Prologue: In a Sea of Red: part b
~Blooming Prairie b~
It was in a world of scarlet.
A song echoed across the land.
The red blooms carpeted the ground as far as the eye could see.
The empty blue sky stretched out over the earth.
No one could be seen on the plains.
And yet the song flowed through this space of red and blue.
It was a melody both slow and quick.
It continued with both joy and melancholy.
The song ended on a beautiful high note.
“Encore!” said a voice.
“I wanna hear a couple more. If not...” he continued.
“If not?”, asked the voice that had been singing.
“Stand me back up,” said the first voice.
“Haha, okay. Then just one more--”
The red plains were once again filled with music.
When the song had ended, the first voice asked,
“So what are you going to do now?”
The other voice answered,
“The same as always, I guess. Let’s go somewhere.”
“Sounds good,” the first voice agreed with cheer.
And it continued,
“You can stand me back up now, Kino.”
Epilogue: In a Sea of Red: part a
~Blooming Prairie a~
The country was in ruins.
Its stone walls reduced to ruin, no longer able to serve their function. The gates that should have been closed had fallen to the ground.
Not a single building was spared. Windows were broken, ceilings were caved in, and walls were covered in holes. Some buildings were completely charred. A tower had fallen on its side, crushing the buildings underneath. Fallen structures formed mountains of rubble that blocked the roads.
It was a clear day, and the derelict streets were very quiet.
Near the western gate, Hermes was propped up on his centre stand.
There was no one nearby.
Hermes mumbled to himself,
The sounds of footsteps were followed by Kino returning to Hermes.
Kino was wearing her brown coat. Her shoulders, hat, and feet were covered in dirt. She re-holstered The Cannon.
“How’d it go, Kino?” asked Hermes.
“Not a soul in sight. There are some bones lying around, but most of the corpses are probably buried under the rubble,” Kino replied stoically as she dusted herself off.
“Was it an earthquake? A tornado? Why’d you think all this happened?”
“I don’t know.” Kino replied curtly, put on her coat, and got on Hermes.
“There’s no need to stay here any longer. No need to come back here again, either.”
Kino started Hermes. The roar of the engine spread throughout the ruins. She put on her goggles and looked back at the rubble.
Kino and Hermes left.
They went along the deserted streets and past the gates.
The motorrad continued along the hilly roads that extended past the walls.
“Kino,” Hermes started.
“What are you going to do now?”
“That’s a good question,” said Kino, falling into thought.
When they reached the top of a particularly large hill, Kino finally spoke.
“Maybe I’ll sing.”
In front of them was a sea of red. All the land from beyond the hill to the edge of the horizon was carpeted by flowers.
Kino took Hermes into the midst of the flowers. She stopped and turned off his engine.
“Whoa!” Hermes screamed, but Kino tipped him onto his side without a care. She then fell into the flowers herself.
Red petals scattered to the wind.
“That was mean. Who did this?” Hermes asked jokingly.
Kino laughed with her eyes to the sky and took a big breath.
Then she began to sing.