???: I’m here, Tsukioka.
Tsukioka: Hey. It’s been a while.
???: You never change, do you?
Tsumugi: You’re still the same, too.
Tashima: Really?! Whenever I meet someone from university, they always tell me I look older. You still look like a student and I envy you for that.
Tsumugi: I don’t think so…
Tashima: You’ve been working in the same theater company as Takato again, right?
Tashima: Wow, you guys have been actors for so many years.
Tsumugi: There was a time when I stopped, though.
Tashima: Some of our friends from the theater club are still acting while some have stopped, but I’m sure they’ll all be happy once they find out you and Tasuku are in a theater together.
Tsumugi: How come?
Tashima: Because it’s comforting to know that some things just never change.
Tsumugi: Haha. I guess so.
Tashima: Let’s all hang out one of these days. Though I’m sure it’d be hard to find a chance.
Tsumugi: Sure. I’ll tell Tasuku.
Tashima: Thanks. I haven’t seen him again ever since.
Tsumugi: By the way, how’s the theater club doing these days?
Tashima: Don’t you go for a visit when there’s a university fest?
Tsumugi: No. We never had time to visit. After we graduated, Tasuku was busy working at Godza while I decided to stop acting for a while.
Tashima: Do you remember how our graduating only left a few members behind? After that, the members continued decreasing until almost no one was left.
Tsumugi: Oh, I had no idea…
Tashima: Though well, they’re still holding on. They even managed to show a play in last year’s university fest with the help of other people. Why not come and watch with me this year?
Tsumugi: Sure! (Besides, I have another reason to go.) The thing is, there’s an actor in our company who’ll be going to our university starting this spring.
Tashima: Really? We have to make him join the theater club then!
Tsumugi: Well, let’s see if he wants to…
Tashima: Come on, let’s help our kouhai out! (kouhai = junior) Why don’t you introduce him to me one of these days?
Tsumugi: (Knowing Masumi, he probably doesn’t want to join.) Haha…maybe you’ll get to meet him at the university fest. That aside, what have you been up to lately?
Tashima: I’m not a theater actor, but I have a job that’s related to acting. I have this theater friend who owns a concept restaurant and I’m part of their cast of actors.
Tsumugi: Interesting. (Maybe it’s like Actor’s Cafe.) The actors at our company do something like that every year, too.
Tashima: Perfect! A western-style fine dining restaurant will be opening soon, and they need lots of staff for the opening day! Wanna join? You can invite Takato, too.
Tsumugi: I think Tasuku is busy because he has a guest appearance in a certain play. But I’ll check my schedule and see if I can help out.
Tashima: Wow, thanks!
Izumi: (Tsumugi-san looks very serious.) What…are you reading?
Tsumugi: I decided to help out at a restaurant so I’m reading about my job description. Each staff member has an elaborate role and I’m preparing for it.
Izumi: What’s your role?
Tsumugi: I will be having two personalities – an angel and a demon. My personality changes every time I sneeze.
Izumi: Oh, that sounds fun!
Tsumugi: I don’t usually get a chance to act out two alternating personas, so this is really worth trying. I’m thinking of recalling my role as Michael during our troupe’s debut play and for the devil role, I plan on asking Itaru-kun because he knows a lot about eighth grade syndrome.
Izumi: (So you’re counting on Itaru-san on that…) This might be a good chance to apply what you’ve learned at Actors’ Cafe.
Tsumugi: Definitely. But in Actor’s Cafe, I acted as a waiter. In Devil’s Restaurant, they have their own waiters and the actors will appear while the customers are having their meals. And I’ve heard they serve high-class cuisine.
Izumi: So it’s a restaurant where you can enjoy both eating and acting! Sounds fun!
Tsumugi: The truth is, I wanted to give you this.
Izumi: An invitation?
Tsumugi: The restaurant will be full because of reservations but as a staff member, I got to receive one invitation card. Wanna come? You have to keep it a secret, though.
Izumi: Really?! I appreciate your invitation but accepting it would make me feel guilty.
Tsumugi: I only have one invitation and it’d be unfair to invite someone among the actors. So I thought it’d be best to invite you. Besides, if there’s only one person who can watch me act, I want it to be you, Director.
Izumi: Is it really okay?
Tsumugi: Of course!
Izumi: Well, if you say so, I’ll accept it. Thanks! I can’t wait!
Staff: Welcome. May I ask for your name?
Staff: So you’re Ms. Tachibana, correct? We have been waiting for you. Allow me to guide you inside.
Izumi: (Th-this event is more formal than I thought! I don’t mind being alone because it looks like a lot of the customers also came by themselves, but the ambiance is totally different from Actor’s Cafe! I’m glad I asked Yuki-kun to pick an outfit for me. I bet I’ll look out of place if I wore the clothes I usually wear.)
Staff: Here is your seat.
Staff: Allow me to give you a brief explanation about our concept restaurant. Our cast of actors will be appearing as you enjoy your meal. As such, we would like to ask for your participation in the form of an etude. Please interact with our actors in accordance with their roles. Because we at Devil’s Restaurant do not only want you to enjoy your meal but acting as well.
Izumi: (Seriously?! An etude?! Tsumugi-san never told me about this! It sounds fun, though.)
Staff: Of course, there is no need to worry because our actors will respond to whatever you say. Feel free to decide how you will interact with them. My duty ends here, so if you will please excuse me.
Izumi: (It’s embarrassing to think that the other customers will see my acting. But oh well, I should just take the chance and have fun! Hmm…let me think of a nice plot…)
Staff: Sorry to keep you waiting. Here is this season’s special appetizer set.
Izumi: (Wow! Even the food looks great!)
Actor A: It looks like we have plenty of customers today.
Actor B: (chuckles) We have to go and greet them.
Izumi: (Hmm? They must be the actors. Ahh…what should I do? I still don’t know what to say.)
Tsumugi: Good evening. Are you enjoying your meal? You must’ve been working hard everyday. Please take this as an opportunity to relax and enjoy.
Izumi: (Oh, I can see Tsumugi-san from a distance. He seems to be talking to a customer. Maybe he’s in “angel mode.”)
Tsumugi: Hello. It’s a fantastic evening, isn’t it? Meeting someone as pretty as you feels like a dream come true.
Izumi: (S-so this is how his angel mode is like!)
Izumi: Oh, he sneezed. This means…
Tsumugi: I am the fallen angel Lucifer who was banished from heaven. What is thy wish?
Izumi: (What a pretentious demon! I bet this was Itaru-san’s idea. Oh, I forgot I haven’t prepared a line yet! If I suddenly met a demon…there’s no way I’d know what to do! Maybe there’s a Mankai play that can give me an idea…Oh, how about Nocturnality?) “Y…You foul demon! Leave this place at once!” (I also made a cross using a fork and a knife…But doesn’t this only work on vampires?!)
Female customer A: Omg! Is he okay?!
Female customer B: Kyaaaah!
Izumi: P-please call an ambulance!
Tsumugi: ….Haa…Haa. Thank you for defeating the demon inside my heart.
Female customer A: It was part of the show?
Female customer B: Omg! I thought he collapsed for real!
Izumi: W-wow…that was impressive! But it’s bad for the heart…
Tsumugi: Let us all offer our warmest gratitude to this brave woman!
Male customer: Bravo!
Izumi: Tsumugi-san just winked at me. I was panicking for a moment, but this restaurant really offers something new and fun.