Translator: Hasr11

Editor: isaiahd

Idle Talk 4 : The Case of Shibuya Jouji (68).

Keeping his mud stained boots aside, he, as always, repaired his farming implements.
The same as always, his usual work. It had been two years since the warm voice that always called out to receive him went away.

「I’m home.」

The feeling of despair with his voice ringing through the house where no one else lived, became trivial as he came to enjoy his time alone.
Shibuya Jouji (68), was bereaved of his wife, and his children, long independent, lived alone.
He, who owned a farm, did farming everyday, but because he left most of the fundamental work to the young employees, he had a lot of free time.
For Jouji, who lived so, his joy was visiting the bar behind a certain building once a day.

After taking a bath, he took out a white shirt and a summer suit. Carrying a hat and a stick, he’d give out an 『Englishman』-like ambiance.

「I’m off.」

He felt as if he heard his wife beckon for him just like when she were alive. Smiling faintly, Jouji gently turned his left elbow outside.
Thinking “Let’s go a little slower than usual”, he turned towards his usual route.

The shopping street in front of the station was overflowing with the liveliness of the evening.
The deli, deciding to increase its dishes kept many side dishes, and the bentō shop, targeting singles, kept many one-coin bentōs[1].
Amidst them, the Englishman walked with clicking footsteps.
Jouji, who had in some ways become a speciality of the place, and seeing his figure walk amidst the din, everyone would come to understand, 「Ah, it’s already seven.」
Actually, as he had decided to walk a bit more leisurely just for today, it had already turned seven, but the people who did not know that were making haste, but that’s a story for another day.

Entering the alley, when he walked along the path with sundry stores lined up, he saw a pair of conspicuous twins spacing out in the terrace seat. Even the elder twin brother, who’d always greet Jouji was sitting with a blank expression and blushing cheeks.

(Did something good happen?)

Since the siblings seemed to both have a joyful face, Jouji thought it was fine as long as it’s not something bad, Jouji entered the back end of the building he saw in front.

Known only to those who know, even amongst the people that live here, a speakeasy-like bar.
The young patrons were few, and it was an invaluable store where one could drink at leisure amidst the peaceful atmosphere.
Stepping in through a single door on a wall without windows, today was not a Big Band Jazz[2], but rather a jazz piano solo.
Grinning widely at the phrase[3] that felt pleasant though he had never heard it, Jouji called out to the master 「The usual.」.

On the upright piano[4] in the shop, a slender man was sitting. It seemed like today was a day of 「Success.」.

(He has some good muscle. It makes me wish for it.)

While imagining himself farming, selfishly, as he listened carefully, the right hand placing the melody switched to chords.

(Singing his own accompaniment? He can sing too?)

A pleasant tenor flowed through the store.
Nevertheless, he had never heard it, but for some reason, he felt as if it was a song that exhilarated his heart, anyhow it seemed as if the playing was over, as the man sat alongside his two companions.

「Miroku-kun, What was that song just now?」

「I know it. It’s the ending of Kekkai-something[5].」

「As expected of Shiju-san. That’s because it’s an anime popular with women.」

「Hey, don’t speak of me as if I’m a womaniser…….」

「Eh? It’s only a praise? Hey, Yoichi-san.」

「Shiju, don’t charge at the airheaded Prince.」

「That’s right. My bad.」

「Please stop calling me prince!」

He felt his heart touched by the three’s good relationship, the Master gave him his favorite Malt whiskey and Shiokara[6] preserve.
「It’s nice and bustling today, right.」

「They’re from the building over there.」

The Master spoke to the man who played the piano, Miroku then turned towards him.
「I apologise for it being so noisy.」

「No, it’s fine at times. The piano was played well too.」

「Thank you!」

When Jouji saw him smiling widely, he was surprised seeing his face. A well-featured face with charming eyes. He quite resembled a man on the he saw occasionally as of late.

「Did you, in a magazine……」

Even though he had no intentions of saying, the words escaped his mouth. He…Miroku, without taking any offence, deepened his smile and nodded.

「That’s right. Fortunately I’ve been active lately as a model.」

I was saved by Yoichi-san and Shiju-san……Saying so, he turned the conversation towards the two beside him, and they too gave a slight bow while smiling towards Jouji.

「That’s right, since It’s a special occasion , I’ll play something. Do you have any requests? ……But even if you had, I have a limited number of songs I can play.」

「I see, then because it’s a special occasion, I’ll implore you. I’ll leave the song to your choice.」

Perhaps, the songs he knew wouldn’t be known by him. Jouji thought it’d be fine no matter what he played. Miroku thought for quite some time, but then suddenly nodding his head, he sat in front of the piano and placed his hands on the keys.

The song began from Do Re Mi ♭[7].
Beating out the keys in a slow tempo, and adorning it with a high tone in intervals.

「Moonlight Sonata[8]……I see.」

It was his wife’s favourite song.
It might be pure coincidence, but the song that perfectly fit him today, made a smile spontaneously spread out on his face.

(Today was a good day, and I heard this song, is it because I brought you along?)

The piano’s sound resounded nostalgically.
When Jouji looked at the elbow that was consciously sticking towards the outside slightly, he felt a slight warmth there.

T/N and A/N:

The idle talks end here. We’ll be back to the original story starting next chapter.

1. Basically, in Japan “One Coin Lunch” is a full meal you can get for 500 Yen (a single coin which is approx. 4 US$). You can also get food for just 500 Yen or less at other places like convenience stores or even supermarkets, but One Coin Lunch is great alternative for busy people who want to have a freshly cooked, decent meal and avoid fast food chains.

2. Raw says Bic band jazz, so there might be a typo there.

3. A phrase gives the idea of “from the beginning to the end”, having some sense or meaning. A written solo in sheet music can have many phrases divided by bar lines. It does not have a rule about size of a musical phrase. This term is employed in the same way of riff.

4. Upright pianos, also called vertical pianos, are more compact because the frame and strings are vertical.

5. This might or might not be alluding to Kekkai Sensen(Blood Blockade Battlefront), but it’s ending deserves a mention.

6. Shiokara (塩辛) is a food in Japanese cuisine made from various marine animals that consists of small pieces of meat in a brown viscous paste of the animal’s heavily salted, fermented viscera. The raw viscera are mixed with about 10% salt, 30% malted rice, packed in a closed container, and fermented for up to a month.

7. Google tells me that’s the symbol for flat. I don’t know anything, it was in the raws.

8. This song, even a noob like me knows. But if you’re even more noob than me, here’s Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

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