Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
Yaaaaay, I'm narrating again.
Oh, hi. Welcome to this chapter, first of all. It's been four days since ManCon, and our lives are back to normal, as one would expect it to be.
But now that I have mentioned ManCon, I'm wondering if something happened afterwards regarding-
"H-Hey, Ringo. You're slowly distancing yourself…"
I'm with Shiro, by the way. I can't have her hear this otherwise we will be destroying someone's life…
"Still can hear you."
Ehhh?! I'm already whispering and all!
"H-Hey! Don't go farther away!"
Well, anyways… It has something to do with the episode that aired back in ManCon. If you recall Gin muttering something like conveying a message, it was something that we want all of the audience to understand and coincidentally-
Shiro~! I hope that you can't hear me!
"No, I don't hear anything apart from your call! I'll just cover my ears, alright?!"
Aka-san, can you do something so that she won't hear anything?
A/N: Alright, he can only hear Nagi wherever he is.
Thank you, but that sounds a little absurd, to be honest.
That wasn't a compliment!
As I was saying! The message that we realized later on was for the audience that watched it, and perhaps Yuuga and Mina, in between a predicament might have been affected by it coincidentally. It is entirely what I guessed, but if ever it is the case, it was not on our hands whatever it may have caused.
However, no one says that I am forbidden to know if it is true.
▪ ▪ ▪
It has been my very sight for a few months now. My eyes open long after the sunrise with the bluish walls and ceiling without the sunshine seen by my blurry, dried sight. Even I am surprising myself that I still cling to my blanket in the middle of this dejecting heat of the summer. My back felt a little damp in sweat although the air coming from the electric fan is still fairly cold in this time of the morning. It was a delighting and disappointing at the same time that I live in a place where the cold mornings are extremely ephemeral in this season.
It was however a more satisfying feeling when the slightly cold air blows right on my face after getting up. But in spite of my eyes yet dead tired, I found a speck of light pulsing before the corner of my vision. I checked what it was that is making my phone illuminate that small light.
And I was immediately greeted by a good morning with a message coming from him.
"So he's making our food today…"
I realized late that I have already carved a big smile as I looked on my mirror, and my lips can't stop trembling in the middle of brushing my teeth.
The thought of perhaps being overjoyed was not absent to my mind, and it would be a lie if I tell myself that I am not overacting, but I would have to guess that I'm no different to the others. And so I wonder…
"Did Ringo also feel this way?"
I was for some reason very excited to hurry up and leave my room just to come to the apartment room next to mine. The several knocks on the door was immediately received by Yuu with the usual expression seen on him.
"Morning, Yuu!" I greeted with a still unconscious wide smile.
"Mhm. Good morning, Mina."
Perhaps from the smile that I can't put to a halt, he also gave me one, although subtle but somewhat sweet.
What were somewhat forced interactions between us have changed and became a sincere relationship that is scarce of any ounce of guilt.
"Don't just stand there, Mina. Go have a seat. I already made coffee so you can drink it while you wait."
"Geez… If only you're not a huge coffee drinker."
"A car won't work if it doesn't have fuel after all. Anyway, are you sleeping well? Don't tell me you're still overthinking about it."
"H-Hey… I've finally had a good sleep last night…"
"Says the one who lectured me about not getting any sleep- Ow!" a piece of crumpled paper hit directly on the back of his head.
"I'm joking, I'm joking! Hahahaha! Sorry about that.
Here's your breakfast, milady."
Yuu has changed so much ever since he finally told me that he knew of my feelings. As though he was free from the shackles restraining him, his already pleasant attitude towards me that I have observed from him have become a gentler feeling that puts you at ease.
"Yuu… Make sure you don't force yourself with this, okay?"
"I am fine but still trying my best. If you ever feel that I'm forcing myself, please tell me immediately."
You're really honest. Really…"
"Wha- You're the one who started it…"
~ ~ ~
This is a rare case of someone knocking on the door of my apartment room. I remember clearly that I have changed my address on my school registry, but no one in my first year class seemed to have pointed out that I moved.
It's highly unlikely that my classmates will be here. But here I am putting my thoughts on a far place when it could just be Yuu most likely.
"Coming! What do you… need… Yuu…"
My and Erika's plots backfired to me.
I have been given a surprise visit by Ringo and another girl with a ponytail which seems oddly familiar to me.
"W-Well, come inside…"
"We aren't disturbing you right now, are we? You might be cooking right now."
We then excused ourselves inside and took a seat on a couch on the living room. It may have been exactly the same dimensions and appearance with Yuuga's, or anybody's room in this building, but it was way simpler and spacious since there isn't much to see inside.
But my gut tells me that her bedroom is a treasure trove for maiden's romance manga and such. It's ironic since she's also a manga-loving idiot.
"It's fine. Yuu's on it today. Wait…" her face asked who the one I am with today is. Like I said, I'm together with Shiro.
"Shiro Kirishima here. I'm a friend of Ringo in Blue Ink."
"W-W-W-Wait…!" Mina blushed. "Y-You're @Howaito back in ManCon, right?!"
"Yes, that's me. Sorry that you have to see that."
"Huh? I know that Mina went to our booth but I was busy. Did you do something, Shiro?"
"Ahhh… I kinda got jealous and threw a paper ball on Nagi in front of the line. It's embarrassing that there's a photo given to us with it…"
"Wow… You even smiled when Nacchi asked you on the selfie but it still turned out like that?
Wait, am I also that easy to get jealous?"
"It was the stress, Ringo!"
"Ohhh… so she's the one that Potato-san was talking about. You're Nagi's girlfriend, then."
I slammed the small table by the couch upon hearing what she said, "Stop calling Potato Potato!"
"Just to answer your question earlier, Ringo. You're also jealous."
"Why did you two visit anyway?"
"To surprise you," I uttered. "But really, just hanging out since we have nothing to do after ManCon. It's boring…!"
"Way to hear that from you, Ringo. I really thought that you would be visiting me with Gin. Actually, it's hard to imagine you without Gin beside you. Did he go somewhere?"
"Ehhh. Normal people might not understand what he's doing right now. I mean, he just up and left earlier and said that he'll do complex work for a week so he won't be home in that duration."
And if you're wondering how Shiro actually separated to Nagi when it's still summer, the poor guy is on his paradise (air conditioned room) alone while contemplating on his hatred on the scorching heat.
"Really, Gin is a busy guy too, huh?"
"Never mind him. You look a bit brighter now. What? Don't tell me something finally happened with you two?" I teased on a smirk.
The change of Mina's expression in a blink flashed a memory inside my mind. She was making the same flustered face that I had when I began to realize that I love Gin, and until we've started our relationship. Her cheeks were flushed red, her somewhat forlorn eyes started to tear up, and a bitter, gloomy and bashful, but delighted smile carved on her lips.
We were left in shock upon gazing on her unexpected look and left our mouths open in awe, waiting for a bug to enter.
"Waahhhh… You look so youthful, Mina."
"Well? Care telling us what happened?"
She responded with several blinks on her worried face and looked at Shiro momentarily.
"Just omit!" Mina lip-read and understood, thankfully.
I… finally settled things with Yuu…"
"Wooohhhh?! Really, Mina?!"
"N-No…! It's not like that… yet!
And we're being too loud! What if he hears us?!"
Shiro vigorously looked up on Mina and asked, "Wait… does Yuuga live here?"
"H-He lives next door…"
And she vigorously turned her head again, this time she looked at me with an annoyed face. If I have to guess, she's probably annoyed that it was a similar circumstance where I lived beside Gin, for instance.
"How did it happen?" asked Shiro on a very confused tone.
"It's very sudden… that he didn't even give me an opportunity to properly confess. Yuu suddenly got serious and mentioned that he was already aware of me liking him for a long time, but he said that he was discouraged to speak about it.
I thought he was going to reject me, but he emphasized that he does have special feelings for me… but not just in a way same to liking me.
And… Do you know what he told me?"
"As if I know, Mina. I'm not some person that eavesdrops."
"Don't laugh about him, but… He asked me if I can help him learn to sort out his feelings, and perhaps fall (for me) eventually…"
After a second of silence, Shiro beside me was about to laugh but was ignored.
I then asked, "Did he say something about being hypocrite or a liar?"
"Hmh. Much respect for that guy!"
The two tilted their heads with my sudden commendation. I assumed that Mina at least gets what it meant, and I don't blame Shiro for being very confused ever since I brought this up.
Nonetheless, ignorance is bliss.
"So that means that you two aren't there yet, I guess."
She nodded, "But you could say that we're more than friends, but one, two… four steps before a couple."
"Hehe… You're so cute right now, Minamina-chan."
"Hey…! You're starting to become like Ane Yuna! Oh, by the way, how is she these days?"
"Well, still a housewife and…"
▪ ▪ ▪
Early in the morning before Rin and Shiro's surprise visit…
"Mom~ Can someone look after my house and Haku for a bit?" with a bag of clothes with him, Gin abruptly went to their family house perhaps just shortly.
"What's with that bag, and why?"
"I'll be staying at the base starting today. I'll be there for a week."
"Well, I can look after it from time to time just like how I did when you were in Japan."
"Okay, then. Please tell Dad about-"
"Yawn~ Morning…" all of a sudden, Anna came out from what was Gin's room that she now uses. She woke up with her mother and brother looking at her.
"W-Why are you looking at me like that…?"
"Our thoughts are mutual, son."
Making the long story short, Senna and her son thought of the same thing—in which they will make Anna live alone in Gin's house for the duration that he is away. And so, Gin immediately left and the agreement took effect after thirty minutes.
"So basically… I've been kicked out of the house…"
She mumbled with her arms dropping while the duplicate keys of Gin dangled on her trembling hand. She looked up as though looking at the sky with blank eyes, staring at the entirety of the outside of the two-floor house. For some reason she walked forward in nervousness and endless rapid beating of her heart. The shaking of her hands did not stop even after finding the resolve to lift her hands with the key facing the doorknob.
Thus, she entered and expected the sight she was seeing. It was of course not a new sight to her, as she had of course come to this place for many times in nearly two years. But she reproached nonetheless for the thought that this exceedingly plain house almost made her spit her heart out.
Anna was about to stomp on the floor, but he was then greeted by Haku with a wave from his paw.
"Waaahhhh~! You're just so cute!" contrary to what looks to be his listless and antisocial demeanor, Haku actually likes being hugged. There truly is a gap between his natural glare as a cat and his behavior.
Putting down the satisfied guardian of the house, Anna finally realized that she has not yet taken breakfast. Her eyebrows furrowed in the middle of pouring coffee—that Gin left in the kettle—on a mug that she knows that his older brother does not use a lot, out of respect and that she will hurt him if she used Gin's everyday mug. She did not know of what she should make and went with scrambled eggs and sliced tomatoes. Out of respect anew, she seasoned the sliced tomatoes with freshly ground pepper instead of pepper corn.
The Sakato household, starting from Kinrou has been crazy about eating peppercorn in itself in dishes, and it has been passed on through genetics.
As she however had sat down on the couch with her plate and turned on the television, she noticed a few changes after the last time she came here, which she inferred that probably was a week ago. The only couch found on the living room was the one she is sitting on, and that she expected as much from her brother to clean the house before going somewhere. But she felt uneasy with the unusually large space inside.
Late as it is, she finally thought that this house is simply too big for one person to live in. She also does not know why she suddenly went upstairs and looked out on the rooms on the second floor. She however realized that she didn't bring any clothes which made her dejected.
The thought of being kicked out of their family house was only under Anna's impression. Thus, nothing of that notion is true.
She is an idiot, as she finally thought of herself. Without a bag, she came to their family house and brought back clothes of her choosing at hand.
With the slow hours of barely doing anything, it made her feel anxious, and so she checked out the whole house to lessen her worries. She check the small things like where the shampoo and soap are placed, or if the guest room is ready for use, or how she eventually found where the laundry is… and she finally found herself back on the kitchen, dumbfounded.
With a quick lift of her phone, she made a call.
"Nee-chan… Help me~!"
~ ~ ~
It was indeed Rin that she called.
They then met at the opposite windows, as the girlfriend of the owner of the house actually gave the younger sister of the owner of the house permission to enter the master's bedroom.
"Uhhh, no. Potato forbade me to help you in the kitchen. You have to make do with yourself, Anna."
"Ehhhh…! Nii is so cruel! I know that he was already living by himself prior to my age, but isn't it unfair?!"
"Well, he was literally in solitude for two years and lived independently up until now. So that's the more reason to let you be by your own and figure out things."
"Ugh, you really sound like Nii now… It hasn't even been that long when I saw you all flustered when we first met."
"Hmm… You get used to it."
"Stop with the memes! Looking at this house carefully, Nii's lifestyle is extremely different from his age!
It sure is nice to have a house husband, isn't it, Nee-chan?!"
"Yeah~ It's always nice to imagine that… Coming home tired from work, and then you will be greeted by Potato on an apron in front of the door… saying 'Welcome home!'
Kyaaahhhhh…!" and the ecstatic maiden disappeared from the window and rolled on her bed.
"Agh! I shouldn't have asked!"
While deliberately shaking her head vigorously, Anna momentarily glanced on a small black bookshelf near the desk. She crouched down and looked through the books placed in there.
"Hm? Anna? Where are you?" she heard from outside the window.
Anna jolted as Rin saw her head poke out her head by the window after pulling out a book, or rather, a notebook.
"Look at this, Nee-chan…!" she showed a notebook with a cover that is obviously made up of synthetic leather with how it was dyed. Nonetheless, it rang a bell on Rin's mind.
"I feel like I've seen that at some point…
Mind telling me what's written there?"
She opened the notes and extended out her arms. What was written on a middle page was several recipes of various dishes that perhaps Gin had already cooked.
"Can you flip it on the first page?"
As what Anna was told, she showed the first contents, and it said "Mala Ramen".
Wow… this is from October 2017."
"Lemme borrow it for a sec."
After a few quick flips on every page of the notebook, she returned it back with a smile and said, "We learn from others."
Rin had omitted the entirety of the book, but what was written were recipes of his experiments and staple dishes that Gin had placed emphasis on. She had assumed that Gin had studied the most common dishes and cooking practices to its most basic form, and flawlessly applied them to his everyday cooking as being a chef.
"Well then, I have to make a surprise visit this afternoon to a friend so I'll be leaving Potato's house to you. Bye~"
~ ~ ~
"Hmm… So it should be preheated…
Wah?! Don't underestimate me, Nii! I at least know how to use a knife!
Ah-! I should turn off the stove now!"
One way or another, she managed to make lunch for herself with the help of Gin's recipe book.
"Ohhh… So even I can make pork this tender? I didn't know this is actually fun…
If only it isn't hot today!"
All of a sudden, Anna's phone rang.
"Oh, hey. You answered pretty quickly."
"Hah. Just so you know, Nii, I made my lunch all by myself without Nee-chan's help!"
Ok, then. I have an emergency card on my room, so if you ran out of ingredients, you can use it to withdraw."
"What? That's actually a thing?"
"And here you are planning to take Accountancy…
Anyway! I can always see my balance so you'll definitely get a word from me if you withdraw more than 4000 Laxes.
Needs over wants, remember that!"
"Alright, talk to you again, sweetie pie."
▪ ▪ ▪
Two days later.
For the 52920473rd time, someone was heard knocking on the household's door.
"Ehh?! Naru? Ai-chan?!"
"Heheh… Miss us?"
"Why visit so suddenly?"
"Because you don't stop whining in chat!"
"So you're really living by yourself, Anna-chan?"
"Y-Yeah… Just for a week. Nii is currently away.
Anyway, come in."
"What is it, Naru?" Anna asked back while still on the kitchen counter.
"Aren't Yuka Gin's house… somehow barer than the last time we're here…?"
"I noticed that too, but I didn't bother asking Nii… I don't really know what's going on with his mind."
"Anna-chan… You suck at HE Class, so how come you're still alive?"
"That's rude, Ai-chan!
But still…! I'm finally getting the hang of the basics. I never thought that having a brother as a chef is quite convenient."
"The same goes for Ai-chan, right? Having a chef as a suitor… you're quite the girl!"
"Ehhhh…" Ai fidgeted and fawned.
"Ugh…! That look is irritating!"
▪ ▪ ▪
"Hello, Anna? What's with the call?"
"Why's it so noisy in the base…
Can I borrow your PC for a bit? I need to backup some things in my cloud."
"Mhm, sure. How are you doing, by the way?"
"Hahh… You shouldn't have mentioned that!"
"Why did you agree with Mom to make me live by myself?! How am I supposed to live in this huge place with so much things I have to take care of?!"
"Yep. She's mad."
"I want to listen to your problems there, but I still have a lot to do; I'm really sorry. But feel free to use the PC any time."
"Hahh… what a crappy brother I am…"
In spite of her overflowing disappointment with his brother, he still came upstairs and immediately opened the machine to do what she needs to. Her only plan was to get the task done originally, but upon logging in her cloud account, she immediately saw a shared folder on the very first page.
After getting her backups accomplished, she opened the folder containing several ebook files with numbers as its name. What she did not immediately realize is that she has not yet read the entirety of his brother's journals back in the Void—in which was indeed the contents of the ebooks.
With nothing to do further, she opened the first file.
~ ~ ~
Having lost track of time, it was already sundown.
Still sat in front of the desk, Anna wept while repeating the very words: "I'm sorry" or "Nii".
Anna has not noticed that Rin has been watching her by her window for more than an hour with a rather sorrowful smile.
"Anna… that is indeed your brother."
▪ ▪ ▪
Time, as it truly is like the wind that comes and goes swept fast, and the week has gone by.
To Anna's surprise, Gin came back from the base riding in a truck. She looked at the window, and saw him with perhaps a resurfaced Exile, opening the back doors of the truck.
"Sure you don't need any help, Gin?"
"It's fine. You know how I roll, right? This much is nothing compared to a crane falling down towards me."
"Man, I never get used to your jokes!"
"Nii! Welcome back."
"Oh, imouto is alive. That's good to see. I'm home," Gin greeted back with a shuffle on Anna's hair.
"I'll go back in and prepare something." But just before opening the door, she turned back.
"Sorry for lashing out on you the other day," Anna apologized with a sweet smile.
Gin was left standing in his lot with his mouth gaping and eyes twitching.
"W-What was that…?"
He is not used to see what seems to be a new side of her younger sister. She was normally a very agitated girl whenever and whatever, and so he was left with a great surprise that Anna finally found her calm and collected demeanor.
The next thing the younger sister saw, Gin was already carrying three-inch thick panes of three and a half feet square glass as though it was paper.
"That looks really heavy, Nii…"
"I guess so? I don't know how heavy, though."
One by one, he placed down nine, thick square panes of glass on his yard while the other Exile was already building a foundation with what looks to be made from-
‹Umm, Narrator-san, may I say something for a sec? Hi, I'm Gin.›
What is it?
‹I did mention that the Exile's exclusive material is called AMF, which F was derived from 'fabric'.
Press F in chat.
But generally, it is now called as AMM or Anti-material Matter; as dumb as it could get. I just want to say that for further clarifications.›
That's good to hear.
Moving on, as Gin has confirmed, the foundations themselves are made from the AMM. With its still theoretically stupendous durability, resistance and versatility, that as the foundation in itself can hold by its own.
Anna observed, and figured out that the AMM foundations are supporting a 3x3 grid made from the same material in which the confusing panes of glass will be placed as what she thinks as some kind of a shade to the garage and the yard.
"Nii… I don't get the purpose of placing glasses as a roof."
"Oh, come on. I worked my butt with this project for a week, so give me some credit with the pending result once everything is done."
"By the way, he is a resurfaced that works as an electrician."
"I really don't get what you're saying."
"Gin…! It's time to install the cells!"
"Cells…?" it added to the already great confusion of Anna.
With an ease to lift one heavy pane of glass, also comes an ease on leaping a height on top of the grid.
"Be careful, Nii!"
It was a simple installment in which the panes fit snug inside the grid.
What ought to be a few days of work was done in just four hours with the over-simplicity of the process.
"What's with the installation of electrical wires, anyway? I don't get its 'connection' to the shade you just built. No pun intended."
As Gin was about to explain to Anna, he heard "Potato" being sang over fifteen times as it gradually got louder. Enter Rin, who immediately stood still with the new sight.
"What are thooooooose?!"
"I'm home, Rin.
Anyway, this confusing structure is actually nine photovoltaic cells."
"Ohhh…" the two looked in amazement while their minds are being pulled to outer space.
In short, they didn't get it.
"Ohhh…?!" they nodded.
"That's pretty much why I needed wires. As to how a glass-like material to absorb solar radiation, I suck at science so I can't explain it."
"Potato, you really hate your electric bill, huh?"
"With this, I can reduce my usage. And this system is legally approved!"
"I get what you mean, but the sun does not stay in one place."
"Don't worry, Rin. I plan on adding another layer of roof with this in the near future.
But look, we're under the sun, so can we go to a shade?"
But instead of coming inside his house, he went under the solar grid with the two.
"Potato…?! What is this? We're still under the sun, but I don't feel the heat…"
Gin turned around with a proud smile and said, "It's rocket science."
※ This is a work of fiction.
Rin then hit him on the head.
"Why did you do this out of all times, though?" asked Anna.
"Huh? Of course, because it's nearly rainy season next month."
Anna and Rin tilted their head, as they don't know what Gin was trying to say.
"I forgot that these two haven't experienced White Street's flood…"
It was for the reason that: although Rin and Anna have been living in the neighborhood for more than a year, the drastic change in season was suspect to preventing the usual excessive precipitation around the time of June and onwards.
The Exile then left together with the truck.
"Riding a truck didn't lessen my trauma about them…"
"So this is why your furniture is really few, Nii?"
"I just want to be sure so that it won't be a pain if it floods really high again. You were already with our relatives when the family house got renovated, right?"
"As far as I can remember."
"Well, good for you. I've already experienced flooding even before I became a Child."
Nii. Seriously, thank you for letting me live here alone for a week."
"My little sister is sparkling…!"
"W-What's with that look?! I'm seriously not used in seeing you this honest! Is it your big brother's fault that you became like this?!"
"Even though you're joking it doesn't sound good at all!"
Still, I'm thankful that my boyfriend doesn't have sister complex.
That does it for 048!
Man now I want solar energy.
Thank you for reading!
049: Dreams and "thunderstorms."