“What the f…?”
“Masuyo?!” Sute’s voice came from the communicator, “Masuyo, are you alright??!”
“Yes, I’m fine.” the boy stared at what was in front of him, “But the rusty robot isn’t.” he was now very close to the fight, but it couldn’t be called that anymore. Inside the twitching field, the light suddenly escaped, giving room to darkness and cold Masuyo had never seen before.
“What?? What do you mean?!”
“Saying that the rusty robot is getting his ass handed to him would be an understatement. He isn’t reacting at all! He’s on the ground and he keeps getting punched over and over again.”
Masuyo kept looking at it, shards whooshing everywhere and passing right beside the boy. The rusty Mekroxx was now lying on the ground while the one covered by wheels and glass punched his face, making it somehow contract into a sad-looking expression.
“Ok, you’ve seen what you wanted. Now get out of there!”
“Let me just see…” the boy who took a step forward, “...what will happen now.” the blue Mekroxx called Exprunus activated a special ability and punched Syringa one last time, destroying its head entirely and making dozens of shards fly.
“Get down!” someone exclaimed behind Masuyo, but he couldn’t react in time. The shards were about to tear his face when a weight on his back made him fall to the ground, making Masuyo dodge the lethal danger.
“Aaargh… what…?” the boy shook his head and then looked at the “weight” on his back: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! I TOLD YOU TO STAY WHERE YOU WERE!” he stood up and lifted Sute with him.
“You’re welcome for saving your life again.” Sute cleaned her clothes and started to pull Masuyo towards the edge of the field.
“Sute!” Masuyo frowned at her when they passed through the wall, “What the hell?! What’s up with you? Aren’t you concerned about yourself?” he looked at the injured girl in front of him.
“No!” he grasped the girl, “No it isn’t. Now you have to tell me why you keep doing stuff like this!”
“It’s no big deal…”
“It is! You should tell me why you’d do something like that!” he shook the girl, "The person saved deserves to know!"
“...” she diverted her gaze.
“Sute!” he shook her again, “Tell me now!”
“He…” she uttered the first syllable and stopped.
“He... told me to take good care of you...” Sute murmured.
“Your uncle told me to take care of you!” she yelled, “K-Kisho I mean.”
“My uncle Kisho…?” “Wait, I don't remember telling her he was my uncle... Oh, that red-headed woman told her, right?” Masuyo stared at Sute, “But wasn't she saying that he is my uncle before that as well…?” “Sute, how did you…”
“Guys!” Hisoka interrupted, “I’m sorry for getting in your way, but if we don’t hurry we won’t be able to finish things before it’s late!”
Masuyo remained focused on the girl: "Sute! T..."
"Masuyo! C'mon!" Hisoka hurried the boy.
The boy gazed at Sute one more time and then replied: “Okay, Hisoka. I’m on my way.” he started to walk away from the girl.
“Okay, prepare your Dawns.” Hisoka ordered, “Let's finish this quickly! I’m getting hungry already…”
“Trying to break the ice?”
“I’m just saying I’m hungry.”
“Okay, whatever” Masuyo pressed one of the blue buttons on his bomb, “I pressed the first button. What should I put on the timer, Hisoka?” he looked at the little screen in the middle of the bomb.
“You sure you pressed one of the blue ones, right?”
“Hey, it's natural to make a mistake on your first time!”
“Just say the time.”
“You should wait.” Sute chimed in, “I’ve to watch things from inside the field to see if there’s a connection between this other version of the fight and the destruction of the swing.
“Hurry up.” Masuyo was already in position. He kept walking back and forth while glancing at the "normal" version of the fight from afar, thinking about how the differences were weird.
It took some time, but Sute managed to conclude: “The fight is always different in here, so the timing of it is all over the place. Thankfully there’s something that always happens: Exprunus’ special attack Death Bloom.”
“Can you translate that for me?”
“It’s the attack the blue Mekroxx uses to destroy Syringa.” Sute explained, “It has an activation delay of 5 seconds. As soon as the attack hits, the other Mekroxx explodes and the swing falls.”
“So, we can deduce when the swing will fall by the timing of the attack, right?”
“Yes, so now you should set your bomb to 5 seconds and throw it upwards when I say ‘go’. Be sure to run as fast as y…”
“I told you to care about yourself. It’s only natural to run away from a bomb.”
“Okay... so I’ll start the countdown.” Sute set her Dawn to 5 seconds.
“Go on.” Masuyo did the same.
“Well…” Sute took a deep breath, “5... 4…”
”Shit!” for some reason the countdown made Masuyo feel uneasy. He looked at the device in his hands, “Shit! That’s a bomb! What am I doing??!” and started to panic
“Shit! Are five seconds really enough??!” he voiced his thoughts.
“Guys!” Hisoka interrupted once again, “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you do this!”
“Hisoka-kun?!” Sute prevented herself from activating the bomb, “What are you doing??”
“Sute-chan, are you sure you guys aren’t forgetting something?”
“Forgetting...? What?” Sute frowned.
“I’d say there are three major things in here. You seem to be forgetting one.”
“Three major things?”
“Yep, can one of you tell me what the last one is?”
“Hmm... three...” Masuyo used his fingers to count: “One should be the swing, other, the fight, and the third…” he looked to the ground: “The changing floor?”
“Exactly!” Hisoka exclaimed, “Or did you think my information from earlier today was all for nothing?!”
“Hmm... you said that Hikaru-san hasn’t been to the park since the accident…” Sute murmured.
“Yes, that’s what happened.”
“And that means…”
“Sute.” Masuyo called the girl’s name, “I was going to stop the swing from falling while you were going to destroy the robot’s fight, right?”
“That’s what I intended…”
“This may sound a bit crazy, but…” Masuyo looked at the floor again, “I’m pretty sure the boy was in his house when his grandfather died. Didn’t you say to me the laminated floor was like his house?”
“So maybe… maybe we should blow everything when the floor is laminated?”
“This… is probably right, but I don’t know h…” Sute stopped when she looked at what was in her hand.
“That’s my question as well…”
“Hisoka-kun, we’ll need another bomb.”
“I thought you’d never ask!” Hisoka grabbed another Dawn from his pockets, “I’ll throw it to you, alright, Sute-chan?”
“Are you sure throwing a bomb nonchalantly is something wise?” Masuyo gazed at Hisoka.
“It’s alright, without the screen confirmation it won’t blow.” Hisoka guaranteed. He threw one Dawn in Sute’s direction and watched her pick it from the ground.
“Well, I hope this works out.” Sute pressed one of the blue buttons on her second bomb, “At least we’re lucky the change from grass to laminated happens within a set time.”
“So… everything is really ready now, right?” Masuyo looked at the bomb in his hands.
“Yes.” Hisoka replied, “If something goes wrong I’ll take care of you.”
“Thanks for the word of encouragement.”
“Okay, I’ll start the countdown for real now.” Sute set the timer for her second bomb, she threw it several meters away from herself. “5… 4… 3…”
“Crap!” Masuyo tightened his grip on his bomb while one of his fingers hanged above the activation button.
“2…” the bomb to stop the floor exploded, its impact made the floor tremble, almost knocking down the three divers that were there, “1…” Sute’s voice was steady, “Now!”
Masuyo pressed the activation button and threw his bomb upwards, in the swing’s direction, while Sute activated her bomb and threw it in the direction of the Mekroxx about to finish the other off. They both instantly turned around and ran at full speed.
The bomb thrown by Masuyo made the area around the swing freeze… no, it slowed so much that it was as good as frozen, meanwhile, Sute’s Dawn exploded with a deafening sound, stopping the Mekroxx "fight" in an instant by disintegrating everything around them.
“Huh?” Sute glanced behind her, she was sure to have seen a thankful smile from the rusty Mekroxx, Syringa.
“Hey, guys!” Hisoka was talking on the ear communicator, “Come here so we can watch the show!” he was waving at Sute and Masuyo.
“Show?” Masuyo asked when he approached Hisoka.
“Yes… that’s the best part.” Hisoka smiled and looked at the ground with melancholic eyes.
Masuyo looked to the ground as well. It was slowly disappearing. “Huh?” Masuyo cast his gaze into the horizon: the entire world was fading, turning into small light orbs from various colors that slowly levitated, and then proceeded into going upwards, while a beautiful sun was etched into the blue sky. “Wow…” the boy’s eyes glinted with amazement. It was all beyond stunning.
“That’s what we do.” Sute’s voice was low.
Masuyo glanced at Sute for a moment and then returned his attention to the light orbs, trying to touch a blue one right beside him, but it simply went through his hands. Masuyo's body felt lighter than ever before, “Are we going back now?” he asked Hisoka.
“Yes, but not in the usual way.” the man replied, and then, to express those words, the three divers started to float, following the orb's path into the sky.
It was different from when they arrived. It wasn’t like a mortal free fall. The strong wind was replaced by a brisk breeze that wrapped their bodies and made them feel at ease. Masuyo relaxed, he didn’t remember why he was somewhat mad at Sute before, and he didn’t want to do it now. It was like he felt true peace for the first time in his life. He just closed his eyes and felt like enjoying a good nap while being basked by the warmth of the sun.
“Yeah… we should enjoy it while we can!” Hisoka closed his eyes as well, “There’s nothing in the real world that compares to this. Although if I said that to Yoko-san she would leave me.” he gave a soft laugh that was followed by Sute’s and Masuyo’s. “It’s just sad it’s almost over.”
“Huh?” Masuyo looked above him, a huge sea was drawing closer and closer until the three hit it. Every good sensation seemed to be improved. Their dive into that sea came with a refreshing feeling the boy had never experienced before.
“Grandpa!” a voice echoed through their minds. It was the voice of a little boy.
“Huh?” Masuyo noticed something odd: even with his eyes closed, he could clearly see an old man smiling at him. He tried to open his eyes, but the situation didn’t change, leaving him no choice but to watch.
“Hello! How are you doing today, Hikaru?” the old man crouched and looked at the boy.
“I’m better now that you’re here! Let’s go play!” Hikaru replied cheerfully.
“Wow, he’s really different from when we visited him… although he seems younger as well. Maybe everyone is happier when they’re a child.” Masuyo watched as the old Sasaki-san and the young Hikaru played. It was surprising how energetic the grandparent was. He never seemed to slow down, always with a gentle smile on his face and always saying:
“If it’s for my family I can endure any pain!”
“Hehe, you always say that grandpa!”
“And I’ll keep saying it! Because it still holds true!” Sasaki-san patted the boy’s head, “Always remember this: it doesn’t matter which type it is, a family is always the most important thing!”
“Okay! I’ll always remember that!”
“Hmm… this is kind of familiar…”
It was as lively as if he was there himself. Masuyo could see through Hikaru’s eyes how his grandfather was. The old man was probably straining himself, but he was always smiling in front of the boy: when they were playing at the park; when they went out to travel; when the boy asked him to play videogames or watch anime…
“C’mon, you can open it!” Sasaki-san looked with expectation to the boy.
“But it isn’t even my birthday.” Hikaru tilted his head and looked at a box in his hands.
“Why would that stop me from giving you a small gift?! I gift Kazashi every time I can, you know?!”
“And I always say it’s more than I deserve, grandpa.” Kazashi was a few meters from them, drinking something.
“Nonsense! You just have to accept it as Hikaru will do now!”
“Hmm…” Hikaru shook the box, trying to find out what was inside.
“You should open it already, it’s a gift from your grandpa after all.” Kazashi advised the boy.
“Okay…” Hikaru opened the box, “Grandpa, this is…”
“It’s from the one we watched last week, right?! I didn’t understand much of it, but you seemed very into it!”
“Thanks, grandpa!” Hikaru hugged the man, to be honest, he didn’t understand much of that anime either, but he was glad to receive a gift from his grandfather.
The boy usually put the figure of the Mekroxx called Syringa on one of his shelves, but he was now grasping onto it. The two had been playing in that park the entire day. The blue swing was the last stop before they headed home.
“Just a bit more!” Sasaki-san pushed Hikaru’s swing.
“Okay!” the boy had a smile on his face while tightening his grip around the small Syringa.
The old man kept pushing the swing, while the boy felt the brisk wind and observed the park. He could see his sister and grandmother talking in the distance.
“You know, it’s alright to ask others to play with you, Hikaru.” the old man started, “Those two also love you very much!”
“But you love me more, right grandpa?”
“Oh, no!” the old man laughed. “Love is not something that can be measured like that! All you have to know is that they love you and would do anything for you.”
“Hmm…” the boy didn’t seem to grasp it.
“Well, that’s it for now! This will be the last push for me, but I hope you let someone else push you after.” Sasaki-san first pulled the swing to its limits, “Here… we… go!” he pushed the boy one last time.
“Aaaah!” the wind blew in Hikaru’s face as he rushed forward with the impulse, the figure of Syringa almost falling from his hand.
“I’ll get going now!” his grandfather was walking away from the swing, “Maybe next week we can watch some of that anime you like!” he waved at the boy.
“Okay!” the boy replied and observed his grandpa wide the distance between them until he couldn’t see the old man anymore, and the swing was almost stopping…
“Do you want to play with another toy?” a female voice came from behind the boy.
“Huh?” the boy turned around.
“Do you want to play with another toy?” she repeated.
“Hmm... I don’t mind, sister! As long as I’m not alone!”
“You know I have an appointment later today, right?”
“Yes! But I won’t be alone anyway! I know there’ll always be someone watching out for me now.” he looked into the distance and smiled.
“Huh?” Kazashi followed the boy’s gaze, “Oh, you’re right.” she cracked a tiny smile and then patted Hikaru’s head, “But don’t forget we’re here as well!”
The boy looked at his sister and nodded, he then jumped out of the swing and ran towards another playground toy, leaving the little Syringa on top of the swing seat.