Extra arc 『The Stage Ghost’s Cappricio』 Chapter 5
When Frandert-sama and I entered the theatre, the theatre manager quickly appeared and showed us to the guest seats.
This theatre manager was also indiscreet so the instant he saw us, he started thanking us for the capital both our families have provided to the theatre. I feel like this person always talks about money.
They were getting the lighting and sounds checked on this stage for the sake of commencing the dress rehearsal after this.
Miria was already on the stage and when she noticed us, she gave but a small wave over at our direction.
I surveyed the unoccupied seats around us and narrowed my eyes a little when I found a certain face I recognized.
An elderly gentleman sat expressly behind us even though there were so many empty seats available.
He had a scowl on his face as if to say 『I was completely forced into this』 while staring at the direction of the stage.
If he’s going to make that face, then he shouldn’t have come to see the stage dress rehearsal. But then, that was also part of his job.
A union member of the Royal Theatre Association and also a well-known drama critic. His criticisms are accurate and I used to really look forward to reading his commentaries. It’s unfortunate but I feel like he made a lot of slightly biased articles recently.
The reason he was watching the dress rehearsals was linked to his job as a union member. The Royal Theatre Association is an organization for the various theatres in the capital that looks out for the basic health and welfare of its members on the stage.
While that was quite a respectable job to do, if I were to describe him in a few words, I’d say he was a bullheaded, ill-tempered, nagging old geez– pardon me, I meant grandfather. (1)
『It’ll be such a stain for the union if Miria has an accident on stage when she’s now famous even in the capital. It’s something that will increase my inhuman and bothersome workload, but I guess it can’t be helped』 , says the man himself, Ronald Beret.
The way he said it sounded really sarcastic, so to keep my cool, I’ve made it a habit to change his lines in my head.
『H-hmph. It’s not like I’m worried about you at all, okay?! It’s just that if an accident happens on stage, it will be a minus for the union… that’s why I’ll come and check from time to time! But that’s all, got it?!』
Mr. Ronald, who was unaware of the great pains I took to just quietly let it go without complaint, purposely came up to us who’d chosen and sat on seats far away from him.
「Good day, young miss. You sure are as enthusiastic as ever」
He calls me simply by 『young miss』. I hadn’t offered up my family name.
I guess it’s unfair that he only knows my given name when I know his full name. But I don’t want to be thought of as little girl who talks big just because she’s sheltered under the authority of her duke family, and I especially don’t want to be able to win an argument or something for that reason.
By the way. Despite the fact that Frandert-sama and I were here as a pair, he purposely came to talk only to me. This was nothing more than because he disliked my attitude on our very first meeting. in other words, he and I nearly butting heads.
While replying with a 「Yes, how do you do?」, I’ve completed my preparation for battle.
「It’d be great if they’d let us watch her practices and performances everyday as much as we want, if possible Don’t you think so too? Miria’s voice is really wonderful that I can’t get enough no matter how much I listen to it… you don’t look like you agree, though」
「Hmph. It seems young miss is dissatisfied with my review yet again」
「If this is about the critique you made regarding Miria’s new performance, I don’t believe I can call that a review. You went too far ending it with 『it was such a boring performance』 after all the nitpicking you made. Even though it was such a moving performance and got a splendid applause at that, seems like it hadn’t reached your ears, huh?」
「It’s your aesthetic sense that’s dodgy, young miss. Since you only listened to your own extremely enthusiatic applause, I bet you hadn’t bothered to look around. Blind supporters are defined by their lack of sense」
I huffed in anger but I couldn’t let myself get heat up in an argument any further at a place where the dress rehearsal was about to take place.
I decided to try converting the words Mr. Ronald said just now in my head.
『There’s no way someone like you understands Miria’s good points! I know about Miria way better than you! It’s because I want that girl to grow that I speak to her harshly!』
A tsundere who can‘t be honest in the presence of the actual person (telling a rival off ver.).
Mr. Ronald, who had no way of knowing what I was thinking, took my silence as a sign of victory and wore a smug look.
I drove my thoughts about Mr. Ronald from my mind and tried to concentrate on the dress rehearsal that was about to start.
The rehearsal they were practicing right now was Miria’s new play that came up in our conversation.
I’m told that one of the patrons had given spoilers about this performance while it was already starting its shows. So rumours has it that this dress rehearsal arose because they hurriedly needed to change the lines, few as those lines may be, with the real performance in mind.
I only heard about it, but something like that does happen.
Anyway, I can’t make anymore fuss when I was given this opportunity to specially observe such a practice with Miria’s help. In today’s practice, the exclusive troupe playwright, who was rumoured to hate people and hard to please, was also present. Since he was someone who never shows his face in public, this will be the first that even I’ll meet him.
A person who fit that description that had been speaking with Miria. He was a tall, thin man whose face I couldn’t see very well from the place I was at.
「That’s the playwright」, Mr. Ronald told me even though I didn’t ask.
「He’s a well-known misanthropist. It’s mainly because of the rumour that no humans stood on this stage that he accepted employment in this troupe. …Heard he got cruelly dumped by his lover when he was young. So his favourite type is, of course, 『a pure woman who devotes nothing but earnest love to another』」
Mr. Ronald said that sort of slander in a small voice only I could hear.
Before now, I would’ve taken a firm attitude thinking 『That’s this guy’s opinion, not mine!』, no matter what Mr. Ronald told me, but my cheeks spontaneously stiffened at these words.
In regards to the plays Miria performed, I’ve actually only seen the play where I saw Miria for the first time and the one she’s performing right now. In other words, I only know of two works.
But, I knew that Miria has always played the part of 『a pure woman who devotes nothing but earnest love to another』 so far. In the capital, it was becoming synonymous to Miria.
Even the plot of this story which practice was about to begin for had that same impression.
Burning with a single-minded passion for her first love, even though the object of her affection was simply a sheltered noble who was only good with words, the heroine couldn’t stop her earnest thoughts. Even after finding out he had a wife and children of all things, she offers her heart and in the end, dies after getting stabbed with a knife meant to be lodged into the cheating man’s heart.
Even as the audience asks why do it for that kind of man, they could not go without tears at her earnest love. It had been that sort of performance.
But, what if that was the reflection of playwright’s preference? What if he was writing only girls like that because of backlash in the past where he was dumped by the woman he loved?
（That’s a little… just a little… n-no, but if he were elavating his personal anguish as an artwork, it ought to be absolutely wonderful as an artist――）
As if reading my heart, Mr. Ronald gave a nasty smile.
「Girly, ain’t it?」
(1) I couldn’t find a word that can quickly define a person who loves to scold, so I used the word “nagging” here. This sentence is basically: “…he was an extremely stubborn, ill-tempered old
geezer grandfather who loves to scold”.
Firi: Lol, a tsundere jiji.