Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
"W-What do you mean… Gin?!"
The silence was immediately destroyed by the echoing voice of Rin, with an apparent tone of worry.
Realizing how loud she accidentally screamed, she went back to where her room is, while the sick momentarily lied down by the table when the loud footsteps were still heard.
"Gahhh… I feel so destroyed again…"
"Oi… Are you sure you're really okay?" concerned, Mato asked and attempted to touch Gin's forehead. But with his trembling hands, he halted Mato's hand.
"You just saw Rin earlier… It's better not to even touch me at this point…"
"Gin-san… Please wait a second, I'll call a nearby hospital."
He forcefully tried to get up even after how frail his body ended up and said, "Th-That's…! That's the last thing that I'd want to do… Please don't call anyone, Kyohei-san…
Yeah, sure… I might be far from being okay, but it's best if I stay here at rest…"
"Kyohei-san," Nagi called out. "Please let Gin do what he asks for. It is better if we let his illness be."
Those words were entirely different from what Mori expected to hear, and so he exclaimed, "How can you be so calm right now, Nacchi… This just doesn't make any sense! I don't see a reason why we shouldn't send Gin to a hospital!"
"It should, and it shouldn't, Mori," Rin entered anew and made Gin put a thermometer on his mouth.
She continued, "Gin himself does not make any sense. Jean, can you help me carry Gin to their room? Mori, I might have to borrow the room for a little bit. I have to talk to him.
And Mato-sen, please don't worry too much about this guy. Who you should be worrying about is G, though I didn't check up on him when I went out just now. I just know that he's not feeling fine; but that's still an understatement."
She then pulled the thermometer and looked at it with a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness it wasn't on the worse side…"
Jean stood up and helped Rin in lending a shoulder. Without a word, they left.
"Oh, well… Another fever of his just happened," Shiro shrugged.
"Life goes on, I guess," Nagi continued on his meal.
Mato, Mori, and Yuuga fell genuinely confused. They didn't want to believe how much nonchalance Nagi and Shiro were showing in spite of what just occurred. In the end, they lost the appetite to eat.
However, it was not the couple's nonchalance that took away their will to finish their meal. They had sensed an uneasy and heavy air before Gin was sent out of the living room. For that short moment, they felt somewhat frightened with how Rin acted after Gin weakened. They were certain about the feeling, but they didn't know how it came to arise.
Noticing the mass disorientation, Nagi said his assurance.
"Gin is a very honest person. If he's not okay, he will say so, just like earlier. Even I was worried for a second, but Gin does not lie to himself. Just the thought where he can still say that he's not okay is enough to tell us that he's very fine."
Shiro interjected, "He had seen worse days."
~ ~ ~
Meanwhile, inside the guest room.
"Thanks for walking him here, Jean."
"No problem. But it seems like I at least know whatever is up. Mind if I listen too?"
"I forgot… I would appreciate if you can bring our meals here if it's okay."
"I'll take that as a yes. It's fine, though. I'll get them." and Jean left to get a tray.
In a hurry, Rin took out and spread a sheet of futon in which Gin immediately lied down.
42° is what it said, Potato."
"Ahahaha… That's a good sign compared to October last year."
"It really is. But seriously… are you really okay, Gin?"
"No problem, no problem. I ain't dying yet. This is way better than when I was turning silver."
"This time, you got sick for a reason, right? You mentioned G… and memories?"
In time, Jean came back with a joke, "Half-eaten bowls, coming right up."
"Thanks, waiter," Rin humorously replied.
"Oh, good timing, Jean… I was about to tell what's going on."
"That's why I'm here anyway. So? What is really happening?"
"It is without telling… that you two know about my stupid memories. And that G is apparently a coincidence from my existence…"
"That, we really know," Jean pondered.
In addition, Rin followed up the information, "I heard from Hiro-nii that your fever strikes aren't caused by a virus, but is instead a natural and physical reaction of your body."
"So he told you that… But he's right. I'm not sure if I got this back in the lab, but it's pretty apparent that I was like this when I was recalling all my memories. I had felt the same sensation when I remember over and over again as a child."
Jean had thought that Gin was very talkative for someone that is sick, but he inquired instead, "So? What are you pointing at?"
Without further elaboration, he replied, "I don't how it happened, but G managed to enter my mind."
For Rin to believe the unbelievables, it was still something that took her by surprise.
"You mean… the something that you call a 'realm', Gin?"
"Exactly, Rin. Kuro had told me that he entered due to having dreams."
It was not late for Rin to analyze the conflict, and came to a hypothetical question upon the prior bases.
"Are you telling me that since G is a coincidence that was based on you, there is a chance that your and his mind… or cognition, is somehow linked? So that's why he tapped into your mental realm…?"
"That's also what I thought… which is most likely the case…"
"Whydunit…" Jean mumbled.
"So you're getting hooked into mysteries, Jean… But that made a point. What's significant is why he did it… or what his objectives were…"
Rin felt unsatisfied with the sudden pause and looked at Gin with eyes that are as though they are telling him that he is the only that can answer it.
"…Ginji asked me a favor to see my memories once and for all…"
All of the hair of Jean's body stood up, and thus asked knowing fully well about the memories in question.
"Has G gone insane?! Why would he even do that?!"
"Jean… Even if he hasn't, I've already been living with insanity for a long time. I say, I don't see any difference…
But one thing is for sure… I don't know what his true intentions are as to why he wants to see my torment. If I have questions that only I can answer, then so does he."
"And for this to happen in the middle of our trip… Would you call this a problem, Gin?"
"Probably is, probably not, Jean. At worst, if he is to be placed on a situation where his life is threatened, that will be a problem…"
"Then I'll leave it at that if that's the case. There's no point dwelling on something we can't be certain with. I'll let you two have some time alone, and I might check up on G's condition while I'm at it."
"Thanks for the assist, Jean…" Gin thanked while his voice broke down.
"Dude… Stop talking already… Hahahaha."
"To think that releasing all those memories at once expended too much of my energy…"
"Ahh… So your fever came from fatigue…
A fatigued, hot potato… Pfft…"
"Ahahaha… You're still on with that potato jokes, huh…"
Gin and Rin's thoughts may not be identical, but they had thought that those minimal laughter that was aside from the jesting, was a display of resiliency—in which in the midst of a predicament, they still can manage to have a laugh.
~ ~ ~
With the sudden commotion surfacing, those who were in the living area did not wait for an empty time to come by. Mato had led the others, and Kyohei followed on the tail. They made their way on the guest room that Ginji has not yet left, but it was unavoidable for them to hear the voices of the three that had accommodated the sick, although the conversation was not comprehended to the ears. After all, they walk the same, one hallway.
Mato had slid the door slowly, assuming that it will not make a sound, but still does. He had quickly peeked through a gap he made.
The inside of the room was deafeningly quiet. For a moment, he was worried as he did not see Ginji on his first glance, and so, he slid open the door wide and they walked in one by one.
One moment they saw a turtle, and then they saw a worm.
They saw Ginji trembling, shelled inside the blanket with his head out. There was an illusion that looked like he had thinned out, the corner of his eyes was tearing out and his lips had dried out. And in a blink, he was out of the blanket and began squirming aggressively, like how Gin in the past—a worm bathed on salt. It made loud thuds both on the floor and the walls before he halted in stiffness, not moving.
Mato slowly crouched, extending his arm while the empty eyes still has not looked at him.
"G-Ginji… W-What happen-"
"Please don't touch him, Mato-sen…!"
Rin had heard the loud noise from the other room and rushed over only to see Mato nearly making contact with Ginji.
"I'm telling you, Mato-sen… It will not be a good idea if you do anything to him. In his eyes, either he sees wild animals or fiends, or he sees people over him with a facade of smiles. Either way, any one of us is considered hostile towards G."
Greatly disoriented, he stooped with a question.
"Why does… it seems like you know something, Ringo…?"
"Gin had looked me with the very same, empty eyes. I was shunned by him, and everyone else. Even I was also seen as a hostile monster towards those frightened eyes.
Right now, he might be moving, but he's unconscious in his head."
"What does this mean, Ringo…? What is actually happening?" the lone question of Mori had reflected all of their ignorance.
"Ginji is remembering memories that are not his own. Visions are being simulated in his mind right now in a four dimensional matter.
I don't know how exactly, but this was apparently a decision of his to undertake."
"Wh-What decision?" Yuuga's voice trembled.
Without waiting for Rin to speak, Jean took the liberty to answer.
"I've heard personally from Gin about what it is, but I think it's best to be left between him and G at this point. Even I still can't comprehend such reasons that I did not believe they exist."
Rin in addition, interpolated, "For now, I think someone should look over for G while I tend to Gin. We can't however delay our work on the mural. Please don't worry, Mato-sen. I can handle Gin though as difficult as he always is."
It's a surprise, that I have never seen you behave so stern, Ringo. But I will be counting on you. Yuuga, is it okay if I stick you to G?"
"If I didn't, then there will be a problem."
"Good answer. Then, the five of us will head out."
The whole place had gone silent with the exit of the five. The air, and Ginji had also calmed down.
"I'm fine by myself, Ringo. You can go back to Gin."
"Alright. Also, if you think that G is actually in deep sleep, you can try to check if he's burning up or not."
"Seems like you know a lot about this, Ringo… I don't even know how you can assess him just by looking."
"Yuuga, I've done that for more than a month. Even there were times when my hands are hit away," and then she left with a dry smile.
"I just realized… Ringo, in situations like these, is calm, but still looks grumpy."
She had come back, opening the sliding door anew, only to see the sick fast asleep.
"And this is where the nose bubble trope comes in…
Oh, there it goes."
Rin had a deep thought, but not a single idea came to her mind. She then sat down beside Gin, and shuffled slightly as she close a proximity from her head to Gin's, still trying to avoid popping the bubble. She brushed her fringes up, and let her forehead came in contact to his. It was around twenty seconds that she stayed still in that position silently, but she raised her head in disappointment.
"Hahh… All I got is that you're sweating a lot. Hey, go drink lots of water when you wake up.
I wonder if you're in a dream right now."
▪ ▪ ▪
I don't know what's going on anymore.
There was no point in asking myself how many years has it been since I began watching Gin's intricate memories rapidly falling down. It feels like it has been an eternity after I returned here. I might wake up at some point when my hair is already whiting out.
It hurts, and it doesn't. I feel it, and I can't. As much as… four-dimensional those memories are… I can't get a proper grasp of it…
It's good to know that you can still think properly even after seeing me beat someone up to… his end…
You were confused and frightened… your thoughts are ridiculously clouded by hate and hopelessness… I don't think I can stay alive after that…
It was the burden I took from the children that had died. But it became unbearable, heavy, that I had given up on getting up from that weight. Before I realized what I have done, my mind already went blank.
"Wait, so you actually started from the point that I can actually remember… Was it when I was four?"
Gin?! When did you…
"I'm sleeping right now beyond that door. I figured that I need to visit since you're starting to act up outside."
Gin… How many years has it been…?
"Pfft… Hahahahaha…! I gotta tell you, G… I had that moment too in the past.
I can guess that you've come past the time I left the laboratory. It's the morning of the 24th now, and you've already seen more than two years of memories. I assume that you can get through ten years’ worth of memories in a few hours, since that duration is too bland and boring."
Hahh… I thought it was ages since then…
"If I were to say, aside from my grandfather, my first year, third year, and August 2017 onwards, not much is significant. I have to warn you that my endless thinking of my own emptiness might affect your perception."
Are you going back already?
"Yeah. I blame you for making me exert myself so much that my usual fever came back. I'm giving you a time limit, G. If this takes too long, my health will drastically deteriorate again."
And just like that, he left his own mental realm.
Actually, Ginji. Let's play a game of chess. I've wanted to play with others aside from myself.
What do you mean, Kuro?
Try to guess how many times I have won in a game with myself.
None… All ended with a draw?
Exactly. You're on a different cognition, I can finally meet a challenge. While we're at it, do a lot of recalling while concentrating on a match. I just realized that this could serve as a mind training to improve your focus. I'll tell you more when we get to some points of my timeline.
For the time being, you don't need to worry about your body. Yuuga is watching over you.
…! Yuuga, huh…
Yeah… You know Shuri? I'm pretty sure you met her in ManCon.
Yeah. She's a fu… fu… fuuuu-
You don't need to force yourself to say that. Anyway, she showed me a photo of Yuki Amagami…
And it was actually Yuuga, right?
Figured that you already know…
Rin and I were his assistants in illustrating three chapters in summer.
It sounds so amazing that I just want to start the match.
Ahahahaha. Anyway, take a rest and wake up once you're done with August 6, 2017. You need more mental strength so be prepared.
▪ ▪ ▪
The sudden banging sound that entered through Rin's ears startled her along with the brain freeze at the same time. Yuuga strenuously opened the sliding door in his exhilaration which prevented him to speak, as he heaved heavily.
"Ringo… G finally woke up…
Wait, what are you two eating?"
He caught his breath and saw Gin, wide-awake, with Rin, sitting cross-legged on the tatami mat with a cup of ice cream with them.
"Really? Thank goodness he finally woke up.
Also, here's your share of ice cream, Yuuga. Kyohei-san gave me this."
"Ah… thanks. But is it really okay for Gin to be eating that when he's sick? No, are you actually fine now?"
"My sickness isn't communicable so no one can catch it. I'm at 39° right now, so I can finally move quite well but my head still feels like splitting."
"Then you shouldn't be eating that ice cream…"
"That's still a high fever you know… it's outright strange. Anyway, we really should check up on G right now."
Gin suddenly interjected, "Sorry for making you stand long, G. But I'm glad that you're still fine on the outside."
Difficultly standing up behind Yuuga, at the doorframe, Ginji was found by the keen eyes of the sick.
Yuuga, and surprisingly, Rin immediately turned their heads.
"Sorry for causing a lot of trouble, Gin…" Ginji apologized with his weakened voice.
Gin with his eyes closed, waved the side of his hand. "I'll wait another four years. But I guess you won't be able to sleep tonight if you go back to sleep now. Well, it's your choice."
"You shouldn't push yourself, you know. Come on, get yourself something to eat."
Yuuga lent a shoulder, and supported Ginji, whose extremities have gone frail.
"Potato… Since when had he been standing there…?"
"So you didn't notice her, Rin? I get that Yuuga didn't, but that's surprising. I heard his slow footsteps ten seconds after Yuuga opened the door."
~ ~ ~
"You really look… not depressed… but frankly, still…"
The two had sat on the cushions of the living area as Kyohei served a meal for Ginji, while Yuuga watched over him with a glass of iced tea in front of him.
"Broken is the word, Yuuga…
It feels like an eternity since I last ate…"
"You seemed fine yesterday, though… What happened?"
"I heard from Gin that Ringo explained about how I am seeing memories that is not mine, and she was correct…"
"Yes, Ringo said that.
Wait, how did you hear from him when you're asleep the whole day?"
"I sure underestimated the reality, huh… Here I thought I had it rough…"
Suddenly, Yuuga lowered his head subtly, gazing at Ginji's face.
"What is it…?"
"I could have sworn you have dark brown eyes…"
"W-Why ask…? It really is dark brown."
"No… it's black, G. You're eyes are now black, though not as black as Gin's."
Conveniently, a mirror was found lying on a nearby table, which Yuuga took and showed to Ginji.
"No way… It's really black…"
"You see now?"
"Yeah… this beef is so tender…"
Yuuga's face blanked out.
"Seriously, what are we talking about, G?"
He finished the plate and out of nowhere, Ginji opened up a conversation.
"I know this might be sudden to ask… but you're Yuki Amagami aren't you, Yuuga?"
Yuuga's face blanked out.
He had thought of covering it up, but nonetheless stuck with the reality.
"H-How did you know… I doubt that Gin and Ringo will ever tell someone about it…"
"My old classmate showed me a picture. You were in all smiles when giving an autographed volume of your book."
"Hahh… I figured that would happen…"
"So you really are… Were you drawing your manga when you found that I woke up?"
"Yeah, I… was… doing… beta…
I DIDN'T SAVE IT…!!!!!!" he ran out from the living area to the room where he left his tablet.
He then came back.
"Thank goodness it didn't get corrupted…"
"Thanks to being holed up in the inn for this day, I managed to finish and cleanup nine pages."
"Woah… so productive…"
"Actually, I was supposed to end Flower of the Unknown in chapter 18, but decided to move it to chapter 21."
"Wait, you released chapter 19 a week ago… it's getting near…"
"To be honest, I was experiencing some kind of a block ever since we came here, that's why I can't write and draw efficiently. But then, when I was watching over you, I changed the climax to be a bit bitter, or somewhat painful because that was what I saw on you."
"Well, I guess a guy that draws a shoujo manga has their own share of problems when it comes to writing romance."
Yeah, you're totally right. I realized that I found it hard to write… now that I'm finally starting to miss her…"
"A girl, huh. I can at least relate, but just very little."
"Oh, you like someone, G?"
"I wouldn't say that… but I have eyes on that girl."
"Hmmm… I think we're still a bit similar. I still don't know about my feelings for her (Minase), but it really is lonely when you haven't seen her in a while."
"Hm. I get what you mean.
Well… I think I'll go back to sleep. You can keep working in your manga while you're at it. I'll look forward to the next chapter."
Is it just me, or you really sounded like Gin just now?"
"Hahaha. Who knows…"
▪ ▪ ▪
June 25, 00:08
Do you even know how to rest, Ginji? Wait, no. You've got too much rest by now. All you do is sleep.
How about yourself, Kuro? Are you already asleep by now?
I've been sleeping since 10:30pm, you know. If ever he went here, that will not count as sleeping since his consciousness is still functioning. But in my case, I don't necessarily need any sleep because I don't have a physical body. Rather, I live inside a physical brain.
Hmm… I guess his condition is still worse than mine right now.
Can't believe you're saying that understatement. Where did we stop, anyway?
Oh, yeah… This brings me back. I was blindly excited for what seemed like an impossible winter when it rapidly got colder. Wait… This line of thought… Me, or the world…?
Yeah. I still don't know my answer to that. I don't even know where I should base a change. Let's just say that Gin Sakato developed a drastic change that pulled him back to being human again after being a Medical Child; and there is an example of the occurrence of winter in a tropical country.
I can say that something changed in my existence, but I don't know if a small change like that in this colossal oblate spheroid is enough to be a breakthrough. I don't know if I should care about it or not.
So in the end, that is still your answer to the many questions you have asked.
I might even die old without knowing an answer to it. When you thought that you already have your answer, you will realize the diversity of this world. It is mysterious. The minds of men are mysterious—for not being able to halt themselves away from the path of destruction. And yet, the only constant thing in this world is change.
~ ~ ~
All I saw is that everything turned red. I could feel that my whole body is reacting to the extreme casualty—as if the feeling of pain was also being transmitted. I could feel my bones breaking, shattering, even if they weren't.
I had experienced this too… I know how it feels when your entire life flashes suddenly right before your eyes.
I blinked, and the gray room became white.
~ ~ ~
So you really don't sleep, Kuro. Rather, you don't want yourself to sleep.
I guess? Before last year, I was half-existing. I didn't have this black silhouette of my appearance until recently. All I did know was that I am already an entity in this mind.
But, why did the room turn white…? Wait, is that the husband of Ringo's sister? He's also your boss in Giotto's, right?
You got that right. Hiro, along with Sean treated my injuries until I stabilized. Well, Hiro is my brother-in-law-in-law.
You're full of yourself.
I'm quoting Uncle Shuu for that.
You've been looking at that door for a while… Oh, I see, so that's what you meant with the hyperbolic time chamber…
Wait, aren't we in the exact place right now?!
This place is just a projection of Void. Gravity won't be bananas here.
Oh my goodness, is it really necessary to show me where you're taking a dump?!
You're also fast in recalling, huh. We're already at 0215. Kuro didn't listen.
~ ~ ~
So that's how you got that scar… Now the room became black. No, this blackness is weird…
Can you see me right now, Ginji?
Not really… I can only see a white outline of you. Is this how you emerged, Kuro?
Yes. I wasn't Gin in the past. I'm the 'black' that he always think about when he was a child. I wasn't even Kuro in the past. My very first name was despair.
And look now. He either accepted or defeated me. What he did was give up on giving up, and then I became a part of him. Thus, I also became Gin.
September 20… Alright, let's move away from that. I've already said that I don't have feelings for Ringo. Don't make me jealous.
The next memory, Ginji.
Don't make that reference!
~ ~ ~
I found another that is similar, Kuro. Class 4A or Class 4-1 whatever, I didn't think that our coincidences will even reflect to unruly classmates. So that's the truth about the murder in Blue Ink…
But I believe that you had your days in Mykes worse than mine. Even I don't know how it feels to be discriminated… No wonder why you hid your scar.
Question, Kuro. Am I going insane, or did I see that girl in this inn? But she looks like a student through and through… Is Ichika Mitsumi an Anew employee?
Please keep it to yourself.
Ah, alright. I guess that's quite a secret.
~ ~ ~
I saw them all. I don't even know exactly how many years' worth of memories I have seen from Gin.
Jean's predicament, how he broke up with Ringo, Marco Lugis, the contents of the drive, Eijiro Kurogane, the encounter against Horach, the graduation, Kyoto, even the same way I recalled this memories… he had it worse; the silver hair, and how in one day in the Art Room when he was alone…
Ryota, I didn't know he suffered; and Gin had spoken in the graduation ceremonies, summer, Doctor Kagetora, Yuuga, and everything else…
I see them all.
▪ ▪ ▪
"Good morning, G."
Mato, upon seeing Ginji walk in to the living area, greeted at the time fifteen before eight.
Ginji looked around, and almost all of them had sat on the table aside from Gin and Rin. He spaced out for a while on his feet, but then lowered his head.
"I'm sorry for worrying you guys."
Mato smirked, "I don't exactly know what's going on, but it's no problem."
"I see… thanks, Mato-sen.
Ah, one sec. Let me wake up those two."
"Oh, G," Mori called out, "I kicked myself out of the room."
"Why would you do that, Mori…"
He slowly walked out, even after regaining his energy, towards a door of similar distinction as the other rooms. Nevertheless, he knocked on the shōji twice and slid it open.
It was an uncanny scene that he saw. Although there is a meter of distance between the futons, Gin and Rin were sleeping with the same pose. Hands are together as they both grasp on the blanket while both their feet are sticking out. Haku, on the other hand is also still sleeping on top of Rin. The blanket however was so properly spread out that Ginji can't believe what he's looking at.
"Why is there a slapstick here…?"
Anyway, he slammed it on the wall as to wake the two up.
"Alright, wake up you stupid couple…!"
"Wahh- Wha-! Is the robot vacuum now on sale?!" Rin immediately got up, freaking out.
"Uhhhhh… Finally got a nice sleep…
Oh? You're awake now, G. Yawn~"
"You did what Ringo just blurted out, Kuro…?"
"You're now calling me with that, G…?"
"Seriously, though. What's up with robot vacuums, Ringo?"
"Eh…? Did I actually say it out loud? I was having a dream it seems."
"To think that this was the same situation back when you two are in Kyoto…"
Rin freaked out again, "How did you know that- Ah, so you saw it also."
"Better get up now. We can't have the breakfast waiting for you two," he walked out after dropping off the slapstick and slid the door close.
Is it really okay for him… Not to ask about Yui…?" Gin facepalmed in worry.
"Wait, Potato. So he really saw everything?"
"Yeah… But I'm still worried when he got to see my memories of Yui."
~ ~ ~
"Sorry Mato, but I have to take a full shift today at work. I need to catch up since I wasn't able to work yesterday."
"Alright. Just don't be late."
"I promise that I'll double my work on the mural tomorrow."
"I heard that, so you better go now."
"Alright, I'll be off then."
"Take care, Potato!"
Mato then stood up while rotating his head, as if looking for someone. He walked around the hallway of the inn, and found the back of a certain cat and a man wearing a yukata, sitting on the engawa.
"The tea is so good at this time of the day… Do you agree, Haku-san?"
"Kyohei-san, do you have a minute?"
He slightly flinched, as the tea stalk waved around the cup Kyohei is holding.
"What is it, Mato-san?"
"Is there a nearby convenience store from here?"
▪ ▪ ▪
Rin joined in anew to work for the mural, but she immediately noticed an unusual silence from time to time. She had felt there is a hint of awkwardness around her as they either paint or spray on the wall. Ginji had noticed too, while Yuuga still hasn't. However, the two of them can't find a time to talk about it.
At the same time before dinner, the club and Gin came home. A few minutes after they had eaten, Mato suddenly asked Rin.
"Ringo. Where did your boyfriend go to?"
"Hmm… I also don't know."
~ ~ ~
There were no signs that it will rain. The stars are not plenty, but the moon is out and shining brightly.
That is what Gin is seeing, as he feels the wind embracing him while sitting silently on the roof of the inn.
"Figured I'd find you here."
"Remember the time when I accompanied you on the roof of your house?"
"When was it… Was I nine at that time?"
"You'd always climb up the roof and sit just like right now when you have something on your mind."
"You sure know me as a child.
What's with that plastic bag?"
Upon sitting on the roof, Mato took out a can of beer from the bag and gestured of giving it to Gin.
He bitterly stared at Mato for fifteen seconds, and took the can to his hand.
"I'll drink just one."
"You're so strict."
"You know, I had a time when I actually slept the night on the roof of my house. I sleepwalked, but still took a mat and a blanket with me."
"You're really weird.
"Nothing serious," the can popped and sizzled.
"That's nice to hear. I'm a teacher but I'm not good with pep talks."
"I can see that."
As if trying to find something, Gin loudly sniffed.
"I could have sworn there were times that I saw a stick of nicotine in your mouth when you have alcohol with you."
"Ah, you're right. I stopped when I realized my feelings for Nana, and your father always advised me to stop, since he did."
"Well, I had a respiratory infection because of smoke, so Dad stopped for good. But that's quite a feat to stop smoking after two years of taking it."
"I found my sense of discipline."
He then took a huge gulp, and spoke anew.
"I guess I really don't know you, Gin."
"I won't deny that it is actually the case, but don't say that. Still, you've known me for a decade, so much that you found me on this roof on your own."
"Gee, many thanks.
After I empty all of this, want to take a dip on the hot spring?"
"Yeah… My whole body is so stressed.
And I think it's time for me to stop running away."
Mato nearly passed out on the bath after seeing Gin's huge scar.
That concludes 055!
This... This is just a client work, right?
Anyway, I honestly can't remember if I have said this way back, but there will be a break of a release day every five chapter instead of ten. If I have already announced this, forgive me.
Also, gebokawa dragon. :^)
Thanks for reading!
056: Autumn wasn't supposed to be a forlorn season.