Chapter 12:

012 – A Day in the Life of the Silver Apple

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

Surely it is weird for me to think that our month-long stay in Japan still felt like it was yesterday, although it has already been two weeks since then. Time flies fast, and it does not at the same time.Bookmark here

I guess my way of thinking just sums up to me being weird, generally.Bookmark here

But of course, there's no way I can shrug off this normal coming days as I move around partly with a life-accidental but essential routine every single day.Bookmark here

In such a way, my life is not always different. But I know that at least one will surely counter those hypocritical words. That, I am guilty of.Bookmark here

Perhaps others would say that my life is different, or maybe with a more upgraded approach—some might call me a "riajuu."Bookmark here

Well, it certainly looked that way and I won't deny that in face value, it's unavoidable to be called by that, though superficial, in reality.Bookmark here

I live partly independent in a house which does look premium at first glance. I work at a decently popular restaurant as a sous chef. I also have a lover that I can see pretty much everyday and have a time with her.Bookmark here

That does certainly looks like a life of a riajuu. And I feel that I have no rights to tell you that you are wrong. Those resulting situations however were not caused by some kind of trick where for instance, snapping a finger and money falls onto your hands.Bookmark here

That was never the case. All of those were done through acts of trials and hardships that were triggered from the past. There is a reason. We fight through those trials and pain, face them head on, and move forward with it as we dub ourselves victors.Bookmark here

I hope that it helped the lengthy utterance that I have been uttering. Contrary to the belief that I have such a luxurious life as some kind of a bourgeoisie…Bookmark here

…it already pains me that turning my AC on every night will surely skyrocket my electric bill up.Bookmark here

Doh. That's a pretty trashy way of ending my statements, indeed. But I have a feeling this might turn into a half-baked concept paper if I don't stop now.Bookmark here

To summarize, humans struggle.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪ Bookmark here

It is safe to say that I woke up in a very rare sight in the morning. No, it was not waking up with some other person drooling on my pillow.Bookmark here

For the past eight months of being this guy's companion, I woke up for the first time with Haku sleeping on my belly. I really don't get what's up with this cat. It is however a spectacle to see him lift up and down while I breathe.Bookmark here

But seriously, this cat is just as weird as I can be. He doesn't particularly like those common approaches you do with animals to make them look cute so I will clarify this at once: Haku is not a, or my pet.Bookmark here

Having all of that said, I woke up the guy with a very weak knock on his head and he eventually opened his eyes with a seemingly glare, which is actually just how he looks like normally. He's not mad or anything. Haku is actually a pretty chill cat.Bookmark here

With everything coming into place once again, I did my normal routine of my everyday life in my bathroom. Surely there's nothing more to say about that.Bookmark here

Going down to the first floor of my house is where the first and last meals that I consume are found and made.Bookmark here

And as I was toasting my bread on a pan (I don't need a toaster), my front door started to make a knocking sound which eventually stopped due to the obvious clacks of my doorknob.Bookmark here

"Morning, Rin. Haven't had coffee, I presume."Bookmark here

"Good morning, Potato."Bookmark here

It's true that Rin comes by half of the time to eat meals with me as she use the excuse that she can't just let me be alone for most times, considering the plenty horrific situations that happened to me being alone.Bookmark here

And yes, we used to live under the same roof for a month. It was a different, special, but ephemeral lifestyle as it lasted only for that duration. If that situation is to however be replicated, I am not sure if I will let something like that slip. It is for our best that we kept ourselves under limitations.Bookmark here

"Just woke up, I guess?"Bookmark here

"Yeah… Was practicing with the violin and lost track of time."Bookmark here

"So I heard before I sleep. Just sit still and I'll make something to make us at least comfortable with this weather."Bookmark here

"Hahh… I wish for fall to come early…"Bookmark here

"Well, our changing of seasons is earlier which is straight up bizarre, but I get impatient with that too. Also with saving energy and all… it's difficult to do that when it is currently 'dehydration in sleep' season.Bookmark here

And Rin, you're starting to melt."Bookmark here

"And now I'm just realizing that I haven't even eaten ice cream for the rest of this summer. Uuuuuggghhhhh…"Bookmark here

"You say that now… but I haven't really been fond of eating desserts after returning from the Room. Man, I really grow old quickly."Bookmark here

I would be surprised if there is a human that would not complain about 42 degrees of heat in feel. Just by hearing that, I would really want to tilt the Earth if I can.Bookmark here

"Mmmm… Even though it's hot breakfast really can't be beaten."Bookmark here

"'Something you can do in the morning that you can't do at night…'Bookmark here

I don't get why I suddenly remembered that joke."Bookmark here

"It sounded kind of tricky but it works," she agreed.Bookmark here

"Will probably make you think a bit."Bookmark here

"Ah, Potato. Sis will be working full time outside of her offices."Bookmark here

"That's good to hear as long as she doesn't become a shut-in.Bookmark here

What happened, anyways? Did Sis get promoted?"Bookmark here

"It's just a decision for ease, since she only goes to her office to drop documents or when she needs you to accompany him with things."Bookmark here

"That makes sense. Portable documents and cloud are pretty much everywhere. But I really won't get it if the office people even laze off with just printing."Bookmark here

“Well, her room is pretty much her office so she has everything that she needs, work related.”Bookmark here

“Ah, before I even forget to- Haku, oi,” the cat just jumped to my lap. “Before I even forget to say, Kyoko Animation will hold several interviews with us I think via the internet. The animation turned out to be related a bit to our real life story which of course, I’ll vaguely describe.Bookmark here

And they also assigned a representative for us.”Bookmark here

“It’s a bit embarrassing now that I think about it but we agreed to it.”Bookmark here

As we are having breakfast, the news suddenly popped in the television.Bookmark here

“We have breaking news. Over 50 corrupt authorities that were arrested in the Capital yesterday as per the orders of the president are named today. The search will still continue for an indefinite time.Bookmark here

Apparently, the said authorities were unjustifiably arresting individuals without further investigations and insight. With that, proper investigations will begin for the arrested people under them.”Bookmark here

“Oh, shoot… I haven’t contacted Juno yet.”Bookmark here

“What about Detective Artecus?”Bookmark here

“Ah, I haven’t told you about it. Well, hearing that news, I guess Cotona will be next in line. It’s good to know that there are coincidental relevance to a case that I’ll have to be involved in investigating.Bookmark here

Rin, do you know that Jean has an imprisoned brother?”Bookmark here

“That’s the first time I’m hearing about it… Could it be that he’s also a victim of the arresting?”Bookmark here

“Spot on. So Jean asked me a favor to get in touch with the detective regarding that, knowing that we’re acquaintances.Bookmark here

Simply said, we’re trying to get his brother out of jail.”Bookmark here

“Is that so… I hope everything goes well.”Bookmark here

“I miss playing games… let’s game for a bit, Rin. Ah, have you been doing art recently? Why don’t we practice?”Bookmark here

“I haven’t really done any art for months now. I’ll have to get back my drawing senses too.Bookmark here

But let’s play first.”Bookmark here

“Yep. I agree.”Bookmark here

*knock knock*Bookmark here

“Hello? Anyone in the house?” a voice from outside called.Bookmark here

“Who’s that, I wonder?”Bookmark here

I shouldn't have asked since I basically know who was it from the voice.Bookmark here

“I hope this works, Rin.Bookmark here

Ah-ah. Can’t hear anyone. No one’s in front of my door unless the doorbell is rung.”Bookmark here

“Ah, is that so. Sorry for that. I’ll go ring the-Bookmark here

GIN! STOP TROLLING!”Bookmark here

It was Nagi.Bookmark here

“Hey, Nagi! Stop shouting this early in the morning! I’ll open the door, okay?”Bookmark here

It was to my surprise not to see him alone upon opening the door. Shiro is with her and dare I say, for the rare times we've conversed during this summer, I haven’t seen him without Shiro beside.Bookmark here

“Morning, come in. 'Twas a long time since we last saw each other.”Bookmark here

“Well, yeah. You two just stayed silent when you came home so we have no idea you’re still alive.”Bookmark here

“Hi, Ringo.”Bookmark here

She then waved back.Bookmark here

“Didn’t expect you two to be visiting early in the day and we just finished breakfast earlier. Let’s see, why don’t we all get ice cream then? Rin has been complaining about the heat and she wants it too.”Bookmark here

“Ice cream…” Shiro’s sweet tooth activated.Bookmark here

“Sounds good.”Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

After opening up our popsicles, we stopped by a bench at a waiting shed with the free wind blowing directly on it.Bookmark here

“Ahhh… This place should be considered one of the wonders of the world.”Bookmark here

“Gin, that’s what lazy people say everyday.”Bookmark here

“Hey, Potato. What flavor is yours?”Bookmark here

“I dig some melon today. Let me guess, yours is strawberry.”Bookmark here

“Yep.”Bookmark here

Sometimes I wonder how much of an irony it is that Rin like strawberries more than apples; with her name translating to “apple,” and all.Bookmark here

“Any news about Akira?”Bookmark here

“I’ll answer that if you tell me why you’re called ‘Potato’ now.”Bookmark here

“Ask Rin for that.”Bookmark here

“Nevermind. I think we can’t relate.Bookmark here

Still haven’t seen a shadow of him. My guess is that he hasn’t yet gone out of your base. I’m surprised that there’s internet in there, though; for him to be commenting in that video.”Bookmark here

“Independent network, track-free from the surface, and the fastest I’ve used. Marco pulled a lot of strings for that.”Bookmark here

“You still have half, Nagi. Mind giving me a taste?” Shiro suddenly asked.Bookmark here

“Let’s just exchange.”Bookmark here

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“We planned on playing games, anyway. I guess it’s better to have more people, then. Are you two in?”Bookmark here

“If you say so. But try to at least do something to lessen the heat. Today’s the hottest so far.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah. Let’s enjoy the AC since this is a bit of a special day.”Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

It was at the point where we are all drowning in our own sweat and I just remembered that I closed off every cavity in my room, leaving it to be almost the same as an oven.Bookmark here

Upon opening the door of my house, I immediately ran upstairs to sort that out.Bookmark here

"Sorry, you'll have to wait for a bit. You can turn on the fan so just sit tight."Bookmark here

"Ahhh. Thank goodness I didn't turn my PC on otherwise it might overheat."Bookmark here

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"What just suddenly happened with Gin?"Bookmark here

"I don't know. Maybe he's just cleaning his room?"Bookmark here

"Yeah. What do you know; maybe his room looks like a scrapyard right now."Bookmark here

"You two have been in his room, right?"Bookmark here

"Uh, yeah. It was the time when he was sick, but I don't even remember it now."Bookmark here

"All I know is that his room is big and white."Bookmark here

"About his room being white, it was just his plain intention to make him remember of his time in the Room of Reality that's why he painted the walls.Bookmark here

There really isn't that much of an accurate resemblance but one will be reminded of it."Bookmark here

"Wait, I know you've been going to their base for a bit, but have you entered that room already? Not that I can relate, though."Bookmark here

"It's weird to say that 'I didn't' since it wasn't really that long, Nacchi."Bookmark here

"But you weren't hurt right? Gin said that he experienced much more gravitational force than that of Earth's."Bookmark here

"It's not a problem, Shiro. But what's weirder is that we technically just stayed there for around five minutes."Bookmark here

"Eh?! Why so short?"Bookmark here

"It translated in six hours inside, though."Bookmark here

"Ah, I see. But it still doesn't make any sense."Bookmark here

"Well, it was quite an experience…"Bookmark here

Suddenly, Rin was reminded of her own memory of that time. Whether it was an embarrassing or happy memory, she still froze.Bookmark here

"Sorry for the wait. My room is blazing hot so I sorted it out first before turning on the aircon. You can come upstairs now."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"Dude, your room is huge. This is like the size of one room apartment, you know?"Bookmark here

"This house is big for one person to live in. It's scary, sometimes."Bookmark here

"Gin, what's with this architecturally perfect window of yours? It's exactly parallel and congruent with the windows over the ones on Ringo's house," Shiro curiously asked with her two fingers pointing at my window.Bookmark here

"That's actually my room, coincidentally."Bookmark here

"Thought so. It didn't even surprise me anymore."Bookmark here

"I bet Gin can dive on his window to yours, Ringo. The distance is so small."Bookmark here

Hearing that, I might try that once.Bookmark here

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"What games do you have anyways, Gin?"Bookmark here

"I don't really have that much. I have a few visual novels, N*A 2k18, Bor*to's Dad: Ninja Storm 4 and Chronopoly: The Monopoly of Time."Bookmark here

"Seriously, I can't believe they actually named the game 'Bor*to's Dad.'"Bookmark here

"It's for the gag, I guess."Bookmark here

"And you have an insane spec in your PC. Surely that also packs a lot."Bookmark here

"Nah, I only play gosu! in that machine. I dedicate those 16 gigs of RAM for my digital suite.Bookmark here

I built that unit, which the costs probably equated to my kidney (I still have the two of them inside)."Bookmark here

"Wow, you never get tired of clicking circles. What's your rank, anyways?"Bookmark here

"Ehhh. I'm not doing very well. I'm around 200k in global and 4k in national. I'm still stuck at 3 star difficulty."Bookmark here

"We really are a band of noobs."Bookmark here

"That, I agree."Bookmark here

Half an hour later and our bottoms are stuck in sitting cushions while we fiddle over our controllers at hand. It was quite convenient that an electronic company sent me a TV monitor that I once reviewed using my blog which reached out a lot of people.Bookmark here

It was a decently wide screen, but is surprisingly low at energy consumption. Though, compromising the resolution. Still, 120Hz is a feast to the eyes.Bookmark here

And at one point, my hands—paralyzed, dropped my controller.Bookmark here

"Hey, what just happened with you? You okay there, Gin?"Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

"Oi, seriously. You're not about to go unconscious, right?"Bookmark here

"Helloooo, Gin?"Bookmark here

"Potato, you're suddenly acting strange."Bookmark here

"I…"Bookmark here

"I?"Bookmark here

"I…Bookmark here

I am such and idiot… Why…"Bookmark here

"Uhh… we can't understand if you don't say anything."Bookmark here

"Why…Bookmark here

Why didn't I ever think of going to a karaoke place when we're in Japan…? Why…?"Bookmark here

*Whack*Bookmark here

A palm sounded sharply on my head which dealt me such pain.Bookmark here


Still, Nagi is easily trolled.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"But hey. You unintentionally made a point."Bookmark here

"Huh? How, Nagi?"Bookmark here

"We're friends for almost five years now and we never even thought of coming to karaoke, let alone know if one is tone deaf or not."Bookmark here

"I wouldn't go anyways since I'm not fond of our country's music, honestly."Bookmark here

"Yeah. You're easily baited with dramatic opening and ending songs.Bookmark here

How about Ringo and Shiro? Do you two sing?"Bookmark here

"Tell me if I'm wrong, Rin. But I do think that your voice suits singing."Bookmark here

"I don't really sing that much, Potato. You should know that already."Bookmark here

"In fact, I've never heard this milady sing and vice versa.Bookmark here

How about you, Shiro? Surely Nagi had already heard at least once."Bookmark here

She immediately rolled her eyes away and looked down with a bashful expression. Then she stole some glances at Nagi in which is staring at her.Bookmark here

"Uhh…"Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

The two failed to comprehend anything verbally and so I didn't get an answer seeing that the pair doesn't even have an answer to it.Bookmark here

"I guess Shiro can sing."Bookmark here

After a few hours of playing, we took a break and ate lunch which in such rarity, was prepared by the other two aside from Rin and I. It was somewhat fun having to eat someone's food because I was so used to move my arms before I eat what I make.Bookmark here

A treasure of an experience—learning how to appreciate others' creation instead of mine is contenting. It made me realize how much I can still do in my lifetime.Bookmark here

Even before the sun started to set, we parted ways after an art practice in my house. The scene hasn't silenced yet as seen as we are outdoors. From time to time we do go out to eat dinner either in a restaurant or in cart. Diversity helps a lot.Bookmark here

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It was to my surprise that someone from my back called out as I was just standing on the sidewalk waiting for Rin.Bookmark here

I turned around and entertained the person that apparently is asking for directions. With a polite smile, I pointed out the place that was asked.Bookmark here

"Also, here's a contact card and if you need help, there's also an address where we can meet."Bookmark here

I have noticed that the person is acting nervous ever since seeing my face, and upon receiving the card, nod was the reply and so the person said farewell.Bookmark here

"Potato? Were you talking to someone?"Bookmark here

"Just helping out someone that was asking for directions."Bookmark here

"I see. Shall we go then?"Bookmark here

"Yep. I'm hungry."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Time for dinner passed and we went home, planning to waste the hours before retiring for the day. That time wasting is what one might call binge-watching anime in the living room with the remainder of my uncooked rice, popped as a moon snack.Bookmark here

I decided to try a subscription to Crispyroll for a month and it was a fair experience having to watch ongoing shows an hour after its release in the North.Bookmark here

But this time, we are watching the first season of Sn*w White with the Red Hair.Bookmark here

"Hey, Rin?"Bookmark here

"Hmm?"Bookmark here

"Do you remember when I told that you resemble Shirayuki a lot?"Bookmark here

"Hmm… I think it started when I painted a silver apple?"Bookmark here

"Ah, that was the first time we all did club activities. Man, we were surprised to see you in the Art Room."Bookmark here

"Now I'm recalling the time when I secretly listened to you about the piece you made that was displayed. I heard a whack, though."Bookmark here

"Seriously, I had no idea that it was actually you but I had a feeling that someone passed by the room."Bookmark here

"But still… so much has changed hasn't it?Bookmark here

The six of us were all together either in the Art Room or the rooftop. You suddenly disappeared because of the accident but thankfully came back alive. Then you and I started our current relationship, which we were then followed by Nagi and Shiro."Bookmark here

"Jean decided on his own path, and even found his love. Then Akira started a brand new life underground.Bookmark here

Thinking about it, it's a little sad that we won't be complete anymore when we sit on that certain table at school. But on the bright side, we chose and decided on this life which what we think is what's best for all of us."Bookmark here

"Mhm. I don't regret walking down our path."Bookmark here

"Well? That's good to hear, Rin. I'm grateful.Bookmark here

Yawn~ I think we should wrap this-"Bookmark here

Just as I was about to say to retire for the night, Rin's head fell on my shoulder and fell asleep.Bookmark here

For the umpteenth time that this had happened, this scene has not folded a wrinkle. Seeing the girl with such a meek demeanor in her slumber, makes my surroundings very calm and tranquil. I daresay, it is like everything is at peace.Bookmark here

Nevertheless, these little moments are one of reasons that I continuously strive to survive in this world.Bookmark here

"Rin~ Just wake up for a second, and I'll get you home."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

Silence, as you wouldn't call it a response.Bookmark here

"Good grief. You were so proud of getting back the ability to wake up by yourself and look at you now, still not overcoming your habit."Bookmark here

Confirming that Rin was actually asleep, I carried her on my arms for who knows how many times I have done this and sent her next door.Bookmark here

"Auntie, Rin fell asleep on my house again."Bookmark here

"My. She's just like a baby, as always."Bookmark here

"Ahahahaha~"Bookmark here

"Well, you know the drill, Gin. Go ahead."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Pardon me."Bookmark here

I went upstairs and put her on her bed, in which I immediately went out of her room as I always do.Bookmark here

"Well then, have a good rest, Auntie."Bookmark here

"You too."Bookmark here

And so I stepped out of the residence and came back home.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

What a reliable and good child. I will really be glad if he becomes my son-in-law."Bookmark here


Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That ends 012!Bookmark here

But here starts a new year. I hope you look forward to what NijiHo is going to bring about this year!Bookmark here

Thanks for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

013: Saying farewells and playing the waiting game...?Bookmark here

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