Chapter 30:

Chapter 30: Talent Snatcher

Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!

“Maybe you’re unclear how Tetsu-san’s company works. Utaite commonly sings, but Tetsu-san is in attempt to create a company of multi-talented artist. Other than voice acting, he also finds those who act, sing, write, or anything relatable to entertainment. It’s a seven-years-old agency, so the members are not that many. You can search the agency’s portfolio online.” - Tsuki, an utaite.Bookmark here

The scorching sun literally burnt them, yet neither Nami nor Matsu came to view. Ishi and Kaji have tried contacting each of them, and both reassured the juniors that they would arrive five minutes later. Estimating from the call, twenty minutes have passed, but no one informed them anything regarding their lateness. The juniors were fortunate because the owner of Calbee store allowed them to wait for the elders in the office, plus Aki has gotten up from his faint, so he needed some more time to fully awake.Bookmark here

While waiting for Nami and Matsu to arrive, Tashikani took this opportunity to converse with Tsuki. Tsuki was waiting for his companion too, thus enabling him to prolong their reconciliation. Ishi and Tori have been checking on Aki in case if he had injured somewhere on his body. Other than a swollen forehead, Aki did not get himself cuts or bruises, which relieved the other three. Bookmark here

As the one with more experience and money, Tsuki offered himself to treat them Calbee snacks. Seven cups of Jagarico were served and they happily munched their parts. It was Tsuki’s way of thanking them for their effort and his apology for hurting Luruh, one of the company’s gems. Bookmark here

“I wonder if your company accept other talent besides singing, like Tetsu-san’s,” Tsuki busily chewed his Jagarico, “What’s your opinion, Aki-san?”Bookmark here

“You can drop the –san though,” Aki shyly ducked his head. Tsuki was older than him, but he did not know why Tsuki respected him. “As an ardent fan of anime voice actors, I found it shocking that Tetsu-san decided to build his own company. I mean, he’s still actively acting though.”Bookmark here

“He has a few of trustable people around him, included my companion. They happened to meet in an anime festival, and they kept in touch up till today. Tetsu-san has entrusted my companion to look for Tashikani, but I found you guys first,” explained Tsuki as slow as he could due to the cold stares they received by the people around them. Those customers possibly heard about Tetsu-san or Tashikani parts that they tended to eavesdrop. Bookmark here

“The important thing is that you’ll never reveal us to the public,” Ishi insisted, “You do know about privacy, right? Since you sing without showing your face too.”Bookmark here

“I was lucky because no one recognizes me but Tashikani,” Tsuki grinned ear to ear, “The sight of people looking at me is scary.”Bookmark here

Aki and Tori watched Tsuki’s mannerism while the others were interviewing him. Despite being a famous utaite, arrogance never displayed through his words or attitude. In a glance, they might have guessed Tsuki as a normal high school student with daring fashion sense. The only ones distinguishing him were Kaji, Shimo and Taku, and it was solely because he was their close friend.Bookmark here

“Are you having stage fright, Tsuki-san?” Ishi carefully asked in curiosity. One of the abnormal traits he could detect from a public figure was stage fright, and singing as an utaite was one of the alternative way to handle the fright deliberately. Bookmark here

“You could say so,” Tsuki nodded along. “But I’m doing fine as an utaite, at least for the time being.”Bookmark here

“Does that mean you won’t appear on live concert, Tsuki-san?” Mura tried his best to naturally act around Tsuki.Bookmark here

A chuckle escaped from Tsuki. “It’s funny because you blocked me from moving just now, and you’re so friendly actually. Yes, I won’t do that.”Bookmark here

Both Ishi and Mura blushed at Tsuki’s comment to their treatment. They was not faking it, but the cautiousness just surfaced out of nowhere. Guilt possibly accumulated within themselves that a simple apology would not feel right. In order to recover the situation, all they could come up was to treat Tsuki nicely, without a hint of fraud or feign. Bookmark here

“Tsuki-san, is your companion an utaite too?” It was Tori’s turn to inquire, especially when Tsuki seemed to not mind as much. “Can we know who he is?”Bookmark here

Tsuki giggled a bit before replying. “Yes, he is! A much better utaite than I am!” He unlocked his phone and showed them another photo. A guy of about Tsuki’s height with medium-length shaggy hair, the large knitwear proved his slender body statures, and masked face depicted his secrecy. No one could tell how his face actually looked like, complying to a feature of an utaite. “His name is Ibu.”Bookmark here

“Ibu?” Aki sprung from his seat in astonishment. Tori quickly drag him to sit back. “I once sang his song for our Utube content, and his collection is one of the most difficult songs I’ve ever tried!”Bookmark here

“I know, right? Even he said it himself,” Tsuki kept his phone in his pocket and focused on his Jagarico. “Unlike me, Ibu-san has become a professional singer thanks to his ability to create songs. He doesn’t really sing song covers nowadays.”Bookmark here

Ibu was an utaite who possessed a distinctive boyish voice. He was well-known from his continuous effort in varying melodies and tones, which led to the creation of his ultimate masterpiece Dramatic Surge. From his first original song, he has climbed up the popularity as a professional singer and eventually came up with more original songs. There were a few anime themes that inserted his songs, and he was becoming more famous by it. Bookmark here

“His fans have even complained. But he had no choice. It’s his voice after all,” Tsuki concluded, crossing his arms to his chest. “It’s his principle to maintain his asset by himself. He is how he is now, never falter due to mere problems. Besides, there are only two utaite owning thin voice like him, but another utaite is much younger.”Bookmark here

“Can I ask about Tetsu-san?” Aki raised a hand to interfere, “Does Ibu-san become Tetsu-san’s voice actor? I mean, it’s kind of weird to have him recruiting people for Tetsu-san’s company.”Bookmark here

“Good question,” Ishi agreed to Aki’s inquisitiveness.Bookmark here

Tsuki shook his head and it somehow startled Aki and Ishi simultaneously. Bookmark here

“Maybe you’re unclear how Tetsu-san’s company works,” Tsuki scanned around to reassure no other people would overhear them. “Utaite commonly sings, but Tetsu-san is in attempt to create a company of multi-talented artist. Other than voice acting, he also finds those who act, sing, write, or anything relatable to entertainment. It’s a seven-years-old agency, so the members are not that many. You can search the agency’s portfolio online.”Bookmark here

Instantly, Tori fished out his mobile phone and typed Tetsu-san’s comprehensive information on legal articles. He found one from Tetsu-san’s previous label which disclosed about his newly-built talent agency, verifying Tsuki’s divulgence. Bookmark here

“So Ibu-san is under Tetsu-san’s agency?” Kaji and Shimo basically asked in unison, with one of them widening his eyes incidentally. Bookmark here

“Unfortunately, no. Ibu-san rejected the offer since he preferred moving as one individual, on his own will. Furthermore, Tetsu-san’s agency is highly demanded, and Ibu-san is giving up the chance to other candidates.”Bookmark here

The entrance of Calbee swung open and the doorbells rang along, directly notifying everyone that new customers have just entered the premise. The group simultaneously turned to the direction when they saw Matsu and Nami waving hands at them with wide grins pasted on the face. Another mysterious guy behind them curved a smile too, but his long bangs blocked his eyes which troubled the others to recognize him. Bookmark here

“Aki!” Nami rushed to the puzzled Aki beside Ishi. “How have you been? We were so worried of you!”Bookmark here

“Ibu-san offered his car to bring you to the hospital!” Matsu hurriedly examined Aki’s visible body parts to detect cuts, and he breathed out in relief once he affirmed of Aki’s wellbeing. “Are you okay, Aki?”Bookmark here

“I’m totally fine, senpai. Do not get anxious too much,” Aki gently pushed away Matsu’s hand. But he kept on glimpsing at the guy behind Matsu and Nami, believably the one named Ibu-san he has mentioned, “Did you have fun?” Bookmark here

“Surely we did!” They stepped back to provide some space for the mysterious guy, although to those third-years, he was not. “Everyone! This is Ibu-san!” Bookmark here

The guy bowed almost acutely, and his dangling fringe swayed along his movement. “Good afternoon! I’m Ibu! Nice to meet you!” Though the shaggy hair style, his hair strand was fairly smooth, shining prettily and rocked effortlessly. He has just straightened his body when he perceived the sight of Tsuki among the juniors of The Seiyuu Club Matsu has introduced to him. “Tsuki? What are you doing here?”Bookmark here

“They’re my friends, Ibu-san! Didn’t I tell you earlier?” Tsuki naturally cuddled Kaji and Shimo on the shoulders. Taku was insufficient for his arm, “The one I’ve been looking for all these while. The best part is,” he gestured his hand as a sign that enabled Ibu to get closer, “they are Tashikani.”Bookmark here

“For real?!” Bookmark here

Ibu shrieked a little, exposing his actual voice tone which astonished Aki and Mura. He did possess a very rare voice tone! They were being sickly judgmental, but Ibu-san’s voice was indeed a tenor like theirs too – Even his normal high-pitched talk surprised them.Bookmark here

“Ibu-san! My name is Aki!” Aki sprung from his seat for the nth time due to exhilaration and gave out his hand. “I like your voice and songs very much!” Bookmark here

Ibu-san was startled and blinked at the excited Aki, secretly glancing at Tsuki at Tashikani’s range. Tsuki just brushed it off with a laugh, denoting him that Aki was a nice guy with good intention. “He’s Luruh, for your information.”Bookmark here

“You’re Luruh?” Ibu-san’s expression switched without delay, stupefying the others. He undoubtedly shook hands with Aki and ignored Tori’s wary glares at him. “I can’t believe it! It’s Luruh! No wonder you sounded familiar just now!”Bookmark here

Aki’s widened eyes landed strongly on Ibu-san, but Ibu-san did not seem to be afraid of it. In fact, he hugged Aki tightly as his response, out of excitement and gladness, before he broke the hug to tell his actual intention.Bookmark here

“I want you to come with me!” Ibu-san tugged Aki’s wrist as if he was going to bring him somewhere away from Takeshita Dori. “I want you to meet Tetsu-san right now!”Bookmark here

“Ibu-san, wait!” Tsuki rose and grabbed on Ibu-san’s hand; the one gripping Aki’s. “Didn’t you say that you would suggest Tashikani to Tetsu-san? Why Luruh?”Bookmark here

Ibu-san grinned ear to ear, reflecting his eagerness towards Aki as Luruh, an utaite who has just become popular after publishing his song cover on Utube. Aki sang his first masterpiece Dramatic Surge and received tremendous Likes on Utube, almost the voice closest to Ibu-san. “I’ll still take Tashikani with me, but I want Luruh to follow me too.”Bookmark here

“Please let him go, Ibu-san!” Tori leapt to the rescue. “Aki is my friend and he’s already in contract with other company!”Bookmark here

The pained countenance of Ibu-san showed his disappointment. He slowly shifted to the perplexed Aki. “Is it true, Luruh-san?”Bookmark here

“No, not really,” Aki was baffled at everyone’s deadly glares towards him. He was just correcting Tori. The fact was that he and other Seiyuu Club members have not signed any contract related to their career, therefore he felt the responsibility to correct Tori. Bookmark here

Tori face palmed himself. Mura rolled his eyes in disbelief, while Ishi’s face froze like a statue. This friend couldn’t read the room! As the one targeted by Ibu-san, Kaji, Shimo and Taku stiffened themselves on their respective seats, also in bafflement. Nami and Matsu leant their back against the wall and arm crossed to watch the drama displayed before them. Bookmark here

“Thank you very much, Aki,” Tori clenched his teeth and fists. Bookmark here

“Then, can I take Tashikani and you with me? Tetsu-san will love to have you guys under his agency!” Ibu-san repeated to clear the tensed atmosphere. He did not mean to worsen the situation – he did not mean to even cause it either. The reaction he witnessed from The Seiyuu Club was indisputably threatening, as if he has offered himself into a pack of wolves with overpowering killing lust. Bookmark here

“Oh, surely you cannot, Ibu-san.”Bookmark here

“Eh?” Even Ibu-san furrowed at Aki’s answer. He was really enthralled a few minutes ago. “Why did you say so?”Bookmark here

Aki fathomed out both his arms, referring to the entire Seiyuu Club in the space. Everyone was staring at him in need of imploring for more detailed explanation. His mind was too complex that they could barely understand what he tried to prove to Ibu-san. Bookmark here

“I’m sorry to say this, Ibu-san. These are my current family, and we’re practicing to be voice actors. Other than that, I’ve promised myself to meet Fuku-san once I’ve successfully become a proper anime voice actor!” Aki thumped his fist on his chest, mimicking a signature pose of characters in <Titan Attacking>. “I want to work with him in the future, therefore I must strive excellently to make him acknowledge me!”Bookmark here

Highly spirited, Aki announced his rejection until Matsu motioned his hand to lower his volume. Tori and Ishi was petrified by Aki’s determination, and Mura patted his back for bravely declining Ibu-san’s offer. It was a bright chance for Aki to appear publicly as a voice actor, his dreamt job, but he and the whole Seiyuu Club have agreed to be employed under Fuku-san’s company. Bookmark here

“I see,” Ibu-san pasted a genuine smirk. “Honestly, I forgot about Fuku-san’s newly built company. Much newer than Tetsu-san, if I wasn’t mistaken.” He fondled Aki’s face before he inquired firmly, “Are you sure he will acknowledge you with your current talent, Luruh-san? Are you sure that his company will succeed like Tetsu-san’s? You could still prove to him your ability with Tetsu-san though.” Bookmark here

With faded cheeriness, Aki gently pushed away Ibu-san’s hand and locked his eyes into the latter’s. “I’ve promised him, since I was young, that I would chase after him. I will work hard to be a voice actor, a multi-talented voice actor who can stand together with him on the same stage. I’ve promised myself to achieve that, and I won’t let anyone disrupting my ambition. Whether I will success or not, it depends on how much I put myself into the determination, not because of Fuku-san’s company or such. If I failed to be a voice actor like Fuku-san, it’ll be my fault, not him.”Bookmark here

Sensing the situation might alter in negative way, Tori tapped on Aki’s forearm to remind him about the persona he was talking to. Aki halted Tori with a straight palm in the air. Ibu-san and Tsuki fell into deep silence. Bookmark here

“I’m sorry to say this, Ibu-san. I like your songs, I must say. But I don’t want to break my promise too. So, thank you for the offer. I decline it.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.