Pah! Post-writing cola really is the best! It's like I live for this one can!
You look like you're having fun, Hifumi... Did something good happen?
Excellent question! The new release I'm taking to Comiket...er, in other words, my new fanfic comic...
I finished the manuscript for it early this morning! I'm really proud of how it turned out!
Is that so...? Congratulations. Did you get any sleep? It looks like you worked hard.
W-Well, I didn't work that hard... Except I totally did. And of course I'd work hard on it! A great number of my loyal fans eagerly await it!
Hifumi... You make so many people happy with your comics.
Make people happy...
Hmm? Is something the matter? If you're going through a tough time, I can recommend some anime songs to cheer you up.
Hey, Hifumi... Um... Would you be happy if you could talk to people inside the screen?
M-Ms. Fujisaki? I never expected to hear something like that from someone like you! I-I mean, of course that would make me happy. It's an otaku's dream to talk with 2D... I've often thought that my monitor was in the way or wished I could jump into the TV.
Um... So monitors just get in the way?
Ah... Well, what I'm working on might make it so you don't even need to look at a monitor.
Huh? You want me to not look at the screen, even though my bride is right there? Why? S-Sorry, Ms. Fujisaki. I don't really see where you're going with this...
O-Oh, sorry...I didn't explain enough. Um, what I wanted to say is... I'm making an AI program that can be installed in computers and cell phones to help users.
So the reason why I said you might not even need to look at a monitor is because... ...my AI will make it so that users will be able to use devices with just their voice.
I-I see... So that's it. That certainly is a conversation with someone in the screen.
Yes, it thinks and speaks like a person, too. You can think of it as your partner. It wouldn't just help with work and life, but it'd be fun to talk to an AI with emotions... We haven't reached that stage yet, but I hope one day, it'll become available to people.
Like the AI characters you see in sci-fi? They're always popular and appealing. Well, it's hard to say without seeing it for myself, but it seems like people would enjoy it.
...Oh, yes. Thank you. I'm going to work hard to create something that can make people happy... And when I do complete it, I want you to try talking to it.
Mhm... Well then, I will look forward to that day.
Hmhmhm... At last, the two most powerful Ultimates have gathered together.
At last...? We've plainly been in the same place a bunch of times. I've seen you at a number of cons before. Your booth's always next to the wall and there's always a long line, so you're easy to find.
Oh? Ms. Shirogane...you go to fanfic conventions too?
Well, I sometimes cosplay at my friends' booths to help them sell their fanfics.
Hmhmhmhm, I see, I see. Then this conversation will go quicker than I thought.
Ah...I get it. Next, you're going to say, "Please be the cosplay sales girl at my booth."
"Please be the cosplay sales girl at my booth." ...gwah!
Well now that we've done that classic gag, what do you think? We work well together, huh?
Bwehehe... Combining your fanbase and mine would be huge, Ms. Shirogane...
The Ultimate Fanfic Creator and the Ultimate Cosplayer would certainly be a powerful combo.
Mhm, it'd be a Big Bang Impact!
Sorry, though. I'll have to decline.
Wh-Why...? You should've at least said the "But I refuse" line there.
You mentioned my fanbase there, right?
I feel like...two Ultimates together would stand out too much. People would say it's a stunt.
Well, I mean...there are some cosplayers who do stuff like that, y'know?
Yes, but...the most important thing for a cosplayer is to dress as characters you love.
That's exactly right! Even in fanfic, we treat our source material with love!
Right!? Even though fanfic creators and cosplayers are different, we agree on that!
Well said! Though our jobs are different, we're meant to stand side-by-side after all! So you'll be the cosplay sales girl at my booth after all, right Ms. Shirogane!?
Oh, I'm going to have to decline.
Today is the summer sports festival... You want to finish your manuscript ASAP! You have to do the three-legged race... Who should you ask to be your partner?
So, Yasuhiro Hagakure...
We have to do this together! Don't slow me down!
I don't even have to use my fortune telling to know we don't have much of a chance...
It'll work out! Don't worry about the quickness of our feet, but rather the syncing of our breath! We need to move in sync, like telepathy! Like we're piloting a Jaeger!!
But then, both of our legs might give out! Why did I make that reference!?
...I don't know what you're talkin' about, but I was worried about tying our legs together.
Well, whatever! Let's try...
You didn't tie your legs together well enough, and the string came off during the race...
I don't care if he is yakuza!
Mr. Kuzuryu! You are my rival!
...You got some balls starin' me down like that. I dunno why you'd pick a fight with me... But I'll take you on, fatass.
You don't remember? Don't play dumb, I've already done my research!
Your last winter at the academy... Graduation will be here before you know it. That being said, you don't really feel anything. Let's spend our time drinking tea as always! Almost all of the seats in the dining hall are taken... Who will you ask to sit with?
Hifumi, I am going to sit in front of you
Hifumi. I haven't seen you in a while.
I do get busy at the end of the year... There's much bloodshed before the holy battle!
Don't tell me...you miss the milk tea that I used to make for you? Never fear! I shall prepare you some right away!
Not particularly. In your absence, Kirumi makes my tea for me. And to be honest, I enjoy her tea more than yours.
I will however allow you to have some time to improve your recipe.
Is it unfortunate, is it not? That you no longer pour my tea?
N-No, I was just a little...stunned is all. No big deal! I mean, it's not my job to pour your tea anyway!
...It is unfortunate, is it not?
Well..okay, I am a *little* upset about it...
As I thought. Well, I cannot *always* rely on Kirumi. She does often get busy. I suppose I will allow you to pour my tea for me, Hifumi.
Today is the summer sports festival! Show 'em what you got in the three-legged race! Maybe you should talk to someone before the race. But who?
Those guys way over there
Hey, Hiro. I can spot that hair of yours from across the field. Isn't it hard to run with?
Honestly...when I run, it shakes back and forth and gets in the way.
You think that's bad... My whole body shakes back and forth when I try to run!
Hahaha, that is pretty bad! I can tell just by looking at you! Just thinking about it is making me laugh. Was that your strategy the whole time!?
...You have to run while trying to hold back your laughter!
Your last winter at the academy... There are only a few days left in the year. The stars are especially pretty tonight... What will you do?
There's leftovers in the dining hall
Oh, Hifumi. If you're here eating, does that mean you finished your, uh...
My fanfic? Of course! I've already submitted three new ones for the end of the year!
Hmm...I dunno how to draw manga, but I guess three of them's pretty amazing.
Well, yeah. The crunch time for them was difficult for even my golden hand... But as you can see, I overcame it and triumphed! I've raised the bar for fanfic yet again!
In other words, you wanted to show your manliness, huh? Good for you!
It's not that...but it totally is! You can go ahead and praise me even more!
Alright! Then next you can make a manga about me, Kaito Momota, Luminary of the Stars!
Huh? A manga about you, Mr. Momota?
It's gonna be a legendary manga! If you make it about me, it's gonna be a global hit! Cuz it's gonna be filled with manga-style adventure before it even gets to the space part!
*sigh* What kinda life have you led? Well, that aside, if I'm gonna make it...
It'll definitely be a global hit! You've got a good eye for talent, Mr. Momota!
Of course! I'm a hero with many sidekicks! So with that in mind, you better have an open schedule after I get back from space! The only person I trust to make a manga of me is someone with just as much passion!
I feel like I'm being forced into this... But I guess you're just excited.
Usually my my works are about the fairer sex, but...it might be nice to make something manly.
...You made a promise to have him write your biography!
Your last winter at the academy... The Monokubs have suggested that you all clean the school. You will be especially busy today. Where will you start first?
After I clean the dining hall, I will bake
What is the matter, Hifumi? If you are not feeling well, shall I call Mikan?
No, you don't have to worry about me... I'm just out of energy.
Are you famished? I have already planned on making rice balls. Which flavor do you prefer?
That's amazing, Ms. Tojo! You're like a goddess! Salmon flavor, please!
Understood. Please wait a moment. I shall pour some hot tea, as well.
Oooooh! Your motherly kindness is sinking into my crunch-time-battered body!
Please do not describe me as motherly...
How rude! If anything, you're more like my editor! The reason my manuscript was completed so perfectly this time was due to your advice!
To tell you the truth...I might already be useless without you. So I'd like you to ink my sketches and get me material, a title, and a draft for my next work.
Since I'm in a major circle...I should be able to afford to hire on at least one person.
If you wish to request this, then I will accept, however...are you truly fine with that?
Huh? Fine with what?
You are drawing what you love most, are you not? Then do not give everything to a stranger. You should draw it with your own hands. I am happy you are relying on me, however I wish to help you in the long run.
You're exactly right. I've gotten overdependent. How could I have forgotten...? The only one who can properly express my feelings towards Princess Piggles is me!
HWAAAH! Ideas are bubbling up inside my head! I need to repent and get back to drawing!
If you wish to do it, then I will help you. I will clean, so please return to your manuscript.
You sent Hifumi on his way, and cleaned the dining hall to sparkling perfection!
Today is the school festival... You are running the haunted house. A guest approaches...
So you enjoy such entertainment?
Well, I don't write horror manga, but I figured I'd learn something by shaking my emotions up.
And I knew if you had a part in this haunted house, Mr. Shinguji, it'd be the real deal!
I see. You are researching expression. I expect no less from the Ultimate Fanfic Creator. I believe we will meet your expectations. I was involved with the design of the set... I had them create an authentic experience based on ghost tales passed down in many regions.
Mhm, and it looks like there's some good visual elements too. They're important for immersion!
I believe the atmosphere is perfect for inducing fear. But there are no real ghosts...probably.
Of course there won't be. Well then, it's time...
Hifumi advances into the dungeon!
...After a while, you heard Hifumi's shrill screams coming from inside.