Previous thread >>17620
“There is something else actually.” You say, voice coming out strangely steady. Your buddy looks at you with something of a reserved expression. She seems hesitant to even mouth the logical followup question. You don't let the initiative wither away from you and into awkward silence. At least not yet.
You suggest something again, not joking in the least.
“We should go. Leave together.”
Time seems to stop in the room. Matt walls and equally dull floor are suddenly more vivid. You think that it may be an illusion; Kaguya looks still, remarkably so, like the quiet visage usually found in an old photograph. Your suggestion is out in the open. And for what may have been either an hour or a few seconds she seems to try to make meaning of your words, as if they were said in a foreign language.
It goes without saying that you can't tell what she's thinking at first - If anything at all.
“The others are waiting for us.” She finally says silently, as if you hadn't said anything at all.
“We should leave. Just the two of us.” You repeat yourself.
“This isn't the time to be joking.” She smiles awkwardly.
You get up, offering your hand to her.
“I'm not joking.” You say with a straight face. “Does it look like I'm joking?” Normally, after saying something like that, you'd feel like smiling, but you're all business now.
“...You really mean it, huh.” She mumbles just loud enough.
“Yeah, I do. Let's go out, have fun, make some memories. All of that. It's not a bad idea I'm sure.”
“What about the others?”
“I don't really care right now. All of that stuff can wait, what's important is our having fun together.” You shrug, adding, “They'll understand. And Eirin always seems to have everything covered.”
“You'd really leave them all without a second thought?”
“I'll even carry you if I have to.”
And while you keep your intent clear, you return to the previous playful tone. She seemed to enjoy that.
“Milady, let us spirit ourselves away posthaste. Excitement, adventure, and merriment awaits.”
You extend your hand to her again.
“We really can't.” She says.
“What we really can't is pass this chance up.”
“I know you're stubborn, but like I was saying earlier...”
“I don't really care about that stuff right now. All I know is that I want to spend time with you and all of that is starting to sound like it'll mean just the opposite. Dealing with lunarians?” You put forward your perspective, “I don't know what exactly is in store, but it can't be easy. I know that we won't be able to spend our time however we like it. That's reason enough to have fun instead. It'll be just the two of us, no one else, and we'll be able to be ourselves.”
There's no real telling what she's thinking at the moment. Soft breaths are all you hear from her as she lists her head forward, probably in thought. Cerise lips curl and pout momentarily, soon relaxing again. She grabs your hand firmly, looking at you silently.
“Well, have I convinced you then milady?”
“Just be sure to do it properly.” She whispered, standing up.
“Properly?” You grin. Quickly grabbing her legs and back, you lift her up and carry her. “Like this you mean?”
“It's a start.” She holds her hands to her chest, looking away from your face.
“Glad to hear it.” You carry her towards the hallway – she's lighter than she looks. You realize that preparations really are in order.
Kaguya is silent, her breath almost completely still, as you carry her to her room. Her hair drapes down, and you're careful to keep her high enough against your chest so that her hair doesn't touch the floor. Not being used to carrying much with your arms, you feel the strain on your muscles by the time you get to her room. You put her down gently and she stands.
“Please gather things that you'll need buddy.” You tell her. “I'm going to arrange things for us and be back in a bit.” She nods, and you leave. You try to keep level-headed, not letting the almost surreal situation get to you. Kaguya's silence is a bit miffing, and you can't figure that out, but you try not to think much about that. Procuring supplies is your task.
Conveniently enough you can follow the smell of smoke to who you're looking for. Tewi is smoking another fat cigar by the courtyard, a bright smile.
“Weren't you busy with work?” You ask.
“Weren't you busy doing something stupid?” She retorts.
“I'm on it. I need your help.”
“What kind of help?” She takes a large puff from her cigar, making the tip glow vividly red.
“Just the kind you offered earlier.”
“So you are
doing something stupid. Nice.” She laughs, reaching into her dress. “Cigar?”
“No thanks. Smoking is bad for you.”
“Running away on an impulse is also bad.”
“I'm not running away. Just... leaving for a bit. Things are intense here and I want to spend some time with her.”
“Gotcha.” She put the cigar away. “So what exactly do you need from this business mogul?”
You tell her what you had in mind. She listenes to you patiently, smoking all the while. It felt very wrong to see someone as small and, well, lolita-looking as her doing that. At this rate her beautiful white ears would become black from the smoke. She tapped her foot as she thought.
“I can help you no problem. I'll have everything in less than an hour.” She stamped out her cigar stub. You are surprised that she would be able to deliver on such a short notice. When you ask, she explains that as a businesswoman she had all sorts of assets. “Diversity is key in this economy. I'll get my executives to grab the things from our stores and you'll be set.”
“That's unbelievable. How can I repay you?”
“Just have fun.” She said, being more direct and forthright than I had imagined she could be. “It's a nice thing to be young like you. I sort of wish it were me that you were taking, I'm jealous.” She jabbed playfully, “I could ride you piggyback instead of in your arms.”
“Ah, you saw?”
“Maybe. Anyways, I should get going. Meet you here in an hour.”
You return to your room, getting your own things ready. It all fits in a small bag you find in the closet. It's not much, but it should be enough. You return to check up on Kaguya, passing by the dining room. The sounds of questionable health education movies still come from within. Those within are still busy with that.
Kaguya is trying to close a piece of hard-skinned luggage, a small suitcase. It looks to be absolutely full. She notices your presence and manages to clamp the suitcase before you can get close. She holds it protectively, keeping it firmly held by both her hands.
“I'm ready.” She says, looking a bit red and sounding out of breath.
“Did you take everything you need? Leave anything that you won't use, otherwise it'll just be useless weight.”
“Oh I need everything in here.”
“Then let's meet up with Tewi, she has the rest of the stuff we need.”
“I left a note.” She says fidgeting slightly. “So that they won't think that something bad has happened to us.”
“That's a good idea.” You try to take her suitcase from her, she stubbornly clings to it.
“I don't mind carrying it.”
“Are you sure? I don't mind carrying it either.”
“I'll tell you if it gets hard for me to carry it.”
She walks at your side down the hallway. You feel that you're being stared at. From the corner of your eye you see that she's trying her hardest not to be too obvious about looking at your face.
“Is something the matter?” You ask her. She fumbles a bit, almost dropping her suitcase.
“Nothing's wrong.” She says meekly.
“You can tell me if there's something up.” Maybe there's something on your face.
“There's nothing up. I was just thinking about what we're going to do, that's all. Seems unreal.”
“Nothing unreal about it. You'll see that it's very real and fun.” You smile at her, and she bashfully smiles back, nodding in agreement. Feels good.
Tewi delivers. More accurately put, a horde of bunnies does. A large rucksack stuffed with everything that you asked for is what you get. You thank her as you inspect your supplies, impressed at how utterly thorough she was. There's enough food, tools, and equipment for many an eventuality. You couldn't be happier with what you got. Kaguya looks impressed at how everything is coming together. It adds to your confidence.
And as an added bonus, Tewi offers to have a couple of her bunnies lead you out of Eientei.
“Because it's night and I couldn't have you kids getting lost just like that.” She explains.
You're not about to turn her down at this stage and accept.
Tewi bids her goodbye, tiptoeing to whisper you the best of luck and giving you advice – depositing something furtively into your rucksack as well. You thank her again and are off.
It's a cool evening. Refreshing more like. Clouds hide the moon and stars for the most part, filtering their light out. The rabbits lead from a rear entrance into the bamboo forest. You end up carrying everything except Kaguya's suitcase – she still stubbornly clings to that. It's not too bad though. High spirits make the weight feel like nothing and you leave Eientei behind with a smile on your face. And judging by your buddy's pleasant expression, you figure that she's feeling something along the same lines as you are.
You walk for a long time, occasionally struggling through stiff stalks of bamboo. The group doesn't follow a trail, you're dependent on the rabbits' sense of direction. It's moments like these that you wish that you could understand the little guys. Patiently following them is tricky in the dark, and you grab a flashlight from your rucksack to follow them closely. You make sure to keep Kaguya close to you, by having her walk between you and the rabbits.
It's an arrangement that works out, and eventually you reach your destination. Shelter for the night, as Tewi promised. A small wooden cabin stands in a small clearing. You've never seen it before, and it looks to be completely empty. The rabbits lead you to the door and urge you inside. Their work done, they scurry off leaving the two of you alone.
“I didn't know there was a cabin out here.” Kaguya remarks, putting down the suitcase and looking at the surroundings.
“Neither did I.” You close the door, thinking that the bamboo forest truly is a mysterious place. “It's not very big either.”
You look around, using the flashlight for illumination. It's a simple, single-environment cabin. A large space with a table and chairs in one end and not much else. There's an old-fashioned stove as well as what may be a chimney covered by a pile of logs. There's a single door besides the entrance, one that you find leads to a minute storage closet.
“It'll probably be best if we set up away from the table in the empty spot there.” You suggest. “It's not that bad as a pit stop. The door bolts securely and the windows have curtains.” You find a lamp on the table and check to see if it has enough fuel in it. Luckily it does, and you light it and turn off the flashlight. The cabin is now illuminated with a soft yellow glow. “Feels cozy, right?”
Kaguya says nothing, bringing her things to a clear spot. You sit at the table casually.
“I'll get the sleeping bags from the rucksack in just a moment. You're not sleepy yet, are you?”
“Hungry? I think we could probably use the stove to heat stuff up if we wanted warm food.”
“Suit yourself.” You say. “Don't hesitate in saying what you want. We've no reason for shyness between us.”
She chuckles, obviously amused by your choice of words and slowly makes her way over to the table. She sits across from you, the lamp giving her eyes more twinkle than they might really have right then.
“I'll ask then.” She smiles, “What happens with us now? What are we going to do?”
She got to the very pith and marrow.
We'll see if it's possible to get regular updates going.
I would suggest that anyone reading this story read the comments and thoughts after the last update. I apologize for the more emotive content, but stress the importance of the ideas stated. Anyone who doesn't understand the issues touched upon (disagreement is another issue and is fine) frankly shouldn't be reading this story. I would prefer you not to, as it's a waste of time for both me and you.
Wiseman – I outright don't want you reading this or anything else I might ever write. I am completely put off by your non evolving ways. I hope that not being wanted is enough to discourage you from being here. I don't care about your opinions elsewhere, I don't want you here.