“Hey, Shirone! Didn’t you say you finished your work? Why are you still here?”
As he opened the door, Rian fanned his hands and coughed due to the dust.
Shirone just smiled.
“What’s the meaning behind that expression? Something good happen?”
“Rian, show me around your house.”
Rian’s eyes swung wide open with shock.
He wanted to enter his family’s house. Knowing Shirone, Rian was sure he wasn’t kidding.
At that moment, Rian found a book lying next to Shirone.
“You… are done, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, there’s nothing left for me to read. At least not in this library.”
There was nothing more to read.
Even Rian, who stayed away from reading, seemed to understand how cool that sounded.
The sunlight that shone through the window seemed to be just for this moment.
“Hahaha! Did you really? You’re a real piece of work, dude!”
Rian congratulated Shirone as if sharing in his friend’s accomplishment.
Though, he did it as the aggressive swordsman he was, and due to that, Shirone’s eyes went in circles.
“Ahh! I’m dizzy!”
Even after pushing him away, Rian watched Shirone turn in circles.
‘He’s an amazing guy!’
He felt like he finally understood Shirone.
Knowing who Shirone was and despite his background and status, Rian was only thankful.
‘Honestly, I would have been quite upset if he had treated me as a Lord’s son.’
Rian agreed without hesitation.
“Good! If you want to come to my house, you’re always welcome! My family isn’t at home either!”
It didn’t really matter to him, but it was much better for Shirone.
After arriving at the mansion, Shirone was overwhelmed by the size of the building.
‘It’s really big.’
He could guess why ancient people built buildings to honor the glory of God.
“Come on in.”
However, Rian, who lived in said house, pushed the door open using his shoulder as if he were too lazy to even open the door.
Shirone asked with an uneasy look.
“Rian, what if we get caught?”
“What are you so worried about? The library relocation work is done anyways, so you’re not tied down by the contract. Besides, my family won’t be back until the evening. Alright, alright, come on.”
As they went up to the second floor, Shirone’s eyes were greeted by the countless rooms littering the hallway.
As they approached the very end of the corridor, Shirone saw the family’s room.
Although there was no special decoration like a family crest, the interior was especially pink.
Instead of swords and shields, piano and unknown instruments were on display.
From the musical instruments littering the room, Shirone could tell It was the eldest daughter’s room.
The number of rooms were overflowing, so there would have been many options, but Rian decided on the last room.
Shirone felt like he had seen a side of the alienation Rian must feel despite being part of the family.
“Well, here it is. This is my room.”
As a passionate swordsman, wooden swords were piled up in the room and books related to swordsmanship were also visible on the bookshelf.
However, there were no professional books. Most of them were novels about myths.
‘I wanted to come here at least once!’
Thought Shirone, as he considered Rian a friend.
Rooms were said to represent a person’s character. And that saying was not incorrect.
‘He really has no interest in decorating at all!’
For Rian, who was always covered in dust, this place seemed meaningless except for when he wanted to sleep.
The two chatted away because they had nothing to do. But when that got boring as well, they played a card game.
The game ended in just 30 minutes.
It was a complete defeat for Rian.
Shirone asked while sweeping the chips.
“One more round?”
“I’m not doing it! Damn it. It’s a gamble based on luck anyways. I guess I’m just unlucky.”
Shirone spoke again while organizing the chips.
“You have a habit of moving cards outside when the ace comes in. And the time you take to bet is different depending on whether you have a pair. I’m guessing the reason why is because when you have a pair, you’re taking the time to think of a strategy, but when you don’t have a pair, you just give up. But if there’s a time difference, it stands out. Just knowing those two things gives me the higher probability of winning.”
Rian had a blank look on his face as if he had been cheated.
“How can you find such things?”
“Observation often achieves its purpose when you are not obsessively trying to observe forcefully. If you try to observe multiple things at once, you will never find what you’re looking for. Just appreciate and acknowledge them as a whole. Only then will something stand out.”
Rian placed his chin on his hand.
“Don’t be obsessed with what you’re trying to get? Maybe this will help me find my own Schema.”
“Maybe. I took that into consideration when trying to understand my Spirit Zone.”
“Hmm. To not be obsessed…”
Rian echoed Shirone’s words.
His brain was itchy. He felt like he was close to something, but the thoughts eluded him.
He felt sleepy and got tired, perhaps because he thought about something deeply for the first time in a long time.
Rian stretched out on his back.
“I have nothing to do, so let me sleep a little bit. I’m so tired because I ran 100 laps this morning.”
“Then get some sleep. I’ll be reading a book.”
Rian fell asleep as soon as he closed his eyes.
Smiling at the sight of his friend who laid down comfortably, Shirone pulled out a novel.
‘Bloody Fight With the Snake Queen!’
After only reading history books for about a year and a half, he didn’t notice the passing time as he read an adventure story.
On the other hand, it seemed like Rian enjoyed something quite different from Shirone’s. Key sentences were underlined.
–The snake queen’s weakness is her head.
They didn’t do much of anything, but he was happy to just be at his friend’s house for the first time.
An hour passed just like that.
With Rian still not up, Shirone closed the book and organized the room.
‘He said his family was coming back in the evening.’
‘When the sun goes down, the inside of the manion will get noisy’
Shirone thought it best to leave now.
While walking down the hall, Shirone heard the sound of a piano leaking out from a room.
For him, who had grown up in the mountains, the music filled with the composer’s inspiration shook his heart more strongly than thunder.
‘That’s so cool!’
Shirone followed the sound as if drunk, and stopped in front of Rian’s sister’s room.
A woman with blue hair that flowed like the ocean waves was playing the piano.
It was truly a heavenly sound.
Although not the youngest, she was a woman of talent who became a court musician at the age of 19, so to say she was talented was an understatement.
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The harmony that gradually accumulated and the variations that blended within.
Shirone’s consciousness abided to Reina’s fingertips like a marionette caught in a melody.
And only after the performance did Shirone finally realize where he was.
Perhaps the emotional whirlwind went on for too long as Reina found Shirone. She smiled and waved at him.
“Hi, how was it? My piano sonata?”
How was it?
He learned information about music through books, but what he heard with his ears was beyond what he had imagined.
“Uhh, it was…”
He didn’t dare to speak his mind.
Reina patted the piano chair and spoke.
“You can come over here and take a look. I’ve never seen your face here before. Are you a new worker?”
“Yes. I’m in charge of sorting out the library. It’s been over a year since I joined.”
“Aah! You’re the one. I’ve heard about you before. You must be very smart. Classification work can’t be done by just anyone.”
Maybe it was because she majored in art, but Reina was not authoritative, instead, Shirone felt consideration in the way she spoke.
Entering the room awkwardly, Shirone hesitated for a moment and pointed to the sheet of music papers.
“This is called sheet music, right?”
“Yes, it’s titled ‘In the Dark’, which is the third movement of the piano sonata composed by Schreiman. Have you ever played the piano?”
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
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“Really? Then sit this way. I’ll teach you. It’s not a difficult song.”
Shirone was nervous because the inertia of working while risking his life under the Ogent name remained.
In particular, he was even more concerned because he heard from Rian that his sister was a wicked witch.
“It’s all right. Nobody is going to rebuke you because I allowed it.”
Shirone, feeling somewhat relieved, sat down in front of the piano with much curiosity.
“Now, from here, Do, Re, Mi…”
After hearing the most basic things, Shirone pressed the first chord, paying attention to her fingerings.
The sound that rippled through the heart.
Feeling the tension gradually dissipating, Shirone continued by connecting the sound with a second chord.
Reina’s eyebrows rose.
“Wow! You catch on quick! Despite this being your first time playing, your sight-reading is really good.”
To play new music for the first time is called sight-reading.
Like how athletic ability was more important than emotions, the faster the thinking speed, the better.
Reina’s compliment made him feel good, but he couldn’t move himself to smile while looking at her eyes.
Shirone, who was staring at the keys, raised his head when something came to mind.
“I’m sorry, but…”
“Can you please play it again?”
Even in their brief encounter, Reina discovered the unique temperament Shirone had.
‘He is an active child!’
An average servant of the house would have spent their time currying favor with their masters, but Reina could tell Shirone wasn’t like that.
Reina readily agreed.
To say that artists were obsessed with talent is false. These were just words made up by fake artists.
“Then I’ll play properly this time.”
What artists loved the most was passion.
Reina encored ‘In the Dark.’
Even to a non-professional Shirone, He could tell it was an extraordinary performance that was incomparable to the first.
Her nervous system… It was twice as sensitive as the average person. Shirone could tell she understood her body.
After her performance, Reina looked satisfied.
On the other hand, Shirone was lost in thought with a serious expression, even after the music was over.
“Could I try again?”
“Hmm? Oh, sure.”
“Please understand even if it’s difficult to listen to.”
“Haha, of course. It’s like that for everyone at first.”
Shirone raised his hands gently over the keys.
As soon as he thought his posture was acceptable, Shirone quickly started playing.
Reina, who was listening to this unspecific music, bore an awkward smile.
However, as Shirone was midway through, she realized something.
‘Who is this child? What in the world is he trying to do?’
All the notes were off. Completely wrong. But to her surprise…
All the notes were similar.
It may not be called music, but it seemed to convey Shirone’s feelings.
‘Whatever he’s playing, he’s not doing it as a performance…’
Reina was correct. Shirone wasn’t trying to perform, instead, he was in the process of going deeper in order to understand the concept of playing an instrument.
‘A little more!’
Shirone focused even harder.
Take in the whole music sheet, analyze it with your head, and command your ten fingers.
Even in the midst of many different notes, the feeling was getting clearer.
‘More, more. I need to get closer.’
As his concentration rose high, the Spirit Zone opened.
‘I’m almost there.’
Pleasant chords mingled between the gritty dissonance.
Dun Dun Dun Dun!
At the moment when the score and the performance reached its climax, there was a thrill that shocked Reina’s body to the core.
Shirone began an authentic cadence.
Raising both his hands, Shirone hit the perfect 5th and then pressed upon the 1st interval with the greatest degree of passion…
The harmony, which started 4 minutes ago, extinguished into seven notes, spreading an infinite, inexhaustible aftertaste.