Chapter 57:

056 – When Autumn Falls (Apart)

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World


Next day—the 26th.Bookmark here

‹Gin›Bookmark here

"So to pay back for the two days I had slacked off on mural work… I'll promise to make lunch today, and dinner for tomorrow until Saturday."Bookmark here

On Jean's hands is a clipboard together with a pen with him. Being the one who is the most organized in our bunch without argument, we are very much relieved that he started doing this out of his goodwill after being asked to. However, I began deciding in the midst of eating our post-wake up meal, which I have to admit that it might be rude to say it right now. I was exhilarated, though—that Kyohei-san finally gave out the public kitchen to us, as we have bugged him to take a rest every day for all the service and generosity he had given. Hence, this will be the last time he will be making breakfast, or any meal for us. But I am glad that he is a good friend to Haku.Bookmark here

Jean then handed out the board to Mato and analyzed it ever so shortly. It did not take him a long time to speak; he worded so precisely that there was no stutter or any stalling in his mind.Bookmark here

"Let's do this then… Ringo, go help your potato for lunch today, then you'll be in charge for tomorrow."Bookmark here

"Right! With the potato!"Bookmark here

"Then Jean will be making lunch for Friday and Saturday. I guess I'll go make breakfast for the rest of the week."Bookmark here

"I'd be open to make breakfast next week," Yuuga voluntarily suggested, in which G followed up with a jest.Bookmark here

"If you can actually wake up early."Bookmark here

"That's noted.Bookmark here

These three are from CA that's why I'm suggesting them short tasks. I want you guys to be more reliable when it comes to these things, so this will be an opportunity to learn if you have a hard time in the kitchen."Bookmark here

Hearing that, Mori let out a dry and bitter chuckle.Bookmark here

It was somewhat inappropriate for us to have stared at Mori, and so we took our eyes off a quick moment after. I would assume that it has something to do with his blindness ever since his childhood. Perhaps, there is a mental pressure of just recently realizing what ought to have been known in the early ages. However, no one has a right to blame the ignorance that should not have happened.Bookmark here

I recalled Nagi's experience of being the same as Mori although temporarily, and I would be lying if I did not expect Nagi to empathize and brighten up Mori even if a little. But all I got was total silence. Rather, it was either he has it running inside his head, or he is in a daze with how much his unnoticed expressions are telling that he is thinking of something.Bookmark here

"If that's that. Let's head out to the site. Gin, Ringo. We're going out ahead. Make sure you follow once you've scouted the fridge. If there's something you need, we have the club budget."Bookmark here

"Got it, Mato. We'll make it fast."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

The two of us remained sat on the cushions without any actions taken minutes after the rest had went out. Our eyes met with the feeling that there are words that want to escape from our mouth.Bookmark here

I nodded very lightly, and then Rin spoke.Bookmark here

"The thing about G just ended yesterday, and it's like another problem is brewing."Bookmark here

"So you also noticed."Bookmark here

"It wasn't just me. Even G noticed something unusual yesterday. Though, we began working on the mural without knowing what it actually is."Bookmark here

"If that uncertainty was from Monday… did Yuuga take a hint of the surroundings?"Bookmark here

"We don't think so."Bookmark here

"I guess taking a hint of a girl's feelings is indeed different from a hint of something we don't actually know what it could be.Bookmark here

Nonetheless, I was rather slow on the uptake since I just felt that just now. I didn't even observe anything different when you all came home."Bookmark here

"Hmm. If we don't have much information about it, I think it's better if we think of what would be lunch first."Bookmark here

"Ah, yeah. You have a good point."Bookmark here

"You really are an extremely perceptive idiot, Potato."Bookmark here

"That's the first time I was called as that. I'll take that as a compliment."Bookmark here

There was a lot of chicken in the inventory.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

I was never worried about Haku being lonely in the inn since Kyohei-san surprisingly took a liking to him, regardless of his natural glare. Apart from that, my good old mate is amazingly intelligent. I actually get the feeling that he can really comprehend what I was saying, seeing that he is very sharp to his responses.Bookmark here

As stupid as it will be, I will actually have to ask Haku if he can actually understand me.Bookmark here

Having that in mind, it was a good opportunity to open up an unnecessary topic with Mato while we spruce up designated cells on the blank canvas of a wall. It just so happened that I am working beside him.Bookmark here

"Now that I think about it… I didn't know you were quite the cat guy, Mato."Bookmark here

"What do you mean?"Bookmark here

"Hmm… Something like you're attached to nekos?"Bookmark here

"What, I can say you're no different. To think that you're actually playing the stare game with him is already amazing."Bookmark here

"Wait, no… I'm actually forgetting that he's the one that made the amidakuji on our first day."Bookmark here

"Hmm… Better stop our ramblings and move our hands. Let's finish as much as we can for today. I'm pretty sure that we'd have less time starting on the weekend."Bookmark here

"Oh, yeah…" Jean suddenly threw in. "I don't think just simply covering with tarps is a good idea. I think we'll need twofold or threefold of your hand, Gin."Bookmark here

"Why? Is it going to rain on the weekend? No, don't tell me we're having the fourth storm of the year?"Bookmark here

"Well, you woke up a little late earlier so I guess you didn't see the earlier news about the weather."Bookmark here

Hearing about the typhoon, my anxiety began building up.Bookmark here

"Where will it landfall, Jean?"Bookmark here

"Up ahead the higher, northern mountains."Bookmark here

"If it puts up a lot of rain, I think I'll have to go home on my own. Flooding is unpredictable in Ginga."Bookmark here

"Wait, wait. What do you actually mean about threefold of a hand earlier, Jean?" Mato sought to satisfy his confusion.Bookmark here

"I just meant that tarps won't be enough if the wind will just make them fly. So I'm suggesting that Gin should reinforce them anyway since he's the only one able to."Bookmark here

"And I won't even break a sweat."Bookmark here

His confusion just grew bigger, instead of being satisfied.Bookmark here

A nice and wanted gust of fresh wind suddenly blew from my one side to another. I used the fluttering of my clothes as an excuse to step back while the air seeps unusually coldly on my back. I had not noticed that the day had become closely like the heat of the summer before removing my cap and gloves. Indeed, the return of the blazing heat, even on this given altitude is enough to be an apparent sign that a thunderstorm, or a great storm itself is approaching soon.Bookmark here

There was a feeling of awe; as if being pulled in to a dimension of colors, I found myself gazing over the once bare wall. I could remember who painted what, but the fact slipped on my mind that more than a third of the wall has been livened up. The inception of the colors—Mato's directional illustration of a surge of water started the rather rhythmic flow. Then next to that was my attempt to paint a triad of runners under the overlay of abstraction that passes on the flow. I say that, but a big part of this wall is influenced by abstract subjects. It is however astonishing to see an apparent rhythm that continues the flow, it has already created an image of fluidity even at this initial state. It felt like the surge of a great wave is circulating around me—the harmony, although not in a very artistic sense was able to create a smooth transition to every image portrayed.Bookmark here

But then, we were not necessarily bound by an image with a certain meaning. I had noticed that Nagi has been doing non-objectivism on his part, and that Shiro had transitioned to a more solemn approach on her hues. Even with the different elements, however, I can still feel their mutuality.Bookmark here

But I somehow came back to the thought that the heat still felt like summer. Yet I felt a cold air… a blow of wind… no, it was a blizzard. I was reminded of when I finally got to visit my uncle's grave; the cold wind and the snow was enough to burn my ears and fingertips from the extreme cold. That feeling of coldness… it suddenly died down fast enough for me to not notice its origin.Bookmark here

It was however enough for me to discern some kind of an unpleasantness. I trust that that awkward feeling was also felt by the others, and that it was just around the nine of us from which it is coming from. But if ever I discover a conflict, I still won't know if there is something I can do. Little by little, I am starting to understand what it is to be unable to do something for the people I care about.Bookmark here

"Ah, Mato. Can Rin and I go back ahead to prepare for lunch?"Bookmark here

"Go ahead. I'm looking forward to the food."Bookmark here

"You got it. We're off!"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

I hadn't stopped walking when I suddenly saw Rin standing still right in front of the inn's gate, somewhat looking up on the sky.Bookmark here

"Hey, you'll get your face sun burnt."Bookmark here

She looked back down and started walking again.Bookmark here

"You know… what in the flying apples is your schedule, really?"Bookmark here

"So you finally noticed… It always changes, huh?Bookmark here

Well, I have my Wednesdays as my legitimate day-off this time and my phone should always be open for calls on Sundays."Bookmark here

"So you only have Saturdays as your full shift?"Bookmark here

"Unless it's a holiday. I like my late shifts though. Even if there are a lot of customers, it feels rather peaceful."Bookmark here

"What do you know, I'm dating an old man.Bookmark here

On the other hand, there's something strange…"Bookmark here

"Where? In the neighborhood? Who're you going to call?"Bookmark here

"I was very certain about the awkwardness I was feeling…"Bookmark here

"Truth to be told, I just noticed something more than a few minutes earlier."Bookmark here

"Senses still affected by G's head? But that's some news."Bookmark here

"Hmm. I'm just a bit sluggish these days."Bookmark here

"And I guess that it takes more than I can to do me in. I don't even know how much my tolerance is."Bookmark here

"Anyway, let's go with nikujaga."Bookmark here

"I hope Mom will make something with tofu tonight…"Bookmark here

"Better think more on how you will grab on to me later. I don't know how you will react once I start jumping later at sundown."Bookmark here

I ate all the leftover potatoes.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

We hadn't stayed long for the second half of work for the day, but there is an assurance that the tense feeling around us was not fleeting.Bookmark here

I tried to immerse myself inside the 'meaning' of the mural that developed more than earlier, for the reason of once again seeking out the coldness that I had felt. However, there was nothing I felt that was similar to it. I attempted time and time again, but I still found nothing. Worry finally made its way in my thoughts, not because of the conflict, but on how long this will persist without saying a word.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"I guess we'll be back a little late."Bookmark here

"Please be careful on your way there, Gin-san, Ringo-san."Bookmark here

"I'll keep that in mind, Kyohei-san."Bookmark here

The skies and the road already turned darker. It was quiet enough for us to hear our individual footsteps. Rin had thought about the distance we have walked from the inn, and then the streetlights turned on consecutively. Stopping under a light, it did seem that she could not help herself anymore but ask.Bookmark here

"How do we actually plan on getting back home, Potato?"Bookmark here

"Like I said, our only option is to carry you."Bookmark here

"What. You sound like you really want to carry me, huh~"Bookmark here

"The line. Keep in mind our line, Rin-san."Bookmark here

I still can't get used when this girl teases me.Bookmark here

I was still conflicted, however. What is actually safer, a piggy-back or just on my arms? I decided with the princess carry in the end. With a light and delicate leap, I launched in the air towards a post.Bookmark here

I expected her to be quite scared at least, but it seems that she is enjoying the wind. I got so used to this mobility that her amazed reaction of the view down below took me by surprise. Then, I noticed her hair blowing out everywhere with her rarer forehead seen.Bookmark here

"Maybe you should have tied your hair?"Bookmark here

"Actually, Gin. Just how fast are you when you do Step?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I never thought of doing that when coming to work from the inn, huh…"Bookmark here

"Seriously…"Bookmark here

"But I guess I can be faster when doing Step… are you okay with that, though?"Bookmark here

"Maybe do it one time so I can say yes or no."Bookmark here

And so, we flickered upon the adjustment of my entire body with the gust of air colliding to my ears.Bookmark here

"That was so fast that I think I saw nothing… I didn't close my eyes…"Bookmark here

"Are you fine with the pressure, though?"Bookmark here

"Yep! I'm still fine on the head."Bookmark here

"That's extremely good to hear. We can't have you having a crazy head like mine."Bookmark here

It was no more than a few minutes and I had already set foot anew on the ground in front of the Akanami household, as they are taking care of what's about to appear on the dining table. It was still quite a few meters away from the kitchen, and the door was not even open, but the flavorful scent had already taken my nose's attention.Bookmark here

But I abstained and walked away from the scent abruptly. The keys of my house clinked around as I revolve the key chain constantly on my finger. There was someone inside, seeing that a very few of my lights are on. It made me relieved that whoever is inside is actually energy saving.Bookmark here

I saw Anna upon entering the house, watching a cooking video in YouCube—where an at least three feet diameter pancake is being flipped by a huge robot arm. It was close, but a side of it flipped twice. It was a stupid idea, but is actually fun. Anyway, I later learned that she's taking care of my house.Bookmark here

It was not long until we get to dig in, like the carnivorous monsters we all know we are.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

No one had talked about the date, being the 27th. Especially not Gin who is still sleeping on his futon without a snore from the feast he had last night. It is still early in the morning—early, to a degree that the sky just began to become a sable-like blue. The true sunrise is still in an hour or less, but Ginji had already folded in his futon and washed his face. No one is already awake apart from him; not even Haku, and not even Kyohei.Bookmark here

The dawn was not chilly, but not warm either. He thought, it was a nice time for him to wake up. He grabbed a mug from the public kitchen and made a brew of a slightly bitter and acidic coffee, albeit the addition of cream and sugar. It was however the blend and the appearance he wanted. He was oddly satisfied by how properly golden brown the coffee is.Bookmark here

Silently, he opened the shōji and sat down on the porch looking out to the terrace garden and an open space of short grass, were apparently the futons are supposed to be dried out. He chuckled, as he realized that they have been staying at the inn for more than a week, and their stay had made the inn look like a boarding house without any offence, needless to say.Bookmark here

Later then he looked for the largest paint brush that he could find around, and settled with a broad acrylic brush with a tip half an inch in size. He was sailing smooth until he took his slip on shoe, but a voice from above sounded as he sat fitting in the shoe.Bookmark here

"Can't believe you actually woke up earlier than me."Bookmark here

Mato stood on the edge of the wooden floor before the entrance way with a handful of hair curling up due to bed hair, and with his glasses slightly offset.Bookmark here

"Going somewhere, G?"Bookmark here

"Legally vandalizing. You all have your mouths zipped so it took me quite a while to learn what's going on."Bookmark here

"Hahh… A pathetic adult I am. I really should have told you, huh."Bookmark here

"Too late since I think I'm right with my guess. I'll immediately go back once I'm done then I'll make breakfast."Bookmark here

"You're the first one to finally cook that is outside the CA members."Bookmark here

"Well… I just learned like a few days ago. So don't expect much of a feast.Bookmark here

Later."Bookmark here

"You sound a bit mad, you know," with the sincerest nonchalance noticing the tone, Mato told him.Bookmark here

"Not really. I at least know what it feels like when there's something that you can't say to others."Bookmark here

"Mine because of the scar, and Gin's because of his life itself."Bookmark here

Ginji then stepped out, and leaped over the still closed gates once he saw that Mato was not looking anymore.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Jean slid open the door of the living area and stretched out his arms and torso right after stepping in.Bookmark here

"Ummmph…! Good morning."Bookmark here

"Way to do your stretching, of all places," Yuuga retorted and chuckled twice.Bookmark here

"Morning, Jean," greeted Gin with a bowl of rice almost stuffing on his face.Bookmark here

"Hahh… I didn't know that G can snore hard… I could have sworn that he slept early last night, though."Bookmark here

"If only I can relate to sleeping long hours…" Yuuga let out a long sigh, in which Gin and Rin reacted with an abrupt outburst.Bookmark here

Jean ignored the silent laughter and pondered about the table as he sat down. "This is my first time eating Mato-sen's cooking, huh."Bookmark here

"Don't get cocky just because you're an apprentice chef." Mato defended…Bookmark here

…Ginji's cooking.Bookmark here

Precedent to this, however, the silver apple already noticed a 'weirdness' in the breakfast they are eating. They wondered about the taste, because if not exactly the same, the taste was unbelievably identical to Gin's way in the kitchen. But at this point, they still think that it was Mato's.Bookmark here

Moreover, no one has actually ever seen Ginji with a knife and apron. In truth, Ginji was just like how Gin found her little sister at his house last night—watching cooking channels in YouCube; and that was how Ginji initially got his way around the kitchen. But even he was surprised hours ago while preparing. He felt that it was like knowledge was flowing directly to his mind, memorizing what was to be over the heated stove. However, he did not obtain the muscle memory of a sous chef.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

They tried to wake him up at nine, as they were about to head out to the site. But Mato stopped Jean and simply said:Bookmark here

"Just leave him be for the time being. I'm sure he'll follow later."Bookmark here

And then they walked their way to the wall, pulling out the tarps covering it along their footsteps. As usual, they continued to wherever they stopped. Mori however had gone beyond the completed parts of the wall and picked up chalk again to make another rough sketch for a new block.Bookmark here

Suddenly, Rin drooped with her arms also falling down, while still standing on her feet.Bookmark here

"So that's how it is… Haaaaaaahhhhhhh…!"Bookmark here

She then pulled herself back up, and then pulled Gin's arms meters away from the wall.Bookmark here

"Look, Potato."Bookmark here

Rin noticed that something was changed on the completed part of the wall, although extremely subtle. There was an addition of droplets of water on a trajectory that drops down to a certain block of the wall. She remembered that it was Ginji's block which the scattered droplets fall to, creating painted ripples.Bookmark here

Although she thought, it was not scattered randomly. Rather, it was strictly added to certain spaces.Bookmark here

She explained those findings to Gin and omitted a lot of what's in her mind, for his lover to understand the hidden meaning by himself.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Hey, Mato! Can I borrow you for a sec?"Bookmark here

Once he had come to where Gin is at, they moved further away from the wall far enough to what Gin assumes that they are unable to be heard by the others. Bluntly, he asked.Bookmark here

"So Nagi and Shiro got in a fight?"Bookmark here

Mato glanced at him abruptly.Bookmark here

"Hahh-Bookmark here

Wait, how did you know?!" before he knew it, his sigh was already interrupted.Bookmark here

"I found out just now. Would not know that if it wasn't for G."Bookmark here

"As always, I don't get what you mean."Bookmark here

Without elaboration, Gin explained, "There wasn't a painting of droplets and ripples yesterday on the wall. Look, those drops have a point of origin, where it came from Nagi and Shiro's blocks, and then falls to who originally found out the reason of the awkwardness which is G. Then, as they dropped, it made a ripple, just like a ripple effect affecting those around them."Bookmark here

"I really don't know how your weird minds run…"Bookmark here

"I'll take that as a compliment."Bookmark here

"Oh, dear… And to think that I call myself a teacher when I can't even fix something between my students."Bookmark here

"Huh… Was it something serious?"Bookmark here

"Hmmm… I can't actually answer that clearly. But their blood sure boiled."Bookmark here

"Oh my.Bookmark here

If that's the case, I'll have to say sorry in advance since I think I'll have to go to Giotto's after lunch. I now have a menu for dinner in my head."Bookmark here

"I don't have anything to complain about that. You're younger than me yet your work is harder than mine."Bookmark here

"Don't say that. We have a fair share of our own difficulties at work too. Even I had a fight with Rin because I work too much.Bookmark here

How about you and Nana-sen? It's been more than a year, huh?"Bookmark here

"Of course we're not exempt. Sometimes it's personal, and sometimes when wrong papers were put to the paper shredder."Bookmark here

"I'd be so mad if you actually put a marriage contract in one."Bookmark here

Mato's admittance of his clumsiness hit him. "I'll seriously keep that in mind for the following years…"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"Dinner's done, TAC!" although Gin can't raise his voice because of his rather deep voice that vibrates his throat to a certain point of exhaustion, it still echoed its way inside the inn, calling out the members for a 6:30 meal.Bookmark here

"I was worried about how you were going to use that much flour… but I guess it is very fine, and you did a nice job with the texture."Bookmark here

"Many thanks, Kyohei-san."Bookmark here

While they have gone in bit by bit to have a seat on the table, Ginji as the last person to enter the living space had quickly noticed something from his senses out of instinct.Bookmark here

"I smell something nice and rich… Seafood… Gin, you better not be stealing their exact menu," he loudly sniffed.Bookmark here

"Shush. It's better to see it than smell it. Sit down now, G. I'll be serving."Bookmark here

They quickly noticed, but had not seen anything that is in the smoking bowls held by Gin. But he stopped with a sudden question before he crouched to his knees.Bookmark here

"You guys prefer chopsticks?"Bookmark here

No one responded apart from Mori saying that he will give it a try.Bookmark here

Thus, the bowls landed on the tables, revealing two pieces of deep fried prawns, a rain of shiitake and chopped scallions topping over an abundant amount of thick noodles bathed in a rich soup from shrimp stock.Bookmark here

"Tendon…!" Jean yelled. "You rarely make dishes like this though. Is there an occasion?"Bookmark here

"Just saw that prawns are on sale when I stopped by the market on the way home. Can't let the opportunity slip."Bookmark here

Moments later, they started on the bowl while having a listen to the evening news heard from the television. Gin used an excuse of emptying the soup on his bowl with his two hands to observe if there was a reaction or outcome from his intent. And indeed, he did not just see faces of gloom from the first people he expected to see those, but he had also felt once again the blizzard-like coldness.Bookmark here

"Shiro's quite the ice queen, huh."Bookmark here

Not long after they finished their dinner, Nagi stepped outside and sat down on the porch, gazing on the sky. He was looking, and expecting for the moon to come out, but there were only clouds that completely enveloped the dark sky. He had abruptly forgotten about his weakness of the extreme heat, and a foreign and cold breeze blew to the open yard. Then he thought, the storm hasn't hit the country, but it was as though he was already struck by it completely.Bookmark here

But in truth, he was actually waiting for someone to at least slide open the door, whoever it will be.Bookmark here

The lanterns hanging on the ceiling produced a dim, yellowish—orange light from the tint of the thin lantern covering the artificial bulbs. They were indeed enough to illuminate the paths of the porch, although not very bright. But they were easily overpowered by the lights from the inside which slowly came out upon the door's rattle. Beside him, a silhouette of a shadow stood from the overpowering light, which then vanished as the doors rattled back. The sound of night cicadas gradually amplified.Bookmark here

Ginji started, "I know my point of coincidence is all doom and gloom, but I haven't seen you with such a lonely face. I kind of figured out already that you had some sort of a fight with Shiro, but I got surprised when you two suddenly pulled a forlorn-Bookmark here

Ah, udon…"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Did Gin tell you about that?"Bookmark here

"I inquired directly. I would be surprised if you get surprised if I tell you that I entered his mind and watched through all of his memories."Bookmark here

"You mean… the 'room' inside his head?"Bookmark here

"No surprise that he told it to his closest friends. I guess we share the same 'wavelengths' since I share a tiny fragment of Gin's existence."Bookmark here

There was no room for Nagi's mind to be amazed, and so he began to explain.Bookmark here

"I… We think that we now know how Ringo feels. I was so careful not to let out my emotions too much when I saw you and Gin in a surreal condition. But we were so devastated inside…Bookmark here

I hate myself… for not being able to do anything or to help our closest people when they really need it…"Bookmark here

A voice of memory then echoed in Ginji's mind.Bookmark here

"…I wasn’t there beside you when you were… when you were in such agony…”Bookmark here

It was the voice of Rin after the first time she entered the Void.Bookmark here

"Yes… it is indeed Ringo's pain for not being there beside those who are in pain."Bookmark here

"I've made a mistake… I was unable to control my emotions when we were working in the mural, and I raised my voice towards her. I told her…"Bookmark here

"Would you quit wearing that facade and stop acting like you didn't see anything?!"Bookmark here

"I was enraged and I worded wrongly. I was only concerned about her, but I ended up messing up things. We had a long exchange, and I took a slap on my cheek. Ever since then, we haven't talked to each other."Bookmark here

"I can't blame you, really. You've been friends with Gin for several years, and I guess it's painful that you guys are always absent when Gin really needs someone.Bookmark here

But Gin is still such a child. He still doesn't know how it is to completely rely on others, because he's been selfish for so long that he can remember. I'm not different, however. I've been discriminated because of my scar, and I distanced myself from others because I can't trust anyone."Bookmark here

"Trust… Shiro—she always felt betrayed because of her past friends. She had a hard time trusting people too. That made her parents become protective and strict for her sake.Bookmark here

To be honest, I still don't particularly like Shiro's father. It's now nearly two years since we started our relationship, and yet, it feels like he still doesn't trust me. But if it is because he's protecting her daughter, I don't have anything to say."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

My father told me—one way that you will start to understand your parents is when you become a parent yourself. I do agree, but we're now at the age where we realize how much work they do just to feed their family. But here I am: so pitiful that I only saw it clearly after seeing Gin's life. In the end, we sometimes let our pride do what it wants and be blinded by our naivety."Bookmark here

"That… That was what happened when we were in fourth year…"Bookmark here

"The world is becoming more and more of a garbage indeed. So much that students like him killed a fellow just because of a grudge."Bookmark here

Deliberately, Nagi shifted gears, "Apart from that, I'm also being weighed down with something I shouldn't put my nose in…Bookmark here

Shiro's family is planning to move out after the first semester."Bookmark here

"You're telling me… even moving schools…?"Bookmark here

"Yeah… At this point, not even Shiro knows the reason, but it's most likely going to happen. Even if I try to speak up my mind to them, I don't have anything in defense. I'm still very narrow-minded. Saying, 'Please don't move out. I can make Shiro happy,' is idiotic and illogical."Bookmark here

"But… are you really okay with that? You could at least talk to her parents not because you already know what is happening, but to understand their stand. This is completely my opinion since I've never had someone and an experience, but I will at least do something even if it's just one thing. I think we just have to step up, so that we can do something when our friends and our loved ones will have another shoulder they can rest on."Bookmark here

"Do you think… that I can do that, G?"Bookmark here

"My answer… we are the only ones that can answer that. Maybe this is a good time to do self-evaluation? I'm not really fit for giving advice though. I just tell what I feel and that's what I just did."Bookmark here

The moon and the stars never appeared over the clouds, but Nagi stood up looking at the gloomy sky, extending a close fist towards Ginji. "Maybe."Bookmark here

There was no need to do a lot of thinking about it, and so he also raised a closed fist, colliding lightly to Nagi's.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

At the same time, Shiro had also said her sentiments to the others aside from the two who are at the porch, and listened to everything that she had to say. After that, she went back to the guest room and retired for the night, finally letting out her tears.Bookmark here

Fast forward to midnight, Gin suddenly came out of his room, eyes half closed, and grabbed a glass of water and stepped out to the porch.Bookmark here

He was still sleepwalking until he saw two men, one wearing a yukata, while there was a bottle of sake in between them. Seeing that the skies have cleared out, temporarily, he finally woke up.Bookmark here

"Still drinking at 1am, huh."Bookmark here

Mato and Kyohei turned around.Bookmark here

"What about you, Gin-san? Can't sleep?"Bookmark here

"Rather, I sleepwalked.Bookmark here

Anyway, did the two of you see Haku somewhere? I didn't see him sleeping on my face."Bookmark here

"Ah, he said that he has something to do. That guy is secretive; even refraining from telling what it is," explained Mato before placing a sake cup to his lips.Bookmark here

"Yup. He said that. He really is a mysterious cat." Kyohei followed up.Bookmark here

Gin fell to confusion and obviously asked, "Huh… What?"Bookmark here

"Ah… I guess it's time to tell you, Gin." Then the two men nodded in agreement.Bookmark here

"Mato-san and I can actually understand what cats say."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Minutes before Gin waking up, Haku got up and walked towards the door, trying his best to open it ever so slightly without a scratch, which then closed without a sound. He did the same thing but in another room.Bookmark here

Having sneaked himself in, he continuously patted someone that is covered entirely on the blanket. It then rose revealing a half-asleep expression from Shiro.Bookmark here

"H-Haku…? Do you need something…?"Bookmark here

Shiro's voice however woke up Rin. "Hmm… It's still early, Shiro…Bookmark here

Oh… Haku…"Bookmark here

He then vigorously gesture a "stop" with his paw, and clutched it down as if gesturing Rin to go back to sleep with his usual glaring look.Bookmark here

"Ehehe… Alright…" she immediately went back to sleep.Bookmark here

But then, Haku began pointing his head towards the door while still looking at Shiro.Bookmark here

"…?"Bookmark here

"Is he hungry…?"Bookmark here

But Shiro followed anyway as the cat walked towards the living area. She opened it for Haku who immediately walked in and positioned to jump somewhere.Bookmark here

The only open light inside was a dim light from an electric lamp on the kitchen.Bookmark here

Haku then jumped, which a grunting sound came out somewhere. But in actuality, he jumped on Nagi's stomach, throwing him out from a daze.Bookmark here

"Oomf…!"Bookmark here

On his torso, he vigorously got up and quickly noticed Shiro, even from a silhouette. Haku then pulled a cushion a cubit and a half in front of Nagi. He sat in between Nagi and the unoccupied cushion while still looking at Shiro who is still standing.Bookmark here

And suddenly…Bookmark here

"Meow."


Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That wraps up 056!Bookmark here

Can this story get even weirder-nya? ok ill stopBookmark here

Thanks for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

057: Can I have this cat as my advisor?Bookmark here

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