28 July, Kaoru Yukinari

文字数 3,362文字

“I’m so bored,” Yokoyama said.
  “Me, too,” I said.
  It was summer vacation and we had nothing to do. I was spending every day sitting in Yokoyama’s room; he was in the same class as me in middle school. At first we did homework or played games together, but then we got bored of that, too. It was hot outside, and it was pretty hot inside, too. I didn’t feel like moving at all.
  “Hey, Nishikawa.”
  “What?”
  “We’ve got nothing else to do, so maybe we should become heroes and save the world.”
  Yokoyama wasn’t making sense again, so I tilted my head and said, “Huh? Is it so hot your brain’s melted?”
  “The world’s in an awful state.”
  “Yeah, and?”
  “Maybe we can tell the sun to make things a little cooler.”
  “Maybe we can? You moron. What do you think’s gonna happen, the sun will write us an apology? ‘I’m sorry it’s stupid hot.’”
  “But if it was, like, 5 degrees cooler, wouldn’t everybody would be happier?”
  “Hey, go for it, man, even just as a one-off joke. Get it down to freezing.
  Yokoyama stood up suddenly, opened the window, and started yelling out it, “Cut it out, sun!” I hurriedly pulled him back.
  “You cut it out. Are you having a breakdown?”
  “Listen, man, I’m going to be the hero that saves everyone in the world.”
  “The best of intentions still need action.”
  “So I think we should do comedy together.”
  “Huh?” The word tumbled out of my mouth flatly. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought someone would suggest I do that.
  “Laughter makes most things bearable; it makes the most meaningless lives feel happy. So I want to be a hero called The Comedian Who Saves The World.”
  “You make it sound so easy,” I snorted. Yokoyama looked at me, his face suddenly serious. It might’ve been the first time in the ten years since we met at kindergarten that he’d looked at me so earnestly.
  “It’ll be fine, Nishikawa. We’re funny.”
  Yokoyama spoke so confidently that I was slack-jawed, forgetting to play along with the joke. But maybe this would be better than just complaining about how bored we are, I thought.
  “Let’s start working on our act tomorrow. We can be called the 3-chome Heroes.”
  “That name sucks, it sucks so bad.”
  “You hate it?”
  “No, um, well, it’s fine as a joke.”
  Yokoyama smiled and shook my hand forcefully. “It’s a deal!” he said. The room was hot and Yokoyama looked like it was getting the better of him. Suddenly, in the pit of my chest, I felt a little fired up, too.
  “Okay, so you’re the funny man and I’ll be the straight man.”
  “You’re the funny one,” I said, immediately bonking Yokoyama on the head.


Translated by Morgan Giles/Arranged by TranNet KK

Kaoru Yukinari
Born in Miyagi Prefecture, 1979. Graduated from Tohoku Gakuin University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts. Made his literary debut in 2012 with

Na

mo

naki

sekai

no

endorōru

(End roll of the world nameless ), for which he won the 25th Shōsetsu Subaru Award for New Writer. His works include

Baibai

badī

(Bye-bye buddy),

Hīrō

no

sentaku

(Hero’s choice),

Bokura

ni

datte

tobira

kurai

akerareru

(Even we can open a door),

Haien

biyori

(Nice weather for the abandoned garden),

Sutorongu

sutairu

(Strong style),

Kaitō

inbijiburu

(Phantom thief Invisible),

Honjitsu

no

menyū

wa

(Today’s menu is), and

KILLTASK

.

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