Chapter 29:

029 – Stared

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path

The bells rang marking the time for lunch break.

"It's a little warm today, so let's go eat at the rooftop," Jean suggested.

"Which rooftop, then?"

"What, Nacchi? You really want to tire yourself by climbing four floors?"

"Right, right. Let's just go up."

"I also want to check the flowers we planted there."

Just like the older rooftop of the school, they occupied the new one to themselves. This time, without any urban legends of murderers leaving blood marks from their hands.

Also, that story had aged and so not a lot of people are scared of coming to the old rooftop. However, newcomers are still terrified.

Putting that aside, the new rooftop has become the new place of Gin's circle. It is to the point that they built a roofed area with a bench, a pathway, and plant boxes around it.

Around the time when Gin and Nagi sneaked in to the rooftop, nothing of what was said was built.

And since no one besides them enters the rooftop, they moved the Art Club's second home here. Although, the new members don't really use the area much.

And just like any other day, they either eat their lunch at that place or at the isolated table where originally the four males hung out for three years. But things have indeed changed with the addition of Rin and Shiro, making their school life a bit more diverse.

~ ~ ~

As they made their way to the rooftop, they stumbled upon two people that seem to be guardians of students with their appearances.

As both of the group walked opposite directions, they overheard the two talking.

"Ugh… I wonder where his room is at."

"If only he said where it is…"

"Ah, let's ask those students."

Gin's group was then noticed and the two made their way to them.

"Excuse me, are the four of you students here?"

"Umm… yes," Shiro answered while Rin hid on her back trying to hide her laughter.

※ They are five.

"Are you looking for a student?" This time, Gin asked, making the two confused.

"Wh- Who just said that?"

They looked around until they realized that there is a fifth student in the group.

"Oh my, I'm sorry we didn't notice you there, I thought you were a phantom! But yes, we are looking for a third year student."

"Is that so. The rooms of the junior highs are located at the other building at the third floor."

"A phantom, huh."

"Oh, I see. Thanks for that."

Having their confusion satisfied, they walked away.

"Rin, you can stop laughing now."

"Ahahaha… It's been a while since we had that scenario."

"Oh, yeah. We can pretty much notice you half of the time so it's quite a shock for others to not notice you."

"More so, it was like you weren't even here." Shiro teased.

"Well, that just proves that my minimal exposure is still in full effect."


Certainly, I am sometimes like air… or one with the air? I am hardly noticed even when a person's mind isn't even preoccupied.

Just like what Nagi said, they can notice me in advance half of the time since we guys have known each other for quite the time. But in Rin's case, my stealthy actions are almost nonexistent.

In a hundred situations, there will probably be five times that she won't notice me. Part of it was that we are always together for most of the time and it is hard to not notice someone when you have lived together. Also, even when we weren't dating yet, I have already observed that she looks or steals a glance from me.

I guess affection has something to do with that? I wouldn't say for sure, though.

~ ~ ~

While we were having a practical activity in our arts subject, we grouped ourselves to however many we wanted.

With this kind of activities, we are free to utilize our own art styles, but with regards to the theme.

As usual, Yuuga is drawing with ink. Really, he's so good at using a dip pen. On the other hand, Mori is drawing without colors as usual. Ever since he started in the club, he hadn't done any colored works. He is probably not used to it.

As expected, a lot of things fall down to the floor. I am behind Ryota and his eraser fell near to me without him noticing.

"Hey, Ryota. Here's your eraser-


He got startled with my calling and he turned around with a rather indescribable look.

"Oh, it's just you, Gin. Didn't see you there.

Thanks for picking up my eraser."

"No probs."

We then continued with our businesses, but I can't set aside what I just saw.

His gaze was somehow terrifying that it gave a chill down in my spine.

"Though, I feel like I've seen that somewhere not too long ago."

"Gin, your stealth is seriously in full effect," Nagi commented.

And then, Yui called out to me.

"Hey, Gin~ Do you have a spare 3H with you?"

She is in the same group as Ryota where she is sat right in front of the window.



I'm so happy that we always have art classes with artists. What's borrowed from me always comes back to me.

And I am not like a walking art store. Do remember that!

"Be right back. I'll just go to the washroom."

Half an hour passed after I came back with the sound of scribbling still heard loud and clear.

~ ~ ~

"Hey, Rin. Should I paint a bit more shadows here? I'm finishing so lend me a hand."

Gin lifted his paper with the distance of his arm reach for Rin to see it from a little distance.

"Try adding a bit more shadows on the legs. Do you also have a white ink pen? Rim lighting will make things better."

"I see. Thanks."

"Gin. Here's your 3H," Yui tossed the pencil back to Gin with an expected clear catch.

He was surprised, not because of the sudden toss and catch, but with how Yui threw it without looking, as if she knew where Gin is.

It was weird for him. He went to the washroom earlier, and that was enough for him to disappear in their sight even if he is back in his seat. More so, they are all focused with their own works. Thus, it became a bit of a shock that Yui noticed him.

▪ ▪ ▪

A few days later, they had two periods of PE.

"I wonder how you'll do if you didn't get your body sorted out before the break ended. You were so sloppy," Rin chaffed as she walked with Gin.

"Thank goodness I toned back up. A month without exercise really was bad for me. I'd probably fly off if you do a spike right on my face."

They are doing volleyball for PE.

"And you might lose some weight too, Rin."

"If only I am someone who can run in the middle of winter like you… it's cold too.

Actually, why don't you make an exercise routine for me?"

"Hmm… I guess after this. I'll probably put something that's okay to do indoors."

The games started and their class occupied two volleyball courts. Some are just watching while they are playing.

But it's quite a problem for Gin. His side sometimes has six or five players because he's hardly noticed even at this situation.

At least, he can still receive and his services are all aces. But it just looks like the ball is bouncing in mid-air.

It did look like Gin's side only had five players inside, but he used it to his advantage to fool the opponent to think that it was open for a score. But every time they make a frontal hit, it always ended up going back to height.

"Anyone wants to sub?" he then stepped out of the court after two sets.

As he was drinking near and between the courts, the ball flew far and high, almost directing near to him. It was fortunately chased before landing and to his surprise, the one who saved the ball stepped away from him because of his presence.

"Sorry about that, Gin," again, it was Yui.

"All's good. Just be careful."


~ ~ ~

In the same day, there was another practical assessment, but in his other class in S1CA (Culinary Arts). It was individual as per the assessment, but Gin and Jean coincidentally got adjacent counters.

"How are things with Ai-san, Jean?"

"I haven't asked her out yet."

"I already know that."

"Kinda normal, I guess. Though, her parents do invite me a lot for a meal these days. I eat dinner there most of the time I visit."

"Oh, speaking of. It's Wednesday today. Ah, nevermind. Akanamis are on it tonight."

"Hahaha. Can we actually hear Ringo's father shout from their place?"

"Sometimes I can, but my ears are kind of sensitive so not everyone can hear it. Probably.

Actually, I have something to ask."

"Hmm? What is it?"

"Is my minimal exposure kind of out of effect these days?"

"H-Huh…? What do you mean? It's pretty much how it used to be. Even you still slip out in my vision a lot."

"Really? This is weird."

"How so?"

"I recently feel like it's not in effect. Like, I think I'm getting noticed quite a lot these days… even though you just said that it's the same as always."

"Aside from Ringo, I don't know anyone that can see through you. Not even the principal's eyes can perceive you sometimes, right?"


But I still feel that something isn't right. Like, I get the feeling that someone can see through this some sort of stealth I have."

"Woah, seriously? Some other person can do that? You're in trouble," sarcastically, Jean joked.

"Although it's a feeling, I am quite certain that there really is someone that can do that. I guess it always passes through my senses that's why I can't recognize who it is."

"Or rather, you just took it for granted that's why your insane observation skills didn't kick in. Even if you do now, I don't think you can find that person that easily."

"If you put it that way… that could be right."

In the midst of his deep and rather mysterious thought, a saucer appeared right in front of his face, reached out from Jean's arm.

"Care to have a taste? I'm practicing this from the resto's menu since I seriously can't get the sauce right."

With his request, he tasted the little amount of sauce. It was of course hot, and the taste was not what he was used to having tasted. But something tells him that he took a liking to it regardless of the slightly peculiar taste.

He then criticized.

"First, I'd like to get the recipe of that sauce you just made."


"You need to do some tuning with it. The tanginess is unbalanced because of how spicy it is. Lessen the amount of salt too.

But that's me following the recipe of what's in the menu. The taste still didn't sit right but I think I can manipulate the dish with this sauce.

Alright, help me out in experimenting sometimes."

"Haha. That's good to hear. I'll give you the recipe then."

~ ~ ~

The time limit of the first practical assessment of the semester has concluded with all the students finishing their own dishes under a theme.

The way the current teacher grades the students is by the scale from 1 to 10. To everyone's surprise, Gin's dish got full marks from the delighted teacher. Jean got a 9 as his score which could have been higher if he did not mess up the sauce he had Gin to taste. Aside from them, Rin was graded 9.25 and with her tying is Rena Azuki.


For some reason, she was the girl that Jean noticed in the very first day of the classes due to her age. At present, we are of the same age but she was just a few months older than me. It could be inferred that she had a few circumstances that led to here, but it was not something we should concern ourselves.

But regardless, her cooking was enough to be on par with two students who have had their fair share of experience inside a kitchen of a restaurant.

She is indeed someone to look out for.

~ ~ ~

As always, the orange sunlight has embraced the Art Room. With the ample light even without the artificial lights turned on, it was enough to illuminate a canvas being painted and the dusts were seen floating out and about as they hit the light.

It was no surprise that the room was quiet… way quieter than how it used to be. It was because Gin was the only one inside with a paintbrush at hand and a canvas stand with a parchment on it.

The others apparently came up to the rooftop to either draw or paint the scenery above, but he decided to remain in the Art Room without a good reason. In actuality, he doesn't even know why he decided to stay. With his mind surprisingly dulled out, he pulled out his earphones and listened to music of the North.

A few months ago, he didn't even care if he doesn't understand the music, as long as he likes it. But it wasn't the case anymore as he can finally interpret the language of the North. And so, the world with the music in his ears has leveled up to many steps and leaps.

But his concentration to the songs and the paintings were interrupted with a loud tone directly pinging on his ear. He flinched, dropping his brush and his palette. Having his attention driven to the abrupt notification on his phone, he opened it.

It was a message request, or a group message request coming from the last person he could think of sending it to him.

Ryou Yugare has invited him to a group chat.

"Now what in the world is he up to…"

Ryou Hello there, Sakato-san!

Ayato Hi.

Yuzuri It's been a while, Gin-kun

It seems that all of the members aside from him are employees from Anew. But to his surprise, they weren't messaging with their native language.

Gin sent a sticker.

Hello. But to suddenly add me to a chat, what's up?

Ryou Ryou sent a video.

With his curiosity, he instinctively played the video not even after a second has passed after being sent. The video played with sounds which made it convenient for Gin as he has his earphones plugged.

In the vertical video captures a woman leaning on the railings of the veranda of the office building of Anew in Kyoto. He immediately noticed it as he already went in there.

"**I see you're here again."

"**Oh? Look who's here. Good afternoon, Kaizo-kyun~"

The woman in the silhouette turned around, but her face was not clearly recorded because of the poor video compression upon uploading. But he got irritated after hearing the lively voice of the woman which turned out to be Ichika. And the one with the masculine voice was Kaizo.

"**Here, coffee. It's cold."

"**Ohh. Thanks.

**What? Lemme guess, you're going to lend me your coat? Lol."

"**If you're not that dumb to go out in the veranda in the middle of the cold, I wouldn't have to."

As per Ichika's prediction, Kaizo placed her coat on her shoulders.

"**What a cute junior you are, Kaizo-kun~"

"**Oh, stop."



**Say, how about we start dating? What do you think?"

"**Eh? Sure."

And the video cut off ending so abruptly.



Still with the total silence, he spammed the keyboard of his phone.


no, srsly. Congrats, Kaizo. When did that happen, anyway?

Hina Just a few minutes ago.

Ayato Lololol they're currently being attacked haha

Ayato Even branch manager is teasing them.

I'm suddenly curious. What really happened?

~ ~ ~

And so, the adults briefly explained.

Even with Gin's request to tell him the specifics, the story can't be told in a certain length.

It apparently started on the last day of Gin and company in Japan, where Yuzuri Kamichi invited her colleagues as a farewell get-together for the three.

It was originally a joke that Ichika invited Kaizo for a drink, but things flowed nonchalantly. Thus, Kaizo had just decided to ask her out. The end.


Towards the future, I guess."

"Ohh… this room is so quiet," a feminine voice from the door of the Art Room echoed. "Hi there, Gin."

"You just saw a rare sight of a dedicated artist slacking off in the middle of painting, Yui."

"So you can joke?" she nonchalantly walked inside with her gaze going around the room.

"Of course I can. Be wary, I'm sarcastic when I'm at my weirdest."

"Pfft. What's that supposed to mean?"

"Don't ask. I myself don't know."

"Wow. Didn't expect you to be so eccentric."

He observed Yui to be easy to talk to in just a few minutes of their senseless conversation. Unlike him who has no reason why he stayed in the Art Room alone, he figured that it's not the case for Yui. Surely, she has a reason for coming here.

"The eyes that can see also can't see. But the eyes full of reasoning can see what the clear vision can't.

My first statement can be literally applied. I've proven that."


You're suddenly being philosophical."

"That's just how eccentricity is. I think of random things.

Or… is it really random?"

It was a mystery that Gin should have answered from the beginning. A very obvious factor in his deductions managed to slip away from his mind. But it has finally become clear to him.

"Yui, you can see me. Am I right with that?"

Yui was genuinely confused. But Gin realized that she perhaps do not know of it. His minimal exposure is not known, in its existence, at least. Thus, he therefore came to the conclusion that he is being seen subconsciously—that there is something making Yui see him.

"I wouldn't be surprised if you find it weird that it seems as though I am like air to others; hardly noticed."

"So you're aware?"

"Of course I am. I made myself like this. It's as if I am there, but at the same time I am not."

"Do others know this too?"

"Just a handful of them. And it just happened that I did not realize that you are one of them.

Amazing, isn't it? I can make myself disappear from their perceptions but there are others that are exempted. I don't intend to provoke, because honestly, I am quite glad that there are at least a few that can see. I'm grateful, Yui."

She was touched from his words. Somehow, she felt happier for what has been expressed to her. She intently stared at the subtle smile of Gin as light shone to his hair and his delighted face.

He was not aware that Yui's gaze was directed to him. But he finally realized as he stood in front of her with those glimmering eyes with hope.

It took her no time to understand how Yui can see him.

"D-Do you know why… I can see you…?"

The air has become tensed. It was not a time for him to joke, he thought. Even without his intuition he can tell that Yui's silence was trying to say something.

"I feel that I am in no position to answer that, even if I possibly know."

His reply was sincere. He seriously does not know the answer to the why question. But instead, he waited for her to say it.

Yui was not annoyed with how the man replied. Because she herself knows that she only has the answer to her question. Thus, her lips opened.

"I… I like you…"

Chapter Message:

That ends 029!

well what just happened there

Thanks for reading!


030: The only response I can give.