Side Story 1, Earth: Izumi Maruyama – Mysterious Club and Chins
Translated by Gumihou
Proofread by Zzonkedd
Gumihou: The abstract description is… difficult to translate. Gumi will do her best.
My name is Izumi Maruyama.
A freshman just starting at Aoyagi High School.
I am a member of the Art Class. My charm point are my Akabuchi glasses  and short bob cut.
I am running towards the unused art storeroom on the second floor of an old building to pick up some art supplies at my senior’s behest.
“… Confession Club…?”
On the door of an old art storeroom, which should no longer be in use, was a piece of paper with the above words written on it.
I honestly can’t understand what’s going on. The word or words in front of ‘Confession’ had been scribbled out with a black magic marker. The label itself had been stuck on the glass with regular packing tape. Just what kind of confession is happening here?
I push open the storeroom with questions swirling over my head thanks to that piece of paper.
A soft warm breeze blew across my cheeks.
A flash of red caught the corner of my eye.
In the middle of this cluttered old room filled with odds and ends of half-finished projects, miscellaneous art stuff and all sorts of plaster heads, was a young girl sitting at a shabby old wooden desk. I could just barely catch a glimpse of her face.
The sunlight seemed to centre on her presence, and with each gust of breeze, there was a fluttering, soothing sound that stirred my heart.
Inside this small room lined with large shelves filled with odds and ends, it was as though the plaster heads were looking at her intently.
I know this girl.
She was Makiko Oda, First Year, Class 1A. I was in the same class as her but we don’t speak much to each other.
She was an amazing beauty with a vivid style, [2a] making the artist in me flutter with a desire to capture her image in some ways. Moreover, since she’s in the special advanced class, she must be pretty smart too.
Makiko Oda never did anything too outrageous, but just by walking down the hallway, she automatically makes heads turn. That red-tinted hair matches very well with the red sailor outfit. She was so beautiful that she did not have to do much for eyes to follow her movements everywhere.
More than just prettiness, there was something ultimately spicy and somehow unapproachable about her that made her even more attractive.
For some reason, it [2a] felt kind of like sacrilege to wake her up. So, I tiptoed into the room, doing my best not to wake the sleeping beauty.
Sneak… sneak… I paused mid-step towards the target of my coming here.
“… …” On a rickety portable whiteboard, were the following words:
– Because we were Demon Kings
– Because Demon Kings are evil
– He’s just a ruthless fiend
– Cheating is the worst
– Hero and Demon are lifelong enemies
– Men are idiots ← This is important
“What the heck…?”
What kind of Confession Club has stuff about Demon Kings and Heroes on the whiteboard and beautiful girls sitting in the middle of a room filled with half-finished art and old plaster heads statues?
What the heck? I don’t understand anything? Is the Confession Club actually a front for some kind of  Radio Wave Club?!
If you must know, this is too advanced even for Advanced students??!!
Even I, a maniac for all things related to art and art-related things could not grasp the seriousness of this group’s obsession. [2a] Ahh, my glasses practically shine at the thought of-
Ah, Makiko Oda’s sleeping face is very pretty.
Indeed, cute girls are very admirable.
“… her eyelashes are really long…”
Since half her face is tucked in her arm, I can only catch a small glimpse of her face. Even so, that glimpse is really beautiful…
Suddenly, my eyes caught sight of a notebook under her fair hand.
<<Record of Maydea>>
What is that?
What is going on?
Ahh, as an upright citizen the last thing I should ever do is shamefully peek into someone’s notebook. No way, no matter how much I wish to know what is written on that page, I could never, I would never, I could never!!
Un, I really wanted to know though.
But I would neverrrrr!!!
Once again I forcefully pushed myself forward to complete my mission. My target was on one of the hire shelves. Using a chair to boost myself up, I went for a relatively smaller plaster head statue. It was the statue of an old man called ‘Agrippa’.
It’s really easy to identify Agrippa thanks to his butt-like chin.
I think he’s some kind of ancient Roman general, but the majority of my interest in this guy was his distinctive chin.
“Alright… come with me, Agrippa.”
Right, careful, careful now…
The statue was small enough for one person to lift. However, my situation was a little unstable, but I managed to secure him without trouble.
The door to this room was pushed open with such force that I jumped and nearly fell off the chair. Thankfully, I managed to catch myself, but I lost my grip on Agrippa!!!
My heart’s cry was in vain and his fine chin hit the floor first and mercilessly shattered to bits.
“O-oi!! Are you alright?!”
There was someone behind me, probably the same someone who had opened the door so suddenly that it shocked me so much that I dropped butt-chinned Agrippa to the floor.
“Are you alright? Oi.”
A-an ikemen has arrived—!!!![2a] My heart cried out lustily as my eyes were bombarded by the sight of the person behind me.
Pitch black hair and eyes, tall figure, with eyes that could only be described as ‘wicked’. It was Tooru Saiga. [2b] Not only do girls whisper about him all the time, and one would think that he’s part of a gang or something, but he’s actually pretty intelligent because he’s in the same class as myself and Makiko Oda. This weird gap between bad boy behaviour and intelligence made girls even weaker to his charms.
Handsome, athletic, intelligent and a little wild, he was the perfect kind of guy.
Also, it looks like he’s really worried about me.
“Hey, are you really alright…?”
I mean, I did fall off a chair, but not many guys in his category would do anything beyond turning up their nose at my presence being an inconvenience to them.
“Aa… that is, um, yes?”
I pushed my glasses back on. That was when I noticed the reality that wrecked my life.
“Agrippa… your splendid chin… your neck…”
“Your Agri has trippa ?”
“Uuuu, I’m upset, but that’s really clever…”
What the… I don’t have time to make lame jokes with this guy?!
Meanwhile, Makiko Oda has started to stir. Our antics have woken her up.
“…what the heck… what’s that terrible sound…”
She blinked her long-lashed eyes, staring at me with a puzzled look before transferring her gaze onto poor, broken-up Agrippa.
“What happened, Maruyama-san?”
Ah, my name… you know my name?
“Ahh, that is… I’m from the art club and… as you can see, I dropped the plaster head figure and then…”
“Oh my, I’d have helped you if you woke me up.”
She came over to Saiga and myself and picked up one of the broken pieces.
“Wh-wh-what should I do… I really, really need one of these statues. My… my seniors will be really angry…”
“Your seniors? Are they really that scary? An art club senior?”
“Saiga-kun might know this, the president of the Art Club is also the chairman of the Cultural Union Club!! Not that I’m scared, but the pressure is…”
“Cultural Union Club?”
The guy furrowed his brows.
Ahh, looks like he doesn’t know. Aahhh, but my mind is too messed up to properly explain this. What should I say…
“Sorry for the wait… that is, have members of the committee decided to meet on various things…?”
The next person who came into this room was none other than Yuri Shizuka. He appeared to be talking about something, but changed it into something else in the final minutes. Still smiling, he took in the general atmosphere of the room before saying, “Oh my, isn’t this Maruyama-san? What happened…?”
He placed his bag on the desk and came over to see what we were looking at.
As the class representative, he has a way with words. I think he took top place in the entrance exam and was high enough on the social pole to exchange personal greetings with the student representatives.
A well-bred boy, handsome and good-looking. Unlike Oda-san and Saiga-san, who radiated a prickly sort of aura, he was very friendly. I have even spoken to him a few times. A very good person with lots of hidden fans.
Having him here really helps.
“Agrippa’s… grave chin…”
“You know this statue’s name? Wait, you even know the joke behind it? What, is this some kind of running joke?”
This time, Saiga-kun played the outrageous person, the part I had played just now.
I’m not offended to be left out of the talk, however. for me, it is best to sit back and observe these handsome and beautiful people. “Ahem, if you boys have had enough of butt-chin jokes?” Oda-san raised an imperial eyebrow. “Anyway, Maruyama-san needed one of these statues, but as you can see, it’s broken.”
“Ahh… I see,” Yuri-kun examined the broken statue for a moment longer before clapping his hands. “That’s right, I think I’ve seen another one of these statues somewhere inside this room. There’s no mistaking that butt-line…”
“Stop it already…”
“It’s a really distinctive line…”
“I’m more impressed that you like jokes like this…”
It was strange.
These three people, all of whom were not people I’d associate on a normal basis was now talking casually about silly things with me. Even the ‘good child’ Yuri-kun was making weird jokes…
It looks like they are really close.
“Ah, here it is, it’s this guy, right?”
Tucked away under the shelf next to the sink were a few cloth covered plaster figures. One of them was a dustier version of the Agrippa that had shattered earlier.
“Y-yes! Yes, it is!”
This is great. With this I can complete my senior’s errand.
Yuri took the initiative to take the statue out. We unwound the clothe and did our best to clean Agrippa up a bit.
“Well, it still looks a little old, is that alright?”
“Yes, I think it’s fine so long as it’s a statue of Agrippa.”
I was so excited to see him that I hugged and rubbed my cheek against Agrippa. No one said anything about how weird my action is, but I guess for a bunch of people studying Radio Waves inside an old art storeroom, they really shouldn’t judge me.
“That butt… chin…” Oda-san pointed at the statue. “Seems kind of blackened…?”
“Aahh… I think it’s because a lot of people like to touch it…”
I was in the middle of stroking the blackened chin. It felt really nice under my hands. Anyway, the reason why it was so black and shiny was because…
I showed them my hands.
All three looked down curiously.
“When I sketch with pencils or charcoal, it’s normal for hands to turn black. I do wash my hands, but it’s difficult to get it all off. I guess, a lot of artist must have touched this chin.”
“Ahh, I see,”
Oda-san was laughing in an odd ‘fufu’ manner. It sounded very villainess-like and cute at the same time. I had always thought of her as distant from the rest of us high school girls, but, I guess we’re a little closer now?”
“Well, what should we do with this poor thing?”
“…let’s just hide it. Almost no one comes into this room, after all.”
Just like that, the matter was resolved. The three of them put the broken pieces of the plaster Agrippa into a box and pushed it somewhere out of the way. They even place a cloth over it.
All three then put their hands together.
I also put my palms together.
It felt kind of funny, but, well, I guess in a way I have intruded in their club meeting.
“Thank you… so, this is where you conduct your club activities?”
“Well, it’s just a casual club.”
“A Past lifffffttt…”
Saiga-san suddenly lunged forward to cover Oda-san’s mouth.
“Idiot!! What are you saying? We’re just a Radio Wave studying club, get that?”
“…um, this is where we reflect on our daily actions and spend our time repenting and… reflecting…”
Yuri-kun’s answer was also very suspicious.
I narrowed my eyes at them, going ‘hmmm’. However, I don’t question them further. I have already seen the list on the whiteboard and the small bit of the notebook. Still, I’m sure there will be another opportunity to unravel this bit of mystery.
These three people are all very interesting. I don’t think anyone will be able to understand them unless they get to know them first.
“Anyway, thank you very much. Um, please have this, I’ll come and properly thank you next time.”
I took out three pieces of candy I always keep on my person and handed them to Oda-san.
Suddenly, Oda-san’s face lit up and she cried, ‘Really? For real!’ Her eyes sparkling brightly>
I was shocked by this sudden change, but…
I seriously thought my glasses would crack from the cuteness overload.
That smile packs quite the destructive power.
The candy I gave them were little round things. The boys were a lot more reserved, they didn’t take the candy but said things like ‘Thank you’ and ‘Maki-chan are you hungry?’.
To be honest, I regretted that I only had those candies then.
The next time I visit this room, I must bring the cheap candy that I have collected.
That’s right, next time…
Even after I have left the storeroom filled with half-finished art pieces. The silhouettes of those three people remained in my mind.
Alone, each of their existence was great enough to crowd out other people. But, why is that? I really don’t know much about them, but it felt somehow fitting to see the three of them together.
I wonder what their relationship is…
“… this is intolerable…”
Curiosity flowed out of my heart like a fountain.
Those three people looked like they would fit well in a painting. Yes, a painting. I can picture it already.
It’s all moe!!
A moe gap!!
That’s it!! That’s probably it!!
Grinning, I held Agrippa close.
But it can’t be helped.
I, Izumi Maruyama, have found something very interesting today.
I want to follow those three people around with a sketch book and a pencil.
Grinning to myself in the corridors connecting the old building to the new, I scuttled along carefully, fearful of loosening my  grip on Agrippa!
[Gumihou: This was… an interesting chapter to translate.]
 Akabuchi glasses or 赤淵眼鏡
Unclear what ‘Akabuchi’ is. There’s ‘Akabuchi station’ and a place called ‘Akabuchi’. Further search resulted in porn sites… what the heck?!
Well, 赤淵 could also mean ‘red pool’.
Deep red glasses? Add detail [2a] Add details from Maruyama’s POV that reflects his artist soul. [2b] Description of Tooru was all over the place, herded them together in a way that makes sense.  Adjust detail so that things make sense  電波 or ‘Radio Waves’
It’s actually slang (?) for alien signals. Usually, people who go after radio wave’s are crazy otaku out to prove the existence of aliens. On the one hand, they are considered crazy, on the other, they are highly intelligent maniacs. There’s a punny joke lost in translation here. The Japanese word for chin is ‘ago’, which is why ‘agurippa’ and ‘agorippa’ are supposed to be funny.
Maruyama’s reply was supposed to be ‘u, umai’ which means ‘that’s clever’. Clever for making the agorippa = chin’rippa joke. Since the joke is none transferable… would skirt around it.
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