Ghost Story Club - Chapter 29
Chapter 29: Sixth Ghost Story – CSAT Banned Songs (3)
“As you guys can all see from the chaos, that song is definitely the cause. You all remember the weird behavior of the music teacher last week, right?”
The club members all nodded.
“And that sensitive-looking kid and the guy flipping desks. This is just a guess on my part, but I think sensitive or mentally weak people are being affected a lot more than others. Is there anyone here who keeps hearing that song in their head?”
On the fifth floor, there were only clubrooms, the dance studio, and multipurpose rooms. Therefore, except for in really special situations, the broadcast announcements didn’t reach up there.
Despite all of the havoc occurring, it was actually quiet. If someone could hear the song, that person was likely to be affected by the song.
JinHee raised her hand.
“That song is stuck in your head?”
JinHee answered curtly.
“Do you usually listen to a lot of music?”
“While I work part-time, yeah.”
Oh, right. JinHee did mention that she worked part-time after school.
Was it a fast-food restaurant?
I started to be a bit nervous as I asked.
“Do you perhaps… feel like… Weird? Or like you want to shout or something?”
“Nope, I don’t.”
JinHee answered very clearly.
“Or do you feel like flipping tables or something?”
“Then… something like wanting to sing?”
“Or do you feel like dancing?”
“Hey, stop asking stupid questions.”
“Okay, got it. Just one last question, do you feel like hitting someone or……”
JinHee brought up her fist.
“Want me to hit you?”
I flinched and took a step back.
“No, I’m okay, JinHee. You don’t have to hit me.”
I emphasized this another time.
“It’s fine if you don’t hit me. Please don’t hit me.”
SunAh looked at me as if I was pathetic.
I ignored her stare and moved onto my conclusion.
“I think JinHee is fine because her mental strength is high. It seems safe here for now, so let’s wait here until the situation settles down.”
“Haaa… My gosh. What in the world is happening?”
The members must have been scared, because they were murmuring to themselves.
“Sasuga. This is why I say that the pop music of Korea is an issue. All they do is repeat the same meaningless phrases or just pine for love. They should include lyrics full of hopes, dreams, mamoru… Oh.”
T/N: Sasuga means as expected in Japanese. (Sasuga, Ainz-Sama). Mamoru means to protect in Japanese.
After noticing JinHee’s glare, DukHun immediately shut his mouth. At that moment…
“Guys! Urgent news! Urgent newwwwws~!”
We could suddenly hear the sound of a male student shouting from down the hallway.
Looking through the small window on the door, I could see an upperclassman running through the hallway with a cellphone in his hand.
“Fourincess made a song and it’s very exciting! Quickly try listening!”
“Guys! Hide so that he can’t see you!”
I quickly turned off the lights and whispered the warning to the other members. The members quickly ducked and stuck to the wall on the side with the door so that they wouldn’t be visible through the window.
The upperclassman was running down the hall, phone in hand, as if he was a part of the torch relay in the Olympics. He dashed down the hallway with the phone blasting the chaos-inducing song, all the way to the front of our clubroom door.
We held our breath as we laid low on the floor.
“Huh, how weird. I could have sworn the lights were on before~.”
We continued to lay low, trying to remain out of sight.
[Oh Yeah♬ Oh Yeah♬]
The low-quality speaker on the phone noisily blasted music. The upperclassman idled in front of our door for a bit before moving towards the stairs and going down.
“Guys! Urgent news! Urgent newwwwws~!”
“Whew. Everyone must be crazy.”
After the upperclassman left, we let out a sigh of relief and got back up.
“I think it would be best to keep the lights off. DukHun, can you grab the curtains? And just in case, let’s cover the window on the door with a piece of paper so that people can’t peek in.”
At my suggestion, SunAh took out her National History textbook for fourth period and ripped out a page. She then stuck that page to cover the small door window.
I could vaguely make out the image of the national history teacher ranting that a nation that forgets its history will have no future.
“Oh! Maybe this is a dream……”
“This is real.”
GyeongWon couldn’t believe this was happening, so he started using his hands to cover the clock on his phone and taking it off repeatedly.
“What is this? Why is this happening (゜´Д｀゜)? It’ll be lunchtime soon, so we need to eat. (๑•̀д•́๑)”
DukHun let out his complaints as he clutched his stomach. SunAh continued to look at me anxiously. The only people who seemed fine with this situation were HaYoon and JinHee. HaYoon just continued to stand there peacefully, and JinHee just continued to tap her foot with an annoyed expression, as if the whole situation just pissed her off.
“Why did we hide before? I could have just beat the living shit out of him instead.”
The other members grew conscious of JinHee. Although it was reassuring that this scary person was on our side, she still made some of us a bit anxious.
“Um, HaYoon. What do you think we should do?”
When I suddenly asked for her opinion, HaYoon narrowed her eyes.
“In this situation right now, what do you think we should do?”
“Ahahaha, why ask me……?”
HaYoon tried to laugh it off.
“Because you seemed very calm…”
I was actually having difficulty deciding how to lead these five people through the havoc happening within the school. I hoped that it would all work out if we just hid here.
However, that had never worked out, not since I first saw the system.
Although we had all been running away, somehow it had become a gathering of the Ghost Story Club. Naturally, the club president would be required to lead the club.
“Haa… why is it me……”
I would be more thankful if the always-calm HaYoon or the charismatic JinHee led the club instead.
“I’ll follow what you say, Joon. You are the club president, after all.”
But HaYoon completely pulverized my dream and handed all responsibility back to me with a bright smile.
I crossed my arms and began pondering what to do before deciding to ask GyeongWon for some help.
“Hey GyeongWon, can you think of any ghost story that is similar to our situation now?”
“11:20 AM. Wh-what? What did you say?”
GyeongWon was surprised by my question as he performed a Reality Check.
“A ghost story. Is there anything this reminds you of?”
GyeongWon was flustered and quickly adjusted his glasses.
“As expected, you are thinking that a ghost story could be related to this incident like last time, club Prez…?”
“Yup. Besides that, I can’t think of anything else.”
“I-I guess that is true. Probably…”
For DukHun and JinHee, who had experienced a mysterious incident for the first time, the question might have been confusing. But for SunAh, HaYoon, GyeongWon, and me, we had been through the Dream Within Dreams together, so it was not a completely foreign occurrence.
GyeongWon seemed to be going through his memory as he fiddled with his glasses but ended up just letting out a sigh.
“Sorry, prez. Nothing comes to mind.”
“But didn’t you explain a lot about the CSAT banned songs last time?”
“That wasn’t a ghost story but rather a scientific phenomenon. They do also call it the earworm, and it occurs when an extremely catchy song gets stuck in your brain, causing you to continuously sing or hum it. It only mentions how annoying it can get, but it isn’t at the level of a ghost story.”
“Hmm… I see. That’s quite iffy.”
I couldn’t help but tilt my head. If that smarty didn’t have any stories to tell about it, that would mean that a ghost story for the present phenomenon really didn’t exist.
Or it could be like that time in the Dream Within Dreams where we didn’t understand the main point.
“For now, if there are any ghost stories about songs or music, would you all be willing to share it?”
* * *
* * *
DukHun was puzzled.
I calmly started explaining to him.
“Because the situation can get dangerous, we need to remain here. Let’s share scary stories with each other while we wait. We may end up coming up with a solution. Although you might not get it right now, this is currently the best that we can do.”
Slowly, I made eye contact with each person. The original members, SunAh and GyeongWon, both nodded their heads to indicate that they were alright with the idea.
JinHee seemed to be confused, as she was frowning. DukHun seemed to be rather enjoying the idea.
“To think we get to do a “Requiem from the Darkness” ~UwU.”
T/N: Requiem from the Darkness is some anime about telling ghost stories.
He was really getting into the idea.
We just happened to have the lights off, and we just happened to be in a secluded and quiet room. It was the perfect time and place to share scary stories with each other.
A small and cozy clubroom with its lights turned off. Only a sliver of the noon sunlight was able to pass through the curtains, offering minimal light.
We moved the desks and chairs to the corner of the room and sat cross-legged in a circle at the center of the room. It was a slightly spooky atmosphere, one where sharing scary stories would somewhat work out.
It definitely wasn’t your slice of life school life. We started sharing our scary stories with music as the overarching theme. SunAh started first, whispering her story.
“They say that if you see a ghost in your recording studio… the song will become a smash hit… That’s why, if you ask the successful singers… they all mention a run in with a ghost……”
“I think I heard about that.”
I had heard something similar to that on a talk show with celebrity guests. It was quite the common story.
“They often say that while recording, the ghost often sings along with them……”
“Is that so?”
Next was GyeongWon.
“They say that the song Jang Nara sang in 2003, ‘Is That True?’, has the voice of a ghost recorded in it. In the middle of the song, a completely different female voice suddenly pops in, asking ‘Do your ears hurt?’. Even now, if you listen to the song, you can still hear that voice.”
I asked in surprise.
The other members also looked at GyeongWon with intense curiosity.
“Yeah. For real. You can even check it right now on your phone.”
“L-let’s try listening to it now ~OwO~!”
DukHun took out his phone.
“… Who has a lot of data?”
“I’ll just do it.”
GyeongWon took out his own phone and searched up the song and began playing it.
♬What will I do if I regret it later, after I sent you off without a word~♬
Right after Jang Nara finished her chorus….
[Do your ears hurt?]
SunAh let out a small scream of surprise.
We could all hear it pretty clearly. It was the sound of a woman asking if our ears hurt.
“… How is that kind of thing still on the official track?”
When I asked my question in a dumbfounded manner, GyeongWon nodded his head.
“The official stance of the record company was that it was actually the sound of an electric guitar, but whether that’s true or not, well… I don’t play the guitar, so I don’t know for sure.”
Was this a D-rank or C-rank ghost story that I had to face as well? But 2003 was already sixteen-years-ago. It was way before the weird game system had barged into my life.
Did that mean that ghost stories were a lot closer to people’s lives than I had originally thought?
JinHee spat out her opinion.
We were all suddenly silent. We were all a bit conscious of JinHee. Under her cardigan, which was not allowed by the school, was a tight school uniform. She had a very pointed but neat face and dyed hair. She had fierce eyes and just enough make up to avoid being called out for it at school.
She looked just like a hard-to-approach female delinquent.
To think, that type of girl was hanging out with normal students like us and sharing ghost stories.
If the other delinquents were to see that, they might start laughing at her.
‘If she didn’t make such fierce expressions, she would be really pretty. Or does her eyes just naturally look fierce?’
[Your understanding of Lee JinHee has increased by 10.]
When JinHee curtly responded to the members’ stares, we all sheepishly started to look away.
I thought that with that much charisma, she may be able to defeat ghosts with just a glare.
“It’s my turn next, UwU~!”
DukHun shouted out, slightly spitting a bit.
“This story occurred when I went to the theaters to see the movie edition of the μ’s, OwO~”
“What is ‘μ’s’?”
When I interrupted his first sentence as he was about to start telling his story, the excited DukHun ended up letting out a sigh.
“Yare yare. It’s the idol group from ‘Love Live!’.”
The fuck was ‘Love Live!’?
T/N: Love Live! is an idol anime. Nico Nico Nii originates from there.
“Anyway, this happened when I went to the movie theaters.”
DukHun coughed and started his story again.
DukHun’s story continued for a long time. Most of it was the details of the movie he saw, which I really didn’t want to know about. DukHun seemed to have this natural ability to make his listeners uncomfortable.
“… And so, I was cheering after seeing Kotori’s chicken drumstick! When suddenly, a pair behind me started up a whispered conversation (๑•̀д•́๑)!”
Finally, the story seemed to be transitioning into the ghost part of the ghost story.
“That isn’t the right manners for a movie theater! Whisper, whisper. The two of them kept talking to each other! At that moment I felt something like… should I kill them? But I ended up too into the story of some moe girls……”
“… And after Honaka finished her solo! She made her starting pose and they all jumped up together! Suteki~~~! Subarashi desu ne~!”
“And then! Again! Again! Again!”
DukHun smashed the floor with his hands.
“Again, they were starting a conversation right behind me! I’m not that nice of a person. I have a baaad temper. If they had one more conversation, I wouldn’t stop until I beat them up. Or that was what I was thinking to myself at the time. I am the type of person to save my energy if I can, after all.”
“Yeah, and so…”
“And so, it was the final climax! One~ Two~ Love Liiiiiiiive~~~!”
“But then! Mata! Mata! Mata! The two of them were whispering again!”
“Haha. I was so patient with them, but that is how they repaid me? I put on a wicked smile and turned around. I was going to give them a piece of my mind, probably starting with ‘eat shit’ or something like that.”
“But then! BUT THEEEEEEEN! There were definitely two of them having a conversation! But when I turned around!!!! Hontou ni sugoi yabai arigatou!!”
“There was only one person behind me ＼(º □ º l|l)/.”
“This FUCKER! What would you know, you fucking otaku ass bitch!”
JinHee was holding all of her anger in, but she ended up exploding on DukHun. She started to beat him severely.
“He was probably talking to himself! TALKING TO HIMSELF! You stupid fucking ass mother fucking bitch!”
Pow, pow, bam, pow, pow.
“Su… sumimasen! Sumimasen~~!”
Most of us that were annoyed before ended up exploding in laughter at the sight.
“Aha, ahaha, ahahaha. Stop beating him up so much, JinHee! Ahaha.”
“You might kill him! Puhahahaha!”
GyeongWon and I were just blatantly on our backs laughing our asses off, and SunAh was hitting the floor as her shoulders shook from laughter.
Even HaYoon couldn’t stop her giggling as she tried to cover her mouth with her hands.
“K–kuso~~~~ Nan desuka~~”
Maybe because of all his fat, he didn’t actually look like he was actually hurt.
“Shut up, FUCKER!”
Pow- Pow- Pow-
We were all rolling on the floor laughing.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the clubroom door.