Part 28: What the Traveller Leaves
BGM: Lion House Cafe
05/27 (SUN), Morning
I brew some coffee for both Sonya and Miharu once morning comes around. Sonya doesn't want to drink hers black, so I make sure to put some milk and sugar in.
This was my first time drinking coffee. It was delicious.
It's been a while since I had some coffee here... The taste seems to have changed, too.
Well, it was my grandmother who made it last time, so that's not a surprise to hear.
That's not it. I was implying that I've changed. I can tell that it's your coffee based on the fragrance alone.
My coffee, huh...? I suppose I have been making slight changes to the way I prepare it for a while. That doesn't matter right now, though. Rather, I can't help but lose myself as I stare at Miharu basking in the morning glow while enjoying her coffee. It causes me to recall her comment from last night, which forces me to avert my eyes. Sonya is staring at her, too. I'm not sure if she noticed me doing so and followed suit, but she eventually smiles and speaks up.
BGM: Entrusted Feelings
I have a request for the both of you. I'd like to leave Passazhir with you.
Huh? But it's an important gift from your grandmother, isn't it?
Passazhir... It's Russian for traveler, isn't it?
Wow, you understand my home language? I'm impressed.
The name must represent your desire to go out and see the world.
A pang of sadness hits me as I remember Keiko's belief regarding the meaning behind one's name, although I do my best to hide it behind a smile.
What is it you want us to do with it?
I want you to show it the world in my place.
She holds her closest friend out to Miharu with that beaming smile of hers.
There's no point in handing it over to me...
This is a request for the both of you.
She leaves Passazhir on the table at which Miharu is sitting and prepares to continue with her request. Miharu unconsciously strokes its head with her finger. At least, I assume it is unconscious of her, since she retracts her finger the moment she realizes what she's doing.
Would you mind listening to what I have to say? The goddess said that, originally, all twelve of us were supposed to have gathered in the same place twelve weeks from the beginning of Divine Selection. In reality, my parents planned to take me on a trip if my condition didn't get any worse.
They had even decided on bringing me to Tokyo.
Fate changed its course, and your condition grew worse. Still, that means you were originally supposed to come here.
Yes. Fate changed its course by having me die before we could take the trip. The important part here is that fate can change. If it can do so for the worst, then it can also do so for the best! The goddess said that fate will allow only one of us to make it to the end, but if fate is something that can change on a whim, then...
It's possible that it can be altered to let both of you make it through together. It may be too late for me, but I believe that you two will show even more of the world to Passazhir. Together.
You think its possible to... change fate...?
It's not. Even if we could, all that would change is which one of us makes it through. And believe me, it won't be anyone other than Rinka so long as I'm around. Don't forget that it's the same goddess's rules that are keeping us alive right now.
That's true, but still. I won't take my request back.
Sonya speaks with enough confidence to refute Miharu's denial. The look in her eyes tells me that she is convinced by her own words, too.
Selfish until the very end, aren't we?
This is my final will, so yes.
...I see. I won't make any promises, but let me ask you, Rinka. Are you willing to carry out her request?
I nod firmly to reinforce my response. This is probably the only thing I can do for her now.
In that case, I'll be on my way. Thank you for giving me some of your previous time.
Sure. Take care.
Sonya... I promise I won't forget about the fun time we spent together.
Being with you two made me very happy, too. Uh-oh... I should leave before it gets too hard for me to do so.
All right... Farewell.
She bows deeply before leaving. I watch her sink down into the horizon from the store window.
Off she goes...
I am too caught up in my own thoughts to properly register what Miharu says. Nothing can change the fact that Sonya's going to be eliminated tonight. When I think about it, I only have two of her cards. I don't even have the option of triggering a simultaneous election like I did with Keiko. Granted, even if I did, it'd be nothing more than a temporary measure to console myself. But... But...
Seeing her walk off on her own like that is too much.
Before I can catch myself, I lose my composure. And the tears pouring down my face are proof of that.
This right here is why I called the situation dumb when I first learned about it. You said you didn't regret your decision, though. Does that hold true, even now?
I can't compose myself to respond verbally, so I have to nod in response.
And this right here... is exactly why I love you.
She sits down next to me after saying that. The moment our shoulders touch, I turn and cling onto her. She stays by my side the entire time I cry.
BGM: Lion House Cafe
After a glass of cold water, I manage to calm myself down. Meanwhile, Miharu gets ready to leave because she has to go to work.
I'll see you at school tomorrow.
Yeah... Sorry for crying so much. Today reminded me how weak I am in comparison to you.
Hehe. You may not realize it yourself, but I'd say you're far stronger than me.
I deny her claim with a shake of my head as she smiles at me.
We're not even halfway through Divine Selection. Remember that I'll be waiting for you once you've cleared up your own doubts.
Thanks... I'd appreciate it if you showed the same concern for yourself, though.
Right back at you. Oh, and I said I'd see you at school tomorrow, but I guess we'll see each other in the dream world before then.
Hey, that's not a very funny joke. I'll see you later.
That said, she turns and makes her way out. I should be used to being alone here, yet it somehow feels a lot more quiet than before. It wasn't long ago that the three of us were talking and laughing together. It's already almost afternoon, but I decide to open the store up. I also decide to give my gran a call later on in the evening.