Sixteen: Carmen Fantasy for Two Pianos

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After he ended the musical piece, he smiled at him and at Emi Igawa. 

"How is it?" he asked them.

Both of them clapped for him. 

"He's better than before," Emi spoke up.

Sir Ainichi grinned joyfully. "You really are a good pianist but I do really think that taking you as my student was a good choice of mine and the administration. You have a lot to grow, Kousei-san."

He stood up to watch Emi play the piano. 

He was actually surprised that she chose a modern piano piece entitled 'River Flows In You' by Yiruma.

As she is playing 'River Flows In You', Arima Kousei is really overwhelmed by how beautiful the new music he hadn't heard yet even if it's actually popular among new musicians like them. The musical piece makes his heart calm and he felt as if he's once again being drifted away by strange waves. Looking at Emi makes him wonder how pretty she looks like while playing such an elegant and stunning music that is so full of emotions. He can actually see that she's using the piano keys to talk to people using just her music. 

When she finished, she stared at Kousei who seemed to be looking at her in astonishment which definitely made her blush. She's happy that she was actually able to reach him using the musical piece that stunned him. She knows that he had always played classical music and for him to hear a modern piano music is very new to him. 

"How is it, sensei?" asked Emi to Sir Ainichi who was also in surprise to hear such bold music coming from her. River Flows in You is a very popular piano music among young musicians like her. 

Ainichi grinned and told her, "You played the song very well, Emi. I think it will be good if both of you can play a duet together."

Emi and Kousei were surprised by what he said. "I would search for a song for two pianos and the two of you should keep on practicing it. As you can see, I want the two of you to join competitions that requires piano duos. I know that the two of you are soloists but as you can see, we will be in a larger music room with two pianos. I will be there and teach you how to play together."

Emi and Kousei gulped at the same time. Playing together will be such a challenge for the two of them. "Most of all, your grades are according to how you rank on school competitions and competitions outside school. You'll rank and get a better grade if you will be able to compete among other students of other schools. If you win in a major competition together, there's a big chance for the two of you to land a chance to compete in Europe."

Kousei's hands began to shake. He wants to keep playing the piano but it also gives him comfort that he will be accompanied and supported by Emi Igawa. In that way, he knows that he won't be alone on stage. 

Their school mentor, Sir Ainichi asked them to look around the place more. Both of them obeyed and have noticed that the room is actually filled with musical pieces, musical sheets and books about Classical, Contemporary and Modern. They have also noticed that there were Jazz Piano Music around while he is actually searching for a piece that actually could make them play together and reveal their piano potentials together. 

"Both of you are great musicians and are great soloists. You don't need to go through the basics and play a lot of solo music alone. As I can observe, it's time to upgrade the two of you. Playing together means learning teamwork and perseverance. Practice together and I know you'll give an awesome performance," he told them. 

Emi and Kousei smiled at each other. 

"Do you really think I can play piano with Kousei? He's actually not the same as the boy I knew before. He's not as technical as he was," Emi asked him. 

Ainichi finally found the musical piece he would want them to practice together when he answered her, "I have heard that his first performance after a long drought was in Miyazono Kaori's violin competition in Towa Music Hall."

Kousei nodded. In his surprise, even if he does miss her, he is actually excited to get a chance to play along Emi Igawa. "If not because of her, I could have totally left the music world. Because of her, I am here now. There are just a lot of people I want to say thank you for making me return back in playing the piano."

He gave them the musical piece a few seconds later. "The main room where the two of you will go is an auditorium outside Okutsu Music School. It's near the College of Psychology. As you well know, I am not just a music teacher. I teach Child Psychology."

He stared at his mentor. "Treatment... They know that I'm still undergoing recovery from all of the trauma I received from my past, isn't it?"

"If you think you're trouble because of all the misfortune you received, you're wrong. That's a blessing. God won't give you problems He knows you won't be able to carry. He knows you're strong enough to undergo through stick and thorns," he said to him. 

Emi read the name of the musical piece they are about to practice. "Carmen Fantasy for two pianos. I have heard my personal mentor, Mrs. Ochiai play it together with her first student. Carmen Fantasy is based on Georges Bizet's opera 'Carmen.'"

Ainichi smiled at her. "You seem knowledgeable, Emi. That's great for you. I chose this since I could see that your skills can be combined together. I have heard your musical solo abilities in competitions. You're a strong and intelligent pianist." 

He faced Kousei and said, "An all natural pianist who went into cocoon for years and after those years, the caterpillar grew wings and became a magnificent soloist who showed the world that he isn't a human metronome."

The two kids blushed together. "Are you sure I can play the piano with Emi?" Kousei asked.

"I'm sure the two of you will become compatible partners soon and you will both enjoy playing the piano together," he told them.

Kousei and Emi practiced the piece together separately and read the sheets for a while. Ainichi made it sure that his two students knows what they are doing and memorize the piano sheets before they actually go back home. 

There were times that Kousei would begin trying to actually give up practicing the piano but Emi would be there to keep him going. He knows that he chose to keep growing as a musician and so, he has no right to quit. 

...

Mikoto and Sakura's classes ended earlier than his brother and so, he chose to wait for his brother or actually visit him in his school. He walked in Okutsu College of Music Affiliated High School. 

As always, he is in awe of his school as he kept on hearing different kinds of music in every corner. The school doesn't just teach one genre but all of it but they are mostly known for giving priority to children who chose Classical Music and Rock Music. 

He was about to go in front of the receptionist when he finally saw Kousei walking with Emi Igawa and Aiza Takeshi. 

Kousei saw him and smiled. He waved good bye to his old rivals, now his friends and school mates to join his brother and go back home. 

"You enjoyed your first day?" Mikoto asked. 

He smiled back at his brother and replied, "It's actually tiring. I kept on playing the piano over and over. He didn't just give us one musical piece to practice. He also gave us another musical piece for two pianos. I've got to practice piano again back home."

"What's the name of the second piece your piano teacher gave you anyway?" Mikoto asked. 

"Tschaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite," he pouted. "It's a great song, though."

Mikoto messed his brother's hair and hugged him as they walk back home. "I'm so grateful I have a brother like you! Know what? I have some good news to you as well when we get back home."

They walked faster with a smile on their lips.

...

A/n: Don't forget to vote and comment! Hope you like it!

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