Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
“The word ‘normal’ is normal.”
“A silver apple? This is beautiful. I really like it.”
“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.”
“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?!”
“I’m finally back at home.”
“So please… Don’t ever tell me that you will leave me forever… Please…”
“What if I told you that I love you too?”
“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.’”
“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.”
“I will become an Exile.”
“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.”
“Ha. You really are a hopeless brat. I said those because I’m trying to save your life, you idiot!”
“You don’t belong in the board, so you’re not one of those pieces.”
“Get your head straight, little brother. How can you use disposable chopsticks if you won’t break it apart?”
“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.”
“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.”
“I will appreciate it if you visit my grave from time to time.”
“Let me protect the ones I love.”
“…Unless I offer her a ring…”
“There is always a time where we will find friends, be part of a family, and eventually found someone we love the most.”
▪ ▪ ▪
The morning after the date…
It truly is a surprise… that I woke up earlier than Gin.
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.
Without waking him up, I left the room to freshen up.
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.
This is just my intuition, but there is a part of me that is worrying about him.
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.
“Potato? Are you okay?”
My morning isn’t that good…”
“Are you sick?”
“Well, no… but I am, at the same time.”
He was somehow distressed.
“Ugh… I thought this was going to kick in later than this…
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.”
“This is the first time that I’m seeing Gin this depressed.”
“Are you… feeling homesick?”
“Yeah… And it feels so depressing that I’m suddenly being reminded of my times at home when we’re currently away.
Ahhh… I miss my family…”
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.
“Did you also experience this when you were inside the Void?”
“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.”
“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.”
“Oh… I didn’t get a hint…”
**I AM HERE…!”
I somehow found myself shouting as I stood still with my hands on my hips.
“Pfft… Was… Was that a Hiro*ka reference…? Oh my goodness…”
“Now that you say it… Ahahahaha…!”
“Thanks, Rin. That cheered me up a bit.”
With that, I gave him an embrace out of the blue.
“I’m really not used to seeing you like this, you know?”
“Well, I’m mentally unstable. So you’ll get used to this eventually.”
“You can really make bad jokes sometimes, Potato.
Kamichi-san is here, so let’s get up and have breakfast.”
And sorry in advance that I may not be able to do the cooking in this condition.”
“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!”
“**I’ll be under your care from now on.”
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.
“Gin-san? What happened to you? Are you feeling sick?”
“Not really ill, but I’m very homesick, Kamichi-san.”
“I’ll help you out, Kamichi-san.”
“Ah, thanks, Ringo-san.
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.”
“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.”
“But are you sure you can move around today?”
“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.”
I hope you get better soon, Gin-san.”
And… you can just drop the formal honorifics.”
“By the way, Yuzuri-san. Can you tell me more stories about that chef? I suddenly got interested with it.”
“You mean… about the other day when Jin-san was here, Gin-kun?”
After a bowl of rice, the three suddenly changed their way of addressing each other.
“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?”
“Wha- That’s ages ago…”
“Oh, have I ever told you what he’s called?”
“Um… I don’t think so.”
“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.
But not even the veterans in the hotel I used to work at knew him.”
“That name really is straight out of the 70s…”
“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.
Sadly, I can’t get a hold of those videos anymore. Just when I want you two to see how he makes dishes…
And it's because of the fact that you won't find people using tapes.”
I asked, “But one day he suddenly disappeared without further notice, right? I wonder what happened to him.”
I wonder what’s happening in home right now…”
But it somehow made him worse.
“Gin-kun, you really need to rest.”
▪ ▪ ▪
The same day; in Orio.
“Haaaaaahhhhhhhhh… I really hate summer…”
“Nagi… that’s a really long sigh.”
“Can’t help it, Shiro. I just want summer to end right now.”
“I hope you’re aware that it won’t happen anytime soon.”
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.
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.
And just like any other day, they’re both swinging fans at each other.
Shiro then attempted to inquire, “Any news about Akira?”
“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.”
“I guess he’s still busy or something.
What about the three in Japan?”
“Shiro, Ringo always message you, right?”
“Ah, I haven’t even opened my phone yet.
“Hm? What about Gin?”
“Ringo message me earlier saying that Gin is extremely homesick.”
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.”
“Say, Nagi. How do you usually spend your summer break?”
“…? 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.
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.”
“Wow, the beach…”
“In the end, we four didn’t even get the chance to hang out so it was a lonely four months.”
“I guess that goes for me too.”
But don’t you think that things have changed?” he spoke with motivation, trying to avoid bringing up Shiro's past.
“We probably spent our time last year all alone, but look… we’re together right now,” Nagi uttered nonchalantly.
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.
▪ ▪ ▪
Meanwhile, in Blue Ink High School.
“It’s not yet even a month but we’re already over this much progress. Although I expected it already, I’m still amazed.”
“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.
“Well, they are the ones that helped renovated the school last year, so they really are trustworthy people.”
“Of course, that’s because they’re my people that are currently disguised to keep our identities as Exiles safe.”
“Mr. Juushiro, please write your name and your signature here.”
Also known as “Tenth” and “Take.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thus, the Exiles remained apart from the identification as “humans of society” and continued to live independent from the world and its system.
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.
“Really, Mr. Principal… Can all this be done in just under two months? This plan is honestly… unreal.”
“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.
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.
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.”
“A new system?”
“A new system that I really hope that my students will appreciate.”
▪ ▪ ▪
Meanwhile, in Sector Xav, still in Cotona.
“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.
“Yeah, Mr. Officer. But you should be thanking Artecus instead of me because he’s the only one pulling me here.
But hey. You don’t see heists this big a lot of times, huh?”
“Well, Mr. Exile, let’s see how that mask and coat of yours manage to bounce off heavy artillery,” Juno Artecus speculated.
“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.”
“It’s quite ironic that a former assassin is aiding the police.”
“Yeah… I get what you mean.”
Detective Juno Artecus and the “masked guy” under the quasi identity of Makoto Koyanagi.
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.
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.
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.
A few years later, he regained all of his memories and atoned to his sins.
And at the confrontation of the Exiles to the world they once again exchanged fists and later on became partners in crime fighting.
“Wow, this is too easy… Come on! Make it fast and rake all the money you can from the vault!”
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…
“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.
“What the…? Is this some kind of a joke?! Who’s that masked person?!”
“Please…! I definitely need to withdraw otherwise I’ll force my way in~!”
“You idiots! Go to your position and ready to fire!”
“Oh, brother… I really wish not to break the glass, but oh well.”
He stepped back and ran towards the glass wall, breaking it leaving him unscathed as he enters the scene.
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.
The bullets hit again, and again, and again. But not a bullet pierced through him. Rather, they bounced off.
“What in the world is this?! Why is he not affected by the bullets?!”
“Ah, thank goodness my coat is finally shock resistant… Now, now…
Yo, Juno! They’re ten in total, you hear?! Let’s split five and five!”
The detective then made his way inside coming from the ceiling, landing on one of the criminals.
▪ ▪ ▪
Two days later, inside the underground base of the Exiles.
“Guys…! Has anyone of you seen Akira?!”
“Ah, Ken! He just left the base just now. He said that he’ll be on their house.”
“Man… That guy really runs like the wind. Wait, I wonder how Eiji’s doing in Japan right now.
Oh, Makoto. Did you just come back?”
“My head kind of hurts… I really have little to nothing tolerance in drinking.”
“Is the coat still fine?”
“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…
Still scary! But it’s as good as ever.”
“Thank goodness the shock resistance worked. We don’t want to have Gin’s case repeated again.”
“How about you, Ken? Are the tests doing well?”
“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.”
“Woah… You and Gin really are insane. He has an out of this world bone regeneration and you can… play dead?”
“Call me a shrimp whenever you like but don’t call me a dog!”
“But I didn’t.”
“Urk… My word.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
A fake funeral was held last December and he was introduced to the Exiles at the same day.
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.
Additionally, the mask and the coat that Makoto has were made from it.
▪ ▪ ▪
April 16, in Japan.
This has been the third morning and it is still the same as usual since Saturday.
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.
“Alright. I won’t wake you up today.
~ ~ ~
“Rin… Good morning. Yawn~”
“Good morning, Potato. Feeling better?”
“Not really… But my dream is a bit more different today.”
“But I guess it’s not really different from my other dreams since it looked like it was a memory.”
“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.”
“The door of my room opened and I saw a silhouette… Hmm… Let’s see…”
“Y-Yes… I’m still all ears…”
“By any chance, did you sneak up on my house at some point and kissed me on my forehead?”
“HE FREAKING HIT THE BULLSEYE!!!!!!!”
“J-J-Just so you know…! I didn’t do that anymore, okay?!”
“But… Will you still?”
Uhh…” I gave him a nod.
“But I’m well aware that we both set our own distances to each other… So I’m sorry for suddenly doing that.”
“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.
That goes for you too, Rin.”
I once again gave Gin a nod, but instead of being sad about it, I happily replied.
“We’re really just brats, huh? I really learned a lot of lesson when we broke up.”
“You know, what you just said could really be misleading, Rin. But that’s the truth. There’s nothing we can do about it.
But what’s more…”
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.
“…is that we came back to normal and I’m happy as it is.
Now I feel a little better.”
Yeah… after all, we’re a pair of chopsticks.”
Thus, the story continues.
And Gin still hasn’t recovered from his homesickness.
That wraps up 006!
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?
And it's night and I just released. ༎ຶ‿༎ຶ
Thanks for reading!
007: Jean Ando's reasons.