「リトルバスターズ！」 ～僕らのチーム名～ or Little Busters! ~Bokura no Chiimu Mei~ or translated as above, is a light novel of Little Busters! series, written by Shimizu Mariko | 清水マリコ, who was also responsible for Kanon light novel. Illustration was provided by based ZEN. This light novel was released on 2013 October by VABunko | VA文庫, VisualArt's light novel publisher. The information about this light novel can be found in this VABunko web page. You can also download a preview pdf for the first chapter, which the translation I will provide below.
Since his early childhood, Riki has always been with his four friends.
The leader who is one year older, Kyousuke, with his little sister, Rin.
Plus Masato and Kengo, they are a circle of friends who always share fun times together, the "Little Busters!".
Even now when they already grew up and attend the same school together,
Kyousuke always gets the members together and thus they spend the day just like always.
But... As Kyousuke's graduation approaching fast, Riki's feelings started to grow dark little by little. That moment, suddenly Kyousuke began to tell them to find members to play baseball.
With mysterious mission came along one after another, Riki and Rin started to find new friends together, but....
I could see it.
Little by little, I went closer to that place.
The white school building, the school ground, the gymnasium, and the greeneries planted along with the fence...
The sights which are always so similar in any school.
But, each of them are very precious to its students— its former students.
Under the sunlight, the whole area looked so dazzling.
Watching the building from the front gate immediately filled up my chest.
Inhaling the familiar air brought me back to those days at once.
Guided by my memories, I went inside the school.
Since it was holiday, there were not many student around.
But, when I ran into those who were in uniform, my chest tightened softly. There were also some who watched me curiously, as I was dressed in casual clothes. But once they found the visitor pass embedded on my chest, they immediately passed by just like that.
I arrived at the school ground. I―― We were used to play there. Standing on the mound, or reaching the home base, or sitting on the bench by the side of the field when we got tired.
――Good! Keep it! That was piece of cake!
――Hey! What are you doing!? Hiss!!
――Fine play~ I got it~
――Hmph, this is too easy. At least make it go over the infield.
"Hey, this is baseball!" and I laughed just by having that recollection.
It felt like I could hear those lively voices up close.
We were playing our best. And at the same time we were bustling about and enjoying ourselves with all we've got.
This time, I walked through the empty hallway. In my mind, I heard the frantic, flopping footsteps.
――Well, it's gonna be bad if we're caught! How do I say it... We're gonna get scolded, or we're gonna get scolded, or we're gonna get scolded...
That's what you'd get for your pranks. Why did you bring me into this...?
Her hair was tied up with big hair bobbles, and her face was expressive and ever-changing, like one you'd expect from cartoon character.
Amid my memories, I tried to resist that one frolic girl. Though I always got involved with her in the end.
I climbed up the stairs connected to the corridor.
On the landing was a door leading to the roof. I laid my hand to the handle, and surprisingly it wasn't locked.
The door opened along with heavy steel squeak.
"Whoa, so bright......"
The bright sunlight made me squint. Even the reflection on the concrete was so bright. The faint heat radiated from my feet.
If only I had came here earlier, the day would feel more tender.
――This is my best place~
I heard another voice.
It was a tender voice and smile, gentler than the spring sunshine.
The sweet aroma from the sweets we ate together, even now it feels so close to me.
――This is my favorite place, that's why I come here.
A favorite place which my feet somehow brought me to. The place where I can settle down just by feeling the air.
For me, that is the answer for my best place.
I felt the wind when I stood by the fence. Right there I looked down, viewing the school from up above.
Ah, that place...
From the gentle and bright rooftop, to the courtyard longing for refreshing cool shade of trees.
It was exceptionally quiet there. Sandwiched between two school buildings, it was not wide enough for exercising, and not even bright enough to hang around with friends.
A place that only consisted of grass, trees and stairwell. A silent, deserted, unnoticed place.
But, that's precisely why.... Just by sitting under the Zelkova tree, in this place where no one can find you.... It felt like I just found my own hideaway.
Listening carefully, there was a gentle sound of a page of book being turned.
And then, a whisper.
Under the white parasol exposed by the sun, a fragile pair of lips gently curled up.
――This is my precious book. My whole being is written right here. That's how important this book is to me, that I would say that much.
Even though the wind was calm, the air was a little cold.
――Do you want to know that? Do you think... you want to know me?
I felt invited by the sound of piano.
Was it from the music room? No, that wasn't it. It was a sound flowing from the speaker, as it was just like slipped into the noise of school bustling.
I headed to the corner of the school building. To the room enclosed within thick light-brown walls just like tiny box, the broadcasting room.
Once the heavy door fully open, there was a mixer with small buttons and levers lined up on it. Right on the center of it, a single table-stand microphone.
Also, in the corner of the narrow booth, there was something covered in long fabric. It was an electric piano. I had no idea why it was here, but... It was calling me to this place.
I heard it again.
The mysterious piece which sounded so nostalgic for some reason since the very first time I heard it. But, it was a piece that no one had ever heard before.
――This is my original piece after all. I just came up with the title.
While placing her long fingers to rest her chin, her deep-colored eyes sparkling straight. Those mysterious eyes which made me unsure whether she was just playing with me or really serious.
"The title is Capriccio Dedicated to You", she said.
Oh, I'm not worthy for that. I want to let everyone hear it.... But I also kinda don't want to tell them about it....
If I have to say what makes this school quite different to the others, that would be the dorm established alongside the school.
In principle, the students are to live together there.
That would certainly be "home" to me.
From the school, I stared to the space across the way connecting to the campus.
We greet "good morning" in the morning, and for the evening we say "see you tomorrow". And it's also not a strange occurrence to have someone hosting a mysterious meeting in one's room.
――Goo mooning everywan, hav a nais dei~
The gently shining long flaxen hair swayed gently. Under the white hat and wrapped in white mantle, a small figure in unique attire.
But it wasn't even morning, and it was just me here.
I gave her a bitter smile, but my heart was mildly refreshed. Her hair and her vivid blue eyes are clearly signs of her exoticness, but being with her gave me the relief and comfort like the sensation of being home.
A typical Japanese homely girl though....
Maybe it's much more appropriate to call her "a puppy"?
All was dazzling and bright. The air had a trace of heat.
Here, anything and everything existed.
Laughter, anger, excitement, and sadness too.... All of me was right here.
A faint, sweet whimsical voice which tickles my heart.
That was not from my memories. I was sure it was a real kitten mew.
I quickly headed toward the voice. A white cat. Right, it must be a white cat.
I reached the corridor which connects the school buildings. She was always there, playing on that corner.
I tried to call the name of that little kitty. Even among the gathering cats who had pompous names, there was the most pompous one, the extraordinarily cute one.
What was there was not the one I know. With long white pattern on its hind legs, it was a kitten unknown to me.
The kitten with white paws watched me with its golden pair of eyes. I raised my hand and smiled, greeting it.
Since when you had been here? It's so quiet in here, but sure is warm around the corner on the noon, right? Are you... always here by yourself?
I crouched down and held out my hand to the kitten.
The white-pawed kitty watched my fingers, and it seemed that the kitty determined that my fingers were not particularly edible, so it suddenly turned away.
"There it goes."
I muttered aloud. Still, the time sure flows. The white kitten back then had already grew up and before we knew it, it was no longer here. Perhaps, the kitten just now might be the offspring of that cat....
I held my breath.
Was that just in my mind, or was that sound really there?
It was a refreshing, clear and sweet sound.
I inhaled, then slowly exhaled.
But I won't chase it. I can't. I'm waiting. This sound will disappear soon if it's really just in my head. If it's not, then...
One step at a time, this sound should be approaching me.
Memory is similar to the dream you just saw last night.
Even if you can speak about it, you can't return into it.
As the time goes by, you'd probably can't tell it apart from reality.
The wind flutters.
In my memories, I was never alone.
I had my circle of friends.
On the school ground, in the classroom, on the rooftop, in the broadcasting room, in the courtyard, in front of the school dorm.... I can find their shadows all over the place.
I am sure they were definitely there.
This scenery, this atmosphere, this place, were our paradise.
I won't forget your voice, nor will I ever forget your tears.
It's starting from now on. It's starting right here.
From that day — It's our story.