【Episode 1 Part B: Sister and Legend, Part 5】
Personally, I am fine with horror movies and scary things in general, although I feel it might have more to do with my assassin upbringing than with my natural resistance to such things. There was even a point in time when Aika roped me into watching a marathon of all kinds of scary movies to see what would it take to get a terrified squeal out of me, but after I watched a bunch of them in a row without batting an eye she simply got mad at me, yelled 「You’re no fun, brother!」 and stormed out of the room. I think she was just scared herself but was too proud to openly admit it. We never watched any horror movies after that, of course.
I think back then I was still at a phase where I treaded such things as a glorified training exercise. Whenever I saw a scary situation, chase scene or characters struggling desperately against their oppressors I couldn’t help it but to analyze every aspect of it in order to gauge how I would have reacted if the same thing happened to me. That is the power of humanity’s extensive imagination for you: as long as you visualize it properly in your head you could probably come up with a solution to almost anything. Well, thinking about them was one thing, but putting those ideas into practice is another matter entirely.
「That is a shame indeed. I have never seen such a movie myself, so I was really curious to see what exactly makes them so appearing to everybody.」
「You have never seen a horror movie before, senpai? Now that’s something new.」
「Yes. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to go watch not only horror movies, but movies in general. After all, going to see the movies alone would be kind of… sad, and lonely.」
That much is certainly true. Although I myself see nothing wrong with going to the movies by yourself, the society we are currently living in would certainly frown upon such a solo activity. In this current world of ours doing something with your friends as a group and exchanging your opinions about it is generally considered as 「living your youth to the fullest」 while sticking to yourself would most likely get you branded as an ultimate loser, not to mention a social recluse.
「If horrors are out of the question then what are we going to watch?」
「Isn’t it obvious, my dear Monjiro? Of course we’re going to see a romance movie.」
Saying that, Shiki turned on her heel and began to walk forward, but I stopped her and grabbed her hands together with senpai. Why have we done such a thing, you ask?
Because something was horribly, horribly wrong with that statement of hers!
「Shiki, I’m sure I’ve heard you correctly, but allow me to confirm that just to be sure. We. Are going to see. A Romance movie? The one you chose for us all at that?」
「Yes, that is indeed that I said. And can you please speaking so slowly and with such fragmentary sentences, Monjiro? When I’m the one doing it it’s cool, but when you do it it’s just kinda creepy and off putting.」
「I understand what you’re saying, Shiki-san, but for you to pick a romance movie… are you sure you’re feeling all right? Or maybe you have a fever? Here, come closer, I’ll check your temperature with my forehead!」
「I assure you, there’s no need for that. No, I mean really, I’m fine, so stop coming closer to me with your forehead exposed, Kaguya! Seriously, what is wrong with both of you today. You’re acting all weird.」
Oh, so we’re the weird ones now?!
「It’s just… it’s just that we didn’t expect you to choose that kind of movie of your own will. It took us by surprise.」
「Jiro-kun’s right, Shiki-san, your choice surprised me too. Since you told us that you enjoy horror movies I thought romance will be the last thing you’d want to see.」
「And I personally had you for more of an action movies fan, to be honest.」
Especially with so many blockbuster Hollywood hits premiering in the cinemas worldwide. Since Shiki is so keen on technology, I thought she might enjoy all the over the top weaponry which is usually wielded by the protagonists of such movies so that they could maw down hordes of enemies with ease. I guess it’s a perfect remainder that appearances can be deceiving. Besides, if she has already booked the tickets, then it would be a shame to let them go to waste. So, romance movie it is.
「Have you ever watched romances before, Jiro-kun?」
「As a matter of fact I have seen quite a lot of them.」
「Oh really? That’s even more of a surprise!」
I chatted about it with senpai for a little while we were following after Shiki.
「My sister thought that watching them would be a good way to show me what 「heart」 and 「emotions」 are, so for a time watching them was a part of my daily routine.」
「Ahh, I see. So you used them as a reference material for your studies then.」
Those were truly the days, now that I think about it. We used to watch all kinds of romances: tear-jerking star-crossed lovers stories, cringy high school romantic comedies and even serious dramas. Although I can’t really say that 「we」 watched together, because Aika was usually falling asleep pretty fast and it was my job to give her the rundown of each and every movie she missed that way, which was unreasonable and had little impact on my studies of the mysteries behind 「heart」 and 「emotions」.
「Looking back on it now I can’t really say whether or not it did more good or bad for me.」
「I think it worked just fine, Jiro-kun. Although I do have to admit that it’s a rather strange method for development.」
Shiinamachi-senpai said so with a smile on her face. If she says so then it must be the truth.
「What do you find more enjoyable? Live action dramas or animation?」
「I don’t have anything against either of them, but if I had to choose then I’d say dramas because it’s easier for me to emphasize with the characters played by real-life actors. It’s that sense of immersion that’s impossible with animations which are more firmly planted in pure fiction rather than in reality. How about you? You’re not watching a lot of movies, don’t you, senpai?」
「I guess I am more of a book person myself because when I read it’s easier for me to insert myself in the shoes of the protagonist. But I do enjoy watching dramas and the like.」
「Is that so? I guess there are as many opinions as there are people.」
「Yes, that is so very true. So after we watch the movie we can have a heated discussion about it.」
「With pleasure, that is if you’re fine with my simple, unrefined opinions.」
So far I was able to have a light-hearted, tension free conversation with senpai. While we’re on the subject of movies and dramas, I wonder what Shiki thinks of them? Somehow I doubt she’d be drawn to the characters and interactions between them. Maybe she’d be more interested in dissecting the story and its themes? Yeah, I bet that would be more down her alley.
For a while I stared at Shiki’s back and then turned my gaze back towards the station.
「Is something wrong, Jiro-kun?」
「Huh? Oh, no, it’s nothing.」
That’s right. Everything was in order. I couldn’t feel any presence following us or any gaze observing us from afar. It was just the three of us.
Maybe I’m being overly paranoid, but there was still something on my mind. Something that kept making me feel uneasy, like something was not right here.
When I turned my head back, I saw that Shiki was also staring at me with her deep-blue eye as if she was trying to silently tell me something. I don’t know what it was exactly, but she probably felt the same uneasiness as me. And as much I tried to shake it off, it continued to eat away at me until we finally reached the cinema.