A translation of the Mahou Sentai Magiranger short story “The Morning Another Adventure Began” (旅立ちの朝、もう一度), written by Magiranger episode writer Michiko Yokote and originally published in the Mahou Sentai Magiranger Super Legend Book (魔法戦隊マジレンジャー スーパーレジェンドブック) on May 1, 2006.
You can buy the original book here.
Urara went back to Magitopia with Hikaru this morning.
She probably still had her own things to worry about, but I’m glad we could send her off like this.
Isamu had told her “feel free to come back anytime if something happens,” but I deliberately didn’t say anything.
Urara still looked uncertain, but I’m sure she understood.
Ten days ago, she suddenly came back, to everyone’s shock. It’d been half a year since we’d sent her off to Magitopia to live with Hikaru. We were sure she must have been living happily with him there, to the point we hadn’t even ahd a single shred of doubt. So upon seeing this, even Isamu had an expression on his face begging “what do we do about this?” He didn’t know if we should even ask about it, so he was completely at a loss. I still remember that face he was making, and remembering it makes me (I’m really sorry to say this) laugh.
But right after returning, Urara immediately shut herself in the kitchen, and when we peeked in to see what she was doing, just as we’d thought, she was scrubbing the pots. She had a habit of doing that whenever she was sad or upset.
The mere sight of it made Makito bolt upright. Just like Isamu, he was flustered and restless.
“It’s been a while, so how about I make a special Welcome-Home version of my Maki Salad?”
His suggestion was in a blatantly forced manner, and after fumbling around in an attempt to change the subject by going on about how well his broccoli was growing, he fell completely silent.
Tsubasa was occupied with trying to lose weight in preparation for a boxing tournament, so for better or for worse, he didn’t seem to have a good grasp of whether Urara looked well or not. But then —
“Huh? Urara, why’re you here? Somethin’ happen?”
He asked the question so directly that Isamu and Makito were in a panic.
But Urara was the type to keep holding it in even front of Tsubasa.
“Nothing’s wrong. I just felt like coming back for a bit.”
Her attempt to put on a tough front was so obvious that even Tsubasa picked up on it, and all of the boys in the house were unable to say another word.
They were all staring right at me, desperate for me to do something and help, but I deliberately wasn’t doing anything. Perhaps it was a bit too cruel of me, but I figured that whenever Urara was scrubbing the pots like this, it meant she needed a little more time to calm down.
But once we’d gotten to the third day of continuous pot-scrubbing, I started to feel that this might be a bit of a special case. All of the pots were now completely spotless and sparkling, but Urara had started scrubbing the same ones all over again. Ultimately, it was Houka, on her way back from a photography trip, who put an end to it.
“Oh, great timing! I wanna have some of Urara’s apple pie.”
From Houka’s perspective, she’d probably said it casually without thinking, but in actuality, she might have accidentally gotten right to the core of it. Either way, the moment she heard the words “apple pie”, Urara suddenly started looking like she was about to cry.
Houka started panicking and kept apologizing over and over, and while Urara tried to protest “that’s not it” and kept shaking her head, her tears kept falling in large drops. It seemed like she was finally in the mood to talk about it.
We’d all been suspecting it, but it’d all started from a minor disagreement with Hikaru, over things like “I tried to get in contact with you but you didn’t respond” or “I responded, but you acted like you didn’t hear it.” In actuality, it was probably just an issue of being too tired or the timing being bad. But the gears had fallen out of place and hadn’t been put back, and they’d been slipping further and further out of sync until everything exploded.
“I don’t get it at all! I’m tired.”
Urara slumped her shoulders.
She’d probably been dreading something like this happening ever since she moved to Magitopia. Rin and Magiel were doing their best to take care of her, but in the end, there were strong emotions that came out of being a newlywed.
And on top of that, Urara could be a perfectionist at times. Every morning, she’d end up waking up earlier than Hikaru, making his food in the morning, and try to figure out what she needed to do for him before he’d even said it.
How did I know that? Because I was like that once.
I didn’t entirely understand what kind of job a “Holy Saint” had, but I could at least tell that it involved a lot of hard work. So I kept doing my best to not cause Isamu any extra trouble, making it so that he wouldn’t have to worry about doing anything, thinking that I should help him be as comfortable as possible. It completely went over my head that I wasn’t so much “taking care” of Isamu as much as I was “forcing him to be taken care of”.
So when Isamu told me that I didn’t have to try so hard, that I should just do as I normally would, it felt like being told everything I’d done was for nothing. I remember being disappointed and distressed over it. Actually, “disappointed” wouldn’t even be the right way to put it; I even wanted to cry.
But at some point, I realized that I hadn’t been working so hard for Isamu’s sake as much as I’d been trying to satisfy my own pride. I’d been doing it because I wanted to be praised and appreciated for all of it.
Urara was just like how I used to be. Right now, she wasn’t sure of what she should do or what she was doing any of this for.
“Mom, you gotta do somethin’!”
“Why aren’t you saying anything, Mom?”
Tsubasa and Makito couldn’t stand to watch anymore and were trying to get me to intervene. Isamu wasn’t saying anything, but it was obvious he felt the same way as he desperately looked in my direction.
But while it was an easy topic to discuss in words, it was something Urara had to realize and internalize on her own.
“But y’know, that’s real cold of Mr. Hikaru, don’t you think? You’d think he’d come over to come get her.”
Houka was quick to vocalize her complaints.
In fact, I was concerned about that, too. Isamu had thought about trying to get in contact with him, but I’d stopped him. This wasn’t something that other people should be getting directly involved in. We’d just be intruding into the problem.
That all being said, Urara was now at peak emotional wreckage. It was one thing to deal with the hot spring of water pouring out from the garden, but it was getting hard to deal with the house constantly having rain clouds over it all the time.
Urara herself seemed to know that her own powers were going out of control, but the more she became aware of it, the worse the rain got, and water even started spouting from the faucets.
Then, perhaps because Urara was affecting them, Tsubasa started breaking all the electric appliances, and Houka started accidentally opening doors with bursts of winds. Makito seemed to be comparatively okay for the time being, but even then, a potted plant at the windowsill was in full bloom at entirely the wrong season. Everyone in the house was agitated, and there was no sign of anything calming down. Truly a terrible state of affairs.
At this point, I was finally starting to think, “okay, maybe this isn’t the time to expect her to figure it out herself,” but then —
“I’m home! Man, I’m starving.”
Kai had returned, his voice as cheerful as ever.
It’d been half a year since he’d set off for Infershia, where he’d been working on reconstruction plans with Sphinx and Vancuria, and yet here he was.
“Man, it’s so dark and gloomy down there. Both the decor and the people. We really gotta make it brighter,” said Kai in his usual way of saying things.
But then, even despite him having said that so nonchalantly —
“Hey, Urara, what’s wrong? I’m guessing you had a fight with Mr. Hikaru and came back here?”
He was so nonchalant about it that Makito and Tsubasa were gaping at him.
“Urara, y’know, you’re trying too hard, aren’t you? You should be enjoying yourself more! Have some fun!”
He kept talking in such a lighthearted manner, paying absolutely no regard to Makito and Tsubasa trying to signal him to stop with their eyes.
Urara’s response was short.
“Yeah! It’s all teamwork, y’know. Right, Houka?”
Kai was referring to the time Houka had taught him to treat his soccer teammates with more kindness. At the time, Kai’s head had been full of nothing but hard work and struggle, and he’d completely lost sight of the people working together with him.
“You’re saying a family’s a team? Does a married couple count, too?”
“Of course! Like when we all worked together and took N-Ma down.”
Kai’s straightforwardness was his most amazing trait. Most people would shrink away in embarrassment at the idea of saying things like this, but he had no shame in putting it in words. And those words had the strength to get people back on their feet.
“When you put it that way, it’s really easy to understand.”
Urara had slight traces of a smile on her face. It was the first time she’d been able to smile so naturally since she’d come home.
But that smile vanished as quickly as it came, and the tears came back. The faucets were starting to completely blow off and overflow with water, and the rain was now pouring down in droves outside.
“Mr. Hikaru must hate me now,” said Urara, hanging her head.
“Come on, don’t say that!”
“Y’think there’s anyone out there who could actually hate you?”
The boys were doing their best to comfort her, but nothing was working. After all, showering a girl with all the affection and praise in the world wom’t do anything. There was one specific person she wanted that affection from. That’s the kind of people we are.
“I mean, his wife got mad at him and ran off on him. I’m a failure as a wife.”
“Of course you’re not.”
I put a hand on her shoulder. Underneath my hand, she felt so delicate as she was trembling.
“Marriage isn’t something you get tested or graded on. Urara, what kind of wife are you trying to be?”
“What kind of wife…I want to be like you, Mom,” said Urara, still with watery eyes.
I shook my head and sighed. The sound of it was drowned out by the downpour outside, so it was probably just my luck that Urara couldn’t hear it.
“You’re you, and you’re Hikaru’s wife, not anyone else’s. So you shouldn’t be trying to copy someone else.”
Urara took a short breath and nodded.
“So instead of trying to be me, you have to be the kind of wife that only you can be.”
Urara was about to open her mouth again when the sound of Travelion’s steam whistle echoed from under the pouring rain.
Isamu had already opened the door before the doorbell could even go off, so Hikaru was very obviously startled. After composing himself again, he looked Isamu straight in the eye as he said the following words.
“I came to pick Urara up.”
In contrast to the bold and resolute tone he’d used when saying it, his hair was completely disheveled and his shirt was crumpled, and his appearance blatantly revealed the panic he’d been going through during the last few days, but proper etiquette meant pretending we didn’t see that.
Isamu silently brouight Hikaru into the living room, with Makito, Tsubasa, and Kai clearing the way, and Houka pushing him forward from behind.
The entire room was the epitome of holding one’s breath in anxiety, but none of us could bring ourselves to say anything or leave the room.
Hikaru and Urara looked at each other for a long time, neither of them saying anything, but it was clear that they’d already made up with each other in their own way.
The rain had stopped, and the light was coming in through the window.
And that was how both of them managed to overcome their very first bout of trouble.
Hikaru returned to Magitopia with Urara, and it also wasn’t long before Kai headed back to Infershia. I don’t know why Kai had come back all of a sudden, but given the way he was, he might have been dealing with troubles of his own. But since he never said anything about it, perhaps he’d already figured out how to deal with it.
And Tsubasa had his match coming up, and Makito was preparing to head out to Brazil. Recently, Houka had made it into a job to take care of the house fairly often.
Our children were starting to set off on their own paths.
But I want you all to always remember that no matter where you are, we’ll always be a family. Isamu and I will always consider you our pride and joy.
And so — “all’s right with the world!”