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Extra arc 『The Stage Ghost’s Cappricio』 Chapter 2

Her performance I saw for the first time, had been incredible.

The moment Miria appeared on stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

(She’s like a fairy...)

She was a lot smaller than I’d imagine. Her hair which flowed down her back was light brown and her skin looked transparently white. She had been clad in a very pale light blue dress.

You’d think that color combination would look dim and end up fusing with the light. But contrary to such sentiment, she stood out on the stage, basking in the harsh light.

It was hard to believable even when I saw it right before me that the voice that spilled out came from those small lips and that the volume had emanated came from that petite body. But, it was definitely her voice.

Other dolls sing by borrowing people’s voices, but Miria’s voice was not borrowed from anyone. I knew it as fact, but it was plain to grasp by seeing it in practice.

The automatons’ singing was precise and easy to make out, but they were all pretty much the same. Of course, the voices for the climax part would reverberate loudly. But 『that’s it』, or rather, with the singing following the musical score to the dot, I couldn’t feel the tension even with the orchestra’s performance.

In contrast, when Miria Galant sings, it was clear that there was emotion packed in there. The way she applied vibrato, the length of her long tones. Even the conductor’s tension that had to reflect Miria’s 『personality』 was also clearly being transmitted to the audience.

She was called a puppet with a heart, but there was certainly a heart in her voice.

By the time she finished one phrase of a song, I had already become her fan.

The role Miria was playing was a town girl who continued to think of the hero.

Holding the promise that they exchanged in their childhood in her heart, she waits for her lover who went into the jaws of death.

Before long, receiving news of the country’s victory even at the town where the girl waits, oh how wonderful was her song of joy at that time!

The girl continued to wait for her lover.

People advised her, 「Your lover has become a hero. He won’t come back to you anymore」, but they could not stop her singing that longed for her lover.

Although the scene changed to the viewpoint of the man who had become the hero midway, I was fidgeting all the way and wished she’d quickly come back.

I wasn’t the only one who’d thought that. When she appeared in the stage once more, applause that felt like it had been 『unintentional』 burst out from the audience seats.

Even as we were being intoxicated by her wonderful performance, the stage’s finale was growing closer.

And then, it was the final act. Unable to wait any longer, the town girl ran to where her lover was, and what she saw at last... was the figure of her lover exchanging an intimate kiss with a noble lady from the capital. That day... had been the wedding of the hero who saved the country.

As she, who lost her lover in the end, sang a solo filled with overwhelming emotions, the stage closed its curtains.

There was nothing worth specially mentioning with regards to the story’s plot. It was a tragic love story that wasn’t that uncommon.

The character of the hero, which was the protagonist, was kind of weak, and it was his indecisiveness that made me not quite like him. Well, there was also the fact that I was empathizing with the town girl while watching the play, though.

I felt disappointed that he ultimately chose the girl who had social status courting him, like he got swept by the flow.

But, if I were to say, then I think this performance was a storyline for the sake of painting the earnest love and gallant thoughts of the town girl who Milia was performing as. I’m certain that the plan to show her most charming side had been successful.

Thus, if I were to say something regarding Milia Galant’s acting, then I’d say...

— it has already surpassed the limits of just acting. The town girl’s love, joy and sadness. It had been the kind of stage where the audience can’t help but have their hearts wrench out when these were seen.

After that performance.

I spent several days in a dreamlike state.

I couldn’t snap out it. I’d been musing over Miria Galant’s wonderful voice and her acting even in my dreams.

Since I was passing time pretty much spacing out, my nanny was worried, and even Shade was perplexed.

I spent 1-2 days in a daze, using getting my homework done during the holiday as my excuse.

During that time, the only thing I did besides indulging in thought was looking over critiques of past performances that Miria Galant had starred in.

Attending theatre might nearly be my sole hobby besides reading books.

Hence, our library at home has a large collections of things like books that summarized critiques related to performances at the royal capital.

The theatre culture in our country is very prosperous, and books that collect drama criticisms were being published with a certain level of frequency.

Among them, I chose a book whose publication was relatively recent and continued reading commentaries regarding plays that Miria Galant performed in.

The commentaries related to Miria’s performance were at two complete extremes.

To begin with, there were a lot of criticism towards the 『Puppet Opera』 itself. If there were people who claim 『Miria Galant is the sole exception』 among them, then there were also people who lumped her in when criticizing the puppet opera itself.

Different people thought about and perceived her in different ways. Nonetheless, after seeing Miria with these eyes, I wasn’t fully satisfied with the low ratings.

Even the critic, who I’d used as reference the most when attending theatres so far, gave harsh criticisms to Miria’s performance, I puffed my cheeks in dissatisfaction.

My lunchtime had been spent in that manner.

Then, Father returned home and said this to me:

「Lycoris. Would you like to go out with me today?」

「With you, Father? Of course!」

「Well then. Shall we go meet with the songstress you adore, Lycoris?」 𝘪𝓃n𝐫e𝗮d. co𝗺

Naturally, I nodded my head without hesitation.

Shade, who shockingly declined the offer to go with us, stayed at home, so I headed to the capital together with Father.

And so, once Father and I arrived at the Puppet Opera, greeting us, together with a well-built gentleman, was Miria Galant herself!

Shocked by this surprise attack, I wound up staring at her so intensely that it could be rude.

Now that I see her right in front of me, she really is small. According to her profile, she was around two years older than me. But I was clearly a head taller than her.

And her hair was short. When I think about it, I guess she was wearing a wig during her performances. It was adorable how her light brown hair, which was similar in color to the wig, had a short cut like a young boy’s, a slight curl and looked so fluffy.

Although her eye color hadn’t been clear from a distance, I can now see they were a large, round, hazel brown.

She looked very young in general. If I were to describe her based on appearance, then she seemed like a small animal that had to be protected rather than a great actress that should be respected.

「Welcome, please come in! She’s the young lady, isn’t she? Why, she’s so beautiful」

The one who raised his voice loudly was the well-built gentleman standing next to Miria.

It seems he was already acquainted with Father, according to the brief introduction Father gave me, he was the manager of the Puppet Opera.

The manager, in this case, was the person in charge of the opera who accepts requests from the theatre owner and virtually runs the show.

For the royal theatre and the likes, for instance, they place people who contributed to the performing arts development within the country in this position. It didn’t mean the current manager of the Puppet Opera was a prominent figure who had taken part on stage. The implication of being a manager was greater than being an artist.

For this Puppet Opera, which had a management decline in the past, a capable person like that was a must.

Prompted by that manager, the words that Miria earnestly spun with a hoarse voice went like this:

「I-I’m Miria G-Galant. T-thank you for c-coming all the way h-here」

As she made a polite greeting before me with all her might, her fingers were clearly trembling. Her expression was very stiff, and even her eyelashes, that border around her downcast eyes, were weakly quivering.

I grasped the situation immediately and shuddered.

(T-the person I admire...! She’s completely frightened of me!)

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