Chapter 6:

006 – Home and Homesickness

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

“The word ‘normal’ is normal.”Bookmark here

“A silver apple? This is beautiful. I really like it.”Bookmark here

“I guess this is where I meet my end. It hasn’t been a long journey yet. But at least I knew what the purpose of my life is before I go.”Bookmark here

“Regrets? What do you mean…? Regret is the reason why my life is like this! It’s all because of the pain and suffering that the cruel humans gave me. They are heartless. Why didn’t they even kill me that time? What is even the reason?!”Bookmark here

“I’m finally back at home.”Bookmark here

“So please… Don’t ever tell me that you will leave me forever… Please…”Bookmark here

“What if I told you that I love you too?”Bookmark here

“We can start here. I know that if you do what is right, Akaji will have a smile on his face and then he will say: ‘I am proud of you.’”Bookmark here

“You… You’re the reason why the flames of my soul blazed once again. I regained my reasons to live, and I am truly grateful that I am here beside you.”Bookmark here

“I will become an Exile.” Bookmark here

“We are here sitting beside each other after the storm that came directly to me. You don’t need to experience what I went through. After all, you were the reason why I went out of that door safely.”Bookmark here

“Ha. You really are a hopeless brat. I said those because I’m trying to save your life, you idiot!”Bookmark here

“You don’t belong in the board, so you’re not one of those pieces.”Bookmark here

“Get your head straight, little brother. How can you use disposable chopsticks if you won’t break it apart?”Bookmark here

“But in your case, the straight road for the two of you is broken and cannot be used. But you decided to fix it instead of going the other way and I commend you for that.”Bookmark here

“Despair falls into us like the rain, and sometimes it floods. But even in this reality, I learned that despair is ephemeral. The sun will once again illuminate this dark world.”Bookmark here

“I will appreciate it if you visit my grave from time to time.”Bookmark here

“Let me protect the ones I love.”Bookmark here

“…Unless I offer her a ring…”Bookmark here

“There is always a time where we will find friends, be part of a family, and eventually found someone we love the most.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

The morning after the date…Bookmark here

“Yawn~ Mhmm…Bookmark here

Huh…”Bookmark here

‹Rin›Bookmark here

It truly is a surprise… that I woke up earlier than Gin.Bookmark here

No, it is actually quite late now and I just woke up. But here I see Gin still sleeping soundly although we went to sleep at the same time last night.Bookmark here

Without waking him up, I left the room to freshen up.Bookmark here

We’ve been in this house for almost half a month and he always beats me in waking up. It is really not that big of a deal but I’m kind of surprised that this suddenly happened at the rising of the sun.Bookmark here

This is just my intuition, but there is a part of me that is worrying about him.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

I went back in the room and saw Gin, finally awake and his right forearm is covering his face while he is still laid on his bed.Bookmark here

“Potato? Are you okay?”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

My morning isn’t that good…”Bookmark here

“Are you sick?”Bookmark here

“Well, no… but I am, at the same time.”Bookmark here

He was somehow distressed.Bookmark here

“…?”Bookmark here

“Ugh… I thought this was going to kick in later than this…Bookmark here

I was having a dream last night entirely about my memories from a few months back. It was a good dream and all… but I realized that I’m in Japan right now.”Bookmark here

“This is the first time that I’m seeing Gin this depressed.”Bookmark here

“Are you… feeling homesick?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… And it feels so depressing that I’m suddenly being reminded of my times at home when we’re currently away.Bookmark here

Ahhh… I miss my family…”Bookmark here

I sat on my bedding and tried to converse with him while he is currently in that mental state. It somehow makes me sad that he was so cheerful yesterday and now he is feeling so dejected.Bookmark here

“Did you also experience this when you were inside the Void?”Bookmark here

“I was a lot more weak-willed back then. It gradually occurred as time went on and that perspective led me to write very desperate things on my logs.”Bookmark here

“I guess I can at least relate to you since that has happened to me a bit earlier than this, but I’ve coped up with it already.”Bookmark here

“Oh… I didn’t get a hint…”Bookmark here

“But besides…Bookmark here

**I AM HERE…!”Bookmark here

I somehow found myself shouting as I stood still with my hands on my hips.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Pfft… Was… Was that a Hiro*ka reference…? Oh my goodness…”Bookmark here

“Now that you say it… Ahahahaha…!”Bookmark here

“Thanks, Rin. That cheered me up a bit.”Bookmark here

With that, I gave him an embrace out of the blue.Bookmark here

“I’m really not used to seeing you like this, you know?”Bookmark here

“Well, I’m mentally unstable. So you’ll get used to this eventually.”Bookmark here

“You can really make bad jokes sometimes, Potato.Bookmark here

Kamichi-san is here, so let’s get up and have breakfast.”Bookmark here

“Yeah…Bookmark here

And sorry in advance that I may not be able to do the cooking in this condition.”Bookmark here

“That’s totally okay. I’m feeling a bit fidgety that you always cook our meals. So let me do it for the rest of our stay here and I’ll promise that I will wake up earlier than you!”Bookmark here

“**I’ll be under your care from now on.”Bookmark here

We left the room and Gin got himself sorted before coming to the dining room. Kamichi-san is almost finished by the time we came to the table.Bookmark here

“Gin-san? What happened to you? Are you feeling sick?”Bookmark here

“Not really ill, but I’m very homesick, Kamichi-san.”Bookmark here

“I’ll help you out, Kamichi-san.”Bookmark here

“Ah, thanks, Ringo-san.Bookmark here

Oh, in Orio… I’ve heard a lot about you from Ryou-kun yesterday and I just can’t believe that you straight up punched Ryuuya-san and him.”Bookmark here

“Well, Ryuuya-san asked for one and I gave Yugare-san one because Rin got mad at me for being late even when we closed the resto early that time.”Bookmark here

“But are you sure you can move around today?”Bookmark here

“Hmmm… I’ll take a rest for the whole day and see if I can get any better. I get seriously depressed whenever I’m like this.”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

I hope you get better soon, Gin-san.”Bookmark here

“Thank you.Bookmark here

And… you can just drop the formal honorifics.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“By the way, Yuzuri-san. Can you tell me more stories about that chef? I suddenly got interested with it.”Bookmark here

“You mean… about the other day when Jin-san was here, Gin-kun?”Bookmark here

After a bowl of rice, the three suddenly changed their way of addressing each other.Bookmark here

“Hmm… At the time when I got in to his cooking shows, it’s seen that it was already old shows, maybe from around forty years ago?”Bookmark here

“Wha- That’s ages ago…”Bookmark here

“Oh, have I ever told you what he’s called?”Bookmark here

“Um… I don’t think so.”Bookmark here

“It’s actually weird how he is very popular in the international culinary realm but not really that well known to people. I didn’t know his name but he’s called ‘Golden Knife.’ As in, in English.Bookmark here

But not even the veterans in the hotel I used to work at knew him.”Bookmark here

“That name really is straight out of the 70s…”Bookmark here

“But although the shows have aged, one can still see his amazing talent and how he outwardly displayed that he was having fun at cooking. He had a playful demeanor, but he still preserved his accuracy at every process he did.Bookmark here

Sadly, I can’t get a hold of those videos anymore. Just when I want you two to see how he makes dishes…Bookmark here

And it's because of the fact that you won't find people using tapes.”Bookmark here

I asked, “But one day he suddenly disappeared without further notice, right? I wonder what happened to him.”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

I wonder what’s happening in home right now…”Bookmark here

But it somehow made him worse.Bookmark here

“Gin-kun, you really need to rest.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

The same day; in Orio.Bookmark here

“Haaaaaahhhhhhhhh… I really hate summer…”Bookmark here

“Nagi… that’s a really long sigh.”Bookmark here

“Can’t help it, Shiro. I just want summer to end right now.”Bookmark here

“I hope you’re aware that it won’t happen anytime soon.”Bookmark here

Since the start of summer vacation, it had become the norm to see Nagi and Shiro being together in her house as they fight off the heat.Bookmark here

Shiro has been accompanying her agonizing lover to help fend off the ablaze of the summer. However, it sounded like it was just an excuse to hang out with him.Bookmark here

And just like any other day, they’re both swinging fans at each other.Bookmark here

Shiro then attempted to inquire, “Any news about Akira?”Bookmark here

“Nah. I don’t even know if there’s even a signal in their base, and we don’t even know where in the literal earth he is in.”Bookmark here

“I guess he’s still busy or something.Bookmark here

What about the three in Japan?”Bookmark here

“Shiro, Ringo always message you, right?”Bookmark here

“Ah, I haven’t even opened my phone yet.Bookmark here

Oh… Gin.”Bookmark here

“Hm? What about Gin?”Bookmark here

“Ringo message me earlier saying that Gin is extremely homesick.”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

I can’t imagine that. But I guess it’s just natural for him to be like that. He’s been through a lot of times. No one can blame him for that.”Bookmark here

“Say, Nagi. How do you usually spend your summer break?”Bookmark here

“…? I seriously can’t remember. Last year was so boring and I didn’t even get the chance to wander a lot even with those four months which is frustrating.Bookmark here

The four of us even set a date to go to the beach that time. I think that’s the only heat that I can tolerate.”Bookmark here

“Wow, the beach…”Bookmark here

“In the end, we four didn’t even get the chance to hang out so it was a lonely four months.”Bookmark here

“I guess that goes for me too.”Bookmark here

“Oh, that…Bookmark here

But don’t you think that things have changed?” he spoke with motivation, trying to avoid bringing up Shiro's past.Bookmark here

“Hmm…”Bookmark here

“We probably spent our time last year all alone, but look… we’re together right now,” Nagi uttered nonchalantly.Bookmark here

But he then realized that he suddenly said those words and as they stared at each other with a surprised expression, they vigorously fanned faster unknowing if the redness of their faces was caused by the heat or the embarrassment.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Meanwhile, in Blue Ink High School.Bookmark here

“It’s not yet even a month but we’re already over this much progress. Although I expected it already, I’m still amazed.”Bookmark here

“Seriously, Mr. Principal… Where do you even get those workers? They’re insanely fast at working! It’s just been around three weeks since the start of the construction of the gym and they’re almost halfway done,” the foreman questioned the comment of the principal.Bookmark here

“Well, they are the ones that helped renovated the school last year, so they really are trustworthy people.”Bookmark here

“Of course, that’s because they’re my people that are currently disguised to keep our identities as Exiles safe.”Bookmark here

“Mr. Juushiro, please write your name and your signature here.”Bookmark here

Taketo Juushiro.Bookmark here

Also known as “Tenth” and “Take.”Bookmark here

Currently the principal of Blue Ink High School and is about to serve for his fourth year. What people do not know is that he is an Exile that was in pursuit of his lost son which is Akira Juushiro.Bookmark here

Additionally, he was the former leader of the Exiles as per the recommendation of his mentor, the late Eijiro Kurogane which just happened to be Gin’s uncle on his mother’s side. Eijiro was also an Exile.Bookmark here

To summarize the past years of his experience, he asked his younger brother to take care of Akira when he was an infant due to his wife leaving the two behind after Akira was born.Bookmark here

In October last year, Tenth’s family reunited with the help of Gin realizing that he was Akira’s father upon the summoning of him in the principal’s office.Bookmark here

Later on, his son, Akira, decided to leave the surface and began to live the life of being an Exile and it all happened due to the recently grasped freedom of the people underground made true with the agreements alongside the surface.Bookmark here

Thus, the Exiles remained apart from the identification as “humans of society” and continued to live independent from the world and its system.Bookmark here

Jumping back to the recent events, Blue Ink High School is once again undergoing construction after a year of being renovated. New facilities are planned to be added, such as the gym and other factors that shall have a connection to the new school’s vision for the next school year.Bookmark here

“Really, Mr. Principal… Can all this be done in just under two months? This plan is honestly… unreal.”Bookmark here

“Well, it is observable that I didn’t only hire the people I assembled for renovation last year. Yes, they work fast and precisely but I’ve already pictured the possibility that we’ll need more manpower from other construction companies.Bookmark here

With this, the probable completion rate of the constructions is 80%. If things however follow through a straight line, it is possible that we can complete everything in less than two months.Bookmark here

Meaning, we might need to nudge the start of classes a little to make way to the quality check. That’s also why I asked NED (National Education Department) that meeting. Though, it’s not only for the ongoing constructions, but my plan of implementing a new system also goes in there.”Bookmark here

“A new system?”Bookmark here

“A new system that I really hope that my students will appreciate.”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Meanwhile, in Sector Xav, still in Cotona.Bookmark here

“Hey…! Masked guy! Thanks for coming to help again,” a police officer covered with bulletproofing waved on a man with a white mask as distinction of being an Exile.Bookmark here

“Yeah, Mr. Officer. But you should be thanking Artecus instead of me because he’s the only one pulling me here.Bookmark here

But hey. You don’t see heists this big a lot of times, huh?”Bookmark here

“Well, Mr. Exile, let’s see how that mask and coat of yours manage to bounce off heavy artillery,” Juno Artecus speculated.Bookmark here

“Juno… you’re just making me a human shield, huh? You know that I’ve seen weapons deadlier than that. You can always blame a memory impaired child.”Bookmark here

“It’s quite ironic that a former assassin is aiding the police.”Bookmark here

“Yeah… I get what you mean.”Bookmark here

Detective Juno Artecus and the “masked guy” under the quasi identity of Makoto Koyanagi.Bookmark here

Those two are friends ever since their childhood but Makoto was involved in a car accident that led to losing his memories at the age of fourteen.Bookmark here

Makoto was taken by a leader of a hitman faction and was taught how to be an assassin, being taken over the advantage that he had amnesia and was led astray to the dark side of the world.Bookmark here

After being framed in his last work, he was ambushed by his client and the police where he met Juno as a young police apprentice. However, it was a short reunion due to Makoto being caught in an explosion which bridged to his becoming of an Exile.Bookmark here

A few years later, he regained all of his memories and atoned to his sins.Bookmark here

And at the confrontation of the Exiles to the world they once again exchanged fists and later on became partners in crime fighting.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Wow, this is too easy… Come on! Make it fast and rake all the money you can from the vault!”Bookmark here

“Yes, boss!”Bookmark here

Currently, a big bank heist is happening and there is quite a lot of hostages held and the police seems to be taking their time seeing that the streets are clear. However…Bookmark here

“Knock, knock! Can you please let me enter so I can withdraw some cash?” Makoto enthusiastically waved his hand as he continuously knocked on the glass from the outside.Bookmark here

“What the…? Is this some kind of a joke?! Who’s that masked person?!”Bookmark here

“Please…! I definitely need to withdraw otherwise I’ll force my way in~!”Bookmark here

“You idiots! Go to your position and ready to fire!”Bookmark here

“Oh, brother… I really wish not to break the glass, but oh well.”Bookmark here

He stepped back and ran towards the glass wall, breaking it leaving him unscathed as he enters the scene.Bookmark here

“FIRE…!”Bookmark here

The bank was filled with the sound of countless bullets coming out of the guns which quickly made their way to the only walking man with a faceless white mask.Bookmark here

The bullets hit again, and again, and again. But not a bullet pierced through him. Rather, they bounced off.Bookmark here

“What in the world is this?! Why is he not affected by the bullets?!”Bookmark here

“Ah, thank goodness my coat is finally shock resistant… Now, now…Bookmark here

Yo, Juno! They’re ten in total, you hear?! Let’s split five and five!”Bookmark here

The detective then made his way inside coming from the ceiling, landing on one of the criminals.Bookmark here

“You…”Bookmark here

“Are…”Bookmark here

“Under…”Bookmark here

“Arrest!”Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Two days later, inside the underground base of the Exiles.Bookmark here

“Guys…! Has anyone of you seen Akira?!”Bookmark here

“Ah, Ken! He just left the base just now. He said that he’ll be on their house.”Bookmark here

“Man… That guy really runs like the wind. Wait, I wonder how Eiji’s doing in Japan right now.Bookmark here

Oh, Makoto. Did you just come back?”Bookmark here

“My head kind of hurts… I really have little to nothing tolerance in drinking.”Bookmark here

“Is the coat still fine?”Bookmark here

“Even though I’ve experienced a lot of gun shots, that was still nerve wracking as to how the bullets just collided in front of me…Bookmark here

Still scary! But it’s as good as ever.”Bookmark here

“Thank goodness the shock resistance worked. We don’t want to have Gin’s case repeated again.”Bookmark here

“How about you, Ken? Are the tests doing well?”Bookmark here

“I guess the experiments when I was five still have their perks. Aside from faking the stoppage of my blood circulation, I somehow managed to hold my breath subconsciously for at least 25 minutes while doing daily tasks.”Bookmark here

“Woah… You and Gin really are insane. He has an out of this world bone regeneration and you can… play dead?”Bookmark here

“Call me a shrimp whenever you like but don’t call me a dog!”Bookmark here

“But I didn’t.”Bookmark here

“Urk… My word.”Bookmark here

Ken Ichikawa/086.Bookmark here

He is one of the hundred lab rats of the top secret Medical Children Project when he was five along with Gin. They were identified via code numbers; 086 for Ken, and 027 for Gin. Of all the hundred children in the experiments, only the two of them survived.Bookmark here

Ken discovered that he has the ability to stop his blood circulation aside from the blood flow itself. Meaning that his blood continues to flow but his heart and veins do not beat. Moreover, he also has the ability to stop breathing for a prolonged period of time and it is still under progression.Bookmark here

With that, he made his escape from the laboratories and lived the next ten years of his life. But he caught a disease wherein his nervous system slowly loses its function and will die if microsurgery was not performed.Bookmark here

The lead doctor of the project, which made contact with 027, however played along with Ken after the surgery succeeded and made it so that Ken Ichikawa is dead.Bookmark here

A fake funeral was held last December and he was introduced to the Exiles at the same day.Bookmark here

With that, he is currently assisting in the development of the things made from the material they found which is theoretically the hardest and toughest object in Earth.Bookmark here

Additionally, the mask and the coat that Makoto has were made from it.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

April 16, in Japan.Bookmark here

This has been the third morning and it is still the same as usual since Saturday.Bookmark here

I promised Gin that I will be in charge of making our meals for the rest of our stay here in Japan. And seeing that he is still in his current condition, he really needs to take more rest.Bookmark here

“Alright. I won’t wake you up today.Bookmark here

Sleep well.”Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

“Rin… Good morning. Yawn~”Bookmark here

“Good morning, Potato. Feeling better?”Bookmark here

“Not really… But my dream is a bit more different today.”Bookmark here

“Hmm?”Bookmark here

“But I guess it’s not really different from my other dreams since it looked like it was a memory.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“It’s like what I saw is I’m at my room and I think I was woken up by something. Oh, I think it was in the middle of the night.”Bookmark here

“Umm… O-Okay…”Bookmark here

“The door of my room opened and I saw a silhouette… Hmm… Let’s see…”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes… I’m still all ears…”Bookmark here

“By any chance, did you sneak up on my house at some point and kissed me on my forehead?”Bookmark here

“HE FREAKING HIT THE BULLSEYE!!!!!!!”Bookmark here

“J-J-Just so you know…! I didn’t do that anymore, okay?!”Bookmark here

“But… Will you still?”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

Uhh…” I gave him a nod.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“But I’m well aware that we both set our own distances to each other… So I’m sorry for suddenly doing that.”Bookmark here

“There’s really nothing to apologize, you know. But then again, we should always keep things in the minimum. I may have experiences and a bit of wisdom that are way out of my age, but I’m still as naïve as a child.Bookmark here

That goes for you too, Rin.”Bookmark here

I once again gave Gin a nod, but instead of being sad about it, I happily replied.Bookmark here

“We’re really just brats, huh? I really learned a lot of lesson when we broke up.”Bookmark here

“You know, what you just said could really be misleading, Rin. But that’s the truth. There’s nothing we can do about it.Bookmark here

But what’s more…”Bookmark here

And all of sudden, as we are sat on the seating cushions, he slowly pulled me from the back of my head and kissed me on my forehead. I was suddenly reminded that his genuine gentleness and kindness to others were the reasons why I fell in love with him.Bookmark here

“…is that we came back to normal and I’m happy as it is.Bookmark here

Now I feel a little better.”Bookmark here

“…Bookmark here

Yeah… after all, we’re a pair of chopsticks.”Bookmark here

Thus, the story continues.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

And Gin still hasn’t recovered from his homesickness.

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That wraps up 006!Bookmark here

I just realized that this is the first bigger glimpse of what is going on in Orio post-NoFutsuu. Also, is there really a conclusion to a character development?Bookmark here

And it's night and I just released. ༎ຶ‿༎ຶBookmark here

Thanks for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

007: Jean Ando's reasons.Bookmark here

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