Little Busters! SS Vol. 4 - A Snowy Day

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Little Busters! SS Vol. 4 is available in iPod and iPad through iTunes Appstore and for Android in Google Play.
Also, this story was published in Little Busters! Ecstasy Perfect Visual Guidebook as "Little Busters! Ecstasy AFTER STORIES Vol. 2"

Little Busters! SS - Vol. 4
A Snowy Day
Planning ・ Scenario : Key
Artwork : Itaru Hinoue ・ Na-Ga
Music : Shinji Orito ・ Jun Maeda ・ Magome Togoshi ・ PMMK ・ Manabu Miwa

Story synopsis:
Riki! Do you wanna build a snowman? ♪
The fourth official short story for your smartphones, from the famous VN Little Busters! comes a story about Mio and Midori.
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight covering the town in the cold day of winter. Then, Riki was invited to play with the snow by that one figure who was so merry playing around, while Mio silently watched over them so gently.


artwork by Na-Ga

Word count roughly 3700 words.
That day, the weather forecast predicted that it might start snowing from the evening.

❄ ❄ ❄
Saturday.
After the school ended half-day, Midori, Nishizono-san and I went shopping together in the shopping district.
Midori tried on some clothes, Nishizono-san browsed for some books, and then we took a break on a cafe recommended by Komari-san for its delicious dessert.
Around 4 o'clock when we left the cafe, the sky started to dim as predicted, and it seemed that snow could start falling anytime soon.

Midori
"Hey, let's stop by the park."

Midori proposed to us.

Riki
"Eh, right now? But it seems that it's gonna start snowing soon."

After I said so, Midori responded "That's exactly why. Isn't it fine?" and laughed.

Nishizono
"Isn't it fine, Naoe-san? Let's stop by."

Because Nishizono-san also agreed on it, I have no more objection either.

By the time we arrived on a park located on the outskirts of town, the dark clouds have brooded over.
The temperature also starts to drop. I can feel the chill in the air.
I suggest us to buy warm beverages from the vending machines in the park, for each of us to drink .
The sweet canned coffee passed through my throat. The warmth gives me relief.

Riki
"...Nishizono-san, is that oshiruko?"[1]

Nishizono
"It's delicious."

...it does look like it, but don't people normally just buy coffee?

Midori
"Seems that snow will fall soon enough."

Midori whispered as she looked up to the sky.
Indeed, the sky signed so.
It does look like the dull silver cloud might fall anytime soon.
And then...

As if Midori's words were the signal, white things start to flutter down softly from the sky.
It's snowing.
Those fresh soft crystals are playing together with the blowing wind, dancing in the sky rampantly.

Midori
"Ahaha, it's really snowing!"

Midori starts to step around, like she's dancing together with the snow scattered by the wind.
The snow surrounds us while silently scattering and dancing around.
The lit-up street lights, along with the snowlight, faintly illuminate our surroundings white.
There is no one else around.
As if it's a stage that has been prepared just for the three of us.
In the center of that very stage, Midori spreads her arms and gently spins around back and forth.

Midori
"I really love snow."

Midori is playing around.
It seems that she's really, really enjoying it.
The fluttering snow stops on my palm and gradually melts away.
The crystals continue to fall.
On my hand, the snow turn into water one after another.
I shift my eyes to Nishizono-san next to me. The white powder is piling on top of her head, as if the snow has turned into hair decoration for her.
Nishizono-san narrows her eyes and watches the frolic Midori with affectionate gaze.



Nishizono
"What's wrong, Naoe-san?"

Riki
"No, it's nothing. Midori seems to be having fun."

Nishizono
"Yeah. After all, that girl really likes snow since forever. We were used to build snowman together. And on the next morning we would cry, "Oh, poor thing" when we saw the melted snowman."

She said with a hint of nostalgia in her words.

Riki
"Oh, that sounds... kind of cute."

Midori
"Geez. Oh, Riki-kun. Don't just always talk to onee-chan~"

Suddenly, Midori said peevishly.

Riki
"We were talking about you, Midori. We talked about how cute you were when you were little."

Midori
"Hey hey, onee-chan. Just what did you tell Riki-kun?"

Watching Midori yapping is so funny, so we can't help laughing.

Midori
"Anyway, you come over here too, Riki-kun."

Midori pulls my hand.

Midori
"See? It's fun to dance in the snow."

In the slowly darkening park, where the powdered snow continuously fall, Midori and I take each other's hand.
I take a single step.
Midori also takes a single step... towards the same spot as I did. Stomp. Midori lands her foot on top of mine.
Our feet get tangled and Midori leans her body on mine.

Riki
"...that hurt, Midori."

Midori
"That was your fault, Riki-kun. You're the guy here. You should've shown more magnificent steps."

Riki
"That's easier said than done."

Midori tilts her head and looks up to me.

Midori
"So, we're done?"

Riki
"No, I'll dance. I'm sure it's gonna be fun."

Midori
"Sure!"

Once again, I take a step. This time we synchronize and take turns with each other.
With our unskilled footwork, we try very hard just to move around — to the point that it might look funny for bystanders. We can't really call it a dance.
But still, after the two of us moved around for a while, somehow we get into good coordination.
I wrap my arm around Midori's small back.
Midori's smile —which decorated thinly by the snow— looked so blissful.

Midori
"I hope the snow will pile up a lot. And then we can play snowball fight or build a snowman."

Riki
"Yeah, you're right."

Nishizono-san is watching us from a little distance.

And the snow continued to pour down for good.

❄ ❄ ❄
The next morning
In my bed, I wake up rather absentmindedly.
Somehow it feels warm.
That was the first thing I thought of, in my head which hasn't been completely awake.
The snow that began to fall since yesterday evening continued to fall non-stop through the night, so it must have already piled up a lot this morning.
Even so, it's not cold.
While thinking that, I turn over and....
Squish.
I think I just touched something with my right hand.
I wonder what it is. It was soft.
With my eyes remain closed, I move my right hand. It touched a certain elasticity, like "squishy-squishy".
There is a warmth and softness, just like one of human skin.
I wonder if it's Masato. Maybe he mistakenly went into my bed half-asleep.
No... Unlike Masato's muscles, it feels quite soft.
When I pinch on it, it feels just like marshmallow.
It feels so comfortable, so while I'm still half-asleep, I move my right hand again and again, and then—

Midori
"Oh, Riki-kun. Don't touch me there."


I heard a sweet voice, resounding in my earlobes.
...I wonder since when Masato has such cute girly voice.
The image of Masato wearing skirt and ribbon crossed into my mind, and in that instant I immediately deleted that horrid image from my mind.
I came to and finally resolved to get up for real.
When I look around absentmindedly, beyond my sight which hasn't focused yet is a person's face.

Midori
"Riki-kun, good morning."

That human being just talked.
...That can't be Masato for sure.

Riki
"Midori-!"

My drowsiness was abruptly blown away.

Riki
"Wh- why are you here?"

Midori
"Ahaha. "Why are you here?" "Why are you here?" you ask? Oh Riki-kun, you just love philosophical question, don't you. Who was that, the one who said "I think, therefore I am"? Descartes, was it?"

Riki
"Ah, geez. That's not what I want to hear."

White skin is faintly peeking its way through from Midori's pajama chest area.
...I am troubled where to look.

Midori
"Hey, Riki-kun, let's do it~ I can't hold it anymore~"

Midori gazes up to me and said it with intimate voice.

Riki
"L- let's do it, you mean... what?"

I draw back into my small bed when Midori approaches me.
That moment, from the upper bed Masato says with disbelieving voice.

Masato
"What's with you, Riki? Mumbling right in the early morning."

Crap. It seems we woke him up.

Riki
"N- nothing. I was just sleep-talking, I guess."

I turn my head to the upper bed and answer.

Masato
"Is that so?"

Good, he seems convinced.

Masato
"But I think I heard a woman's voice too."

Thought too soon.
Masato is unexpectedly sharp at this kind of thing.

Riki
"Th- that is probably, you know, that... vocal exercise. Ah— a- a- a- aaaaah――"

I set my intonation to falsetto, and speak like I'm in drama club training.

Masato
"Oh, really? Okay then, if it's just a vocal exercise."

Masato goes silent after that.
Ah, I wonder if I really just fooled him.

Midori
"...Riki-kun, what are you doing?"

Midori let out a rather disgusted voice.

Riki
"Um, well..."

Since I have no idea myself, I answer vaguely.

Midori
"Oh well, now that Masato-kun returned back to sleep... Let's continue."

Riki
"Just what is this even about..."

Midori
"Oh you, Riki-kun. In such cold winter morning, a couple of young man and young girl snuggling in the same bed. There's only one thing to do in that kind of situation, don't you think?"

Riki
"P- playing oshikura manju?"[2]

Midori
"That's right. When it's cold, we just have to play oshikura manju, right? Oshikura manju, don't cry even when you're shoved. Oshikura manju, don't cry even when you're shoved."

She swings her body following the phrases.

Midori
"Yeah, as if. Honestly, Riki-kun, what am I gonna do with you..."

Riki
"No, no. You seemed enjoying that too."

Midori
"Oh, whatever. I am so done with you."

Before I clearly understand it, she has been sulking. At that moment, a reserved knocking sound can be heard from the door.

Masato
"Yeah, it's open."

Masato responded.
Wait a sec. First of all, now I have to hide Midori.

Riki
"Sorry."

I apologized, and hid Midori in the bed.

Midori
"Hey, Riki-kun— That hurt."

Riki
"I told you, I'm sorry."

I apologized once again.
Anyway, I only show my head out from the bed so Midori can't be seen from outside.

Nishizono
"Excuse me. Are you here, Naoe-san?"

That voice belongs to Nishizono-san.

Riki
"Whaa- whad- whaddup?"

Around my stomach, Midori is crawling and that is tickling me, so I let out a rather strange voice.
Nishizono-san stares at my appearance with a noticeable glare.

Nishizono
"Naoe-san, did Midori come and bother you here?"

Riki
"Huh? Midori?"

Midori
"Yeah, yeah. I'm over here, onee-chan."

Before I knew it, Midori pops out her face from the other side of the bed — which is from around my feet.
So, there are my head and Midori's head at both ends of the bed.
It probably looks ridiculous from other perspective.

Nishizono
"Sigh."

Nishizono-san sighed, seemingly tired of our antics.

Nishizono
"Honestly, what are you doing here?"

Masato
"Oh, as I thought, Nishizono's little sister is here."

From the upper bed, Masato peeked at my face upside down.

Nishizono
"Midori, how about you quickly get out and change your clothes. You're going to cause trouble to Naoe-san."

Midori
"Ahaha, that's what you say, but actually you're just jealous, aren't you? You also want to snuggle inside the bed together with Riki-kun, aren't you?

Nishizono
"Wh- wha- what are you talking about? Such shameless—"

Nishizono-san's face turned bright red.

Midori
"Hey, you don't mind, do you, Riki-kun?"

Imagining the sight of Nishizono-san and Midori embracing my arms as hugging pillow on my both sides... I...

Riki
"No, no, no. I do mind. I do."

I shake off the delusion.

Midori
"Tsch, how boring. Well, I can't stay here forever anyway. Let's get changed.... Hey, Riki-kun, you want me to get changed here?"

Nishizono
"Midori—!"

Midori
"Ahaha, just kidding. Well then, see you later, Riki-kun."

Midori leaves the room with those words.

Masato
"Little sister Nishizono is noisy as ever, isn't she?"

On the upper bed, Masato sounds amazed.

Nishizono
"It just can't be helped, since she's so happy."

Riki
"Why?"

Nishizono
"The snow is piling up. I'm sure she just can't wait to play soon."

At the same time Nishizono-san said so, Midori returned right after she changed her clothes.

❄ ❄ ❄

Midori
"Riki-kun~ Come on, let's build a snowman."

Just like a little kid, her eyes are sparkling.

Riki
"Snowman?"

Midori
"That's right. I just can't hold myself for quite a while now."

Riki
"The snow are not going to run away even if you're not that jolly."

Midori
"But it might melt."

Midori leaps out immediately. Nishizono-san and I slowly follow after her.
The sky is so clear, as if the snowing until dawn was unreal. The winter atmosphere is so clear and serene.
I breathe in the cold air which pierces into my skin. It feels refreshing when the air fills my lungs.
Following that, the air I exhale is white and spreading away.

Midori
"Come on, let's build it big enough to reach the roof!"

Riki
"No, no. That's just impossible."

❄ ❄ ❄

Midori
"Ahaha~"

Midori shows a proud smile in front of the completed snowmen.

Midori
"I did my best."

Nishizono
"Yeah. You really did well, Midori."

Riki
"Hey, hold right there. The one who rolled the snow, who shaped the snow, who put the head on top of the body, it's all me!"

I complained.

The moment I tried to roll the snow together with Nishizono-san, she immediately said that she's already in her limit and gave up so very soon.
And that's way, way too soon.
Midori could only laugh watching that.
In the end, if I have to say what Nishizono-san and Midori had done... They just took brooms, charcoals, and buckets from the dorm warehouse to put on the snowman, and that's all to it.
But it is still a mystery that they do have charcoals. Well, if we're talking about that dorm manager... anything is possible, I guess.

Midori
"We had fun. Isn't that good enough?"

Before Midori's smile, I just can't say a thing anymore. I smiled and replied, "You're right."

❄ ❄ ❄

There are 3 snowmen.

Midori
"This one is Riki-kun."

She points to the largest snowman in the middle.

Midori
"This one is onee-chan, and this one is me."

So she points at the slightly smaller snowmen on both sides.
Each of the snowmen wears a bucket as hat, has gloves at the ends of the brooms which are the arms, with charcoals as the eyes and mouth.

Nishizono
"Naoe-san, you have flowers in both hand, eh? Is this... your hidden desire? Were you thinking of fulfilling that desire, even when you were making those snowmen?"

Riki
"Eh? It's not like that..."

Nishizono
"No, I was just kidding."

Nishizono-san smiles softly.

Phew, that was tiring.
When I stretch my back, it makes cracking sound. I might get muscle ache the next morning.
But,
Having the smiling Midori and Nishizono-san next to me, I can no longer think of being tired or such.

Eventually, those fun times we had come to an end.
The sun rises high up in the sky, shining upon us. It's almost lunchtime very soon.

Midori
"The snowmen are going to melt..."

Midori turns around, looking a little sad. The three snowmen lean their heads forward, more likely to fall anytime soon.
Her face which casts a short shadow somehow appeared like crying.
So, I say:

Riki
"We can just build them again."

Midori gives me a short answer, "Yeah."

Riki
"It will snow again after all. Always. Again and again. We can do it."

Midori
"Yeah. You're right."

She smiled sweetly.

Once again, I look at the snowmen.
The charcoals which represent their eyes are tilting, and the snowmen with droopy eyes — somehow just seem to have smiles this time.

❄ ❄ ❄

I saw... such a dream.

I wake up after being shaken by the cold of winter. All alone in my bed, tears start to dwell on the corner of my eyes.
The dream I just had remains clearly in my mind even after I'm completely awake.

Riki
"...Midori."

I called out the name of a girl who doesn't exist.
That's right. She does not exist.
Not in this world we live in.
I am reminded of that strange events in the early summer.
Reminded of that girl who appeared just like illusion, and then disappeared just like dream, in front of us, on that day, that time and that place.
After making my bed and changing my clothes, I head out from the male dormitory.
Even though I am already dressed thickly, the air outside is piercingly cold. When I look up, the dignified atmosphere is contiguous, the sky is so blue as if it's leaking out, and it looks like it's spreading endlessly.
Looking beneath my feet, the white snow — which might had been falling through the night — had already covered the concrete ground.
When I step on the fresh snow which nobody has yet invaded, it makes a pleasant crisp sound.
I wonder... if this is enough to build a snowman.
When that thought crossed my mind, I realize that I want to do it for the continuation of the dream.
That made me want to see Nishizono-san's face so bad.

Riki
"Sorry to bother you this early."

I visit Nishizono-san's room. While her eyes still seem to be a little sleepy, she silently welcomed me.


Nishizono
"What's the matter?"

I could only answer "Yeah, well..." to that question.
She didn't ask any more than that.
Her room which I hadn't visited for a long time is neatly organized as ever.
The mountain of books, just like always, are stacked organizedly as well on the corner.
There's only one thing which wasn't here before, placed in the back of the room.
It's an old dresser. A three-side mirror dresser, which already has its plaster coming off here and there.

Riki
"What's that?"

Nishizono
"The other day when I returned to my parents' house, I picked this up before it was about be thrown away. For my mother, this is just an ordinary dresser, but for me... this is a keepsake of important memories."

I turn my gaze to that dresser once again.
I remember a story I heard from Nishizono-san before.
About the day Midori was born. About that day when she showed up in front of the little Nishizono-san.

Riki
"Is this... Midori's...?"

She nods gently in response to my words which is gradually vanishing.

Nishizono
"This might be troubling my roommate, Noumi-san, but I just can't bring myself to throw this away."

Then, we turn to absolute silence.
The temperature inside the room with no trace of warmth is so low, it feels as if the silence pierces along into our body.
That moment, surely Nishizono-san and I must be thinking of the same thing.

....about Midori.

Nishizono
"So, what are you up to, this early in the morning?"

The one who broke the silence is Nishizono-san.
It's hard to express my feelings with words, that I somehow wanted to see her face... So I frankly told her.

Riki
"...I had a dream about Midori."

Hearing those words, her eyes shook faintly. Then, she asks me to tell her about the story of my dream this morning.
About how Midori was blending into our daily life, as if it was a matter of course.
About how the three of us went shopping together.
About how cheerful Midori was when she danced along with the snow in the park.
About how there was a commotion right after I woke up the next morning.
And, about how we built three snowmen.
I know that I am telling her about my dream, but it feels like it really happened, so the story came out from my mouth so smoothly, without any confusion whatsoever.
Nishizono-san, silently listens to that story with occasional nods.

Riki
"It was... that kind of dream."

I concluded the story just like that. Unconsciously my voice turned tearful towards the end.
When I finished talking, Nishizono-san remains silent, but then she rises and sits herself in front of the three-sided mirror.
She opens the cover of the mirror which has been closed. The whole room is projected onto the mirror surface.

Nishizono
"Naoe-san, please come here."

I immediately sit on my knee right next to her. Our figures are reflected in the mirror in front of us.

Nishizono
"Please look here."

Saying so, she points her finger to the mirrors on the left and right side. The mirrors face each other with us between them, and inside the mirrors are the infinite continuous world.
They became opposing mirrors.

Nishizono
"There are a lot of you and me."

Riki
"Yeah."

Nishizono
"But, are all of them reflected here really us?"

Nishizono-san asks me that question, which sounds more like a riddle.

Nishizono
"Now, take a look. Over there."

She points to something inside the mirror, but the reflection is too much it's countless, so I don't know what she's pointing at.

Nishizono
"Do you see my reflection over there as Midori?"

So she says, and then she softly laughs.

Riki
"No, of course not."

Nishizono
"Look. Midori and I are reflected together there."

I know that she is laughing silently, that she is making fun of me.

Riki
"Come on, Nishizono-san. I am seriously..."

Interrupting my words—

Nishizono
"The world where I exist, the world where Midori and I exist, the world where only Midori exists, the world where Midori and I don't exist. Like the infinite reflections in these opposing mirrors, they are parallel. They won't cross each other."

Then, she takes a single breath—

Nishizono
"As we are lonely, unable to meet, and can only think of each other, isn't it alright just to think of that parallel worlds which will never cross?"

-and so she adds.

Riki
"In other words... Perhaps it wasn't just a dream, but rather I might had slipped into a world where both you and Midori exist?"

Nishizono
"If that's true, don't you think it's wonderful? We call it invisible world because we can't see it, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Perhaps that very world is still going along right next to us."

She says with a smile on her face. A smile which looks just like one that distant person has.
I also think about Midori who is not here, and I think about the sky I can't see from this room.
Just like how the blue sky is just a row of transparent atmosphere layers, although it is not visible, it certainly exists.

Riki
"Hey, Nishizono-san. Want to build a snowman together?"

I invite her— to the continuation of the dream.

Nishizono
"...sounds great."

Nishizono-san responds with those words, with a smile.


Translation notes:

[1] Oshiruko
お汁粉 (oshiruko) is red bean soup, a Japanese traditional dessert. It's a sweet porridge of azuki beans served with mochi rice cake. It's usually served warm in winter. At some area in Japan, Oshiruko is known as New Year dish.[^]

[2] Oshikura Manju
押し競饅頭 or おしくらまんじゅう(Oshikura Manjuu) is a game to be played by at least 3 person in cold days to keep warm. The game is played with the people standing back to back, forming a circle, and each person pushes their back to shoves the others out from the circle as they chant "Oshikura Manju, don't cry even when you're shoved!"
A good video example with the rules explained can be seen here in youtube (in Japanese).[^]