku... then I shall sing for you the dark requiem which extols this world's demise... Mumu... Where is it...? Where's 'Yuke Yuke Gernica-chan!'..."
"What part of that song is a requiem?"
We went on like that, with Yukimura and the rest not saying a single word of complaint about the room fee.
By the way, "Yuke Yuke Gernica-chan!" = a denpa-type character song from the "Kurogane no Necromancer" anime.
"Now then Kodaka-senpai, please go ahead."
Rika handed me the mic.
"You want me to go first? Let's see... what should I sing..."
While pretending to be worried, I looked up a song using the remote control's touch panel.
...The fact that I spent all of last night thinking about this is a secret.
Beep beep beep... I selected my song, and a few seconds later it started playing...
"Flower~♪ That flower's smile will make you strong~♪"
"Aniki... you're so cool."
"Senpai you've got such a good voice!"
"Hmph... Hearing that song takes me back 7,000 years to that night I spent running through a snowy field with Loga..."
The song I spent all night worrying about and chose, was the famous Japanese singer-songwriter Akinari's hit single "Flower" which sent the room into a frenzy.
Next was Rika who chose a famous female singer, Utada Hikki's theme song from the Ovangelion movie which she sung incredibly well. Kobato went with a popular rock band, L'rarc-an-Shiel's "Kurogane no Necromancer" theme song and sung it very energetically. Yukimura chose an enka piece titled "A Man's Way of Life" and sung it with all his might, which made Rika ecstatic causing her to yell out "Moe~♥"
After that we each sung to our heart's content. We sang songs we all knew together, and even added our own tambourine and maracas playing to the songs.
Up until five minutes before 7 p.m. when free time was supposed to end and the clerk called our room, we had so much fun we lost track of time.
"Ahh, my throat hurts from all that singing..."
"Senpai, your voice is kind of scary, but it seems being abused by that voice of yours has awoken Rika to her true M nature."
"Your voice sent shivers up my spine, Aniki. I wish to have a voice like that too."
While talking about random stuff like that, we headed to the front of the shop.
There we found Yozora and Sena, who both looked like they were about to pass out sitting on a couple of chairs.
"...What happened to you two?"
"...It's this damn Meat's fault."
"...It's stupid Yozora's fault..."
They both said, with hoarse voices.
It seems like both of them are having a hard time talking.
"Just how nuts did you go with the singing in there..."
"...I saw there was a score mode... so I did it the whole time... without even taking a drink and barely taking breaks..." said Sena.
"...Then the rankings came up... this whole karaoke box's..." said Yozora.
"...After I started the scored mode I saw an annoying person called NIGHT on the top... and I thought, 'ah, this must be Yozora'..."
"...When I had started thinking about filling the top 50 with my name, all of a sudden I saw an annoying set of letters that read ＳＥＮＡ in my way..."
Yozora and Sena both glared at each other, and then turned their faces away with a "Hmph." and "Kh." respectively.
...T-these two even fight when they're in different rooms...!?
They went on like that for nearly 6 hours... I'm tired just from singing with the four of us together.
Honestly I'm more amazed than anything that they went so far.
"You guys can't even get along with songs, can you..."
It was probably a pain for the store, but keeping them in separate rooms might've been the right choice.
"By the way, who won?"
"I did." "Me."
They both answered at the same time, and then I saw some fireworks go off.
"I was on top with my 99 point song damn Meat...!"
"That was just luck. 2nd to 11th were all my 98 point songs damn it."
"Hmph, there's no point if you can't get first place. And if you want to go there, I had way more 97 pointers."
"Liar. I had more 97 pointers than you."
"Don't lie, Meat."
"It's not a lie, tone-deaf Yozora."
"...I'll slaughter you."
"I'll kill you..."
They both went on insulting each other with their hoarse voices.
"That was a lot of fun, wasn't it Senpai? Let's come again."
Rika and the rest of our group who were happy, and the pissed off Sena+Yozora combo.
The difference between the two was so much I couldn't help but let out a deep sigh.
...The moral of today's story:
Karaoke is something you have fun singing with everyone.
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