Chapter 10:

010 – Saying Farewells and Playing the Waiting Game

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

April 30.Bookmark here

Today is not technically our last day in this great country, but these last few hours will be the last time that we can enjoy ourselves.Bookmark here

This will be the last time that I will see this unique mist and the ambiance. This will be the last time that I will hear the 'silent' peacefulness. This will be the last time that I will feel…Bookmark here

…this naturally right temperature of water for a hot spring.Bookmark here

But the thing is, I am pretty much dumped in this hot spring for the week every day and I will probably plunge here later at night seeing that I am bathing under the covered daylight.Bookmark here

We clean the baths regularly, okay?Bookmark here

"Ahhhh~! Nothing beats the springs here! Thanks for having me today, Gin."Bookmark here

"We all deserve this, Jean. We're leaving tomorrow and all."Bookmark here

"Yeah. Quite the experiences. I'd say."Bookmark here

"I guess you'll definitely miss working, huh?"Bookmark here

"Yeah… The next time that I will probably ever get the same experience is when we're adults."Bookmark here

"But then, you've became a capable chef alright."Bookmark here

"I guess so."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

By the way, is Ai-san going to see us… see you off?"Bookmark here

"I don't know. We're both pretty much anxious with this and all. If ever things go well at any given time, we might even start dating with a distant relationship.Bookmark here

Sad as it may be, we have no choice for that."Bookmark here

"Well, you could visit her from time to time, right? You know, flying to these two countries isn't that much of a hassle compared to others.Bookmark here

It's almost like a domestic flight, I guess?"Bookmark here

"You have a point…"Bookmark here

"We're talking all about this and that, but I don't even know where the Hikari family will move to.Bookmark here

I'd presume that you know since you're the closest to her."Bookmark here

"I actually don't know myself. I guess that's because I've been avoiding asking that since it'll make things awkward for us."Bookmark here

"Knowing that they will also move out next month, you'll probably know soon."Bookmark here

"I really do hope that's the case."Bookmark here

With the clatter of the door and the splash of water sounding on the other side of the wall, our conversation came to a halt.Bookmark here

"Gin…! Have you finished packing already?"Bookmark here

"I'm almost done, but I'll take care of it later."Bookmark here

"Ah, Yuzuri-san said that she'll be here with the others in the afternoon to give us a send-off."Bookmark here

"You'll be here until dinner, right, Jean?"Bookmark here

"Yep. I've already finished my packing so I'm basically free."Bookmark here

"Oh, with the others… Shoot! Will that actually be okay for them, Rin?!"Bookmark here

"Yuzuri-san told me that it's okay and they got permission from the higher-ups."Bookmark here

"Wow, Anew has become lenient…"Bookmark here

"Ah. By the way, Gin. You just mentioned Anew… that's the company right in front of the resto, right?"Bookmark here

"Yeah."Bookmark here

"Listen… It's strange but I actually saw people from the Anew that looked like our Japanese classmates. You know, Yugare-san and company.Bookmark here

It would be strange if I asked them suddenly so I left them alone."Bookmark here

"Seriously? That's a really bizarre thing."Bookmark here

"Definitely bizarre."Bookmark here

"Well, I'm excited to meet Yuzuri-san's friends. Aren't you, Rin?"Bookmark here

"Of course I'm excited too," Rin blatantly winked as no one can see her.Bookmark here

"Ahhh… I'll definitely kick them out if they insist on making me drink."Bookmark here

"The legal age in this country is 20, right?"Bookmark here

"I think?. This isn't Orio."Bookmark here

"Wait… Sorry I just realized now. Is Kamichi-san working at Anew, Gin?"Bookmark here

"Took you a bit, huh. But she indeed works there. We might be able to see the people that look like our Japanese classmates. That is, if they are colleagues."Bookmark here

"Hmm… Not too far-fetched, I guess.Bookmark here

Ah, Gin, Ringo. Have you seen the announcement of Kyoko Animation already? Congratulations for that."Bookmark here

"We were in the middle of a call with Nagi and Shiro when the news came in. Dude, those two were really annoyed when Rin and I teased us. I'm sure that they already got a hint since we pretty much made it obvious."Bookmark here

"Oh, those two will definitely tackle you tomorrow. Hahahaha."Bookmark here

"You might still be in the cast, you know."Bookmark here

"Ah, right."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

Leaning on the stone, I titled my head up with a towel covering my eyes as the delicate heat of the water and mist travel down through my bones.Bookmark here

I let out a sigh dedicated to the soon to be ending adventure that we had.Bookmark here

"You've been awfully quiet for a while now, Gin."Bookmark here

"I guess…Bookmark here

In just less than 24 hours, we will be boarding in our flight to go back home. I'll sure miss this place."Bookmark here

"Same… Although I didn't get to do some excursion because of work, I'll definitely get unused to the different atmosphere that Orio has.Bookmark here

And…" Jean started whispering very weakly, "I will definitely miss Ai since I won't get to see her for an indefinite time."Bookmark here

It was finally the time for me to realize how I should be ultimately content with the relationship I have with Rin.Bookmark here

We are very close neighbors and I see her every day. A week of not seeing eye to eye is even considered very difficult between us. But here is Jean, left with a choice only to leave this country, but continue to progress her love to who he adoringly sees.Bookmark here

And the truth is… I am scared… extremely scared of the world we live in.Bookmark here

"What's up with what happened at the interview anyways? I didn't know that your grandfather is an amazing chef."Bookmark here

"Hahaha… Neither did I. But it turns out, he was actually a well-known chef in this country before he went to Orio. It was a long story, but I'm gladder that he had that life when he was still alive."Bookmark here

"Um… Just to be clear, your grandfather is Japanese, right?"Bookmark here

"My grandparents are in fact racially Japanese, and that makes my dad actually a non-Orion in blood. I guess that makes me a half?"Bookmark here

"Wohhh…Bookmark here

Hey, Ringo. Look at you, having a Japanese boyfriend. Hahahahaha…"Bookmark here

I butted as I whisper: "You couldn't be better asking out a real Japanese girl, you know."Bookmark here

"Yeah! It was really surprising but we will definitely have a day committed to explaining things to Nagi and Shiro."Bookmark here

She didn't hear what I teased at Jean considering her reply.Bookmark here

"Then there's Akira who hasn't shown his face to us after graduation."Bookmark here

"That reminds me, school will start at June, right?"Bookmark here

"Yep. Not August anymore. Jean."Bookmark here

"Hah! Thank the implementation of specific departments in our school!" Rin shouted from the other side.Bookmark here

"Really… Tenth pulled out a lot of strings to make that proposal happen since the strands are sort of generalized. It's a difficult system, but that being similar to college is a merit."Bookmark here

"Gin, Ringo… Can we please stop with the school talk now? I know I started it but I can't bother thinking of school right now."Bookmark here

"You say that, but we know you're excited that you're in the Culinary Arts department."Bookmark here

"Urk…"Bookmark here

I stood up with the water pouring down back to the spring and stepped out of it.Bookmark here

"I'll be going out first. Yuzuri-san said that they'll be here at dinner but I know that guys from Anew don't play around and they like to tease people."Bookmark here

"Uhh… you sound like you're just insulting them, Gin."Bookmark here

"It's the truth, though. Their job is similar to what R*LIFE does, right? I heard that they are good at setting up situations."Bookmark here

"Of course I would know that since I have been set up by Yugare-san once."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

The six of them came to the house at exactly 4 in the afternoon with plastic bags with them on hand.Bookmark here

They are all received by Rin as they removed their shoes and entered the house.Bookmark here

"Ah, Yuzuri-san. Welcome back."Bookmark here

"**It's been a while isn't it, Ringo-san?"Bookmark here

"**Hello, Akanami-san."Bookmark here

"**Akanami-san, good afternoon."Bookmark here

"**Where's Sakato-san anyways?"Bookmark here

"He's in the living room preparing the table. Also, Jean is here."Bookmark here

Little did they know that they are conversing in two languages.Bookmark here

"Oh, so Jin-san actually remained."Bookmark here

"Will that be a problem to the company, Yuzuri-san?"Bookmark here

"It won't be. As long as we do not tell Kaizo-kun's case, everything will be fine."Bookmark here

"I see. Well, we can't be standing here until then. Let's go to the living room."Bookmark here

"**Kamichi-san? Who is Jin-san? Do we know him?" Ayato confusedly asked as he scratches his cheek.Bookmark here

"**You know Jean Ando-san, right? He's your classmate last year at Blue Ink."Bookmark here

"**Oh. Now I remember being warned by Sakato-san because Ando-san works in Giotto's."Bookmark here

"**I look forward to see Ando-san's reaction."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

They caught Gin wiping the table as they enter the living room. Jean, on the other hand is in the kitchen, searching for something on the refrigerator.Bookmark here

"Yuzuri-san. You guys are early, huh?"Bookmark here

"**Pardon the intrusion."Bookmark here

"**Good afternoon, Sakato-san."Bookmark here

With their entrance, it was as if Jean coming to the living room was on queue and took a glance.Bookmark here

"Hey, Gin. I'll use the remaining eggs in the fridge o… kay…Bookmark here

…"Bookmark here

He immediately bowed and came back to the kitchen with the same nonchalant expression on his face.Bookmark here

"Sure, empty out the fridge if you want."Bookmark here

"Thanks."Bookmark here

"Those were the people that usually came to Giotto's, right? They do really look a lot like our classmates."Bookmark here

In the end, he didn't realize the fact.Bookmark here

"**I'll have to ask what you guys brought into this house.Bookmark here

**If that is alcohol you have in those bags, I will give you one minute either to throw them away or chug them all at once outside or else we will have you adults be kicked out."Bookmark here

"**Don't say it like that, Sakato-san. We just brought some food. Here, look," they all showed the contents of every plastic bag they brought.Bookmark here

"**Hmm… All safe I guess.Bookmark here

**Well, let's all have a seat, then."Bookmark here

"**Oh? Is Ando-san making something? I smell something nice," Ichika asked as she continuously sniffs in the smell.Bookmark here

"He asked if he can use all the eggs earlier. My final count was six, and my guess is that he will be making a giant scramble with his style of cooking." (Gin stopped talking in Japanese)Bookmark here

"Ahahaha… I remember him making that a lot when he was still under your supervision, Gin."Bookmark here

"He sure made a mess making a souffle. Haha.Bookmark here

Anyways, I understand that Yuzuri-san is here but why did you guys tagged along? Though, I get why Yugare-san is here.Bookmark here

Thanks for bringing food, by the way."Bookmark here

"**C'mon, Sakato-san. This is as much as we can do now since you will all be leaving this country. We can at least make a great memory at the last minute, right?"Bookmark here

"Geez, Kaminari-san. I can still feel the emission of the company's objectives from here. This isn't work."Bookmark here

"Oh, Kaminari-san, Itori-san. How are you two?" Rin asked with an unreadable smile.Bookmark here

"**Same as always, I guess."Bookmark here

"**It's as Ayato-kun said."Bookmark here

"Ah, right! Let's talk a bit about our lives, shall we? Of course, those that we can only share."Bookmark here

"Gin, you're suddenly enthusiastic."Bookmark here

"Let's begin starting from them. Is that okay?" inevitably, I looked at the people being talked about.Bookmark here

"**Hahh… Go ahead, Sakato-san."Bookmark here

"**As long as we can answer it."Bookmark here

"Let's see… How long are you two dating already?"Bookmark here

"**About six years now."Bookmark here

"**We met in this company and became friends because of our colleagues. He then suddenly asked me out but I declined at first."Bookmark here

I get that there's the stern behavior seen on Itori-san, but she's not really that good in telling stories, huh?Bookmark here

"**And then when she got a bit drunk at one time, she blurted out a lot of things that she hides. It's so uncharacteristic of her when she suddenly snapped and then let out in front of our colleagues.Bookmark here

Pfft…"Bookmark here

"**W-Wai- Don't tell them-"Bookmark here

"**Let me tell you what she said exactly: 'I'm always going doki doki when I'm around Kaminari-san…' Pfft…"Bookmark here

"Ahahahaha…! What was that all of a sudden?! I can't imagine Itori-san like that."Bookmark here

"Doki doki… Hahahahaha!"Bookmark here

"**It's embarrassing me, you two," Itori-san's default seriousness turned off with her face flushed as she pouted.Bookmark here

"Ahahaha-Bookmark here

Are you going two going to be married anytime soon?" I asked immediately after cutting off my laughter and slammed my hand to the table. As if a bomb, if I may.Bookmark here

Just when I asked that, entered Jean with a big plate on his hand, looking at me with such suspicious eyes.Bookmark here

"S-Should I get you water, Gin…? Did you get drunk?"Bookmark here

"Go sit down, Jean."Bookmark here

Such a rare sight was seen, Itori-san fidgeting with her eyes looking down and her face turning slightly red. Flustered.Bookmark here

Kaminari-san then stood up with his right fist shaking. His gaze suddenly turned to Jean and with such a serious expression, he gave a thumbs up and said:Bookmark here

"**Nice save, Ando-san…!"Bookmark here

"Did I do something?Bookmark here

Wait, I haven't introduced myself, have I?! My name is-"Bookmark here

"**There's no need for that, Ando-san, we all know you and you know us too," Kaizo stepped in to the conversation.Bookmark here

"Uhh… I don't understand. Have we met before?Bookmark here

I have my dumb suspicions, but it's so unreal to be true…"Bookmark here

"Jean, you're still thinking of what I told you earlier, aren't you?"Bookmark here

"No way that it's possible. Anyways, here's a giant scramble."Bookmark here

"**Oh, thank you, Ando-san."Bookmark here

"Now that Jean has settled down, I'll ask away again.Bookmark here

Yugare-san and Yuzuri-san, how long have you been in your relationship?"Bookmark here

After hearing my question, Jean suddenly flinched hard making his balance unstable.Bookmark here

"What's up, Jean?Bookmark here

Aside from the ceiling, of course."Bookmark here

"D-D-Did you just say 'Yugare,' Gin?!"Bookmark here

"Yes. That's because this is Yugare Ryou. There's nothing wrong about that, right?"Bookmark here

"N-No… There's got to be something wrong…Bookmark here

How is he…"Bookmark here

"**Ding! You finally caught up, Ando-san! Look, this is me, Mitsumi Ichika!" Ichika gracefully said as she grabbed Jean's collar without any ill intent.Bookmark here

"W-What?! So all of you are… so those guys at our class are actually working adults in their twenties?!"Bookmark here

"Mitsumi-san, what you're doing is harassment, you know."Bookmark here

She seems to be enjoying herself… too much so I had to say that knowing that people around me can get weird without drinking a drop of alcohol.Bookmark here

"**Ah. Sorry about that, Ando-san. I didn't mean anything from that."Bookmark here

"That's messed up…"Bookmark here

"Messed up? Do you mean the fact that there is a striking resemblance to R*LIFE's seemingly fictional system?"Bookmark here

"You just said a lot, Gin, but all of that is wrong," Jean then did a facepalm which we followed up with addition to what he said.Bookmark here

"What I can't believe is Yugare-san having such a beautiful girlfriend…"Bookmark here

"**Pfft… Ahahahahahaha! Hey, Yugare-san, he just said that it was messed up, my word! Ahahahaha…!"Bookmark here

All of us broke out of laughter aside from Ryou. What is more surprising is seeing Yuzuri-san plant her face on the table while slamming her hand on it, trembling in laughter.Bookmark here

"**Wow… I feel like all my teasing all came back to me."Bookmark here

"Jean's obviously joking, Yugare-san. Or at least that's what I think."Bookmark here

"**Hahh… I do hope that's the case.Bookmark here

**Going back to the question, we have been dating for five years."Bookmark here

"I see."Bookmark here

"**Then we will ask you back, Sakato-san. Though, I have a guess that it hasn't been that long, how long have you and Akanami-san been dating until now?"Bookmark here

"Hmm… is it seven months already, Potato?"Bookmark here

"At the 20th of this month. Yep, seven months."Bookmark here

"When you think about it, it hasn't been that long… but a lot of things happened, I guess?"Bookmark here

"That made it seem like a long time."Bookmark here

"**We better stop right here with the questioning. Others might get a bit out of place (like Ryuuya-san himself)."Bookmark here

"**What, Ryuuya-san? I'm available so why don't we go drinking after this?" Ichika cheerfully asked.Bookmark here

"**NO," and she was countered by a decline.Bookmark here

"**Aww…"Bookmark here

"**I just noticed, Sakato-san. Are you and Akanami-san living here?"Bookmark here

"I guess we did live here. Nagi and Shiro got so agitated in a call when they heard it from us."Bookmark here

"But Yuzuri-san is sometimes here seeing that she's the caretaker of the house. I'm sure that Yugare-san has tasted her food."Bookmark here

"**You're right, Akanami-san. Yuzuri is a good cook indeed."Bookmark here

"**How did Gin become a sous chef anyways? I already knew since I have been in their restaurant back in the South. And I recently saw his interview."Bookmark here

"It's not really that much of a story, Kaizo. Applying to Giotto's is however a bit difficult. Even if I am friends with the boss, he won't recognize it.Bookmark here

Ah, befriending with the boss was a long story, though. I've known them shortly before I became a cook."Bookmark here

"**Are you talking about that interview? Gin-kun, are you really Golden Knife's grandson?"Bookmark here

"I've lost count as to how many times I have been asked about that, but yes, I am his grandson."Bookmark here

"**Oh my… That was unexpected. Aptitude really runs through the blood."Bookmark here

"You're exaggerating, Yuzuri-san."Bookmark here

An hour passed brimming with chats and it was the time that we realized that they brought a lot of food that they can't finish even with our quantity.Bookmark here

This is where I come in as their savior.Bookmark here

"**I didn't expect Gin to have that big of an appetite…" Kaizo expressed, somehow in fear.Bookmark here

"That's just how Gin is."Bookmark here

"**No, you're plenty surprising too, Akanami-san. To keep up with him, that is."Bookmark here

"Eh?"Bookmark here

"**Are you sure you'll be okay, Gin?"Bookmark here

"There are two options, Kaizo. It's either I take this out tomorrow morning, or in the airplane."Bookmark here

"**Ah!" Ichika raised her hand. "**Seeing that you three will be leaving by tomorrow, tell us something that you mostly regret of not doing here in Japan.Bookmark here

**Let's start with Sakato-kun~"Bookmark here

"**Me? Hmm… I guess that's got to be not having to go outside, in general since I got sick."Bookmark here

"**He got homesick when I last came and apparently, it was so bad that he was physically affected.Bookmark here

**But then, I saw him lying down on the roof playing with a cat."Bookmark here

"**Wait, Yuzu? Is that even possible to climb the roof of this house?"Bookmark here

So that's how Yugare-san calls her, huh.Bookmark here

"**That's what got me surprised."Bookmark here

"**Then, next is Akanami-san~"Bookmark here

"If I have to say… It's probably not being able to take a tour in at least one high school."Bookmark here

"Ah, yeah. But the sakura made up for it, at least," I had to add.Bookmark here

"**I wonder how Sakato-kun will look with a high school uniform."Bookmark here

"Mitsumi-san… you've seen us in a high school uniform for a school year.Bookmark here

Oh, wait. Dumb me. I only wore my blazer as my uniform when winter started since my other uniforms didn't fit me."Bookmark here

"**It's still a mystery as to how you suddenly grew that tall just by taking a leave of absence for a week."Bookmark here

"Correction, Kaizo. It was two years."Bookmark here

"**Enough of that. It's Ando-san's turn now~!"Bookmark here

"I think it's mostly not getting to spend my time out from work. I chose to do this, but I mostly regretted it recently. A lot of things happened and all.Bookmark here

But there is one thing that I do not regret!"Bookmark here

"**Ohh… What is it? What is it?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Sorry, can't tell."Bookmark here

However, it is probably only me that knows what he does not regret. Jean has finally steeled himself and decided to move forward along with his feelings.Bookmark here

As a friend, I really respect him for the things that we do not have the wisdom, but he had.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"**I guess this will be the last time that we will see each and every one, Sakato-san."Bookmark here

"We don't know, Yugare-san. Maybe I will be here again at some point in time."Bookmark here

"Thanks for coming, though. It was nice to have a reunion with a few classmates."Bookmark here

"**This is the least that we can do, Akanami-san. It's good to know that you all had fun."Bookmark here

"**Well then, we will head out now."Bookmark here

"**This will be where we will say our farewells, then."Bookmark here

"**Have a safe trip tomorrow."Bookmark here

"Hahahaha. Bye then.Bookmark here

Let's all meet again somewhere."Bookmark here

And thus, the people of Anew left at the nineteenth hour in the night.Bookmark here

"You're going to leave now, Jean?"Bookmark here

"I need to. I may not be able to sleep because I will probably think about-Bookmark here

Yeah, I have to go."Bookmark here

"I almost slipped. I forgot Ringo is here too."Bookmark here

"Well, tomorrow at Giotto's, right?"Bookmark here

"Right, Jean."Bookmark here

"Alright, see you tomorrow."Bookmark here

"Back at you."Bookmark here

"Later, Jean!"Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Finally, the day of our departure.Bookmark here

"Rin. Wakey wakey."Bookmark here

"Ugh… What time is it, Potato…?"Bookmark here

"It's almost five. I just woke up too. Our call time at Giotto's is at six. We can't afford to miss our flight."Bookmark here

"Mhm…"Bookmark here

The cups of coffee were then made and a sudden request from Rin arose.Bookmark here

"Hey, Potato. Lift me up to the roof. Let's drink our coffee there."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

How will I cover our cups, though… I'll think about that later. Let's have you hold these blankets up top.Bookmark here

Alright, up… we go…!"Bookmark here

While carrying Rin carefully on my arms, I leaped with grace up to the unusual height of the tiled roof.Bookmark here

"Thank you, Gin."Bookmark here

"Be right back. I'll bring our mugs with me.Bookmark here

Be careful up there."Bookmark here

After a few minutes, I managed to improvise a way for the coffee to not spill in the middle of elevation.Bookmark here

"Here's your blanket, Gin. It's pretty chilly here."Bookmark here

It was never regrettable that we decided to just sit on the roof as the sun started to rise behind the cotton clouds that scattered everywhere.Bookmark here

"Your idea of coming to the roof is great."Bookmark here

"This is our first and last time to see the sunrise, I guess."Bookmark here

"I like this scenery, though. Left pocket…Bookmark here

I'll be borrowing this, Rin."Bookmark here

I brought out Rin's camera from my pocket and aimed at the sun as the lens slowly focused.Bookmark here

"Oh. That was a nice shot."Bookmark here

"That's the memory card that we mostly use, right? Let's look at the pictures we've taken, Gin."Bookmark here

"Haha. This is quite a lot."Bookmark here

The set of pictures started from the time we had a date.Bookmark here

"I wish I could go back there again."Bookmark here

"Me too."Bookmark here

As we search through the pictures, we finally stumbled upon a different picture.Bookmark here

"Rin. Can you explain why there's a picture of me sleeping when I was a bit bedridden?"Bookmark here

"Your sleeping face at that picture is just cute so I had to take it."Bookmark here

"I appreciate it. I'll borrow the memory card soon then."Bookmark here

The following photos were just random pictures of things or pictures of us that were taken out of boredom.Bookmark here

"Rin, I think this is the prime of the sunrise now."Bookmark here

"Wahh… The sky is so beautiful."Bookmark here

"Excuse me…"Bookmark here

I stood up with my camera on hand and placed it on a level part of the roof where the lens can still catch both of us in a frame. I sat back on the same spot and stared at the sky.Bookmark here

"Gin?"Bookmark here

"I wonder if this picture will look good. Look at the sky, Rin. The camera is on self-timer."Bookmark here

The shot was taken and the image turned out to display the silhouette of half of our body while we look at the perfectly caught scene of the sun as it overlapped to the small and scattered clouds.Bookmark here

"I love this shot, Gin."Bookmark here

"Me too…"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I can't believe that it's time for us to leave this country."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

After a few minutes of walking, we arrived at the restaurant with Hiro, Sean, Ryuu, the rest of the southern crew, Jean and Ito-san. In front of the building is a van that we will use to travel to the airport.Bookmark here

"Yo, Driver-san. Good morning."Bookmark here

"Man. You guys are already leaving and all. I think we will feel quite lonely after this."Bookmark here

"The same goes for us too, you know."Bookmark here

"Why do Gin and Ringo always arrive last?"Bookmark here

"Because we're the main characters."Bookmark here

"Now that we are all here, let's finally head out to the airport!"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

We all safely arrived at the airport after around half an hour of traveling with earphones stuck in our left and right ears.Bookmark here

Everything got sorted quickly and all we have to do is wait for our departure time. And suddenly, Jean stood up from his seat.Bookmark here

"Guys… I'll just head out for a bit. Please look out for my things."Bookmark here

"Yeah, sure. Go ahe-Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Actually, I'll go follow Jean. I'll be right back."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Hm? Where is Gin going to, Ms. Ringo?"Bookmark here

Hiro found Rin sitting alone with bags around her.Bookmark here

"I… don't even know…"Bookmark here

On the far distance, Jean managed to see Ai standing there, looking around. He ran to where she was and I separately hid somewhere as I followed him.Bookmark here

"Ah. Shouldn't eavesdrop."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"H-Hey, Ai… Good m-morning. Are you going to see us all off?"Bookmark here

"No. Only you."Bookmark here

"Only… me…"Bookmark here

"Ahh… This is kind of awkward…"Bookmark here

Jean took Ai's right hand and held it tightly with his hands with the feeling of a hinting sadness.Bookmark here

"Ai… we are leaving the country, yes. But that doesn't mean that we won't get to see each other again, okay?Bookmark here

I also promised your parents that I will keep this up to the end. I do hope that this won't take years… so I will try my best to visit from time to time."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Mhm."Bookmark here

"You know… I really do think that I will regret everything if I don't say this so just before we leave…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

I love you, Hikari Ai."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I guess we really haven't said it directly when the moon was up, but…Bookmark here

Me too. I love you too, Jin."Bookmark here

It was with a smile. A smile filled with joy and not even the slightest hint of sadness was seen. It was a smile of bliss and happiness that pierced through the heart of the man in front of her.Bookmark here

It was Ai's. And it was unconcealable for the young man to avoid the gloom and sadness as it slowly showed on his expressions.Bookmark here

"Ai… I swear… I promise that we will see each other again. I will make sure that it will happen… as soon as I can. I want to be with you, so I won't fail you, Ai.Bookmark here

I will… I will also have you to be able to eat the food you like and we will have a laugh…Bookmark here

You know… I also hope that we can go out on dates… at some point in time."Bookmark here

Ai lowered the folded arms of Jean and took grasp of the young man's hands with ease and gentleness, but with an unwavering grip.Bookmark here

"In the future, I… I will definitely look forward to that.Bookmark here

And Jin, I will surely wai-Bookmark here

I will have to expect you to visit us a lot, okay?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Ahahaha. I really can't promise that, you know. But I will try my best."Bookmark here

"It's almost time for your flight. Jin, I wish for your safety."Bookmark here

"Yeah… I'll have to go… for now."Bookmark here

A few meters away from the two…Bookmark here

"Hehhh… I wonder what happened just now for those two…Bookmark here

Oh, well. I better go back now before Jean catches me."Bookmark here

"It was probably just some cheesy line, Sakato-san."Bookmark here

"What can I say? Rin and I are also guilty of that.Bookmark here

…"Bookmark here

Suddenly, Hikari Haru was already at the spot I am currently hiding.Bookmark here

"H-Haru-san?!Bookmark here

Wait, you just spoke our language didn't you?"Bookmark here

"Our family is quite fluent now, just like how you are used to our language. Sakato-san."Bookmark here

"Ohhh. I kind of wonder why you two didn't use that at work.Bookmark here

Oh, I'll have to get going now. Your little sister might be waiting for you."Bookmark here

"Take care, Sakato-san. Have a safe flight."Bookmark here

Truly, it was a very eventful month. We were full of excitement, yes. But there are a lot of things that we did not totally expect. Learning new things, interacting with other people and living with them in the same land. It was only for a month, but we really felt the colors and life of the land of the rising sun.Bookmark here

Japan is a country which I will never forget.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Around three hours later.Bookmark here

"My word. I haven't seen this house for a while.Bookmark here

And it's so hot…!"Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah… we were surely used to the weather of Japan that we kind of forgot about this."Bookmark here

"I'm sure that Nagi is laughing at me right now…"Bookmark here

Nagi sneezed somewhere.Bookmark here

"I'll be going next door, then. I'm sure that they will be surprised that we're already here."Bookmark here

"Have a good rest, Rin.Bookmark here

And I have a favor to apprehend Uncle Shuu if he tries to tell my family that we're here. I'll meet them later."Bookmark here

"I will make sure to keep him quiet."Bookmark here

"Thanks."Bookmark here

I am finally back in Orio, in my own place.Bookmark here

"Home sweet home."

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That concludes 010!Bookmark here

With this, the Kyoto arc is finished. For a few announcements, for every ten chapters I will be skipping one release day until the next. On the other hand, (also) in every ten chapters, the cover will update corresponding to the context of the previous ten chapters.Bookmark here

10 chapters done, [removed] to go.Bookmark here

Thanks for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

011: Tadaima.Bookmark here

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