Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
It was proven and engraved to their minds that something can change in just mere seconds.
Perhaps one had seen of a worm bathed in salt. How does it look like?
Right in that moment, Gin locked himself up in a certain room in the Exile's base, moving vigorously in pain while the certain man's father, and lover gaze at him behind the glass with their spirits crumbling down.
It was dark inside the locked room, and so, as they watch, they find themselves seeing their reflection on the window—with faces of sorrow.
It was silent… No. It was never silent to begin with. Their ability to speak was nowhere to be found, but the rough screaming voice amplified the surroundings.
With all the courage that Amano gathered to speak up, he asked: "S-Sean… would you mind… having a read of that…?"
"Y-Yes… Mr. Sakato…"
The unfolded piece of paper has the handwriting of Gin and it said:
"To Hiro or Sean, you may already know what my current circumstances are.
But first, I need to confess something I did not tell you when I woke up after getting hit by that truck. The truth is, I am a Medical Child."
Reading what is written, he shuddered while his eyes widened. His whole body stiffened as he tries to turn his head to Amano.
"M-Mr. Sakato… A Medical Child…? G-Gin was…? Just like Tenth…?"
"So you've heard about that terms from Take, I see. But yes, just like Take, on the same age, Gin was also used as a lab rat."
"I-I'll continue reading…"
"This was Tenth's case too. Although I don't know how many they were at that time. But anyway, my code is 027 out of a hundred children.
This, I know you've been oriented already that I have a sleeping disorder. I also have a memory impairment which made my memories incomplete, but through my uncontrollable sleeping, I began to have dreams of the memories I had and when I woke up, I realized that what I saw are real parts of me.
But just a few hours ago, my head started hurting almost unbearably. That is why I am making my way to the base.
I will borrow a room for isolation as I am expecting that something bad is going to happen to me very soon. I feel that my headaches will be getting worse.
They aren't normal headaches. Every time I feel them, my lost memories come down like a downpour, or it was like once again bearing the weight of the gravity I felt in the Void.
Thus, perhaps in a few minutes, I might be in extreme pain from then on, and I may not be able to take control of myself. This is really taking a toll in my head, but I need to fight this burden off otherwise I may not live the way I used to anymore."
"G-Gin…" the only word that Rin had uttered are that and that only, as she fell to her knees along with the falling of her tears.
A knock coming from somewhere was heard, and the whole place became quiet, without the tormented shout heard behind the window.
Hearing the sound, they stood up and looked everywhere, and then peeked through the window.
"Sorry for worrying you all," Gin's words came to their ears through a synthetic voice from the window.
"Son… Are you okay…?"
"Somehow… but this won't last."
"Gin… I have an idea… Why don't we transfer you to the Void? That will help, rig-"
"Sean. If I do that…"
"If I do that… I will most likely just lose my life."
It is at that point where all their hearts were filled with fear and relief. Unable to mix with each other, those two emotions fought.
"As much as I arrogantly sound, I can say that I know the Void better than anyone as I've been inside the longest.
I discovered a requirement for entering through those doors—someone should have at least a currently proper mental state, if not healthy. Right now, I am once again broken to the depths and if I were to enter, I will definitely meet that black room and eventually die.
The Void has no purpose of killing, but only putting our minds to some extent that we can eventually handle; and it depends on the past experiences or pain of that individual.
With the pain I currently hold, I have no ways of survival in that room. Right now… I'm seriously having difficulties with making this cruelty sink to my head."
Hearing the explanation, the atmosphere has calmed down at least by a margin, but still bearing the fear on their hearts, the weight just simply increased.
"Rin… Dad… I promise that I will be back…
But I do not know when it will be…"
Even bound by a pane of glass, Rin spoke.
You asked me to teach you how to be strong… but I have no idea how I can do that. But… I may not have the ability to teach you… no, I really do not have that ability…
So… I hope you can discover your own strength. I will always be here watching over you."
"Yes… I promise…
I promise I will become strong… I promise that I will be back… I promise that I will fight this battle and never make you worry like this again."
"This old man is expecting a lot from you. You better not run away from this anymore, otherwise you'll have a word from me."
"Got it, Dad… But please don't freak out when I'm back to screaming again."
He still had the ability to pull a joke, but they weren't able to react. All they can do is cling to the hope that this certain man will still be who he is in the unknown end.
▪ ▪ ▪
I opened my eyes, not knowing what was going on. All I can think of is that whatever I am seeing right now is very familiar…
Because I see nothing.
Everything is black. No, I don't know where this “everything” is.
"I could have sworn I told them not to put me in the Void…
Nah, they won't do that."
Truly, it is nostalgic. I woke up from the blackness of nothing, lying down on the floor. But I guess this place is not entirely "nothing" as it has a floor.
I have realized that I don't feel anything painful. On the contrary, I feel extremely fine…
No, it's as if I almost feel nothing, but I can still feel myself. Indeed, it is weird.
But I came back to the thought of where could I be. I don't remember being in this place nor coming here aside from the Void. I actually do not know where I am.
But then, I focused my mind, and I found more lost memories. It kept increasing, but I still feel fine.
Ah, I understand now. Right in this moment, I am screaming down to the deepest of my throat. My head hurts almost like it literally was being pulled apart. It has been three days, and I have eaten so little in that duration.
I get it now…
So… this is what one would call a cognitive place or reality. Some might describe it as an imaginary realm of the mind. But I suppose this is different from what they think of. This is by no means imaginary. This is real. It feels as if you are literally inside your own mind.
And look, my own cognitive place is pitch black. Just like how the Void turned to this appearance—all because of pain and despair.
Man, I'm so hopeless. Here I am promising Rin that I will be strong and now I'm being swallowed by despair again.
Speaking of… I wonder where he is. If this is my mind, he should be here too.
I heard continuous slamming from somewhere in the distance, and it echoes along with a weak voice. It must be a voice of a man, but I can't recognize it.
Now a door appeared on the blackness with a sign on it.
"'Reality,' it says…
Great… this will hurt a lot."
Without me even taking a step, the door came close to me. I opened it with my eyes closed, thus I am in reality again.
I thought I wasn't going to remember what happened inside my mind, but I did.
Though, I can see that I am lying on the floor from my side. The room is not as dark as it used to be. It seems that my head has stopped torturing me temporarily. I can also hear the slamming sound and the voice clearly.
"Eiji…! Can you hear me?! What happened to you?! Eiji…?!"
Geez… you're so noisy, Ken.
Although I do feel extremely weak physically, I don't like the calmness in my mind. My emotions of fear and despair are overflowing, but somehow it feels tranquil in my head.
And so I got up in the midst of struggle.
"H-How long… was I asleep…"
"About six hours, Gin…"
"Rin…? You're sti-
It has been… th-three days… right…"
I can hardly speak.
"Are you feeling okay…? The last time we saw you like this was after your first severe pain. You've been out of it ever since."
"I don't… r-remember a lot myself…"
"Gin… you should eat properly… You haven't eaten much in the past few days."
"Yes… I will try…"
"I'll get you something to eat. I'll be back."
"Is this… because of when we were a Child?"
"S-Say… Ken… Do you remember… everything that… h-happened to you when you w-were… a-a Child?"
"Ken, I don't think he should be talking a lot right now. He needs to rest," entered Akira in the scene.
"Akira… you're here."
"I've been watching over you with Ringo since then. If you're going to ask about her, she left the base once to get some of her things from their place and now she's helping out in the here while looking after you."
"I see… I have to thank her…"
"Eiji. I just came back from a trip. And this is what I see after coming back. I'm sorry… I'm sorry that I can't understand your pain… I'm sorry…"
"N-No… There's nothing… for you to be apologetic… You've got your own share of pain… but to some extent, we are the same…
We both… have families…"
After a short silence came Rin with a tray of food with him and placed it in a hinged opening of the wall.
With that, Akira and Ken exited the scene.
"Can you eat by yourself?"
"We don't know unless we try."
Right after Gin grabbed the spoon up, there sounded the clanking of the spoon that had fallen on the floor. Seeing that, Rin took a key and opened the door of the room, which in a sense defeated the purpose of Gin locking himself up.
"I expected this to happen."
Thus, Rin lifted another spoon towards Gin's face and obediently ate all of what was on the tray as he continuously contemplated over countless things.
"I-I'm such a brat… so helpless…"
"Yeah… you stink."
"Well, s-sorry. I don't e-even know if I can take a b-bath…"
"Are you feeling better…?"
"Very slowly… the food helped.
I-It's… Wednesday today, right…?"
"You h-haven't been to school… have y-you…?"
"Yeah… But don't get the wrong idea. I'm aware of the consequences."
"J-Just because… you are a S-Subordinate… doesn't mean Tenth will… let this slide, okay…?"
"I already have that sorted. I've asked… I begged for his permission personally."
"H-He's too soft…"
Suddenly the hand of the girl made its way to the thinning hand of Gin as they are both sat on the floor. There was warmth that was felt after the thought of having yearned for it amidst the storm and he finally felt it on his right hand.
"Gin… I promise I won't leave…
You told me… right? We share each other's pain… and know each other more. Because our pain is the roots of our pasts…
You yourself said that no one in this world does not suffer… That is why… I won't leave you, because you will have no one to share these unbearable sufferings you have.
Gin… I really want to make you happy… I really want us to be happy…"
Though I am… in no p-position to talk back with… my current state…
I still want us to b-be happy… That is why… I will be back…
"Gin…? Are you… again…?"
"W-Why did your… n-name… appear in my… memories…? Ugh… Rin… Rin…"
"W-What…? You mean…"
"I'm a-about to go out of… control any time soon… Rin… I don't want you to get hurt… Please… Rin…"
And so, the girl left and locked the room just before Gin began screaming in pain once again.
Finally having a hint of the newly found mystery, Rin was suddenly visited of her conversation with Gin in the past.
"Now that we’re on the topic, where did ‘Rin’ come from? At that time, you were out of it when you suddenly said that.”
"Truth to be told, I don’t clearly recall but it suddenly popped up in my mind and said it unconsciously.
I’m still trying to grasp it from my head but I can't seem to remember it, although I ‘know’ that there’s something about that that is in my memory.”
"What could it be…"
▪ ▪ ▪
I found myself in my own cognitive world again. I suspect that this blackness may disappear once I have overcome my despair again.
But now something is happening, subtly I hear voices of people, slowly getting louder until they became clear.
"Yes, yes~ Your son will be in good hands, Mr. and Mrs. Sakato. Our instructors will have no problem with getting along with him. I'm sure that he will have fun in this following year."
Now, I see… there are Mom and Dad, and a shady character. Yes, this is my own perspective. I finally remember this, huh…
May, 29, 2007—the date that my impending chaos began. Of course, I was naive. I did not know what was happening that time.
But now that I am seeing it once again projected clearly on my mind, I can see that we are in front of the laboratory, or the preparatory school as their cover-up.
My family was greatly deceived. I was enrolled in a preparatory school freed of charges. It was like a blessing that I was admitted to a great school. It was a very believable facade that they had. So much that I did not understand what a school meant at that time.
Ahh. Now I remember. This was my first year of what supposed to be "studying" is. But in the end, we, the hundred children were the ones that got studied.
Honestly, I don't like this. My mind is making me recall from the very start. It's like a story. You will find notable plot points, the rising action, the climax, and the end.
I'm so scared.
~ ~ ~
They made us wear uniforms… or hospital clothes. Immediately after we parted ways with our family, everything started.
Oh… Rishou Kagetora made a speech in front of the children. "…for the sake of the weak and those who are in need…" he says. I can't believe that that hypocritical, ruthless man in the past has been living with humility and righteous conduct now. It's hard to imagine them being the same person.
But now that I see it from my past perspective, this is how the laboratory looked like, huh—slightly dim with cream white walls all over. The children have gathered all in one place as we stood, listening to those filthy words.
Not only were there doctors, but there are also people in black suits which might be guards. The doctors in total are… fifty-two, and the guards number to an amount of eighty. I can't seem to find any lab equipment that they used on us a while further.
But judging how I am, or was able to count them with such precision… have I been able to observe earlier than the time that I thought I can? If that is the case, I may catch something that I haven't seen in this "replay."
Right, at this point, I am still screaming in pain. With the knowledge that my memories may flash quickly, I want to see this cruel year in detail, keeping in mind that I can't overexert this mind of my own. An overload, otherwise, might happen. Perhaps not resulting to a life threat, but I may never regain my sanity back… or I may never be Gin Sakato again.
I better be careful.
▪ ▪ ▪
Just as I thought. They did not waste any time. The next day, they already started with the experiments, but if game terminologies are used, it could still just be in beginner or easy mode. At the first dosage, none of the children suffered from any biological malfunction, may it be from liquid medicine or injection.
But things have started to happen in the next day. Some of the children experienced various side effects… including me. There were certain times in the day when I randomly fell down. I did not know what was happening, but now I realized that the side effect was paralysis.
A week had passed since then, and we were once again gathered there in one place. But before that, we were given by the guards code numbers and we lined up with those respective numbers. Of course, mine was 027.
But one thing that my naive self did not realize is that we were actually not a hundred children with taking away one—ninety-nine. One code number was missing.
I did not have any idea who was code 019.
▪ ▪ ▪
"Gin… Are you awake now…?"
It seems that I have come to my senses again, hearing a woman's voice, but not Rin's.
"Gin… can you hear me…?"
I have already felt that I can't process my mind unlike when I was still fine. All I can think of is seeing my mother behind that glass.
Mom… I miss her…
"If it's okay with you… Can I come in? I have the key with me…"
Just after the door opened wide, came running Gin towards her mother giving her a tight embrace leaving her into a great surprise.
What's wrong? Are you still not feeling well?"
"Mom… I miss you… I miss you so much…! Mom!" the tears of the certain man fell with the happiness, relief, fear, despair, and sadness overflowing inside him. "I haven't seen you… it's been… it's been three months… I'm scared. Mom… I want to go home…"
"Auntie? What happened to Gin?" thus Rin saw the scene.
"He just came running to me…
And… he just said… it's been three months…"
"Th-Three months…? But it's just been ten days…"
"It could be that… Gin is rapidly recalling his memories? He said that he is remembering everything in order starting from the very start.
It could be that he has recalled three months of the experiments in just a few days. But why is…
Gin… that's him… ten years ago. It could be possible that him as five years old converged to his current being."
"Is what you said true, Ms. Ringo?"
"Hiroomi, you're here. It's just my assumption, but with the way he behaves like a child, it might be that his past self is being simulated.”
“Hahh… I hate how I can’t be much of help right now. I have no knowledge when it comes to the science of the mind so I can’t say anything.”
“Ringo, Hiroomi. Can you please leave for a while? Maybe Gin needs to talk with someone.”
“Ah… yes, Auntie.”
With that said, the two immediately left the area.
“Gin… do you need something?”
“N-No… I just need Mom…”
“Ahahaha… you are so cute, son.
Ah, Gin. Do you remember when I told you about my brother?”
“Y’mean… the dead brother?”
“Pfft… Hahahahaha…! It’s been so long since I last saw you like this…
But yes. Do you remember his name?”
“I thought as much.”
“But to see how Gin was supposedly in the middle of the experiments…”
“It’s Eijiro. Your Uncle Eijiro.”
Mom, there’s a kid that always calls me Eiji. I told him to stop but he doesn’t wanna.”
“Oh… But what do you think? Eiji is pretty close to Eijiro, you know? Besides, your uncle is a good person, and with your hair like this, you almost looked like him. Although you got your eyes from Dad.”
“Good person…? Hmm… Then Eijiro is small too?”
Hearing those words, Senna immediately imagined a small Eijiro keeping mind the age.
“Pff… Hahahahaha! I will take that as a joke, son. That was quite funny!”
Those compliments that purposely said to cheer up Gin did not get through and instead, it made him gloom.
N-No… I’m not… a funny person…
Even though I get along with the others, I’m always quiet. I really don’t like talking to them because I think there’s nothing for me to talk about. I don’t like the doctors too. They always say that what they gave me will not hurt, but it feels like I’m burning every time…
I’m scared… I want to go home… I can’t trust anyone… I only have Mom with me. I don’t like anything…”
The childish but expressive behavior of Gin received a tight, warm embrace from Senna. And her tears began to roll.
“Gin… I’m scared too. I want you to go home too… I’m sorry…
I’m sorry that there’s nothing I can do… I regret every moment, every day… when I realized that we were deceived… That time when I saw you on a wheelchair with your expression… I regret everything… I regret that I can’t raise you the way we want your life to be… I’m sorry but I can’t do anything because I am so stupid…
But Gin… everything has happened already. Gin… you can’t run away anymore. We have no choice but to accept the pain that has already happened… I can’t turn back time…
Gin… I want you to live the life you wish for… I don’t want you to disappear. We don’t want to lose you again… You’ve had so many sufferings… I want it to stop… There are people that await you every moment… we are your family and we will always wait for you. I don’t want you to disappear, not just for our sake…
You have Ringo too… You have so many reasons to come back…”
Ringo… Who is that…? Ringo… Ringo… Ringo.
Yes… Mom. I won’t run away again.”
“I will be back… I promise. I have so many things that I want to do. I don’t want to waste the two years I have lived contemplating… just for nothing.
Mom. I will be sure to visit Uncle at some point.
I can’t have you stay here long. Any time soon, I’ll be back in remembering it again. I have seen so much from those three months… It was… crueler than I once thought. And to think that there are still nine more months.
Thank you for visiting… Though I do not remember how you came here, I am very happy. Please tell Dad that I’m not doing fine right now. But I hope that I will be better soon.”
“Yes… Take care, Gin…
Please don’t worry about us. You always have Ringo by your side, and I am very thankful for that.”
“Mhm. It’s so nice that I have a caring family.”
“We’ll wait for you, son.”
“Yes. Bye for now."
And so her mother left.
Let’s stop running away then.”
▪ ▪ ▪
It has been 14 days.
I have been here since the beginning of Gin’s recalling of his tormenting past. Contrary to what we thought, Gin is eating and drinking fine. But every time that he has calmed down, he is always sat in one place with a blank expression, not moving at all.
However proper he eats, his body kept slowly weakening. His blood pressure is always on low and high, but with the help of Ken through his knowledge on blood flow and control, we stabilized it. After that, there has not been any malfunction in his body, but his body has greatly weakened from mental stress.
And just today, when I was feeding him, I discovered that his lifeless eyes have made a change—his right eye turned blue again.
I am worried. I am anxious.
I want to know what is truly happening to him…
▪ ▪ ▪
Five months have passed in my memories.
I don’t know what to feel anymore. In the first month, eighteen already died. And the rate of decrease did not change.
Most of the children died from physical strain from the drug intakes, while the others committed suicide.
I hate myself…
I hate myself for not feeling anything towards their death.
“Oi, oi… Kid, I never thought that you used an exploit like that to plan an escape attempt. Now, I’ve gotten more interested.”
“There’s no need to be scared, boy. We’re just having a checkup on you.”
“Dr. Kagetora, No. 013 didn’t make it, unfortunately.”
“We can’t turn back time. You know what to do. Leave no trace of him.”
I know, Rishou Kagetora. You burn the children once they die and throw their ashes somewhere. Another child has left this world.
I see now. So this was the time when I attempted to escape and nearly succeeded. The cameras are still old and not tracking motion. Although the security is very tight, the technology in Orio on 2007 was very outdated compared to other countries.
~ ~ ~
And suddenly, I found myself talking to 086.
“Hey, Eiji… I thought I was going to die.”
“I learned from the adults how to check our pulse. They told me that whenever we feel beating from our veins, we have a pulse.”
“I checked my pulse earlier but I didn’t feel anything…! It’s scary!”
“Ugh… let me check whatever that pulse is…
Where do you look for it?”
“Just around the wrist.”
I as a child checked my own pulse and was a little surprised to feel my wrist beating. Then I checked Ken, or 086’s pulse…
“What are you talking about… I can feel it beating…”
“What?! But I was sure that I didn’t feel anything earlier!”
“You probably just missed it.”
▪ ▪ ▪
“This is bad… Gin’s health is continuously deteriorating.”
“Good grief… I have no idea what do anymore…”
Every single day, Hiro and Sean check Gin’s vitals and health. In the seventeenth day, it was very obvious that he has lost a lot of weight, and thinning out amidst of his proper eating.
Running out of things they can do for Gin, they have reached a tall wall. Thus, halted from anything as they do not want to put Gin’s life to threat.
But then… Rin had an idea.
“Hiroomi, Sean… I think I know someone that can help Gin. Aside from you two, I think he too knows Gin’s condition.”
“Wait… is that someone from the outside?”
I am aware of the consequences as it might be a threat to the Exiles’ identity. But if we want to really make Gin better, I think this is the only way.
I know that this is a stupid idea… not letting Gin know, and it is ironic that he is the one behind Gin’s pain…”
Silence enveloped the area for quite a long time. But they heard a weak voice, and went on their guards.
“I don’t… mind…
I think that… Kagetora can… help me…”
That wraps up 021.
Thinking about it, "reopened wounds" sounds like a nice title, but I'm a few years late to realize that.
That aside, the cover has been updated, and it will contextualize the majority of the next ten chapters.
Thank you for reading!