Chapter 10:

Ten – Silver-less Week

Normal in Parenthesis—The Old Will and the Dawn to All | Our World

Let us jump back to the time after the accident in Queen Street—the time where Gin was still inside the room he called the “Room of Reality”. Let us see what happened at the time when his presence was nowhere to be found…Bookmark here

August 28, Monday. Sakato Household, around 5:00 am.Bookmark here

Gin’s father, Amano Sakato, his mother, Senna Sakato, and his brother, Kei Sakato are all seated in the dining room very early in the morning. They only knew that Gin didn’t come home yesterday. Bookmark here

“Dad, Gin didn’t come home yesterday, I wonder what happened to him…”Bookmark here

“Kei, I think we should call the authorities in this matter… I’m more than nervous… I’m really scared right now. Please Kei, call them immediately.”Bookmark here

“Senna. We shouldn’t call anyone there or anything. You do know the possibilities of what they could do to Gin if they discover what happened to him when he was five.Bookmark here

This is just a hunch, but I know someone will inform us about Gin and his whereabouts.”Bookmark here

“I hope so…”Bookmark here

A few minutes later, someone started knocking on their door and Kei hurriedly opened it. He suddenly grabbed the person on the collar with all of his strength.Bookmark here

“Kei, hold on! What are you doing?”Bookmark here

“Who are you…?!” Bookmark here

“Let us calm down just for a second, please. Mr. Sakato”Bookmark here

Kei loosened his grip and put down his hand from the person’s collar.Bookmark here

“My name is Sean Hickory. Please let me enter and close all the windows of the house and please also dial all the soundproofing of the walls. I don’t want anyone hearing what we will be talking about.Bookmark here

It is about your son—Mr. Gin Sakato.”Bookmark here

The three looked very surprised but they didn’t let their emotions took over and stayed calm instead.Bookmark here

“P-please come in…”Bookmark here

After following Sean’s request, Senna gave him a cup of coffee and they all sat on the couch in the living room.Bookmark here

“Again, I am Sean Hickory. Before I tell you matters regarding your son, I have a question.Bookmark here

Have you ever heard of the people called ‘Exiles?’”Bookmark here

“They are people who were abused and were seen as animals a few decades ago. They could be considered as rejects of the world.Bookmark here

Why ask this all of a sudden?”Bookmark here

Kei responded quickly to Sean while he is sipping his coffee.Bookmark here

“That is correct. Those people are beings who don’t deserve to live. Or so they thought.Bookmark here

This will probably surprise you but as of right now, they are not extinct.”Bookmark here

“…What could that mean?”Bookmark here

“The one who is sitting before you is one of them.Bookmark here

I am an Exile, but I’m not the only one. There is one more Exile that is making their move-“Bookmark here

“Cut it out. What are you trying to say? We don’t have all the time in the world to be chatting nonsense.”Bookmark here

“Please let me finish.Bookmark here

I have an ally making a move as we speak. And the purpose of our action is to run an errand.”Bookmark here

“From who?”Bookmark here

“Before that, I will change the subject. I would assume you heard the news last night about an accident in the Queen Street. A truck hit a currently unknown person…”Bookmark here

“Don’t tell me…”Bookmark here

“Yes, Mrs. Sakato. Your son was the one who was hit by that truck. It seems that the truck had a malfunction in its brakes and can’t stop. When it did, it was too late. Gin was hit and landed on a wall.Bookmark here

But worry not, we treated his wounds and injuries. He suffered from countless fractures around his whole body and the least injured was his left arm. But little do we know that his recovery is unprecedentedly quick…Bookmark here

With your reaction, I suppose you already knew about it.”Bookmark here

“Skeletal Regeneration. I guess this is the first time you’re hearing this, Kei.”Bookmark here

“Yes. That is indeed the case. But Gin himself wasn’t even aware of it…Bookmark here

And that is where we need to run and errand. He asked us a favor to tell his family everything. One of our associates will be at school later to inform the principal.Bookmark here

But that is not the whole story. Right now, Gin is in our base unknown to the outside world. It was hidden enough to not be seen because we won’t know what they will do to us.”Bookmark here

“Then how in the world did you get out?”Bookmark here

“Some Exiles decided to resurface once their name vanished.Bookmark here

My other ally is Hiroomi Katsuto, and we are the owners of Giotto’s Restaurant. Right now, we still stay in our base, which is underground, but also blend in to the society.Bookmark here

Regarding Gin, the estimated time of his recovery is one year and six months.”Bookmark here

“Wait, does that mean my son will be in that base for one and a half year?”Bookmark here

“You are half correct, Mr. Sakato. To be exact, he will be spending two years in our base, as per his request…Bookmark here

Actually, he might have already spent more or less a month there.”Bookmark here

Sean gave a mysterious smile as he spoke to Gin’s family and Kei stood up out of anger.Bookmark here

“What the… You better not be joking around!”Bookmark here

“No, I am serious. I am not joking around here…Bookmark here

You probably noticed that I haven’t said if ‘he is safe’, because we do not know his current state. Last night at exactly 11:30 pm, he entered a room in our base that even we don’t know what is really inside that.Bookmark here

Your son himself decided to enter it on his own volition. We did not oppose it because we felt that he had different intentions.Bookmark here

We based our hypotheses to other Exiles who already entered that room. One of them was inside for almost half a day and said that he was there for a solid week.Bookmark here

We concluded that it was a room where the time accelerates more than tenfold inside. Fortunately, we managed to learn how to measure the ratio of time there. As for Gin’s, the ratio of his stay there is five days to two years. Which means in five days, at specifically September 1, 11:30pm, he will leave the room, but in that duration, he will spend two years inside.Bookmark here

Once he comes back, please don’t pressure him. I’m certain that he is feeling very lonely right now. He’s alone there for two years. Food is not a problem though. We will provide him raw supplies four or five times a day. But the catch is that he can’t leave the room unless the time is up and the doors only open every start of the monthly duration inside that room. Every 27th of the month is when the door opens.”Bookmark here

“So it means he will be 17 on Friday…”Bookmark here

“Mom, it’s okay. He will come back. I know it.”Bookmark here

“Senna, I trust that he will come home on Friday. I’m sure of it. He will survive the two years.”Bookmark here

Sean gave off a chuckle and stood up from the couch.Bookmark here

“Hahaha… Really…”Bookmark here

“What’s funny?”Bookmark here

“This is definitely his family… You all have a strong will.Bookmark here

When we were transporting him to our base, even with broken bones, he never went unconscious. It probably meant that it’s his will to live. Don’t worry, he can walk now without any support.Bookmark here

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With that, I shall take my lea-“Bookmark here

As he grabbed his bag, Sean realized he forgot one last thing that Gin asked for.Bookmark here

“Uhm… Before I leave, I was asked by him that I take his phone. I don’t know why, but can I have it as per requested?”Bookmark here

“If Gin said so… Kei, can you?”Bookmark here

Kei took the phone from the untouched and very clean bedroom. The phone was placed on top of a shoebox beside Gin’s bed. He came back to the living room with the phone, but with hesitation, he gave it to Sean.Bookmark here

“H-Here…”Bookmark here

“He’s probably saying his thanks right now.Bookmark here

Then, I will take my leave. The restaurant should be open at 8. Thanks for listening and I hope to see you all with Gin on Friday.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Three hours later.Bookmark here

“Uhm, excuse me! Are you Mr. Kiiro Kobayakawa?”Bookmark here

“Uhh… Yes?”Bookmark here

“Can I ask you to accompany me to the principal’s office? In behalf of your student, Mr. Gin Sakato, I will submit a leave of absence of him for five days. He asked me to give it directly to the principal.”Bookmark here

“So Sakato will be absent for the whole week? I shouldn’t ask for the reason since he requested a direct submission to the principal’s office.Bookmark here

But I’m warning you, the principal is a good man, but he’s hard to deal with.Bookmark here

Anyways, let’s go before the students are already at school.”Bookmark here

The principal’s office is located in another old building in the first floor. The office is in the very back of the building but it still stands out because of how the doors were painted with a color that does not make a good contrast to the inside of the building.Bookmark here

“Here’s the principal’s office, Mr…”Bookmark here

“Katsuto is my surname.”Bookmark here

“Right, Mr. Katsuto. I need to take my leave though. Are you sure you will be alright?”Bookmark here

“Is that a sarcastic question?Bookmark here

Anyways, thank you for accompanying me.”Bookmark here

Hiroomi knocked first and opened the door of the office. But whom he saw sat at the principal’s table was the last person he thought of.Bookmark here

After seeing the principal, he fell to his knees and started shivering out of surprise.Bookmark here

“Y-You…”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

It is time for lunch break. As usual, the lone table with six seats was occupied except for one seat where Gin is usually sat.Bookmark here

“Hey, what do you think is the reason why Gin is absent?”Bookmark here

“Don’t ask me.”Bookmark here

“But for a whole week. That’s so not like Gin…”Bookmark here

Nagi looked at Rin assuming that she might know why Gin is absent since she was the closest to him out of the four.Bookmark here

“Ringo, what do you think?”Bookmark here

“Eh?Bookmark here

Bookmark here

No, I also don’t know…”Bookmark here

“Shall we ask his parents?”Bookmark here

“Even though we knew him for a long time now, we still don’t know where he lived.”Bookmark here

Rin shuddered out of surprise and immediately, the four looked at her.Bookmark here

“Is something the matter?”Bookmark here

“Ah… N-No. I just spaced out for a minute…”Bookmark here

“So I’m the only one who knows his place?”Bookmark here

“Mind if I take that seat?”Bookmark here

The group heard an unknown voice of a young man dressed properly with an envelope around his arms.Bookmark here

It was Hiroomi.Bookmark here

He gave off a kind and polite smile to Gin’s friends.Bookmark here

“Ugh. I finally calmed down… Thank goodness…!”Bookmark here

“Ehem… I’m Hiroomi Katsuto and I am currently Gin’s representative who submitted his leave of absence. It will only be for a short time but if you have any questions, I’ll answer as long as it is within my capability.”Bookmark here

“Oh? Then…Bookmark here

Please take a seat.”Bookmark here

Akira was the one who welcomed him to take Gin’s seat. But Hiroomi waited for them to finish their lunch before he started speaking.Bookmark here

“Oh, I think we will have a long talk here. But I have been given the permission that you will be late in the next period.”Bookmark here

“So… Mr. Katsuto, what do you want to talk about?”Bookmark here

“It is regarding Gin. As you may have known, he will not be around for the whole week, but he will come back next week.”Bookmark here

“Then can we know where he is right now?”Bookmark here

“I’m very sorry, he requested not to tell his current location right now.”Bookmark here

“Does that mean he-“Bookmark here

“Please don’t think of something like we kidnapped him. Such a thing did not happen.”Bookmark here

“Eh? You got through me!”Bookmark here

“I just want to clear the misunderstandings, Mr. Bentley.”Bookmark here

“Ehhhhh?! You even know my name?!”Bookmark here

“I was informed by your friend.Bookmark here

Akira Bentley, Jean Ando, Nagi Kajima or Nacchi, Shiro Kirishima, and Ringo Akanami.”Bookmark here

“That Gin… he even said my nickname…”Bookmark here

“He said that he will definitely be lonely because he won’t see his friends for a few days. So please don’t make him pressured once he comes back.”Bookmark here

“Right, got it.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

August 30, Wednesday. Art Room.Bookmark here

“I think it’s a bad idea to give him homework once he comes back on Monday. Don’t you think?”Bookmark here

“Well, Mr. Katsuto said that we should not pressure him…”Bookmark here

“I guess that’s the right way.”Bookmark here

“Man, it’s also lonely not seeing him draw in his usual place.”Bookmark here

With her pencil stopped, Rin fell to a deep thought and silence.Bookmark here

“Should I ask his parents…? They might know the reason but it’s going to feel like I’m stepping to a place I shouldn’t have.Bookmark here

This kind of makes me worried…”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“-ingo…Bookmark here

Ringo…Bookmark here

Earth to Ringo?”Bookmark here

Rin came back to her senses when Shiro constantly called out to her but he dropped her pencil and started throwing her arms everywhere.Bookmark here

“Ah! Wahh! Wah! Wha!Bookmark here

What’s happening?!”Bookmark here

“You okay there Ringo?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… You seem to be spacing out a lot.”Bookmark here

“Ah, I’m okay. I’m just thinking a bit…”Bookmark here

“Now I’m doing something clichéd…”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Same day, after school.Bookmark here

“Auntie?”Bookmark here

“Ah, Ringo! What could be the reason for your visit?”Bookmark here

“Uhm… It’s about Gin’s absence…”Bookmark here

“Oh, about that…Bookmark here

I advise you to wait until he tells it to you once he is back.”Bookmark here

“That is… if Gin will tell her…”Bookmark here

“I can’t tell you where he is right now, but he won’t be going home for a few days.”Bookmark here

“Oh… Okay. I will be going home then.”Bookmark here

“Alright, take care.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

August 31, Thursday. Around 10 in the evening.Bookmark here

It is late in the night but Rin can’t seem to sleep immediately. Even though she’s already on her bed, her eyes are still wide open, looking at the ceiling. She’s still anxious as to why Gin is away for the whole week.Bookmark here

“What could be the reason why he is on a leave…?Bookmark here

I know I’m not in the place to ask too much because it’s probably personal… But I can’t stop being worried…”Bookmark here

“That lifeless and monotonous place was made by a man sitting beside the apple tree.”Bookmark here

At that moment, she heard someone’s voice from her head. It is very familiar to her but she can’t seem to recognize whose voice was that.Bookmark here

She vigorously got up and started looking around her dark room. But she saw no one.Bookmark here

“Eh… Did I just hear his voice?! I’m so worried about him that I’m hearing things now…”Bookmark here

“Of course. I will be this worried because I-“Bookmark here

She let out a huge sigh and lied down again. But there is one word that can’t stop cycling in her mind.Bookmark here

“Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin. Gin.Bookmark here


“Ehhhhh?!”Bookmark here

She once again got up but started counting sheep even being in a state of exhaustion for unknown reason.Bookmark here

“One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four sheep, five sheep, six sheep…Bookmark here

Seven Gin, eight Gi-“Bookmark here

Her head finally overheated.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

September 1, Friday.Bookmark here

The day where Gin will be finally coming back after two years.Bookmark here

“Ah, good morning Ri-Bookmark here

Ringo?!”Bookmark here

“Ah… Shiro. Good… morning…”Bookmark here

At the entrance of the school, Rin and Shiro met but Shiro is too surprised to see Rin’s eyebags and started shaking while staring at her.Bookmark here

“Nacchiiiii! Help! Ringo is in a bad state!”Bookmark here

Immediately after opening the door of room 4A, she called out Nagi and the other two loudly that the whole class noticed her quickly.Bookmark here

“Eh! What?!”Bookmark here

“Hey! What happened?!”Bookmark here

“Nani, nani?!”Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

“Oh… Does that mean she didn’t get that much of sleep last night?”Bookmark here

“Pr~obably…?”Bookmark here

“Even though we go to school late, she still has bed hair…”Bookmark here

“Don’t mind it. I’ll fix it later.”Bookmark here

“Isn’t her head kind of smoking…?”Bookmark here

“Are you sure you don’t have a fever, Ringo? Your face is beet red.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Lunch break.Bookmark here

The usual group is sat on the usual table whenever it is lunch break with confirmation that Rin is actually just doing fine.Bookmark here

Nagi noticed two young men dressed in a formal outfit. He recognized one of the two and called him.Bookmark here

“Mr. Katsuto?”Bookmark here

“Oh hey, Nacchi! It’s been a while…?”Bookmark here

“You have a companion today.Bookmark here

And I kindly request you to refrain from calling me that.”Bookmark here

“I’m Sean Hickory. We had an appointment with the principal earlier that’s why we are here again.”Bookmark here

Hiroomi made a search in his bag to find a small envelope that contains something that Gin left at the midpoint room once.Bookmark here

“Just the right timing, huh. Gin sent this to us and he said that we should give this to your group. I don’t know what’s inside though.”Bookmark here

Akira opened the envelope containing a ripped small piece of paper with Gin’s handwriting.Bookmark here

“Hey.”Bookmark here

“Hey…?”Bookmark here

“Eh?”Bookmark here

Even Hiroomi and Sean were surprised at how anticlimactic that was.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

11:20 pm.Bookmark here

“Hiro, soon the time inside will be in sync here.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, that only means that he’s coming.”Bookmark here

“Let’s just hope that he’ll come out.”Bookmark here

Finally, ten minutes have passed. The doors of the midpoint room unlocked, but still closed. There are no sounds that can be heard. The whole underground base is filled with total silence. They still can’t hear any footsteps coming beyond the door even at how quiet it is.Bookmark here

“Is he here?”Bookmark here

The doorknob made a sound where someone is opening the door.Bookmark here

It slowly opened outwards with the sound of creaking. What they can see is only brightness and a silhouette of someone from the white background.Bookmark here

The brightness faded and they can finally see the only person who entered that room five days ago—Gin Sakato.Bookmark here

“H-Hey…Bookmark here

I wanna sleep…”Bookmark here

Not even clearly seeing him. His body fell to the floor.Bookmark here

“Gin?! Gin! Are you okay?”Bookmark here

He-Hey! Speak up!Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Roses… are… red…”Bookmark here

“Huh? What is he saying?”Bookmark here

“Vi… olets are… b-blue…Bookmark here

…”Bookmark here

“What in the world…”Bookmark here

“Omae… wa mou… shindeiru…”Bookmark here

“Eh?”Bookmark here

“Eh??”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“He’s… sleeping?”Bookmark here

Gin Sakato finally came back to the outside world.

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

You have finished reading chapter 10!Bookmark here

Huzzah, that is ten chapters... or eleven, technically. I've said the future of the next few chapters in chapter 9, and so I would like to announce that I will be updating the story cover to match the current plot line. I'm an artist first before a writer, so it's always fun to make covers!Bookmark here

Thanks for reading!Bookmark here

Eleven: Welcome back to the surface.Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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