Ciel nosurge/Countdown Festival - Ciel nosurge Short Story by Ryo Izumi
This story was originally posted on the Gust website as part of the Countdown Festival celebrating in anticipation of the release of Ciel nosurge OFFLINE and Ar nosurge PLUS.
Original story can be found here: http://social.gust.co.jp/pc/event/surge/cd_story
In a certain area of a colony called Planetary Maison, Ion and Nay have come to visit at Shirotaka's home. However, Nay leaves saying she has something to take care of, leaving Shirotaka and Ion alone together. Maybe because the two have only just recently met, an uncomfortable silence sets as they keep their distance, unsure how to break the ice.
Having no idea about how to start a conversation, Ion looks around the room.
"Oh, you have a lot of dolls, huh."
"Ooooo! You're interested in them?! They're called figures!"
Most likely out of happiness that Ion showed interest, Shirotaka begins to talk in a very excited, animated fashion.
"This one here is Miri-chan, and this is Elisha-san..."
He goes down the cramped line of figures, introducing each one in order. The previous awkwardness vanished as if a lie, replaced by a vivid liveliness.
After a little, Shirotaka's expression changes suddenly to a strained laugh, "Ah, I'm really sorry. I kind of went overboard there didn't I."
"No, I think it's amazing that you have something you like that much!"
"And not just that you like it, but you can even make them yourself. I'm pretty good with machines but... I really don't think I could get as enthusiastic as you do," Ion responds with despondence, comparing herself to Shirotaka's all-out conviction to his hobby.
"No way Ion! Didn't you save a lot of people? That's on such a scale beyond me, you did that for everyone's sake. You should have more confidence."
"I was just desperate back in Manjusara, I had to do something. When I talked to Kanon back on Dream Sphere I could see that I didn't have any resolve. There are so many amazing people around me too..."
"To me, you're pretty amazing Ion... But, you're a Princess, of course it's natural you'd be surrounded by amazing people, right?"
"Nay as well. She just oozes self confidence, like she can do anything. Like she's sparkling."
"I think Nay's self confidence is mysterious too. But that's just one of her charms."
"Even you think that, Shirotaka? Hehe."
Coming to an agreement on their opinion, the two of them laugh. As the mood settles, Shirotaka asks Ion, "By the way, is there something you like? Like a special skill, it doesn't have to be something you're proud of. Just something that you're into."
"Something I like? Ummm, I like playing around with machines I guess. I was always fiddling with them. I stopped because it seemed like something I shouldn't be doing, but assembling things to suit the way I'm thinking always made me so happy."
"Totally! Totally! When I finally get a program I've been making to run right I want to make a Guts Pose!" Shirotaka reinforces his approval with exaggerated posing. A smile begins to bloom on Ion's face as she receives Shirotaka's approval of her own hobby.
"Actually, there's another programmer out there I can't even compare to, they're so amazing it's incredible. But I really like programming, it's totally unrelated to confidence. I just do it because I like it, you know. The same with figures. I collect them because I like them, and like them so much I make them myself."
As Shirotaka goes on he slowly becomes more and more feverish. Unlike how he became blind to everything else while talking about his figures earlier, but more bashful, speaking with a passionate earnestness.
"That's why I think you should keep doing what you like, Ion. If you like it, do it. I think you should do because you want to."
With Shirotaka's words circling in her heart, Ion says, "Yeah.. Yeah, you're right."
Shirotaka laughs, "Though I can't really imagine you overflowing with self confidence like Nay." Ion laughs a little too, also unable to imagine herself like that.
"I mean, to me, Ion, you don't seem lively and energetic like that, more lady-like, feminine..."
Nay speaks up. "Oooh? So you're saying I'm not very lady-like? Sorry I'm so busy and in a hurry. Shi-ro-ta-ka."
Nay, having returned already, pinches Shirotaka in the back.
"The mood seems strange in here, you didn't do anything weird to Ion while I was gone, did you?"
"N-no! I behaved like a perfect gentleman"
Nay taunts him, "Oh, but Ion in the raw is so cute isn't she?"
"I knew I couldn't trust you."
"Ouch! Give me a break!"
Unable to tell if they're serious or joking around, Ion begins laughing, breaking out in a huge smile. Ion thought to herself that she'd never get used to someone, become comfortable like that. It seemed like they'd been friends for a long time with such a natural exchange.
The two of them were so bright, so smart and so skilled at what they do, she wondered at how little she had to offer. However, instead of trying compare herself to people like that, she decided she should try and just enjoy what she enjoyed a little more from now on.
Because after all, not being tied down is such a wonderful feeling.