Have a short update.
Let us resume our observation.
Interlude 1: Every Dog has his Unlucky Day
In the dark, he ran without pausing for breath.
All he could see beyond the rainbow-colored veil over his eyes—his own bangs—was a murky grey darkness.
He had no idea which passage he was running through.
“Fuck… Fuck. Fuck. Fuck! This is some messed-up crap—oh fuck!”
He began to wonder if his feet were even pounding against the floor.
It felt like he was running across a bottomless bog, or through a particularly dense mist. But his every sensation was warning him: the creature at his back was after his life.
“What the hell? What the hell is he?! Shit shit shit this is some crazy shit like hell I’ve got time to talk!”
It was a different sort of fear from anything he’d felt before.
The terror of being held at gunpoint by a cop. The terror of being immobile in the jungle. The terror of shuddering under the blankets as a child at the thought of death.
Different even from the terror of shooting his own parents to death.
An unknowable terror was gaining on him, fast. Certain death, certain pain; such things did not scare him. After all, in a sense, he desired his own death.
And yet he was afraid.
Pursuing him was a being that transcended the limits of his expression, like death or pain. The unknown had become terror incarnate, bent on chasing him down.
‘I won’t make it.
‘I won’t make it.’
And yet he pressed forward, with no choice but to run.
Then, he saw a flash of light.
Was it a window?
The main with rainbow-colored hair did not even look to see if the window was open as he launched himself off the floor.
Sensing someone’s hand narrowly brush against his back in a failed grab, he crashed loudly against the glass.
Blue skies, blue seas. Without even the time to note where the horizon lay—
The man tumbled toward the waves.
There was an impact.
Followed by pain.
And the splash of water.
Then, he opened his eyes.
The blue sky and the white clouds warmly welcomed his awakening. But the wind was icy-cold, driving the man to wonder how he had fallen asleep in such a place.
“You looked like you were havin’ a nightmare or something, boss. You cool?”
The first person to come into sight was a man in messy work wear.
The man jokingly referred to as ‘boss’ realized that he was still alive, and looked around to orient himself.
He was surrounded by endless blue.
In the middle of the sea, far from any visible land, the boat chugged away from the sun amidst the white waves.
Under the sunlight’s embrace, the rainbow-haired man sprang up.
To see that his feet were truly steady against the solid deck.
To see that he had indeed escaped the terror of that moment.
“…Whereabouts are we, Mr. Ara?”
“We just set off, boss. We still got about a week.”
Mr. Ara, a man of ambiguous ethnicity, breathed a sigh of relief and returned to the wheelhouse. The nightmare must have been a frightening one if he had come all the way onto the deck to see if thing were all right.
‘We only just set off, dammit. Talk about some freaky foreshadowing.’
The rainbow-haired man stretched and recalled the dream, as well as the nightmarish terror his body had experienced in the past.
The memory went back three years, to when he was still on the artificial island.
“Yeah. No way I coulda jumped out the window that time with Kuzuhara if I hadn’t pulled that stunt before. Maybe I should thank the kid.”
Though he was young himself, he called the terrifying creature in his dreams a child as well.
“…Then again, I don’t think I ever wanna run into him again.”
With that, he quietly looked up at the sky.
Countless faces he was about to see rose to his mind.
Wondering just how many of those faces were still alive, the rainbow-colored dog snickered.
On and on, Hayato Inui stared up into the sky.