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Ojamajo Doremi 16 Vol 2 Chapter 7.3

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CHAPTER 7 – CHASING THE MOON

PART 03

——

Hazuki-chan was always so calm and quiet, but she became a slightly different person once she had her violin in hand. Gentle sounds, pa.s.sionate sounds, quiet sounds, every instrument was capable to producing lots of different tones, but—

“She seems to be delivering her true feelings through the songs, and showing everyone how much she loves to play the violin.”

As Ai-chan said, Hazuki-chan was performing on stage, calm and composed despite the large number of audience filling the hall. It must be because she’d had much experience performing in front of people. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying the music. I remembered my own case of stage fright, and wondered if it was too late to somehow change that now.

“Though she’s playing in an orchestra, Hazuki-chan is still making music in her own unique way. I can’t hear her specifically, but I can tell she’s contributing greatly to the overall sound. Don’t you think so too?” Momo-chan asked.

Right now, the orchestra was performing the solo violin sonata.

“Shouldn’t Hazuki-chan be getting lots of solos?”

Compared to the students majoring in the piano, there were much less people majoring in the violin, yet Hazuki-chan still devoted herself to practicing really hard. And even though she wasn’t playing any solos now, she still sat with pride next to her seniors, playing the violin with dignity.

“She’s the same as Onpu-chan. It’s a labor of love.”

Hazuki-chan had told us that though the curriculum in high school was similar to what they’d had in junior high, there were more lessons now, and they were much more demanding and enriching. Of course, it was a must to practice everyday, which she was already doing perfectly. On top of that, Yada-kun’s improvement at his own playing probably spurred her to improve too.

I wondered if Pop would be alright. Hazuki-chan had advised her to focus more on attending different concerts and maintaining her results for her subjects, rather than fight to be the best player in school.

Compared to other people, we’d had the chance to go through lots of magical experiences. And those were definitely not in vain, I thought as I listened to Hazuki-chan’s performance.

The hall wasn’t large, but the acoustics were great, and the audience seats were almost full. That must be why the orchestra was playing so well. Of course, Seki-sensei had come too. I thought the concert would move her to tears, but she was smiling as she applauded the players. Yada-kun was here too, sitting far in the back where n.o.body would spot him.

All this, I texted to Onpu-chan. I was sure Momo-chan, Ai-chan, and even Hazuki-chan herself, would do the same. It would be morning in London right now, and sure enough, I soon got a reply.

Once she’d arrived in London, Onpu-chan had immediately gone on a stroll around the city. She’d said that she wanted to feel the atmosphere and admire the scenery, since she had no chance to do so the last time. Her last trip had only lasted four days, so she couldn’t remember much aside from the airport, hotel and the musical theater where she would be performing at.

She was riding on the subway when she spotted a poster advertising the musical, and it prompted her to purchase a hat and sungla.s.ses in a hurry. However, unlike in j.a.pan, there were few people who recognized her, so she could take the subway and visit museums, go shopping, and basically enjoy a day out.

Onpu-chan also shared about how friendly the other protagonist from the double cast was, as well as the rest of the cast, and how they a
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lways took the initiative to come talk to her. It was great, since they would be working really closely together for the next month. Her manager had gone off to Paris to look for accommodations, and had booked rooms at a small hotel near the opera house.

That was right, they’d be moving to Paris after the London shows. It would be easy to travel between the two cities via the Eurostar, Europe’s version of our j.a.panese bullet train. I hoped to get a chance to ride on it one day too.

Also, it seemed that Momo-chan’s desserts had been really well-received. It was not a surprise, they were cute and delicious, after all. Onpu-chan also reported that London’s food wasn’t actually all that bad.

[The desserts in England are really filling. They’re not cute like Momo-chan’s creations, but they still taste slightly nostalgic. I’m sure the desserts in Paris will be really stylish, and I’m looking forward to tasting them.]

We were gathered together, showing each other what Onpu-chan had said in her reply texts to each of us. Of course, the previous message had been sent to Momo-chan; their conversations always revolved around desserts. Though we could eat lots of international cuisine in j.a.pan, it must be a totally different experience eating it in the country of origin. Onpu-chan must have gone on a food hunt, after Momo-chan encouraged her to try out the desserts not only at famous bakeries, but at the local stores as well. I recalled how Momo-chan had talked about going to France to study baking, so she was probably excited too.

[There are lots of large parks here in London. I could see birds and squirrels up close, so it’s really great. I also saw many people walking their dogs or jogging. They really liked your anime figurines, Ai-chan. I was surprised how many people actually knew about anime.]

That was Onpu-chan’s reply to Ai-chan. It seemed like her gift was a huge success after all.

In fact, Onpu-chan shared that she’d felt a little homesick, but the family she’d rented her room from was a great couple who did their best to make her feel at home. They would try to cook j.a.panese food, and even learn some j.a.panese so they could chat with Onpu-chan. In the end, it had helped both Onpu-chan and her manager to feel better. It was really great.

“Onpu-chan’s musical is getting amazing reviews, Doremi-chan.”

I’d just arrived at the MAHO-do, and Momo-chan had immediately showed me some of the latest online news.

“Really?”

I tried to take a look, but the screen was filled with English so I couldn’t understand a thing.

“It’s true, though the only words I can make out are ‘Blue Moon’.”

“The headline reads ‘Young girl from Asia grows wings and takes flight’, I think. It’s quite a fitting image, and I’m sure it’s an article full of compliments.”

Ai-chan and Hazuki-chan commented as they peered at the news article. It was surrounded by other celebrity news, such as reports on famous rock band concerts and even a Shakespearean opera (I think). Onpu-chan’s article wasn’t on the front page, but it did come with a photo of the entire cast smiling happily as they performed a musical number on stage.

The local newspapers also carried news featuring Onpu-chan, and they were full of praises too. I was glad the musical was well-received not only abroad, but here in j.a.pan too.

“The London shows would be over soon, and spring vacation has also started. If only we can travel to Paris to watch a show there.”

Hazuki-chan whispered, sighing as she decorated a cake with a spring motif.

“I know. I’d love for Onpu-chan to try my new spring cakes!”

Momo-chan was able to send grilled sweets and cookies to Onpu-chan, but cakes were a different matter. The most she could do was send photos, though Onpu-chan still replied enthusiastically, even supplying some ideas for cupcake decorations.

“I tried making a soccer ball design for Onpu-chan and you, Doremi-chan.”

That was because Onpu-chan had told us that soccer was a popular sport in England. In fact, they called it football. Unlike in j.a.pan, the football season was nearly over there, and everyone was getting geared up over the champions.h.i.+p match.

There were many soccer fans among the staff and cast, though the team they supported lost in last weekend’s match, so Onpu-chan could tell that they were disappointed and listless. However, since she knew next to nothing about soccer, she couldn’t join in their conversations. It must be interesting, as I imagined living with lots of Leons (Giants fan) and Ai-chans (Tigers fans).

“I made a baseball design too, Momo-chan,” Ai-chan said, showing off her decorations.

We’d baked some dome cakes and decorated them with black and white to resemble soccer b.a.l.l.s. To go with the theme, we alternated layers of vanilla and chocolate sponge cakes inside. Apart from the sports theme, we’d also made some fruit tarts decorated with various berries to resemble a spring field. The red berries looked really cheerful.

The J-League and pro baseball seasons were just starting in j.a.pan, and it was getting warm enough to make everyone want to head outside. Since we had no homework over the spring break, everyone was in a good mood, though I was a little worried about who my new cla.s.smates and homeroom teacher would be once school reopened.

In a corner of the same English newspaper Momo-chan had showed me resided a small, slightly mysterious article. n.o.body took any notice of it then, and until Onpu-chan sent us an e-mail about it later, none of us would have realized what was happening. It was the beginning of a whole new adventure.

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