Chapter 13:

013 – Wasn't that Long

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

‹Rin›Bookmark here

It has been a few days that I feel that something is up… especially with Gin.Bookmark here

Lately, he has been always caught up with something and his ears are always on his phone, talking to someone.Bookmark here

Being with Gin, I've learned a lot on how to look at a person by observing them, and not even the one I learned that from was an exception.Bookmark here

Just by looking and listening, he does look happy every time he's over the phone. I have concluded that he was talking to the same unknown person over and over, and it seems that that person needs help or assistance.Bookmark here

But what bugs me is that he looks like he is enjoying himself every time I see him on the call.Bookmark here

Alright, alright. I will admit that I am getting jealous for something that I don't have much basis. Let's be real. I don't even know if it was a girl or not. He even keeps the contact without a name, leaving the info in calls with just the phone number.Bookmark here

But then, I don't really see him doing something like meeting with some other person. He said it himself, he is a blockhead when it comes to this things. It's either he is just being dense, or he doesn't know what he is doing.Bookmark here

Wait, that's technically the same, right?Bookmark here

Anyway, it's not a very good thing to be jumping to conclusions. I can't be up and make a misunderstanding. But still, I'm worried with his carelessness.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

"Hello? Yes. Do you need some help again?Bookmark here

Ah, it's okay. You don't need to be bothered by something like that. I can't say that I'm always available for help, but I will try my best.Bookmark here

Oh… I don't think I can answer that, sorry. If anything, I would suggest you talk about it with others since I haven't exp-Bookmark here

What I mean is, it already happened to me but it's quite a different situation.Bookmark here

Is that so. I guess that's to be expected. I will try to be there if there is anything you need help… but then, you haven't given your address, huh.Bookmark here

Oh, I see. Sorry I'm really not good with this kind of thing.Bookmark here

Ah, yes. Bye, then."Bookmark here

*beep*Bookmark here

Still, I remained silent even after a few days.Bookmark here

Until one day.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

"In the afternoon? Sure, I'm free anyways.Bookmark here

Yeah. It's nice to have a chat. It's been a while since we last talked. Actually, we haven't really talked a lot even aside from calls, huh? Haha.Bookmark here

Well, I look forward to see you again.Bookmark here

Bye."Bookmark here

And at 3pm of the same day, I am at Gin's house like always. I was just observing him and it seems that he was about to go out, although at his typical summer clothes (that just looks like his house clothes).Bookmark here

"Going somewhere, Gin?"Bookmark here

"Ah, yeah. I'm meeting with a girl."Bookmark here

"Oh, I see. Take care."Bookmark here

"Yeah."Bookmark here

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"HOOOOOLD UP, POTATO-KUN~????? What did you just say?"Bookmark here

As if my arm extended, I grabbed his shoulder.Bookmark here

"Ahahaha… I expect this to happen."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

As it seems that I took over his house, I made Gin sit on the floor as I am sat on the couch with Haku beside me. I thought that he (Haku) will cooperate with me but he just slept on my lap.Bookmark here

"So… I've been keeping myself from asking you for a few days now, but I'm really getting a bit suspicious on the past phone calls you've had."Bookmark here

"S-Sorry… I wasn't really paying attention at first."Bookmark here

"Alright, then, who was the girl you're always calling, and now you're meeting up with?"Bookmark here

"Hmmmm…Bookmark here

I think it's best if you join me."Bookmark here

"Huh? Is that okay? I'm not even dressed well and besides, you're supposed to meet right now."Bookmark here

"Nah. You're good. We're always going out on flip-flops anyway. And you'd be happy to see her too."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Geez… You're being vague again."Bookmark here

"Well, let's go now. Haku ate already so he's good."Bookmark here

"'Kay…"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Strange. Even though I didn't ask Gin where we are going, I feel like I just simply know. Seeing where we walked, I had a hint.Bookmark here

And yes, my guess is right.Bookmark here

"Uhh… Gin."Bookmark here

"Yep. This is where we had our first date."Bookmark here

We are in front of the camping-styled restaurant we went on our first date. It does look like it changed a lot seeing that it follows a seasonal theme, which is summer.Bookmark here

"W-Why here…?"Bookmark here

"Storytelling first, I guess.Bookmark here

I met her when I was waiting for you at that time when we went out after hanging out with Nagi. I gave her a card and the address of this restaurant if ever she needed help since she was very conflicted."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

That's it?"Bookmark here

"Yeah."Bookmark here

I sulked, but we entered the restaurant with me not knowing who that girl is.Bookmark here

"Welcome~"Bookmark here

"He~y, Gin! It's been a while."Bookmark here

"Hi, Marty. I'm looking for an occupied table. Don't mind if I do."Bookmark here

"Sure thing. But order at least."Bookmark here

Basing off with what he has told so far, I eliminated any table with two or more people. Thus, I counted four tables with quick glances and individually analyzed.Bookmark here

Getting a look at the third table, I suddenly felt the urge of punching Gin in the face for making me jealous for no reason.Bookmark here

But on the other note, I am actually very glad and very surprised to see that girl.Bookmark here

"…!Bookmark here

Ai-san?!"Bookmark here

Bookmark here

‹Gin›Bookmark here

Yes, it was Ai Hikari that I met last chapter. We just got to meet for the first time for real after that unexpected contact. Regarding her being in our country, I do not know anything about it. I have a few obvious guesses which might just be right.Bookmark here

Now knowing that, I hope that Rin will stop sulking.Bookmark here

"Stahp."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"That'll be 363 Laxes, all in all."Bookmark here

"Got it."Bookmark here

"Ah, Sakato-senpai. Please let me pay later."Bookmark here

"It's okay. You don't need to."Bookmark here

"I'm budgeting, though."Bookmark here

"You went all the way here to meet me, so I want to at least do this. This came from my pay, anyway."Bookmark here

"Hmm… Well, if you insist.Bookmark here

So, I'm assuming that you have something to talk about? But first, I hope you can tell us how you came to be in this country, Ai-san."Bookmark here

"Ah, it's a bit of a story…Bookmark here

I didn't really know where we were moving to initially, but I was told later on that we were moving in this country.Bookmark here

In truth, I was kind of opposed about moving out but I was just being immature. At that time, I wasn't thinking about the environment that my parents were under so I didn't think of it and I didn't know where we were moving to.Bookmark here

And apparently, my sister is always telling my parents about work and so they decided to tell me that we're actually moving in Orio, which was originally planned even before we started working.Bookmark here

But my stand changed with our moving and now, we are here for good."Bookmark here

"Oohhh…"Bookmark here

"Though, it seems coincidental that Ai-san lives in Cotona which is where we both live too."Bookmark here

"Rin has a point."Bookmark here

"The reason for that is mainly for our education."Bookmark here

"Oh, Blue Ink, huh? If you're in your fourth year, I guess Anna and Naru (Nagi's sister) will have a new friend.Bookmark here

By the way, are you around here at 527?"Bookmark here

"W-W-What…? Wait!"Bookmark here

"Hm? Ai-san? What's wrong?"Bookmark here

"How did you know, Sakato-senpai?"Bookmark here

"How? Blue Ink is simply popular around North and it is the only school in Ginga that accepts exchange students."Bookmark here

"I myself don't even know the exchange students bit, Gin," Rin expressed her ignorance.Bookmark here

"Did some research about the school since we're out of the loop for a month (and we still are). I think it all started last year with a surprising transfer of five Japanese students."Bookmark here

"So you're really going to study in Blue Ink, Ai-san?"Bookmark here

"I… have been enrolled already."Bookmark here

"That's good to hear!"Bookmark here

"Thinking of it, I haven't been enrolled and more so take a look at the school.Bookmark here

Ai-san? Have you seen the school already?"Bookmark here

"Umm… A bit, senpai. There is still construction that is happening, though."Bookmark here

"Hmm… I guess I'll say hi to the office at some time, then."Bookmark here

"Is your problem connected with the school, Ai-san? Something you're bothered about, maybe?"Bookmark here

"There is… a problem but I'm not bothered by anything, Akanami-senpai. It's just that I want to…"Bookmark here

Another principle of mine: Gin, you shut up when your mouth is not needed.Bookmark here

Harsh as it may sound, it helped me quite a lot. I have enhanced my perception and insight through a lot of experiences and as you may have known already, I tend to conclude what the speaker is telling if, only if I am definitely certain with it.Bookmark here

But in this case, I can't do that of course. At any situation where our comment or attention is not needed, we ought to stay silent. It might hurt other's feelings, and generally, it might cause a domino effect or maybe a double-edged sword.Bookmark here

Even if I have a good hint of what Ai-san wants to say, all I can do is observe as she fidget and roll her eyes everywhere.Bookmark here

"It's just that I want to surprise Jin…"Bookmark here

Guessed it.Bookmark here

"Ooohhhhh…?"Bookmark here

"Now this is exciting. Isn't it, Rin?"Bookmark here

"Ye~p."Bookmark here

"S-Senpai…?"Bookmark here

"Can you tell us more, Ai-san?"Bookmark here

"Uhhh… Jin… I want to surprise him… because…Bookmark here

It's actually hard to tell others…"Bookmark here

Her head smoked.Bookmark here

"Ai-san… do you like Jean?"Bookmark here

Don't get so straightforward, Rin.Bookmark here

"A-A-A-A-A-Ah! I-I-I-I-It's…!"Bookmark here

Seeing Ai-san multiply her hands reminds me of Rin when we weren't dating yet. Hasn't been that long yet, but oh, the nostalgia.Bookmark here

"I know what you're thinking about, Potato."Bookmark here

"Uhuhuhu… How cute…" I mumbled with an extremely fawned face as I stare on air.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Y-Yes… I do like Jin…"Bookmark here

"Ha-hmm… Youth…"Bookmark here

"Gin, you're starting to talk weirdly."Bookmark here

"So, with where this is going… I will have to assume that Jean does not know that you are here in Orio and about the fact that you will attend our high school."Bookmark here

"That's right, senpai."Bookmark here

"And you want to surprise him at some point?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yes…"Bookmark here

"Potato, I can have this."Bookmark here

"You're a girl after all. I'll leave it to you, then."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"I've come up with something just by listening. So Jean doesn't know your being here in Orio and in school. Which probably means that he thinks that you moved somewhere in Japan.Bookmark here

If that's the case, why don't you surprise him at school? It will be dull if it happened exactly at the first day, so why don't we delay it maybe for a few days? It's like hitting a bird with two stones!"Bookmark here

"H-Huh… S-Senpai…? Shouldn't that be-"Bookmark here

"Well, that's quite a derivation of the idiom, I'd say."Bookmark here

"I do hope the bird won't dodge."Bookmark here

I really had to add that.Bookmark here

My guess is that it's Rin's way of saying that she doesn't really get what she herself said. It probably came from me because of my Ginfluence-Bookmark here

I really should've made Rin punch Akira at that time… (NoFutsuu, Chapter 26)Bookmark here

"Well, I can at least imagine how Jean will react. Though, I'm sparing some space in case he does something beyond our imagination. This sure is going to be fun."Bookmark here

"Senpai? What do you mean?"Bookmark here

"First, I'll ask. It does seem like you two are very close even back in the North, Ai-san. And I do see that he has a bit of a different behavior when he's with you.Bookmark here

Say, does Jean like you too?"Bookmark here

It made her flinch, but nevertheless, she answered with clarity.Bookmark here

"Actually… we've already admitted to ourselves that our feelings are mutual."Bookmark here

"Oh… Now that it got clear, I suppose you were really happy to be in this country then, Ai-san?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yes… I'm overjoyed…"Bookmark here

Seeing her, it reminded of the times when I was away from my family and friends. I was a great mess, but soon after two years of my disappearance, I probably felt the way Ai-san feels right now.Bookmark here

"That's really good to hear. It's fortunate that it won't be very long until you two meet once again and see the face of each other.Bookmark here

To tell you the truth, we've been keeping quiet from the start because Jean already told me about you two. I just wanted to know your side of things regarding your current relationship with Jean.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Look, it may just be a month that you won't see each other, and so I want to tell you my wish, Ai-san."Bookmark here

"W-What is it, senpai?"Bookmark here

"I wish for you two to have a truthful relationship, now and to the future.Bookmark here

As someone that can be put to your shoes, what I can advise is that the sincerity, trust and honesty will keep you together, amidst of any situation that risks your relationship. It is always fun being with a significant other, but sometimes it is of course difficult as we are faced by challenges.Bookmark here

Keep in mind, Ai-san. The rays of hope will always pierce through to the clouded despair. Whatever pain that is, there's always a way to resolve it."Bookmark here

"Ai-san, it does seem that Gin has already asked Jean, but I will ask you 'probably' the same thing.Bookmark here

What are you going to do for this point forward, Ai-san?"Bookmark here

For us, seeing the girl with a little troubled expression is new. But I do feel that behind that is strength and a will that she holds. Thus, he raised her head and looked without any wavering.Bookmark here

"We, Jin and I have already decided to take one step at a time. Even though I have feelings for him, and the same on his side, we will continue to be what we are now and stay like this until a time when things will change."Bookmark here

Hearing those, we stared at each other with awe.Bookmark here

"Ahahaha… We're really talking big are we, Rin?"Bookmark here

"Hahaha. Yeah, we really do."Bookmark here

Ai-san's expression suddenly changed and asked us with confusion and curiosity read in her eyes.Bookmark here

"…?Bookmark here

By the way, can I ask you two on how your relationship became?"Bookmark here

"Hmm?"Bookmark here

"Eh?"Bookmark here

"Gee… that's something that is very embarrassing, you know?"Bookmark here

"Indeed, indeed! Let's not talk about that, Potato."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Well, Rin transferred to Blue Ink last school year and became part of the Art Club eventually. I'd say that the flag to this all started from when Rin painted a silver apple, and I overacted after seeing it."Bookmark here

"And what's more is that we were actually neighbors as our houses were just a few blocks away at that time. But Gin suddenly disappeared for a week which probably opened my feelings wide."Bookmark here

"I was so busy at that time that I didn't even get to contact them. And I even ended up hurting myself a lot. You know, the accidents that I was talking about earlier in the resto.Bookmark here

Then I came back and my parents asked if I can move out, just after a few days when I got back. Well, what I didn't realize that the house I moved in to was pretty much close to our family house."Bookmark here

"And coincidentally, it is next to ours."Bookmark here

"Yep, yep. I live alone in a house that is not suited for only one person.Bookmark here

I got a cat, got sick, made a ramen party with friends, and confessed to Rin. It was a longer story but everything went fine after some drama I initiated.Bookmark here

To be honest I don't know when I actually fell for Rin, and the same goes for her too. I did realize that I love her at some point, but I felt like it was longer than my realization. It's a feeling that you are unconscious of, but is seen through your acts. At least, that's how I can explain it."Bookmark here

"Even though it's still just a few months, we've gone through a lot. We even broke up! But for good reasons.Bookmark here

I promised Gin to always support him when he is troubled, as there are a lot of times where he was always alone. Your love for someone drives you to something that you want to do for your partner.Bookmark here

Someday, there will be a time where you two will be a pair of chopsticks."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

As thought, she didn't get what Rin said, and it might even cause a misleading statement. Though, I can be no different for being so vague at my words.Bookmark here

"C-C-Ch-Chopsticks… T-T-Turning t-to chopsticks…"Bookmark here

Ai-san got frightened.Bookmark here

"Ah! N-No! Of course I didn't mean it literally! It's like… umm…"Bookmark here

"Analogical."Bookmark here

"Yep. Analogical, it is! Haha!"Bookmark here

"Then… what does that mean, Akanami-senpai…?"Bookmark here

"Hmm…Bookmark here

I guess I'll leave it to you for a little homework. Try to understand what it means. But I'll give you a hint: You will not get the entirety of the answer if you only think of what it is."Bookmark here

"Understood, Akanami-senpai."Bookmark here

Is Rin still a senpai as a 'senior' or a love adviser?Bookmark here

"And, please just call us by our names, Ai-san."Bookmark here

"Then please just call me-"Bookmark here

"That will work for Rin, but not me. Even though you will be living in this country for good, you are still from the North. Even if Orio does not apply the northern culture, it does for me.Bookmark here

And besides, Jean will surely chase me with his knife if I call you anything more than that. He's a good man, and he has started to show more resilience. I know that you two will be okay."Bookmark here

"Regarding the plan we made up, we'll make sure to inform Anna about this."Bookmark here

"Anna, she's my younger sister which will also be on her fourth year next month. She's more of an otaku than me so you'll probably get along with her along with another friend's sister."Bookmark here

"I'll keep that in mind, senpai. Let's do our best for the new school year."Bookmark here

"I'll try, hahaha.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Ah, if it's okay with you, why not join us for dinner? That is, if it's also okay with your parents."Bookmark here

"I think it will be okay. I'll have to call them first, though."Bookmark here

"That's better than nothing."Bookmark here

But suddenly, Rin came to a realization.Bookmark here

"Wait…! You're speaking with our language this whole time, Ai-chan?!"Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

And so, a handful of weeks passed and another sunrise has come up for all the eternity of the world.Bookmark here

I reached out to wherever my phone is as my alarm rings forth.Bookmark here

"Where is it… where is it…Bookmark here

…"Bookmark here

I found the phone with my eyes still half closed and looked at the time and a reminder in the screen.Bookmark here

6:30AM, June 13, 2018, Wednesday.Bookmark here

Event name - UGHBookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Ugh…Bookmark here


Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That concludes 013!Bookmark here

That twist is probably very expected. I just like doing foreshadowing. :}Bookmark here

also tokoyami towa's cover of error is litBookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

014: A new era for Blue Ink.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.