Once they were done cleaning, Amane and the others went to the venue, feeling somewhat fatigued.
There were three rooms booked, and the participants had to split into three teams, each into their own room. Itsuki kindly put those who were on better terms together.
Amane’s group consisted of the ones he had been talking to, Mahiru, then Itsuki, Chitose, Kadowaki, Hiiragi, Kuju, and Kido, whom he had been talking to more recently.
The girls found it a pity that Kadowaki was in this group, but the girls in this room had boyfriends, and would not care about him, so thus, they were all relieved while finding it a pity. On a side note, the girls assigned to the other rooms narrowed their eyes in glee, and said, go flirt all you want with Shiina-san, and Amane frowned back at them.
“Anyway, good work⸺”
Itsuki led everyone in the toast, his cup contained cider from the drinks bar,and everyone in the room did likewise.
They merely gestured so, for it was too far to do so. Once done, Amanae drank his cup of melon soda.
The taste and fragrance of this drink was something unique to junk food, which he liked. Mahiru said that she wanted to try, so he gave her a sip, and she frowned. It seemed this did not suit her tastes, probably because she could not handle the carbonic acid.
The teary Mahiru sipped at her oolong tea and leaned on Amane. She was tired, and felt restless as so many people were at this karaoke session.
“Good work everyone. A lot of it is thanks to Kido.”
Itsuki finished his cider, sat down, and nodded happily.
The aforementioned Kido sipped some water and gave a wry smile.
“No no, it’s thanks to the owner being kind enough to lend us clothes…I didn’t expect them to prepare this many.”
“We’ll offer a box of sweets next time as thanks.”
“It’s amazing, Ikkun’s being serious~”
“How rude, Chii. I’m serious from time to time.”
“How often is that?”
“…Once every half year?”
“That won’t do!”
Everyone burst out laughing, and Amane sigh as he looked at them.
He did interact with everyone involved, but it was hard for him to say something when there were so many people. Amane was not as naturally cheerful as Itsuki, did not have the sociability, and he never intended to join in the conversation unless someone actually talked to him.
Mahiru watched the joyous scene with a smile. She did not like the ruckus, but neither did she dislike it, and perhaps she was happiest just watching.
“…Amane, why are you watching like it has nothing to do with you? Stop flirting and come here.”
“Alright alright, I get it. Don’t stand up. It’s squeezy here.”
The room was relatively wide, but it was inconvenient for eight to move, packed even. Truth be told, he found it a hassle to wriggle here and there, and hoped everyone could remain still.
“Come here Mahirun~ let’s tease Ikkun.”
“Come on, don’t do that…wait, are you bad at karaoke, Shiina-san?”
“N-no, I cannot really say that…”
Mahiru fidgeted about, and Chitose seemed to understand as she lifted her head, oohhh, and continued on.
“…Uuuu, Mahirun just doesn’t have a song to sing, and doesn’t really want to. Basically, she usually plays piano tunes, or some foreign songs with lyrics to study English.”
“That kind of upbringing…as to be expected of Shiina-san.”
“You don’t listen to anything with Amane?”
“I don’t play any songs at home.”
Amane’s room had an audio component, but it was more akin got a decoration. After all, he was either sleeping or studying alone in his room, or reading. He would spend most of his time chatting with Mahiru in the living room, and studying with her.
“What about you guys, Makochin?”
“I just listen to some trendy pop songs…”
“I don’t really listen to any, just the piano pieces my grandma plays though.”
“That’s not normal…ah, speaking of music, Yuuta.”
Itsuki suddenly changed the topic, and clearly looked displeased as he looked at the gleeful Kadowaki.
“Why didn’t you tell us that you were performing a live show? I would have changed my shift if you told me.”
It seemed Itsuki had issues about Kadowaki performing a live show during the festival without them knowing, and was slapping away at the table while not spilling the drink.
Kuju was worried as the table was shaking, and it seemed he was present back then, we didn’t call you because we didn’t want you to cause a ruckus, for he muttered.
Kadowaki merely gave a wry smile at Itsuki, who seemed to have lots to say, but he looked unapologetic.
“I didn’t tell you because I knew you’ll do this. There’s no reason for you to see.”
“Amane and the others saw it. It’s so unfair⸺”
“It’s nothing. And anyway, don’t I always go to karaoke with you?”
“Well, I just want to see you perform. Whatever, I’ll let you off if you start a solo performance here.”
The ridiculous request had Kadowaki lowering his eyes, and he met Amane in the eyes.
Amane quickly looked aside as he had a bad premonition, and he could sense Kadowaki sneering away.
“Let’s drag Fujimiya down too.”
“It’s karaoke. Everyone has to sing, right? Not like it changes things.”
“Woah, more live performers? Very good, more.”
Itsuki started adding fuel to the fire, for he sensed that Kadowaki would sing if Amane just in. Chitose and Kido might be getting high too, for they started cheering and teasing along.
Amane did not want to be a partner to a good singer, and turned to Mahiru for help⸺
“I do not believe I have heard you sing before, Amane-kun. It is a rare chance…”
She clearly was on Itsuki’s side. Itsuki, Kadowaki, you two remember this, and gave up as he reached for the microphone on the table.