Chapter 26:

026 – No Silver Apple

Rainbow of the Horizon

Gin Sakato has finally recovered all of his memories in the day nineteen, or rather, seventeen years after his birth, and Eijiro Kurogane's death.

Untold if his death was a striking memory that made him recover everything, or if it was from an entirely different reason. But even if it was or was not the case, it's as if he surfaced from the depths of the earth, growing as a tree that bears bountiful fruit. He has, for the very least have undergone a change.

He came back to reality… and came to back to his house with an outstandingly high fever which in the human's standards, it is just absolutely ridiculous. Seriously, such things surely can't happen.

That is, Gin still tolerates his condition as a "fever", despite of the fact that an ordinary human will have a dangerous illness with that.

But considering the fact that his illness is not communicable, he can still safely join Rin and Yuna with lunch although he's pretty much equal to a disabled person due to his inability to walk. With that said…

They unanimously decided to make hotpot in Gin's room for lunch and most probably for dinner. It was getting comfortably warm inside.

It is still the same day. Silence surrounded the bedroom with the subtle sound of boiling and the satisfying feel of the steam on their faces.

"Here, open. Say 'ahhh~'" said Rin as she carefully raised a spoon towards Gin who is also sat on the floor with a thick blanket on his back. He has his own set of utensils but Rin suddenly raised hers towards Gin's face.

"You know, don't spoil me like this, Rin. I-"

"I've been in your care for so long; I pretty much owe you so much."

I can't say that. She went all the way to tell me that she will nurse me as paying back my taking care of her when she was sick.

"Yeah, yeah. Little brother is right, Ringo." Yuna butted in.


"Why did you even bother telling that when you just allowed yourself to be fed?!"

"Mmm… Now I'm starting to get why Dad said that earlier."

"My answer is still no."

"Pff… yeah. Don't take that too seriously."

"I say that, but sometimes Dad can really trouble me with thoughts like that."

"By the way, how long is the break going to last? You know, I'm so out of the loop I don't even know the small things."

"Well… it's the 27th today so there are ten days allotted to this break. Are you sure you can be back to school by the 5th?"

"I suppose so. I'll be fine though. But I'm just worried about the things I missed.

Also, Rin. You haven't been to school right? I should be asking you the same thing."

"Like I said- Ah.

I'm pretty much good in terms of school works, though Tenth pleaded to minimize it since he knew that I'm all eyes on you. I was sending my things to the school's mailbox when we were still in the base.

Sis, don't steal my mushrooms."


"So I guess you'll be going home soon, huh."

"Oh… I haven't actually thought about it."

"That's bound to be talked about, little sister."

"You bring that up now, Gin… I hope you'll be okay once we go back."

"I'd be lying if I tell you that I won't be sad or lonely. It's been a while since the last time I lived with others.

Actually, Jean lived here last December, huh."

"Don't think much about it. I guess I'll stay until the next Sunday."

"I see. Let's go out some time then."


"I hope you'll feel less lonely if I were to tell you that I'll stick around."

Gin and Rin, who was satisfyingly drinking their soup from the bowl stopped as their eyes opened wide after hearing what Yuna said.

"Huh… Sis?" he displayed astonishment while slowly turning his head.

"Oh…" while Rin's head lowered hiding the gloominess on her face.

"They'll have to talk to you sooner or later. Even if you can forgive Mom and Dad without hesitation, I don't think I can do that yet.

You two… you've been through a lot because of that.


"Have that chunk of beef," Gin pressed a piece of meat into Yuna's mouth with his chopsticks. "I don't know much of the details, but I can at least understand how you feel, Sis.

And you still won't catch my cold, so all's well.

On the bright side, Rin and I are together more than just by a coincidence."


I guess you have point."

▪ ▪ ▪

Two days later.


Actually, no. My body is still feeling extremely stiff and flimsy. I need to be back in shape.

"I'm going out, Rin."

It was around 1 o'clock in the afternoon that I dressed up with exercise clothing.

"You're going for a run in the middle of winter? Seriously, what's with your body's surreal endurance?" she somewhat worriedly asked as she stood behind my back while I was tying my shoes.

"I'll be making dinner today so I'll probably be back by around 4. I think I'll do 20km."

"Huh… Keep your stamina in check though. You've been like an idle slime for a month so I'm not expecting much."

"Hahaha. I hope I'll go back without catching my breath. Thanks for following up the reference, though.

Well, off I go."

"Be careful, then. Don't let people see much of your head."

"I'll keep that in mind," and so he started his exercise with a job going out of his yard.

The scenery however had brought more life compared to that grey day. The clouds are a lot more scattered, instead of completely hiding the blue skies, and the sunlight subtly passes through the earth.

The snowfall has stopped long ago but the whiteness of the streets is still visible, not coming to melt any time.

Thus, he really did catch some attention. But not due to his silver hair covered by his cap; instead, because of seeing someone as foolish as Gin to take a run in the middle of subzero.

But not even getting far from his house, thoughts already came to his mind.

"Hmm… I swear we'll be missing out a lot.

I wonder how the others did when Rin and I were away…"


Even if there's a flashback incoming, I still wouldn't know. Hahh…"

▪ ▪ ▪

A few weeks earlier, at school.

It has been already eight days since the beginning of the breakdown.

The Art Room is occupied in the start of the week, but it was different… or weird.

Mori and Yuuga have been already aware of the gloomy mood. While Ginji on the other hand has finally become suspicious of the problem that Gin and Rin haven't been in school.

As someone who knows more than an ordinary person, the assumptions have been most likely right. By pure coincidence that he found out about the current existence of code 019 and 027, it was the only matter he can deduce. But he himself is aware that he can't predict an exact future.

"Geez… What the heck is up with those two. Ringo hasn't been attending classes for a week now," Nagi disconcertingly voice out.

"I've been asked by Mato-sen just earlier, but even I can't answer him since I don't know," Jean then followed up with his concern.

"What's weird is that she hasn't even submitted a form of absence. That is the usual case, but that's not happening up to now."

"Nacchi, granted that Gin has matters of his own, but also Ringo? It just doesn't sit right."

An idea came to Shiro but immediately paused after almost slipping her tongue.

"Come to think of it, it has been five days. Don't you think that-


She was thinking about how Gin was away for a week… or two years. But the idea was voided since they should be back by the next week, or today. But it did not happen.

"Then, why don't we go visit them after school?" Jean suggested.

"I suggest not," a familiar voice countered Jean's suggestion from the doorway. There stood was Akira.

"Akira…? It's unusual to see you roaming around here."

"There's something I need to talk about.

Mr. Ayame, Mr. Inari and Mr. Satoshi… am I right? Can I ask you guys to step out of the room for a moment?"

Although surprised that a stranger called them out, they nodded and went out of the Art Room.

Akira was being careful to avoid suspicions, so he calmly turned things to his side without showing any tension.

The four of them remained. Akira closed the door which he then twisted a knob on the wall beside the light switches.

"Turning the soundproofing on? What is up really, Akira?" Nagi asked as he was trying to analyze the situation.

"It's about the other two. Especially Gin."


So you knew something."

"Even if you try to visit them in their house, you won't find them there."

"T-They're not there, Akira…? But they…" Shiro tried to word out what was on her mind.

"Shiro? Do you know something?"

"Remember when I sent Ringo home when she caught a cold? Because of Gin's condition, Ringo and her sister had to move to his house since he can't be left alone."

"What?!" Jean and Nagi exclaimed in surprise.

"B-But hey. I guess that's good for Gin, you know?"

"I know right, Nacchi. Surely Ringo is doing the cooking since all Gin can do is sleep. Man, what a letdown of a future husband."

"If all you do is think about cooking, then that won't suffice if you're trying to catch Ai-san's heart."

"Oi, you two. I know you're envious but keep it at the minimum."

"Huh. You're still single right, Akira?"

"Ugh. Shut up and don't get ahead of yourself, Jean! You're also single! You should think of it as a good thing while you do not have a girlfriend yet! It's a treasure that may or may not happen again!"

Akira got ahead of himself.

Eventually, they came back to the main issue and Akira explained everything he knows.

~ ~ ~

"As much as I want to let you guys visit, I can't. Even Gin can't control himself as we speak.

Jean's the only one who hasn’t been in the base, right?"

"Yeah. I couldn't come at that time since I'm with Ai."

"But then, they could have at least left a message or something," Shiro suggested.

"Well, the thing is that he comes back to his consciousness very seldom. But I guess you can keep in contact with Ringo."


Is his childhood really something we can't comprehend? Just what in the world happened when he was in the middle of that program…?"

"All we know is that there is an event that… a killing happened. But there's more to that?"

They all fell to a pit of fear as they tried to imagine the suffering of a five-year old, but it was grim wherever route they go to.

"I just remembered that I need to work with Dad for a while so I will be around most of the time. I sadly won't be able to check up to those two for quite some time.

I suggest you sweep away that negativity. Well, I'll be going now."

▪ ▪ ▪


I am still wondering what could the person that came to talk with the other members of the club said a few days ago.

It seems that his name is Akira. Akira Juushiro. He is the same age as me but he is not a student. I speculate that he is the principal's son and he's always seen entering the admin office.

He was however a student of Blue Ink High until last school year.

Regarding last year, it seems that things have happened in their class… like a case of murder. The A class batch of Gin from first to fourth year had a pretty wild history, all to change with a classmate dying. Still, can people really not change without losing something or someone?

I guess it's also the same case for me. But in the end, I didn't see them change one bit. Saddening.

But back to the main point. That guy Akira immediately opposed Nacchi's thought. I do know about Gin's condition as it was disclosed to our class, and somehow, about Ringo and her sister living with him too.

'I suggest not,' he said. Could it be that they are somewhere but their house?

Well, that's why I'm here in front of his door as I hear the extreme silence around his house. It seems as though there are no one in the house even at this time in the afternoon.

Ginji slowly raised his forearm with his exposed knuckles ready to knock on the door. It was just a few millimeters away until a sound will be made, but he unexpectedly leaped up to a small space he can step on the wall of the second floor, only to instantaneously push himself up to the roof.

Being able to pull off an acrobatic as if it was as easy as breathing, it tells the possibility of a display of physicality and agility.

Making a noise when he landed on the roof, a pair of ears heard something on the roof.

"Huh… It's rare to hear cats playing on this roof."

It was Yuna's ear that heard the noise as she momentarily raised her head up from being stooped on the table while her eyes happened to open only halfway. She realized that she was still wearing her eyeglasses as she just nodded off and took them off. With the pair of glasses being placed on the table, she went to bed with her sleeping pattern ultimately ruined.

The window of the room showed the skies turning orange, and an upside-down half of Ginji's face looking through inside.

"I better move away…" he whispered.

He went to the opposite side of the house to find another window. Thus, he also poked his head to peek. There was also a perfectly aligned window facing one another, both without the curtains closed. He first checked up on the window of the house next door.

"This is Ringo's place right? I wonder who uses that room."

And then he looked back to Gin's house.

"Now I remember. This one is Gin's room. Looks like he isn't here."

"Hahh…" he sighed and jumped down from the roof to the ground with such ease. Even a height like that is not an easy landing for an ordinary person. But there truly are people that can do the same, although out of his knowledge.

"I wonder how that masked Exile will react if he ever sees me doing this. But still, I can never hold a C4 and throw it in mid-air. That's just insane."

Failing to have any clarifications, he went home but with the assumption that Gin is away has started to become concrete.

▪ ▪ ▪

12th of October.

The orange leaves continue to separate from the branches of the trees. The blowing of the wind is weak, but the coldness of the air has increased.

Fall has been almost over. Any time soon, the snow will start to fall for the second time in the history of the country.

The steam coming from the heaters rose up until it vanishes to the air. It was inside a cozy looking cafe with a peaceful vibe. No music was playing, and sounds of the cups, utensils, and occasional chattering were only heard.

The cafe has the usual setting that one sees everywhere. Meaning that it was not out of the ordinary. The wooden door was painted dark green, it has no large glass windows and not an open or close sign is hanged on it. Beside that is a big pane of window where the sign is hanged. The glass had subtly fogged up because of the vapor coming out of the heaters. But that heat has successfully eliminated the extreme cold inside the building. It was a comfortable place to sit and drink a piping hot coffee on a very cold day.

And just by the foggy windows, two students of Blue Ink High with different uniforms sat there, drinking a cup of latte in unison. In unusual cases, Jean and Ai are seen together outside school.

It has been three months since they have reunited, although from a very short time of being far from each other. In this duration and continuing, Jean is making the effort of trying to get the hearts of Ai's parents before hers, but it is already evident that they are both seeing eye to eye.

They could perhaps start a relationship if they decided to, but they clung to the words of caution from Gin and Rin, who impulsively got together. And there is also Nagi and Shiro, who will mark their one year in eight days.

Thus, they decided to move slowly.

"You know, Jin. I never had the chance to ask until today but, how come I'm not seeing Gin-senpai and Ringo-senpai lately?"

"Uhh," Jean flinched, slightly averting his eyes. "Well, yes. They've been absent for a long time now. They just have things to deal with on their own.

I guess they just don't want us to be involved with their own issues," he gave a rather dry smile and took a sip from his cup.

"Did something happen between them?"

"No. That's not it. They're fine the way they are, but I don't know if they're both fine with the way things are," he has lost thought of trying to hide the concerning expression.

"Jin… what happened, really?"

Thinking that there is no use of trying to lie, he vaguely answered.

"All I can say is that it's something very important."


Is this something related to their families? Naru-chan and I have been observing Anna-chan for a while, and she doesn't look lively lately."

"Well… it doesn't affect their ties, but I guess it's something that involves both their families at this point.

I'm very sorry, Ai. Even if I can or can't say something, I have so few information about their situation. I will admit that I'm a little disappointed that they didn't tell us their problems nor did they rely on us more. But in the end, it's reasonable why they are still keeping quiet about it.

One thing is that Ringo has become very special to Gin, so she very well knew what is going on. And second…

Ai, I don't think what they are going through is something we can swallow. It's not something our will can probably take."


I… I hope they will be okay, whatever it is…"

Soon, they finished their cup and left the cafe after a chime. The cold has come back, crawling up to their spines.

And so, they wore their jackets along with scarfs that they gifted each other and started walking the suburb street.

"Ai, since it's Friday, can you be a bit late?"

"I think it's fine. My parents know that I'm with you.

Why though?"

"I have something to show you."

With that said, Jean walked the opposite way together with Ai. They walked a good distance until they reached an opening of a spacious grassland—which is the entrance to Zen Park.

The trees around the park are almost bare to the branches. There were less people as it got colder. Just like in the past year, the park loses the crowd at this time of the year.

Rustling of the grass sounded continuously as they walked until they got to a paved pathway in between an array of trees on both sides. A romantic scene had happened in this very place almost a year ago, but they never took notice of it. Nonetheless, they crossed the path and went through the trees, revealing a big lake at the scene.

"Jin, this is beautiful. I thought this was straight out of Bob Ross's painting."

"So you have an artistic sense, Ai.

Aaahhhh… it's cold here isn't it."

"Yes… definitely," she said as she whirred to the freezing wind.

"Too bad, the lake's not yet frozen."

"Oh? Does this lake freeze when it's winter?"

"I guess? We haven't had our second winter so I can't say but this place sure became cold last time. It was…

It was that day. Gin's turning 19 soon, huh."

"Ah, I forgot about that. Why is senpai still second year even with his age?"

"Hmm… How should I put it…

It's a weird reason… like, it was supposed to be a very long story, but ended up being very short."

"You're being vague again. I don't get it."

"This time, it's something that I can't say, Ai. I'm sorry."

Pouting a little, she sighed. "I understand. I won't try to dwell on it."

"But well, I have a feeling that you will get to know at some point."


"Shall we go now? It's kind of getting late."

"Ah, yes."

"But now that I've shown you this, you could expect me to bring you here once I ask you out officially, whenever it might be."

"Fufu… I'm looking forward to the future now."

▪ ▪ ▪

At some other day, Mato, or Mato-sen, or Martin Arlo is seen walking down the White Street. His eyes rolled in whatever direction as he was reminded of the time when he used to live on the quiet street.

Before he became an educator, he was a college student who had friendly relations with the Sakato family in his time of residence in the street. He had interacted with the family many times, and even with the lifeless stares of their second son. Gin was a very unnoticed person beyond the shyness. He honestly thought that he was a scary child, but he saw him change little by little. And as he was admitted to Blue Ink High as per Mato's backing, he made much more changes.

He did not know why Gin grew with that character and he was astonished with so many changes that happened to him with reasons unclear to him.

Up until this point, Mato still does not know about the relationship between Gin and Rin.

But all of those things came to his mind due to the issue that Gin has not come to school for weeks without notice. Being near the area, he wishes to talk with his parents, and while he's at it, he also decided to have a visit to the Akanami family, which their daughter have been absent with the same duration as the Sakato lad.

But as he was getting near the Sakato household, he saw Shuu and Sumi Akanami coming out of the said residence. He tried to call out but it seems that it did not reach them. Thus, he came to the Sakato residence nevertheless.

"Oh, Martin. What brings you here?" he was received by Amano, who opened the door in surprise with the unexpected guest.

"It really has been a while, Mr. Sakato."

"Yeah, I don't really see you at school whenever I come there.

So… you came here to check up on Gin, I suppose?"

"Yes. He has been absent for more than two weeks because of his condition, so I want to talk to him. Is he in his house?"


Sorry, but he's currently away. With how things are, you're probably going to the Akanami family too?"

"Yes…? But why bring that up?"

Senna came to the living room with a tray of three cups of coffee served to the guest and for them, and sat beside Amano.

"For the meantime, please allow us to speak on their behalf. Unfortunately, they can't entertain guests right now. I have a fair knowledge with their conflict."

"Then… please do."

"Well then…

Our son has been ill for the duration of his absence, apart from his sleeping disorder. But now, he's finally stabilizing… for the most part. Regarding Ringo, he's currently helping in taking care of our son. Really, that girl is so lovable."

"I see… wait. I didn't know that they are that close? I know that they have a good friendship at school together with the ones in the club…"

"Wait… Martin. So you didn't know?"

"Didn't know what, Mrs. Sakato?"

"Martin, they have been dating for a year now."





"Pff… Hahaha. So you didn't know until now?" Senna chuckled.

"But rest assured, Martin. Your students are in good hands. Although I don't know when they will come back."

"Then, can I know what Gin’s illness is?"

"Hmm… I can't really say that. But the least I can say is… that Gin has lost his memories.

Please understand."

He was left dumbfounded with the words that came out of Amano's mouth. It is not something that he hears normally, let alone in a very nonchalant way.

"I-Is… Gin really okay…? Will his memories return…?"

"Don't worry too much. He's old enough to know what he's doing even without his memories. I'm quite sure that you also have seen him grow over the years."

Mato stayed silent, almost to tears for some reason.

"If you have this much faith in him, then I guess there's nothing to worry as his teacher.

If they ever come back, please tell them I said hello, and I want to say my congratulations to their relationship personally.

Man, that plain guy got a girlfriend ahead of me, huh. What a guy."

"Also, try to ask the principal about those two. I am very sure he knew their circumstances… or maybe his son?"

"So Sir Juushiro already knew? Wow, the principal is really amazing when it comes to information gathering. He's so trustworthy."

"Well, that's Take for you. He's actually a friend even before he became the principal."

"Now that's surprising in its own way."

Having an adequate knowledge of the circumstances of his students, he left the house. He came back to school without visiting the neighboring family.

"I guess I'll go easy on them when they come back."

▪ ▪ ▪

"I'm home."

"Welcome back, Potato."

Accomplishing the twenty kilometers of running, he came back home with bags with him from shopping on his way back.

"Ugh… I was too late to buy our stock of rice."

"Oh, too bad."

"Well, it's winter. I guess I'll go look somewhere tomorrow. I don't want to be deprived of rice."

“I wish I could’ve run with you if it isn’t winter. I gained a bit of weight and I haven’t been exercising a lot. Hahh…”

“Sorry. It’s my fault for needing to be taken care of.”

“…" Rin tilted her head to the right while closely staring at Gin, removing his cap.

"Is something wrong, Rin?"

"You're seriously going to school with that hair, huh," she nonchalantly changed the topic.

"Well, I can't do anything about that. I don't want to cut it for a while and I don't want to dye this black. I guess this will grow to black again at some point.

Hmm… I think I'll have Onee-san (Shiina) think of a hair style for me."

"I can lend you the hairpin you gave me."



Chapter Message:

That does it for 026!

I wish I am joking but I missed to release a chapter yesterday because I was busy making a Minecraft concrete block. Take the Minecraft bit with a grain of salt but I was literally making a cube that could may well be in the Transformers. For that, I apologize.

Thank you for reading!


027: Gin Sakato, bouncing back.