Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!
“What do you mean that you are distancing yourself from me because I’m a girl? How do you say that we should act decently when both of you are obviously the ones avoiding me? Who acted abnormally now?” - Yumi.
The joy of successfully stepping out of Niigata without their parents was indisputably overwhelming. It somehow intensified as Aki and Tori have safely hopped off the train in Shibuya station. Skimming around in the midst of crowd, they followed the direction as taught by Yumi to go to the bus stop. According to Yumi, it only took around 15 to 20 minutes to arrive at Yoyogi by bus, plus it was the most accessible public transport around the neighbourhood they have rented.
Undoubtedly Yumi was a nice girl, adding on her cuteness and demure attire. Putting aside the incident in the train, they were blessed to encounter such kind-hearted figure on their way from Niigata to Shibuya. As new travellers, Yumi’s assistance helped a lot. They could seek guidance from the guards or such, but Yumi’s attendance has really put their mind at ease. They would use her name to tell their parents informing their safe arrival later on.
Aki and Tori secretly exchanged glances. They basically had no debt with Yumi, and Yumi should have nothing to do with them too. Despite claiming herself a Shibuyan, it did not allow her to follow them around. Though they did not talk, Aki and Tori were fully aware of her existence behind them all the way to the bus stop. Their curiosity hoisted as the three of them boarded the same bus towards the same direction.
A signboard written Momo St. that they saw denoted the neighbourhood they would be staying for the whole three years as students of Bushida Academy. Aki grinned in satiety once he hopped off the bus, while Tori at his hind hurriedly dragged their luggage away. He urged Aki to swiftly walk and leave the scene so that they could get into their rented house faster, and at the same time they could escape from Yumi’s range.
“Why, Tori?” Aki asked in confusion. Tori’s hand grip on his wrist was a bit suffocating. “Are you running away from someone?”
“We are running away from her!”
Trailing towards where Tori directed his thumb to, Aki ogled at the half running figure meters after them. He was about to run as well when the girl in skirt shouted.
“Wait for me, you guys!” The birds perching on electrical cables flew away from the scene. “Hey, wait!” Yumi’s calling became louder because Aki and Tori ignored her and kept running without turning back.
“Aki!” Her high pitched voice practically surprised everyone around, terrifying the most of Aki and Tori. She had no choice but to forcefully block their progression. “How could you do this to me? You said that you loved me!”
“Ehhhh?” The petrification attacking Aki was beyond expectation. What rubbish did Yumi talk about? “Yumi, why-“
“And you, Tori!” Immediately, the focus was shifted to the troubled Tori. “How could you deceive me? Promising me that you’ll help me to get back with Aki! What now?”
The situation has flipped drastically from a chase game to a backbiting session. A few pairs of eyes who happened to pass by ceased just to watch the upcoming event.
“We should be the ones to ask you that! What now?” Tori clenched his teeth in exasperation. “What are you scheming, Yumi?”
Turning around to face Yumi, they witnessed her panting and almost fell onto her knees. She wiped her sweat on the forehead and let herself calm first.
“I- I- just want you guys to stop running away from me. Wait- for me instead,” Yumi inhaled deeply. “Phew! How stubborn you guys were that I had to slander you in this open air.”
“What kind of villain revealing his own plan to the victims?” Tori face palmed and rolled his eyes, failing to predict how this Yumi girl actually behaved around other people. “What do you want, Yumi?”
The girl fidgeted with her fingers, shyly lowering her head and hesitating. The silence she has caused triggered Aki’s confusion and Tori’s irritation. “Did you just call me a villain? Forget it. I just want to befriend you guys. Isn’t it wrong?”
“It’s wrong when you had to humiliate yourself just to attract our attention, Yumi,” The uneasiness displayed on Aki’s expression was definite. “It wasn’t that we didn’t want to befriend you. It’s just that we are boys, and you’re a girl, totally different in every single matter notably our appearance. We aren’t avoiding you wholly, we just want you to act decently around us.”
Yumi seemed stunned from her standing spot, fixating her eyes on the half-determined Aki. The atmosphere worsened ever since Yumi defamed them for cheating on her, which Aki found it too tough to be mended. This Yumi girl really had some guts to use her own name as the victim, whereas Aki and Tori were the actual ones.
“What do you mean that you are distancing yourself from me because I’m a girl?” Yumi flaunted with ogling eyes and gritting teeth, “How do you say that we should act decently when both of you are obviously the ones avoiding me? Who acted abnormally now?”
Yumi’s rage roamed across the air, overpowering the three of them into bottomless darkness. Aki and Tori figured it out right away that they have prompted someone they should not even get in contact in the first place. From a very cheeky girl, Yumi appeared to get herself into Anger Mode, disobeying her cute image.
“Chill, girl. You must have been pampered all these while,” Tori grunted in discontentment seeing Yumi throwing tantrum just because she was unable to get close to them. “All right, all right. Come here,” he motioned his hand to Yumi, signalling her to be next to him. “You’re a local here either. So let’s just proceed and keep on going.”
This Yumi girl was a mystery herself. She could instantly overturn her mood, from positive to negative, then back to positive sides, as if she was an embodiment of a coin. Her emotion was like a wave crashing to the shore – unexpected yet possibly devastating, but it was still there, undeniably existed. Aki and Tori gulped once she hopped gleefully towards them, lessening the gap between them and her.
“All right, so you’re living in Momo St., am I right? How lucky!” Yumi cheered to herself, ignoring Aki and Tori’s squints. “I live there too. Do you want me to show you the direction?”
“Why should we? We’ve barely known each other. You don’t even get in Bushida Academy with us,” It sounded like sulking, but Aki could say that Tori was actually applying more invisible gap between them and Yumi. He intentionally did so in order to not let down his guard, plus Aki was the type to easily trust people.
Yumi snickered and hopped forward, leaving Aki and Tori behind in massive contemplation. Despite that, they still tailed Yumi to the similar direction to their rented house, exchanging glances as they just noticed the numbers of surrounding houses were informing them that they were getting nearer to it. In attempt of luring Yumi’s attention, loud dog barks and dashing cats playing chase did startle them, failing the trial.
While they were about to just call her out, the three of them have already stopped by a huge two-storeyed house. Yumi crossed her arms and proudly stood in front of a tall gate, the boundary between the outside and the house compound. Even at the first glance, people would already consider it a remarkable resident.
“Welcome to my house!” Yumi stretched out her arms, greeting the bewildered Aki and Tori. “Please come in!”
“Wait, Yumi!” Aki halted her, demanding for more explanation. “Didn’t you say that you’ll show where our house is?”
Yumi laughed at Aki’s equivocation. “Yes, I did! This is your house!”
“Your house- No. I should change the pronoun. It’s our house!”
The blinding glittering stars looming behind Yumi gasped Aki and Tori simultaneously. How could they get into such a huge house? Tori’s mother never mentioned about sharing with someone else, and their housemate was going to be a girl to begin with! Tori had the urge to call his mother, begging for more information. At his side was the petrified Aki till he turned mute.
“What’s with the reaction? You should be happy because it’s rare to have guest in this house!” Yumi exclaimed. “It’s a private property. I’ve bought it for my accommodation. Plus, it’s in the middle of the agency, the schools, and my parents’ house.”
“Wait wait wait!” Aki frantically blocked Yumi from divulging more and more of herself. “Are you saying that we’re renting your house?”
“Mother said that we’re going to live in an ordinary condo, not a bungalow!” Tori added on more spices to their cluelessness.
The smile on Yumi was crooked. She then slowly took out her phone and looked into the chats. Her frowns on the forehead depicted her keenness in reading the whole conversation, which scared Aki and Tori even more.
“This lady called herself Yukiko,” Yumi shoved her phone to Aki and Tori, proving them she was not just bluffing, “Do you, by any chance, know anyone named Yukiko?”
Aki and Tori, again, exchanged glances for the nth time. “Yukiko is my mother,” Tori replied, too cautiously.
“Aha! So this Madam Yukiko happened to get in touch with my manager, and she has recommended me her sons,” Yumi grinned ear to ear, literally wickedly.
It was Tori’s turn to furrow deeply. “My mother recommended us?”
“Yes, because she said you wanted to be voice actors!” Yumi gestured her hand towards a table set, welcoming the boys to sit down.
There was a man sitting alone, possibly waiting for Yumi, as calculated from his posture. He immediately rose from his chair and bowed at Yumi, Aki and Tori once the trio walked towards the table to settle down.
“This is my manager, Fuyu-san,” Yumi introduced the man to Aki and Tori. The man named Fuyu-san bowed again as a note that he was at a lower level from Yumi, an employer. “Fuyu-san was the middle man between Madam Yukiko and I. The deal was made, and Madam Yukiko contacted me directly instead. We agreed to let you stay in my house for three years, yet with one condition-“
“I’m so sorry!”
The explanation was hindered completely by Aki’s abrupt action of slamming his head onto the table. It shook even the drink in cups, thus the panicking Tori quickly seized him to his chair back. The throbbing pain in Aki’s forehead did not hold him from bowing his upper half of body instead.
“Yumi-san, I’m sorry! I can’t afford this! The rent must be high! I don’t think I can responsibly maintain the same value of money every month! We’re jobless to begin with!” Aki has forgotten about the casualness between them and replaced his anxiety with formalities. “We will find another affordable apartment by ourselves!”
Even Fuyu-san getting perplexed at Aki’s unclear agitation. As a best friend of Aki, Tori bore the accountability to revert Aki back to normal, thus he shyly rubbed Aki’s back and coaxed him to sit down. They should act much properly for a better discussion with Yumi and Fuyu-san.
A loud laughter escaped from Yumi, which astonished Aki and Tori. Her guffaw was… manly? She pressed her stomach to supress her laughter while Fuyu-san beside her lowered his gaze. The reaction foretold Aki and Tori that there was something wrong with Yumi, however they were unsure whether it was good to ask her about her odd behaviour directly.
“You’re so funny, Aki! Please drop the formality, will you?” Yumi giggled to replace her ugly chortle (in Aki and Tori’s opinion). “It’s funny, I mean, how you guys don’t recognise me! We’ve been even too close in the train, yet you’re treating me like a normal girl out there!”
The bewilderment grew almost indefinitely. Their curiosity peaked as Yumi groped her own hair, tugging it down and revealing her real hairstyle – short, boyish cut. Both boys ogled as Yumi took off her shirt and skirt, exposing her whitish smooth skin.
Only then they figured it out.
Yumi was a he.
“Who are you? What have you done to Yumi?” Aki shrieked in disbelief with his finger frantically pointed exactly at Yumi’s nose.
The one pretending as Yumi chuckled at Aki’s straightforwardness. “Haven’t you heard? I’m Mura.”