Nice new banner, Oddball. I like it.
The electric string quartet begins playing... With Lilly Satou as the cellist, and guiding the other three students, who are actually deaf or hard of hearing.
The audience watches in awed silence, as Satou subtly guides their playing, by facing specifically at one or more of them when she hears a problem, then tilting her head left or right to mean 'faster' or 'slower', or up or down for 'softer' or 'harder', respectively.
Shicchan, standing nearby offstage, stares intently at the audience, studying their delighted and amazed expressions.
I wonder if Shicchan likes feeling the vibrations from the speakers, as I sit in the dark corner, alone, watching Shicchan stand incredibly still, most likely focusing all her attention on trying to understand what the audience is experiencing as they listen to the beautiful music.
'Hello Misha, my old friend,' someone quietly says as he takes a seat beside me. 'I've come to talk with you again.'
'Hello, LordDarknus-san,' I greet him back, quietly.
'So... what did you think of 'Queens of the Land'?'
'I don't know, I was asleep. What do you think of 'The Sound of Silence', 'Darknus~'?'
'Umm, well, I think it's about someone who 'talks to darkness' by wondering deeply about his visions.'
'Yeah, his 'restless dreams', in a town Ebenezer Scrooge might like, are about people descending into materialism, blinding themselves from compassion, and systemically exploiting the less fortunate.'
'I thought it was just about people being bad at talking to each other.'
'Yeah, I guess that works too. Speaking of which, Lilly and Shizune managing to 'talk' to each other, for the first time too, to try and escape together, makes for a pretty good read!'
'Not so loud.'
'Sorry. These earlier versions of their characters are also pretty interesting. Lilly seems to be just as childish as Shizune, and Shizune seems to be much more mischievous. And Misha - err, you - seem a lot less... 'cartoony'? I guess? While still managing to be just as funny, as far as I can tell.'
'Their inner thoughts are nicely conveyed too, as they navigate obstacles and end up having to trust one another, though still clearly hating each other, making for some hilarious moments.'
'Yes, he is. The comedy revolves around the characters and their personalities, and he did an excellent job writing them - err, you, Lilly, and Shizune - and made the story flow naturally from start to finish.'
'Hmm... I'm not sure why Shizune didn't notice the same stairs that Mish- that you used to get down? Was it that dark?'
'Maybe she was really angry at Satou at the time?'
'I guess that must be why... in any case, I'm glad Shizune agreed to this whole public classical music event in the end.'
'Yeah, and Satou practised really hard with her quartet too.'
And they finish their performance just as I say it. After a moment, the entire audience applauds thunderously, thoroughly impressing Shicchan.
Satou and her quartet look exhausted, but relieved and satisfied as they bow, and then leave the stage with their instruments.
As they make their way backstage, Shicchan walks up to Satou, and taps her hand.
With a smile, Satou holds out a hand, and politely accepts Shicchan's handshake.
And the sound of silence between them, for this one moment at least, is banished.