Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
I’ll ask one random question:
How does one wake up at 2 in the afternoon when he or she slept at 10 last night?
“Wh… Wha… How…
Rin… WAKE UP!!!!! WE FREAKING SLEPT LIKE A LOG!!!!”
“H-Huh?! What?! What time is it?! Is it 11 already?!”
“That’s too early…! It’s already 2!”
What a great (start) to the day.
~ ~ ~
If one does truly wake up at the said time… does his or her first meal be called breakfast? Lunch? Or Brunch? Or is it already time for merienda?
“Potato… I think we just made a new definition of meal…”
“The only problem is that we do not have a name for it.”
“We will be going home at the 1st of May, right?”
“I think it’s a morning flight. Though, why ask, Rin?”
“I’m honestly kind of forgetting a lot of things… like I’m starting to forget that we are Orions…”
“Ah, I get what you mean. I guess that’s what we get with living in this country.
This yakisoba is good, though.”
“It’s worth the delivery, I guess.”
“Hmm… I wonder if I have the shopping list on my phon- What the…” what lit up upon opening my phone are 18 missed calls from Sean.
“That’s a lot of calls…”
“I better call back.
Hello, Sean? Sorry, we woke up just now that’s why I did not answer your calls.”
“It’s okay. I just want to tell you that in four days, we’ll need your help again at the resto.
Wait, you just woke up?”
“Wow, that’s the exact opposite of what happened two days ago with Hiro. What’s up, though? Reservations again?”
“No reservations scheduled on the 23rd, but something special.”
“Since you are from the southern branch—the first branch and you are the most fluent in our Orion crew, we’ll definitely need you.
And Ms. Akanami will be in the kitchen as usual.”
“Are there some kind of event that will happen there?”
"Hmm… Sort of.
There's an international culinary and food channel in YouCube that will cover the restaurant.
And the ones taking charge are the Japan-based crew of their channel."
"Wow. Giotto's got popular, huh? You're claiming that I'm the most fluent in the northern language which is true, I suppose. What, am I going to be interviewed?"
"Yup. Something like that."
"Ehhh… Why should I be the one interviewed when there's Ito-san and his team?"
"Well, it's better to have someone with the most experience in the Giotto's way of running and besides, you're our sous chef that just so happened to study Nihongo."
"Hmmm… Fairly reasonable. Alright, we'll come on Monday and I'll try to get my nerves out of the way."
"Plenty grateful, Gin."
"I heard some kind of interview, Gin. What was that?"
"I apparently will be interviewed by some channel from YouCube on Monday.
Oh, just in time. Sean sent me the link of the channel."
"Ohhh… I think I've seen that channel maybe once or twice."
"I have watched some of their videos so I kind of get what might happen.
It could be a restaurant overview, or a price point comparison video. Ugh, it's hard to explain."
"Something like comparing an affordable ramen to an expensive one, I guess?"
"Along those lines.
Well, I better get practicing if ever I'll need to demo in front of their lenses. You too, Rin. We don't know… you might be the main demonstrator. Just saying."
"Nah. That will probably be Hiroomi. But I kinda want to be on a B-roll, though… Hehehe.
Anyways, let's go shopping first."
▪ ▪ ▪
Four days later…
The restaurant is still quiet as it opened at the ninth hour. The customer density is surprisingly quite low due to the one-day policy of only reservations for this day.
"Good morning, you two. Quite early I'd say." Sean greeted us.
"At least let us help in the kitchen when we still have time.
Where's Jean, by the way?"
"Jean… There's something that he'd want to talk with you alone. He's on the staff room."
"Oh…? I wonder what's up."
"Then I'll be going ahead in the kitchen. Take your time, Gin."
"Morning, Jean. I heard from Sean that you need me for something."
"Morning. I just have something to talk about."
"Right. I'm all ears."
Normal in Parenthesis, Chapter 27."
He pulled off and said those with a very serious face while his hands are clasped together under his chin. This might be the first time I have seen someone breaking the fourth wall so seriously.
But as much as it does not make sense at first, it did make one.
"You're referring to… uhh… what should I call it… I guess the prequel?"
"Chapter 27… That was when you ask me to be my student. Surely, you're not that bothered with your future with everything that is happening."
"I have no reason to turn back, now that I'm helping out in this branch after all."
"I guess you aren't that fired up now?"
"It was like a one-time deal."
"Hmm… Let's see… There's that one where I just paraphrased but it pretty much applied to me… No. I think that's not it."
"If what I'm thinking is the same as yours, that's probably it."
"Meet a woman that you definitely want to give the food you want to make for her."
"Yeah, it's obvious that I paraphrased it and I have already read the chapter 1 of Food W*rs since second year.
But w-wow… I didn't know at all…
"Ai? You mean, Hikari Ai-san?"
He gave a clear nod with a slightly rose red face. His hands tightly grabbed on his knees with his eyes closed.
"This is one of the times where I seriously can't read you."
"I'm not asking for an advice or anything. You've said it many times that one should not rush things when it comes to this topic so that's what I'm going to follow."
"Ah, yeah. I may sound like a hypocrite, but I'm reflecting on it."
※ He and Rin started dating in an impulse.
"And besides… I was so nervous when I talked to her parents about it…"
"Oh, that makes sense, of course-
He gave silence as his answer while his eyes roll everywhere.
"Then that means… your feelings are mutual?"
I guess you could say it like that. Though, I haven't even told that I like her directly and neither does she."
"Huhhh… I wonder how did your romance even started…"
"You really want me to tell you?"
"Hey, I'm just mumbling out and about. But go ahead if you want to tell me."
"Hahh… I guess I will.
Remember how I took overtime for a bit? Ai suddenly became my taste tester for reasons that I don't really recall, but that was the time where we both got to know each other and we became very close because of that."
"I just realized… No honorifics, huh."
"I presume that you even told her about your brother?"
"Yeah. And then, when we visited you when you were sick, Ringo showed us the terrace of your current place. The moon was so visible at that time so I kind of blurted out the clichéd phrase.
I didn't expect her to reply though."
"W-Wait. I get the poetry of your confession but you said that you've met Ai-san's parents?"
"It happened after Kyoko Animation's. It was unplanned and I accompanied Ai home because her sister set us up.
And everything just happened like that. So, the courtship started."
"Courtship, huh. Pretty rare for us Orions to do in modern times."
"You sound like an old man again."
"What I'm saying is I didn't even court Rin or her parents and you decided to take it slowly. Clearly, you've accomplished something I have not.
But then, I understand that the relationship you wish for might not be easy."
"Yeah… We're going home soon and they will move out and all. But I promised her parents that I won't fail them."
"But hey, now you've become a better chef for Ai-san. You have my full support."
"Thanks. But please don't tell Ringo if ever you will. Maybe when we get home, you could."
"Alright, I'll keep it a secret for the time being. Let's go to the kitchen, though. I also need to prepare for the interview."
"One last thing, Gin."
"Can Detective Artecus look at my brother's case?"
"Sure, I'll try contacting him soon or via Makoto. That'll make our I.O.U. equal."
~ ~ ~
Half an hour after, the people from the channel came down to the restaurant with rather expensive equipment at their disposal.
Cameras, mics, lights, you name it.
They are a group of seven people and it seems that two of them are going to be the hosts. I was advised to meet them at the on-cam interview itself as it will make the interview flow naturally without having restrictions or artificiality.
While the other customers are still eating, the setup got finished in no time.
And so, the standing interview started with the cameras rolling.
"**Hi, my name is Sakato Gin, the sous chef of the southern branch of Giotto's in Orio.
**We will be serving you today three of our dishes in the menu namely: Mala Ramen, Shrimp Meatball Ravioli on Shrimp Sauce and a native Orion dish, Vicol Express."
"**Ohh… those sound very appetizing. Can we take a look at the kitchen?"
"**Yes, of course. We will see the process of the making of the three dishes. Let's head in."
"**Our Mala Ramen's spiciness is like being very emphasized on its thick soup with the addition of various spices and our original Mala sauce that gives off the numbing spice it emits upon serving.
**The dough of the ravioli on the other hand is quite sensitive as it needs attention to the process of making the pasta. Pardon me as I will assist in making the pasta and and show it to the viewers.
**It is also necessary to make the dough and the filling at the same time. Shrimp shells and heads are boiled with salt, onion, peppercorn, celery and bay leaf while the meat is made separately to form a meatball.
**The shrimp meatballs are then filled in the dough that is then boiled as it maintains peak freshness. The stock on the other hand is used for the sauce which brings out the flavor of the seas to the dish.
**Lastly, our type of Vicol Express is quite different… or improvised since we do not want to leave wastes and so we remove the fatty parts of the pork. Coconut milk is the main base of Vicol Express added with any kind of chili as long as it has a decent level of Scoville."
We got a little time for rest as the two hosts are savoring the served dishes in the dining room along with the technical crew behind the scenes. It is only a matter of time before the real interview starts.
"**So, Chef Gin. Firstly, you look quite young being the chef you are."
"**Ahahaha… That's true. I started working as a chef last year and now I am turning 19 this year."
"**18 years old. That's quite an amazing feat to be a sous chef at your age."
"**Then, what made you become a chef at your age?"
"**My story of entering the culinary world is quite… accidental. I paused from studying when I was fifteen and dedicated exactly two years on building up with what I have now.
**I was always in the kitchen most of the time every day while I learned on my own. But then, I have given the chance to apply what I have learned in those two years that leads to who I am right now."
"**Do you have any advice to the aspiring chefs out there?"
"Can they please not ask me with things that I didn't expect?"
"**Well… I wouldn't really call it an advice seeing that I still have plenty to learn. But what I can say is that cooking is a vast horizon of unknown things. Whenever I am cooking, I am always being uplifted knowing that I serve what I make to the customers, to my loved ones, and to myself.
**Those things bring me joy and it also makes the everyday cooking very thrilling and enjoyable.
**I was also inspired by the Gold Knife. Although I haven't watched any of his shows, his words struck me with inspiration."
"**Oh, now that we are in the topic, Sakato-san.
**Are you somehow related to one of the greatest chefs of the country?"
Finally, they got my full attention and the uninterested feeling I had completely dusted away.
"**The chef that was once one of the flagships of Japan, the Gold Knife known with his real name—
What…" is the only word that I got to utter, hearing the words that my ears refused to believe.
"**C-Can we continue this later if that's okay…? I think that I need a little break."
"**Let's cut that part out. We'll have a short break."
~ ~ ~
A few minutes later, I found myself on the staff room, lying on the couch with the same position of my arm when I was suffering from homesickness.
The door opened slowly, showing only a small and narrow opening.
"Gin…? Are you awake?" Rin peeked through the opening of the door.
"Come in, Rin. Just the right timing… I really want to be accompanied by someone."
"I heard that you asked for a break. Did something happen in the interview?"
While we were talking inside the break room, Jean noticed the silence.
"The door of the staff room is open. Might as well check up on Gin."
"Boss, I'll just check Gin out."
About to grab the doorknob, Jean stepped on his brakes hearing the voice of Gin and Rin. He stood near the slightly opened door and listened to the conversation.
"Something happened… yeah. I just discovered in the interview that my grandfather, Kinrou is Gold Knife."
D-Do you mean, what Yuzuri-san was talking about?"
"That… yes. Hearing that made me happy and sad at the same time."
"I'm just sad that I didn't even get to know that my grandfather is that great of a chef when he was still alive, but I'm still glad that he is still my inspiration even when he's gone.
All those times that he fed me with what he made… he was the first person to bring my emotions back in my childhood through his passionate cooking. You know, he's also the first person that made me cry after so long… that, when he died."
She went right beside me as she sat on the floor right before my face and stroked my hair slowly with a sad, but enlightening smile.
"I really ought to ask you for bedtime stories, huh?"
"Ahahaha… Right back at me, I guess. There are things about me that I don't even know."
"Are you going to cry?"
Of course I won't. I'll save the drama once we're back in the homeland."
"Are you good now? They're probably waiting for you."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll come out now."
Hearing that, Jean walked away from the door of the staff room and continued working at the kitchen.
"Nah. I didn't check up on him. Ringo's just amazing."
~ ~ ~
"**Alright. Camera, rolling!"
"**So, Chef Gin. Are you by any chance related to the Gold Knife—in the name of Sakato Kinrou?"
**I'll be honest. I have just recently heard of Gold Knife as he is considered a legend in this country. Although I have not watched his shows, as I have said earlier, one quote struck me that made me remember the exact quote of someone I know.
**Just now, it shocked me that Gold Knife and Sakato Kinrou's name suddenly connected, and that I just discovered that my grandfather is actually him."
"Ah. Now I'm just realizing it. Do my parents know this and more so…
Does that mean that I am Japanese in blood?!"
"**So you are the grandson of Gold Knife?"
"**Hahahaha. I am the grandson of Sakato Kinrou, and I just discovered that I'm also the grandson of Gold Knife."
"**You may have heard, Sakato-san, that Gold Knife disappeared at such young age later after being married. Thus, his existence to the culinary world was only known by few people.
**Could that mean that he suddenly flew to Orio and continued his life there?"
"**Honestly, I have no idea of his past life because he himself did not tell us. But it's probable that he moved to Orio though, for unknown reasons."
"**Can you tell us about him briefly?"
"**I guess all I can tell is that he lived a humble life without setting up business in Orio. Moreover, lived life with my family.
**And as sad as it is, he passed away eigh- six years ago."
"**Is that so…
**Well, thank you very much for giving us your time, Chef Gin."
"**I thank you all too."
▪ ▪ ▪
Another four days passed after the interview.
Life continued normally as I slowly make the fact sink in to me. Nothing out of the ordinary happened which led to slightly boring days in the place we currently live in.
However, some news came in the middle of the morning.
“You really should have brought your laptop with you, Gin.”
“I never really thought of anything that I will use it for, okay? But at least there’s a PC in this place so I can check that email.
That is, if I can remember my password.”
“Sweet, I got in.”
“What does it say?”
“Hmm… Ah, it’s just an email saying that the video has been published to YouCube. Oh, just two hours ago.”
We watched the video link attachment which lasts a duration of eleven minutes.
“The Giotto’s of Japan and Gold Knife | We Visit Ep. 8,” is what the title of the video says.
“Thank goodness I wasn’t in the thumbnail…”
“You look cool on the introduction, though.”
Oh, hey. That’s you right there, Rin. You were at the frame and the camera is even focused at you.”
It was only for a few seconds, but she was seen on the demonstration of the dishes served to them along with few B-roll footage.
“I feel embarrassed…”
“Haven’t seen the views… Where…
Woah! 436K views… That’s insane.”
“Let’s look at the comments.”
“’**Ate at that resto. Worth it!’”
“’**That guy’s a sous chef? Wow!’”
“’**Who is Gold Knife? First time hearing the name.’”
And the last comment that caught our attention wasn’t in Japanese.
“’wut? wth is Gin doing in this channel'” commented by “Cookiewithciocco.”
“Umm… I think I know who’s behind that username…” Rin suspected.
“Well, it’s bound to happen that someone I know will find this video.”
“Gin… you don’t know?”
“Don’t know what?”
“That’s Akira commenting.”
“Wait, what?! That’s Akira?!”
“It’s rare for Dad to message me. And with an attachment?”
The attachment is an image with the name: Pls_Read.jpg with the message itself saying: “Got this an hour ago. I scanned it so you can read it.”
“Scanned? A document, I guess?”
The image was opened and it is indeed a paper that was scanned. It was however not a document but something handwritten.
It is a letter.
“March 12, 2012. Six years ago…”
I’m writing this letter as I know that I don’t have that much time left. I don’t know how this will be sent to you as I entrusted this to a relative from the North.
Son, this letter contains the things I have not told you and I am very sorry for not telling you. The truth is, your mother and I came from Japan as we are pure Japanese in blood, including you. When I was around the age of twenties I was considered as a master chef and did some shows in the North. I was known as ‘Gold Knife’ back then.
A year after I got married to your mother, I escaped Japan because I needed some time and place to breathe. My disappearance in Japan was due to an accident that happened that took away my brother’s life, and I blamed myself for my brother’s death.
I left a gas tank opened in his apartment when I went out merely to buy ingredients as I volunteered to have a meal with him. But when I got back, the vicinity is closed by barricades, and firefighters are hosing the apartment that he once lived at.
Later I knew that the cause of the destruction was because of an explosion which was the cause of a left opened gas tank.
I soon left the country and moved here for good. But it was a bitter beginning of a new life. For seven years, I never touched a knife and never went near a stove. I was extremely traumatized by what happened to my brother that it took me a while to stand on my feet again.
Later on, I decided to work on a restaurant knowing the risks that I might get cold feet. The experience in that restaurant is very far from the luxurious cooking that I used to do. But the dishes they served are simple and I applied what I have learned as a chef.
I slowly regained my touch in cooking until I became capable of confidently cooking again. I was touched to see how the customers react and also to how you and my wife enjoyed what I make.
And then my second grandson was born and was led to a cruel experience when he was five. I have to admit, I regret agreeing to the terms, only to know that the learning center was just a deception.
If only you knew how happy I was seeing Gin smile for the first time in years because of my cooking. It’s sad that he didn’t get to meet Eijiro. They were both very alike in ways but I guess that will never happen as he is already in his grave now for nearly eleven years.
But I guess I will be following him.
Truly, my age got in the way of the life that we have right now, but I am happy to say that I will leave without having any regrets.
So long, and I love you, son.
“Gramps, you really make long letters, huh? Y-You… You’re making me cry, you know…”
I received a warm embrace from Rin as tears slowly rolled down to my cheeks.
“I wish I met your grandfather, Gin…”
“Let’s do that… Let’s go together to visit his grave, okay?”
~ ~ ~
A few hours later, Nagi and Shiro called us through a video call.
“It’s been a while, Nagi, Shiro.”
“I suppose you’ve heard of what happened?”
“Totally, Gin. Akira hit us up in the chat that you were interviewed by people from a YouCube channel.”
“And look at you, having a grandfather which actually was a master chef?”
“I’m surprised too, okay?”
“Also, we’ve heard from Jean himself that he is doing well. I wonder what’s up with him.”
“Shiro, he said ‘really well.’”
“Ah, yeah. Really well.”
“The ‘really well’ is precisely true. He’s been doing great at work recently. Seriously, he’s all fired up.
Wait, now that I think about it, today’s the last day of work for the southern crew.”
“Ah, yes. Today’s Friday so…”
“Oh… you only have four days remaining there, right?”
“Actually, we’re leaving early on Monday so we’ll be back around morning. I guess it’s more than three days but not four days.”
“Ha. Didn’t get to escape summer. Too bad for you two,” Nagi vaguely insulted.
“We should be asking if you’re still okay, you know…”
As we are in the middle of the conversation, Rin suddenly jumped off of her seat.
“Gin…! Look! The announcement is finally here!”
“Seriously?! That was fast! Where did you find the announcement?”
“It’s on Witter.”
“Oh, shoot… This is insane!”
“Hey, you two! You’re not filling us out again!”
“Just look for Kyoko Animation’s Witter profile and you’ll see that there’s news about something.”
“Wait, we can’t even understand this! You expect us to use not so reliable translating apps?”
“Okay, right… Just don’t leave that page and I’ll say it out loud.”
“'New project greenlit.
Original animation brought to you by Kyoko Animation.'
‘We are connected by our existence itself…’
'Silver Apple (written in English); a romantic comedy that will come to you soon in Spring 2019!'”
“Oh, Nagi. There’s also a poster of it posted.”
The poster contained two characters—a man on the left and a woman on the right which are looking at each other from the distance with a smile. The background contains a sun coming down to the horizon.
“Wow, the art is really good.”
“Look, Nagi! What a coincidence! Do the two in the poster look like Gin and Ringo?”
“Y-Yeah… Now that I look at it, they’re quite alike.”
“Wait… The title is ‘Silver Apple…’ That’s like a coincidence too, Nagi.”
“Pfft… Ahahahahaha! You two really are clinging to coincidences.”
“That’s so like you, hahahaha.”
“Well! It certainly is very coincidental it’s hard to believe!”
“Ahahahaha… It really is hard to believe, yeah.”
“It’s so hard to believe that even the length of the girl’s hair is the same as mine.”
“You’re right. The eyes of the guy are also really black and had the same hairstyle as what I have.”
I just can’t shake off the feeling that you two are implying something.”
“There might also be a possibility where the names of the characters are relatively close to ours.”
“And maybe the guy is also a sous chef of a certain restaurant just like me.”
“SERIOUSLY, WHAT IN THE UPSIDE DOWN WORLD IS HAPPENING?!”
“I wonder?” we wryly asked both at the same time.
“Ugh…! It’s hard to believe that you two are anime characters now!”
We’ll just see you when you’re finally back at home!”
And so, the call ended.
That does it for 009!
That's case closed, and so this arc will soon reach its conclusion and head on to a new part!
Thank you for reading!
010: So long, Land of the Rising Sun.