Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
June 19, Wednesday.
I really should have expected in advance that the tables will be turning before I even closed my eyes last night.
Right now, the time is also around 6 o'clock in the morning. I am in the same situation as from the beginning of the chapter before this, but I hate myself for drooling on my pillow again.
I touched my head earlier before opening my window, and I felt seven bristles of hair standing against the majority of it. Upon pulling up my window, I took a comb and a hand mirror, and fixed my hair while sat on my bed facing the natural light. I had gotten a little annoyed that Gin hasn't gotten up yet at this time of all the days because of his anxiety of a possibility of constantly throwing up like a kid. But I do not know if Uncle Amano had the same situation at his age. Surely however, he was teased a lot by Eijiro at that time in different cases.
Annoyances aside, I had the thought that he might liven up after opening his window if he sees me- or the bedhead I left on top my head that looked like a cowlick. That idiot really has a hopeless taste in terms of someone's hair if it caught his attention. I however believed that I can take advantage of that stupidity just for this one time.
I suddenly got worried, not because of him not waking up, but because of the sun popping in and out from the clouds. I completely forgot what the forecast said last night.
"Yawn~ Morning, Rin…"
"Huh… You woke up on your own?"
"Haku's still sleeping."
"About him, isn’t he going to be shocked in a new environment?"
I asked, because Gin was permitted to bring Haku with him, as the inn allows animals in. Although, we don't even know how the inn we're going to stay at looks like. It was as though Tenth and Akira were doing a lot of omission in the meeting, thus, feeling like being left out in the dark.
"We'll see. I probably won't have any problems with a cat who knows what time and what he'll watch on TV."
"So he was the one that turned the TV on when I freaked out one time?"
"Yeah… He's really one heck of an intel-"
He suddenly stopped speaking and stared at me with his nonchalant eyes.
"What is it?" I deliberately tilted my head.
He assumed that I didn't see his face burning up to red and immediately covered his entire face with his hands. But even I was having a hard time trying not to react on that very uncharacteristic behavior of his. In the end, I smirked.
"Heh. Better morning, Potato."
"Why, Rin-chan… Why?"
I don't know if bashfulness can really fight off nausea.
▪ ▪ ▪
260, White St.
At the twenty-ninth minute of the sixth hour of the day, Ginji has begun blaming himself for the club likely to depart late because of him. Indeed, he just woke up, let alone still having no energy to get up from his bed.
"That dream again… Who is he…?"
There is however nothing for him to do apart from getting himself ready for the day as he had already packed his luggage for the three weeks of being away from home. But he realized the reasons of the somewhat mysterious gloom he is feeling inside him.
The schedule was to depart at seven, and he now only has half an hour to get ready and leave, although it is apparent that the remaining time is not enough. Even though not seen in his nonchalant face, he is looking forward for the trip, it quickly turned to be a downer realizing that he might hold back everyone. But the more important reason is because of a dream he had repeatedly seen in his slumber. Even he does not know why he is seeing a massive, gray box of an empty room makes him feel very sad. He continuously sees the back of a person engulfed in pitch-black silhouette looking back towards him, and the dream will be cut off. He had shared it with Shuri beforehand, but it did not take away the worries he had ever since he first saw the dream.
He may be on a time pressure, but he can't afford to rush a sip of his coffee while eating nothing for this morning. He had thought that his head will surely spin while on the road, but as a heavy drinker… of coffee, it will just make him more nauseous if he doesn't get an amount of caffeine in a day. In the end, he also packed the only mug he had used every morning for six years.
While brushing his teeth after a cold shower, his father suddenly asked.
"You're with Gin for the trip, right?"
"So you know him? We still don't know what day in three weeks' time we'll be going home, though."
"We usually meet at the market when shopping. Can't believe a kid like him is already working and paying his own bills," he expressed his amazement.
"He's one heck of a man, yeah."
"So you fancy a girl named Yui, huh?"
"Bfft…!" he was thankful that it was not the coffee that he spat, but the toothpaste. But he missed the sink and *sparkles* stuck on the wall.
"He even said that to you?!"
"Well, he thought that I already knew. He was saying something about telling his dad about those things, and that it should be something similar to you.
But if I were to say, you two really are alike for some reason."
That might be the case, but we're not similar in everything…!"
If you think that one can't angrily gargle, you might have to reconsider.
~ ~ ~
He arrived at 7:15 in the end. A commute by tricycle from his house to the school already costed him 20 Laxes.
"I'm very sorry that I'm late…!"
"I think that's okay. I'm already imagining my stress if we left at seven sharp. Let's wait for a bit until rush hour dies down a little."
"Hey… morning, G… Ate anything?"
"Oh, wow… Gin… We really look alike…"
Gin and G looked like a wilted plant. Aside from them, everyone seems completely fine.
"Not that we think about it, you're not going to see Nana-sen for three weeks, Mato-sen!" there was no use of turning the opposite from Mato if he can already imagine the smug face on Shiro as she teased.
"Hahh… Don't remind me anymore…"
"Ugh…" Jean also got hit with the bullet.
"Oi, don't be too cocky, Jean," Yuuga teased.
Still having the weak will, Ginji grabbed Gin's shoulder and dragged him far enough to not be heard by the others.
"What's up, G?"
"Why did you even tell Dad about that…?"
Gin immediately caught on, "Eh… I thought he already knew at that time. It was my bad since I was referring to myself because I immediately told my dad that I liked Rin… Sorry, though."
"You're really a natural airhead… I don't remember telling you that I like Yui."
"Eh? So you don't?"
I'm getting there," he looked away and fidgeted.
"Wow. Your reaction is way more normal than mine. I'll give my regards for you to have a usual way of confessing."
"Oh? How did you confess to Ringo, anyway?"
"Uhhh… I told her about the accident and we cried at the same time…?"
"No, I wasn't talking about confessing the truth."
"That was just a prelude, and no way had I confessed when Anna was there. Stuff just happened fast that we kind of blurted it out."
"Hmm. I guess that's enough for now. I also have my own issues."
"And that issue is…?"
"I regret not talking to Yui a lot for the past two days."
"Heh. Now that honesty is also a coincidence."
Mato shouted, "Heeeyy. Students are starting to come so we better get going."
Of course, Mato-sen was behind the wheel while Gin and I sat on the front passenger seat where I am in between the driver and Gin as he needs to be close to the window. That is indeed convenient for him but I'm kind of worried about being just below the wheel. It will be bumpy for him, surely. I then realized that it was pretty much the same case for G at the back.
I'm already expecting that we will have some stopovers on the way.
"By the way, Mato-sen. Who'll be your substitute in S2VA?"
"About that, I was surprised that Sir Juushiro easily allowed a friend of mine to be my substitute. His name is Alvin Maroon. You might have heard his name or not."
"I know him because he lives in the base…" I still refrained from speaking that up.
"Hey, Gin and Ginji. You're okay with aircon, right?"
"Yeah… just don't put an air freshener so early in the morning and I'll be a quiet boy…" G lamented.
Yuuga who is behind him lightly frowned in response, "Isn't it easier if you let them all out early?"
"I don't think s-"
Mato-sen stepped on the gas, "We're away~"
The two seemed fine on the first kilometer, though. I wonder if this will also apply to G, but Gin had mentioned that he is usually lightheaded on trips like this, and that emission of sparkles is just a worst case scenario. But I have observed that he closes his eyes from time to time, as though sleeping or just resting his eyes. I don't know if it has anything to do with his case as I haven't experienced it.
Actually… sparkles and stuff has been the only thing I'm talking about…
"Rin, can you hook up my music account to the center console?" he handed out his phone without even opening his eyes.
It was a fast process of syncing up his account. I've never really thought of it, but it sure is convenient to have a feature like that in automobiles without unnecessarily consuming power from the phone. I was a little surprised, however. He mostly plugs earphones on his ears in vehicles when he's not driving.
I expected Mato-sen to be grossed out of the playlist, but he took the liberty to choose a song as he scrolls on the touchscreen. He saw me through his peripheral vision while I look at him.
"It sure is nice if I can actually understand what in the world I'm listening to," he said and tapped a song.
"So you like Aim*r too, Mato-sen?"
"Who wouldn't like her voice? Am I right, Gin?"
"I'd ask her to sing on my wedding…" is what Potato replied.
Every one inside the van went quiet without implying anything by gesture. But Gin's arm that is supporting his right cheek fell and his head rested on the chair.
We went with it that he was just sleep-talking.
On the other hand, G has been retching dry.
~ ~ ~
I hate to disrupt that cute sleeping face, but I had to wake Gin up.
"Potato, Potato. Potato, Potato!"
"Wow, you sound like you're doing a chant, Ringo," Mato-sen joked.
It has been a consistent fifty minutes of travel time on the road as we thankfully didn't hit any major traffic. It was some sort of a miracle that the sickly two weren't affected by the incline as we reached the first slope, which began the venture to the mountain roads. I have not went to Payns (extreme northern mountain ranges of Orio) for all my life, but the roads were as I expected. There wasn't any tunnel that we had passed by but having to see that we have gained a lot of altitude from below was a reassuring sight. We were moving as though flying when the sight from below the mountains is seen behind the blurs of the barriers.
"What is it…?" he finally responded.
"There's a resting place in about 5 minutes from here. Let's stop by and take a rest. My back's hurting already," Mato-sen, without looking, directed us to the satnav pointing out on a label in the map.
"Ohhh…" Gin then looked outside as he turned his head with his cheek getting squeezed on his neck pillow. He intended to look at G but decided not to turn his head vigorously as that one movement can apparently make him nauseous.
The resting place that Mato-sen was talking about is just beside the side of the mountain. There was a long railing just before the open view.
He immediately opened the door after the brakes halted the van and immediately walked towards the railings. Following behind him, I noticed that the condition of the sky hadn't changed. The clouds still scattered randomly, covering the blue sky, but the sun is still shining under where we stand.
Gin spread out his arms as his back stretched and took a breath deeper than a deep breath. Suddenly, a strong wind blew directly on him.
"I am one with the wind…"
"You're saying that again, Gin?!" Nagi shouted.
It was indeed amazing that us being on a mountain, the signal reception is very good, because Gin's phone started ringing as he still makes an embarrassing pose.
"This is Gin Sakato, right?"
"Umm. Yes? That's me."
"Oh, good. I thought I called the wrong number. This is me, Kaizo Ryuuya. I had to change my phone number, so sorry."
"Huh? Kaizo, really? It's rare for you to call. Did something come up?"
"Yes. I just landed here in Orio, and thought that I should tell you about it."
"Wait, seriously? Are you going to handle a case?"
"That's right. I'm asking you because I don't know how to contact Principal Juushiro. Can you help me set up an enlistment to Blue Ink High?"
"Sure, I'll tell the principal about it. But once that's done, that will be all the help I can give you. I'm currently away and won't be in school for a while."
"Is that so. And here I thought I can greet you."
"Ahahaha. Sorry, we have a client work in the mountains of Cotona. We'll be staying in an inn for a few weeks since it's a big project."
"I see. I wish you well on you work…
Wait, you said mountains of Cotona, right?"
"Yeah. By the way, are you allowed to tell an ex-subject about the new one?"
"Nothing says I can't, and you now have an affiliation to Anew so that's fine. The subject is enlisted on… let's see… a second year in senior high."
"Okaaay… Just so we're clear, is the company now going to accept subjects that are not adults knowing that I'm the first case?"
"That's exactly the case for this one."
"Don't tell me… is the subject's name Rena Azuki?"
"Hmm? No, the name is Marcel Rodriguez in BM. But now that you mentioned the name Rena Azuki… she was in the list of potential subjects."
"I just told you that. The cause of her being a candidate is because-"
"Hold you horses, Kaizo. Please let me research on it on my own."
"If that's what you want, then I'll respect your decision.
Ah, I see my pick up now. Let's talk later, Gin."
As Jean suddenly walked behind him, he whispered, "Was that Ryuuya-san?"
"Did something happen?" I followed up his question.
"Yeah. He said that there will be a new observation subject in Blue Ink. I guess it will be his first fieldwork.
Ah, I'll have to text him back about an official memo for Tenth. Just a sec."
We decided to end the conversation there while Potato fiddled on his phone.
Ten minutes of just sitting around or watching the view passed, and Mato-sen called out.
"Hey, Gin! Do you think you can drive now?"
"Yep. I feel much better now after that rest. Let's all hop in now."
"You're driving longer than me, so be careful. Your back will surely hurt."
Oh, I thought Mato-sen was talking about safe driving. My mistake.
While once again passing by the mountain roads, Mori started a topic, as he can't relate to any songs that are being played on the system.
"Do you guys still do independent commissions outside the club?" he was however successful to initiate a short conversation.
The majority had answered that they do not, or they haven't thought about it. Yuuga was careful about his reply, but Potato had the most different answer, telling:
"I did… before the club began to start accepting clients, and then I used to sell prints online and ship them to those who bought a print. I guess that's how I made a living for my bills aside from working at Giotto's.
Oh, Mori. This is the first time you're hearing about this, right?"
G added, "Basically, the portraits we were asked to do back in February for a wedding were actually directed to Gin's boss's wedding. I'm surprised that Gin never mentioned that even after all of that."
"I guess that's my bad."
"Why do you ask, though?" asked Yuuga.
"Well, it's nothing really special. I just think it's best to know your opinion about it before trying it out."
"Man, you guys sure are hard workers…" Mato-sen sighed, but followed up a question, "By the way, is it just me or did Yuuga bring a lot of things with him?"
The person in question jolted at the back.
"It wasn't just you, Mato-sen," Potato said as he smirked.
Nagi, before ultimately leaving from school had also noticed Yuuga's unusual carriage, and asked, "Did you also bring your display tablet? You're doing a lot more digital over analog, huh."
"Y-Yeah… I brought it with me. I figured that I'll rust off if I don't practice regularly…"
Or what Yuuga wanted to say was since he can't send physical copies of his releases, he will do his pages entirely digital. Another thing with being his manga assistant for a while, we picked up his style of coloring color pages digitally, and we asked if Gin and I can do official colored releases. His higher-ups and editor gave the nod, and we have been working for it. We were just doing it for the fun of it, but Yuuga and the publisher insisted for us to be paid.
I personally have realized that if one is to take arts for their career, versatility really is a necessity as an artist. Let's say for example that someone's forte is motion graphics, and animation can be applied to that too. But having limitations to your self is not very convenient to this world since life is hard. I guess one characteristic that I learned is to be opportunity seeking; why settle for being a motion designer when you can also learn 3D modeling and CGI? It may be a difficult action and it takes a whole lot of effort, but securing a stable job that is directly proportional to needs is a necessity. To whatever ethical means must we take something that we can actually grasp.
Rin, you sure you didn't get tired from that narration?
"Kuro is asking you, Rin."
"Totally fine. Hehe."
~ ~ ~
We have successfully crossed one mountain and the road thus far is mostly flat roads. There is however a pleasant feeling as we pass the country road in between the plains of tall grass. While minding the wheel, Gin asked out of nowhere.
"By the way, can someone take a look on the enlistment of BM students for this year?"
"Why though?" Mato-sen who apparently only had mobile data with him swiped through the school website. What we did not know is that there are certain pages of the site that only the faculty and others from the board can access. And one of those is the online enrollment list. I have heard that the site was developed by Marco, so it is safe from trackers and data theft.
Potato replied, "I'm just a little curious."
"Oh, right. Marcus's twin is taking BM… I remember now…" said Jean on a weak voice.
"Wait, Jean… Marcus has a twin? More so, someone from the BM department? How did I not know that?" Gin was genuinely confused.
"That's because you only mind your own business, yet you still have great observation skills," Mato-sen retorted.
"As expected of a childhood friend.
What's his name, then?"
"So you don't even know his name, huh. As expected of Oreki. Anyway, the name is Marcel Rodriguez."
Suddenly, Potato slowed down on the straight road while no vehicles apart from us are seen on our front and back.
"What's going on…? Kaizo…"
"Ah…! Sorry I was about to space out just now. I'll be more careful."
"Jeez. Look on the road, not on the wheel," Mato-sen scolded.
"I guess I'll let Kuro do the thinking while I drive…"
~ ~ ~
"Ohhh. We're 500 meters away from the destination," I looked at the navigation.
"Oh, Gin. Our parking space for the meantime is the lot just beside the inn. We'll be dropping off there."
The mentioned parking space did not have any vehicles parked there apart from our van. I thought it was a given since this is June where schools and some colleges that do not start in August just begin at this point. I did not do a search about the inn, but the rooms are quite inexpensive from what I heard. I just doubt that there will be no customers even if it's not peak season. This business can't be letting us stay there exclusively just for us, more so we did not have anything to pay for our stay.
So, I am expecting it to be a rather simple inn, if anything.
The words I just ate were really disgusting, but it had an extremely delicious aftertaste for some reason. Flying apples… I forgot northern Cotona has a bit of inactive volcanoes. And why…
Why does this remind me of our most comfortable times in Kyoto… This inn… This inn has…
*happily tears up*
You've finished reading 053!
Hi tired, I'm Dad
Thank you for reading!
054: What the heck, this inn is amazing.